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1993 Toyota Camry Retrotest

Three years ago, Mikhail was a naive student, carelessly rolling the miracle of the French car industry Renault Clio in a relatively fresh state – the “five-year plan.” True, “naked” on equipment. And suddenly his car fate made a sharp turn. It turned out that in the garage of a friend of the family in the Irkutsk region, the Toyota Camry V30 of 1993 was gathering dust without movement, which the owner is ready to sell as useless. Of course, Michael went to watch. He was met by an unbeaten, unpainted body and a ridiculous 94,000 km run on a “tidy”. Sedan, 11 years stood motionless, wound up with a half-turn.

Compared with the Clio, heaven and earth: “automatic”, air conditioning and, most importantly, comfort in everything – from landing to suspension. The differences are colossal, and here the age of the car fades into the background. Mikhail himself did not notice how he began to bargain with the owner, there was not a single doubt in his wild head. They agreed on 125 000 rubles. Then there was a journey of nearly 7,000 km long (!) From Angarsk to St. Petersburg with a stop in Novouralsk. Camry hit the road without any diagnostics, passing only a small MOT with the replacement of oils and filters. And endured! Of the breakdowns on the way, only the “dead” rear right shock absorber and a punched muffler, which was successfully brewed at the service station in the glorious city of Tomsk.

In St. Petersburg, where Toyota was in 2016, it began to actively exploit. And now we can see the real costing that the 23-year-old Camry demanded in the next three years of life.

After the first six months of ownership, the mileage increased by 14,000 km, and about 42,000 rubles was spent on maintenance. In this case, half of this amount was spent on the purchase of a set of winter tires and wheels. The rest is the price of the next maintenance plus replacement of the rear silent blocks.

The following year, the Camry demanded more repair. Replaced front brake pads, rear springs and shock absorbers, exhaust resonator. During the next maintenance, new candles were installed, and a bit later – crankshaft and camshaft oil seals, plus a timing belt, along with a tensioner pulley and a pump. The final bill for the year is 48,000 rubles. Mileage by that time was already 130,000 km.

The year 2018, which began with the regular replacement of front brake pads (23,000 km between replacements), turned out to be the most expensive. On the run of 135,000 km it is time to service the front suspension. Were replaced front springs and shock absorbers (Kayaba), wheel bearing, ball bearings, silent-thrust jet block, stabilizer bushings and inner wishbone silent-block. Then it was the turn of the steering gear together with the anthers, the rear engine mount, the steering tips and the rear stabilizer bushing. In the fall, I had to change the rear brake pads, sort out the steering rack, change the alternator belt, pump and valve cover gasket. By the end of the year – 150,000 km on the odometer and minus 63,000 rubles from the budget.

In 2019, over a run of 157,000 km, it was necessary to replace the oil scraper caps and adjust the valves. Total – 166 000 rubles for less than three years.

To be honest, the third edition of the most discussed sedan in Runet does not cause admiration. Dark marsh body color – just an exact reflection of the surrounding landscape of the depressive St. Petersburg spring. The size of the sedan is shorter and shorter than the current Corolla. Everything is logical, because before us is the Japanese Camry, and not the American XV10 of those times, which was 180 mm longer and 75 mm wider.

Alas, fashion design in the 90s does not always stand the test of time. The shape of the front optics with bevelled corners is certainly recognizable, but the glance indifferently slides along the smooth lines of the body. As a result, only the rear brake light with the Camry inscription, uniquely in those years, but popular, is uniquely remembered. And maybe for the better, that Toyota did not get involved in the avant-garde, like Nissan with a Leopard in the back of a Y32? Design is the tenth thing. Until the last, eighth generation, this was not just a Camry tradition, but one of the dogmas of its philosophy. Even if it is, as in our case, the V30 body, produced for the domestic market from 1990 to 1994. Although, as we know, for themselves, the Japanese do only the best, giving the remainder to the gaijin.

So it happened this time. Overseas Camry XV10 received a larger body, but technically inferior to the Japanese namesake. For example, in addition to the basic front-wheel drive V30 had options with all-wheel drive transmission, steering wheels rear wheels (4WS) and electronically controlled shock absorbers TEMS. The range of bodies consisted of a sedan and a hardtop, which could be completed with three versions of gasoline engines or turbo diesel. The base was a 1.8-liter 4S-FE (115 hp), followed by 2.0 3S-FE (135-140 hp) and 2.0 3S-GE (165 hp). Diesel 2C-T produced 91 hp Gearbox – 5-speed “mechanics” and 4-speed “automatic”.

Inside the Camry, at first glance, everything is as round, smooth and faceless as the outside. I already saw such a cockpit hugging the driver a hundred times, and it’s not about old BMWs.

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