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2010 Camry steered clear of Toyota’s confidence crisis

2010 Toyota Camry.


2010 wasn't the best year for Toyota. Unintended acceleration complaints and interfering floor mat glitches were giving the company fits. No model in the company's lineup was immune and Toyota appeared to spend most of its time putting out fires.

But, as it turns out, this was a pretty good year for the Camry, and it maintained its reputation as one of the more reliable cars on the road.

Available with either a four-cylinder or V-6 engine, with a hybrid version as well, the 2010 Camry was offered in a variety of trim levels, and was on the receiving end of a mild restyling job. Then, as now, when you purchased a Camry, you were usually getting a four-wheeled appliance that would, at a minimum, give you five years of hassle-free motoring. Consumer Reports and J.D. Power have consistently given the Camry top marks in just about every department for years, and 2010 was no exception.

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One of the more popular models was the middle-of-the-pack SE, which was powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder that developed 179 horsepower. This was 10 hp more than the base LE version, and this engine was utilized throughout Toyota's lineup, in one form or another, including in the Venza and Highlander. The most popular transmission was a six-speed automatic, but you could also get a six-speed manual with this model. The autobox featured a manual sequential shift feature, and both the manual and automatic transmission versions had almost identical fuel economy, with the automatic being slightly thirstier in town.

Standard equipment on the SE included the usual roster of one-touch-up/down front power windows, air conditioning, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, fog lamps, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering and power outside mirrors. There were all kinds of assorted storage bins and compartments inside the car, both on the centre console and the dashboard, and useability was the key word here. The SE also featured lightly tuned suspension, aluminum pedals, larger 17-inch wheels and was probably a smidgeon sportier than the base model.

Disappointingly, heated seats were optional – part of the Leather and Moonroof Package, which also came with rear reading lamps, Bluetooth and XM satellite radio.

Three safety recalls are on file with Transport Canada. One involves possible issues with the left rear brake hydraulic line on four-cylinder models, while the other two concern the "incompatible" floor mats and resulting accelerator pedal issues. Toyota mounted a vigorous campaign to sort all this out and these last two glitches should be history by now.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has 21 technical service bulletins out there for this vintage of the Camry. These range from wonky sun visors, "dusty" HVAC systems, occasionally "inoperative" engine cooling fans, possible engine oil leaks with the V-6 models and sun roofs that may leak because of clogged drainage tubes.

Consumer Reports really likes the 2010 Camry. Aside from a minor glitch with the braking system, it gets high marks in every category, garnering a "best bet" designation from this organization. This also applies to its safety rating; the 2010 Camry gets top marks in front, side, and offset crash tests, both from NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Some comments from owners: "Can be a little noisy," "Bottom of seats too short for tall drivers," "Competent handling, quiet." One interesting comment from a Toyota owner of 30 years who claims to have had a Toyota product of one type of another in his driveway since 1980: "Total unscheduled (non-maintenance) repairs: $410 in 30 years. Time will tell."

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Market research firm J.D. Power likes the 2010 Camry, especially its overall quality and powertrain quality, but is less enthusiastic when it comes to style, comfort and overall performance. Nonetheless, it gives this year a "better than most" rating for overall quality.

Unsurprisingly, this Camry has held its value. From a base price of just less than $25,000, it's today going for anywhere from the high teens to the mid-$20,000 range. V-6 models are valued about $1,000 more than the four-cylinder versions and the XLE, with all the trimmings, is the priciest of all.

Tech specs

2010 Toyota Camry

Original Base Price: $24,900; Black Book: $17,825-$22,225 Red Book: $17,500-$24,375

Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder and 3.5-litre V-6

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Horsepower/Torque: 169 hp/167 lb-ft for base four; 179 hp/171 lb-ft for uprated four; 268 hp/248 lb-ft

Transmission: Six-speed automatic and six-speed manual

Fuel Economy (litres/100 km): 9.0 city/6.1 highway (SE four-cylinder with automatic); regular gas

Alternatives: Chevrolet Malibu, Dodge Avenger, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Mitsubishi Galant, Saturn Aura, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Magentis, Mazda6


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