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2005 Toyota Camry Test Drive Review

Picture of 2005 Toyota Camry The Toyota Camry is the quintessential reliable family sedan. But it also has a slightly athletic side as well.

6.7 /10
Overall Score

The 2005 Toyota Camry represents a mid-cycle refresh of a car whose third generation actually began with the 2002 model year. The 2005 Camry boasts a number of updates, including styling tweaks, a shuffling of trim names, and updated powertrain choices.

The Camry is never particularly exciting, but that’s just the point. Its strong suits are practicality, frugality, and reliability. The Camry provides comfortable commuting and has a fantastic track record of reliability. While the Camry is not particularly sporty, some models offer a sporty look, adding a bit of excitement to the daily co

Look and Feel

6/ 10

Design updates for 2005 are subtle, including a new grille, new lower front bumper area, and new taillight design. Inside, the 2005 Camry is nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor, save for more conservative use of the faux wood interior paneling.

Trims for the 2005 Camry are Standard (or base), LE, SE, and XLE. Standard features on the Standard include an AM/FM stereo with 6-speakers, air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows, with a one-touch driver’s power window. It also comes standard with heated power-adjustable exterior side mirrors.

Trims like the LE add remote keyless entry, while the range-topping XLE comes with leather upholstery, a JBL premium stereo, climate control, and rear-seat ventilation ducts.

While the Camry is no sports car, the SE has some unique touches, such as a spoiler, blacked-out headlight surrounds, and a black. Together, they imbue the SE with some visual cues hinting at some mild performance enhancements within.

Performance

6/ 10

The 2005 Camry is available with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, or one of two V6 engines. While the four-cylinder engine is standard on all trims, the V6 can be had on the LE, SE, and XLE. The four-cylinder engine makes 160 horsepower, sent to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual, or 5-speed automatic.

The available 3.0-liter V6 engine puts out 210 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque. The SE V6 comes with a larger 3.3-liter engine, making 225 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. Both V6 engines route power to the front wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission.

The driver’s choice will be the SE V6. In addition to the most powerful engine, this trim boasts larger sway bars, a more responsive suspension setup, and yields a more engaging driving experience. The four-cylinder and smaller V6 engines also provide adequate power for getting around town.

Form and Function

6/ 10

The Camry competes with the Honda Accord, and while the two are often evenly matched, the Camry excels in this department, namely because it is more conventional in many respects. The Accord has a more unorthodox controls layout and is worse off for it. The Camry, meanwhile, has simple and straightforward controls.

The Camry also has 16.7 cubic feet of trunk space, besting the Accord’s 14-cubic-foot trunk. In the passenger compartment, the Camry has plenty of trays, cubbies, and compartments for storing items. The larger center stack tray ahead of the shifter is particularly helpful, and for 2005, the Camry receives new in-door storage pockets.

Tech Level

6/ 10

A subtle change for the 2005 Camry is the upgrade to Optitron electroluminescent gauges, which had been found on the Camry’s corporate cousin, the Lexus ES300, since the late 1990s and provides a crisp, upscale visual display.

The base stereo features 6 speakers, AM/FM radio, and a CD player. It is perfectly adequate, but you should consider checking out the XLE trim and its JBL premium stereo. It provides fantastic sound, as well as a 6-disc CD changer.

Safety

7/ 10

The ’05 Camry comes with safety features such as multiple airbags, front passenger seat airbag sensor, antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, auto-off daytime running lights, and an emergency trunk release. Side airbags and vehicle stability control are optional.

The standard brake setup is front discs and rear drums, while select trims come with four-wheel disc brakes. The range-topping XLE trim also comes with a remote anti-theft system with an engine immobilizer.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing, the ’05 Camry earns five out of five stars for front crash testing. It earns four out of five stars for rollover testing and side-impact testing.

Cost-Effectiveness

9/ 10

The most efficient version of the Camry is the base four-cylinder engine, when equipped with the five-speed automatic transmission, returning 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, 25 mpg combined. With the manual transmission, this engine returns 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, 24 combined.

The 3.3-liter V6 Camry returns 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, 21 mpg combined. Interestingly, the least efficient version of the Camry is the less powerful 3.0-liter V6, which posts fuel economy numbers of 18 mpg city, 26 highway, 21 combined.

The Toyota Camry is so closely matched to the Honda Accord, it’s often hard to pick a winner. Sometimes it comes down to subjectivity, and the Camry’s more conventional styling may be preferable to the more forward-thinking Accord’s design. Both will deliver solid value and reliable motoring for years.

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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Toyota Camry Questions

10

P0500 Code And Speedometer Not Working

I have a 2005 Camry with the check engine light on, the code is P0500. I replaced the speed sensor and cleared the code and everything worked fine for 15 miles and then the speedometer stopped worki...

Engine Clicking On Idle

Hello, I recently replaced a leaking radiator and took my car battery out to give myself enough space to work. I installed the new radiator and put back in the battery but now when I turn the car o...

2005 Toyota Camry Losing Pressure And Engine Light Has Came On.

starting off car has low pressure pulling off and engine light has came on.

Why Do I Have Low Idle

2005 Camry low idle almost dies and small hesitation on throttle

Is There A Temporary Fix For A Crack In The Plastic Top Of My '95 Camry Rad...

my car overheated and a 4" crack developed in the top of my radiator. I tried to epoxy it by that didn't work. I need to repair the crack to get the car home, temperatures have been below O.