>Let me share my Camry nightmare.
>I bought one new in 1986, the then new 1987 design. It was unquestionably
>the worst car I have ever owned. (Bought my first car in 1956) From day-1
>it had problems of fit, finish, reliability & of dealer service.
Despite the fact that my own Toyota has not been as reliable as I hoped
when I purchased it, and that the prices for Toyota parts are out of this
world, I think there are in fact many happy Camry owners, and that your
experience was the exception rather than the rule. I agree with you on the
safety issues, though; anecdotally, I've yet to see a Japanese car stand up
well in a crash (does anyone have statistics?), and the smaller ones don't
seem to handle or track at speed nearly as well as most European, and a lot
of American, cars. For the same money, I wish I'd bought a Volkswagen Golf
or Jetta rather than my Corolla. But what's done is done...
The model Camry you describe, which I think ran from '87 thru '92, many
people think of as among the best, better than today's, anyway. I won't
defend them overmuch, because I think their reputation far exceeds their
value, but after talking to so many owners who've had nary a problem, I
can't run them down too much either. I guess the point is that everyone
makes a lemon now and then, some companies more than others. The lesson
might be DO NOT order a car, always buy from dealer stock if possible...a
short tour of the inventory usually shows noticeable variations in fit,
finish, and even the way they run, which may or may not be indicative of
how well the drivetrain has been put together, and how well it will last.
I've talked to a lot of people who've owned Audi and VW lemons, cars that
seemed to be falling apart as they drove off the lot, but as we're all so
fond of saying, YMMV. (Up until a few months ago, I had no idea what that
stood for, I asked another lister...the only thing I could think of was You
Make Me Vomit, but that didn't seem to fit the context...)