Sunday, September 25, 2016

Camry Rental Review

Toyota Camry California Style
You might know that the NMS team loves just about everything about cars, driving cars, working on cars, car safety, driving cars fast, and especially driving cars fast! Part of the reason we like driving safe and fast is that the average car in the US is pretty much NOT fast and maybe NOT tons of fun to drive.  Driving in an autocross-or-on-track-kind-of-way is a lot of fun, similar to having pizza AND ice cream on the same day!

With all of that in mind, you might also know that in addition to "the autocross cars" (see that page on this blog for more info), we have some plain old vanilla cars at home also. Why? Well, you know, for those family members or times that you don't need to be auto-crossing and having that much fun! Plain old get-er-done cars and trucks like a Ford Ranger and a Toyota Camry are important too. That's why it was so funny to rent a car in San Diego recently, and then find out upon arrival that we would be driving a Toyota Camry for a week in southern California!

Seriously, we didn't drive it like we stole it, but just used it in and around San Diego, a one day trip to LA, and a one day out to the exotic east county of San Diego. That means out where the mountains start and the pie in Julian California is legendary! Even a "beware of mountain lion" sign didn't stop us from hiking around in the California country. In the city of LA, having "just" a Camry didn't stop us from parking at the Petersen Automotive Museum and visiting the LA Farmer's Market, so that's a plus! Speaking of the Petersen, the McLaren Can-Am car I saw on exhibit there is also on this cover of MotorSport magazine:

The Camry was reliable, easy to drive, not too bad on gas, and proved to me once again why it remains the top selling car in the US. Our personal Camry at home in VA is still going strong at about 6 years and 111,000 miles, so  we remain impressed with the reliability. Even though it's not a go-to car for hot-rodding, driving fast, or solid suspension handling, there is a reason that Toyota sells so many Camrys. On our highway cruise from Carlsbad to LA and back, it handled the traffic and speed with no issues. Driving the twisty hilly route out to the east county was easy, and we could see why this part of the world makes up a good place to test drive vehicles for some of the major automotive magazines.

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