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Recommendation for Camry Replacement

I am an 84 year old woman, perfect driving record, excellent health, currently drive '14 Camry XLE. Good safety features, but it drives like a truck. Within the next year I’d like to replace it, especially w/one with automatic braking safety feature, since I’m sure my reflexes are not what they once were. Please recommend an easy to drive, highly safe auto. Thanks, Helen Lias

Helen, you are driving what I would recommend, or at least a newer version.

I don’t know why you describe this car as driving like a truck. That underscores why any recommendations over the internet are fairly useless. You have to drive any car you might want to buy. Start at your Toyota dealer.

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Thank you. Have driven T’s since '97, which I just LOVED and gave to my granddaughter with 100,000 miles in 2010, when I bought an '05 T., which I also loved. That car and the current I purchased from a former student (70 yrs. old) and auto mechanic who buys and sells cars from auctions. It didn’t occur to me to test drive a '14, when I asked him to find a newer T. He brought this car to his lot, and really, I didn’t feel it drove as comfortably as my '05, but hated to tell him . Thus he’d have to put this one on his lot. My fault. I should have gone to a dealer and test driven. It is challenging to look over the hood of this while driving, if I near a concrete barrier. My grandson (27) also agreed that it is not a comfortable car to drive. He has owned pick-up trucks.

When It was time to replace my last 4 (or maybe 5) Camry’s, I replaced them with…you guessed it… newer Camry’s.

I, too, have sworn by them. No repairs, just good , regular maintenance. Maybe it’s just me.

what exactly you do not like?
heavy steering?
uncomfortable seat?
too long press on brake pedal?

I assume you mean ( Toyota ) but some occasional readers here might not .

The XLE ride is a little bit firmer than the regular Camry.Its probably due to the sport suspension included in this package.The sport suspension package has larger stabilizer bars to improve handling and cornering ability. Also,check your tire pressure because they could be overinflated.Low profile tires is another possibility in case yours came equipped with them.


Your idea to see a Toyota dealer makes a lot of sense because you have a lot of faith (I think well-founded) in the brand. Maybe try a Camry but also other models. Having good visibility looking out is a big reason people are buying pickups and SUVS, but cars big and small vary a lot in that aspect.

Thanks, I do mean Toyota and specifically, Camry.

The steering was the first thing I noticed. Tires were changed at 38,000 and were top of the line replacements. What is the advantage of larger stabilizer bars if handling and cornering is not easier?

Thank you for understanding about visibility. Would a Lexus provide more of that? I need that and ease of handling, in addition to all of the safety features. I’m almost ashamed to criticize Toyota, when I have loved the Camry since 1997.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

Shopping for the new car recently, I was comparing Toyota Camry and Honda Accord as a short-list from 4-5 other things I tried, including 3-years old used Lexus ES series, pricing was pretty much in the same ballpark.

I did not like this older Lexus specifically as “overly soft”, but I can totally imagine somebody to like it just for that, visibility is as good as Camry, hey, they share the same platform.

Toyota became much “sportier” from my assessment in late years, down to the point where it might be a little bit too much for me: the seats are too narrow/supportive on sides, steering is surprisingly sharp AKA “not soft”, etc… That seems to be what you did not like: it became too sporty and made to appeal to much younger demographics.

I ended up settling on Honda Accord: seats are reasonably wide, but supportive, fitted my aching back like it was designed for me and the only downside (for me) I see is in overly light steering, I like more response, but it may be a selling point for you, @HelenP.Lias, as this car drives with little effort on steering/pedals.

You might also consider their Insight Hybrid: same package in a slightly smaller body and it is not as optimized for youngsters as their Civic is.

This comes down to personal preference. The XLE is not the sporty version, that’s the XSE or SE. I just rented a new Accord, found the seat uncomfortable for me.

If the ride is too rough, maybe you have optional bigger wheels. What size are your tires?

Do you have the electrically adjustable seat? Have you adjusted it up as high as it will go?

Take a look at the Corolla and it might be just the thing for what you need.

It’d be pretty similar to your Camry, though the various sensors (blind spot monitor, rear-parkinglot-crosstraffic sensor, parking sensors) and backup camera would help in certain situations.

It will also ride better than your Camry. Quite a bit better. Lexus tends more toward the luxury end of the sport-luxury sedan category. If you can afford an ES350 I don’t think you’d have any complaints about the ride.

Thank you. Upon first handling the steering, I felt a difference. Purchased top of the line Michelins. Could that cause rough ride, realizing our streets are in disrepair.

Thanks a lot for your suggestion.

Thanks, I have adjusted the seat as high as possible. Love that it’s a lumbar adjust, also. Looking for my invoice for Michelins I purchased in '17. My mechanic told me afterwards that they are top of the line. Could they too big for my car and make for a rough ride?