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Toyota Quality Perception



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TRCar54

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33192916/ns/business-the_drivers_seat

I was recently looking for a new car for my wife's daily driver and our family car. In the search I've done a lot of reading of reviews and opinions as well as the reading I've done on this site for a number of years.

As a result of my reading and the opinions of people that have had recent Camry's I decided on the 2009 Accord.

I hope I'm wrong but it does appear that they are not what they once were.

The difference is that I do believe they'll straighten the ship quickly unlike many of the American Auto makers.

I don't think that you are alone in this decision. All automakers have their ups and downs - but when a company like Toyota, known for superior quality control and build quality, is put under a microscope - little cracks are bound to be seen. You don't get to the top without making some concessions in the process - some corners will inevitably get cut along the way.

Honda has always been a top automaker, but they've also made some great improvements to the interior appointment of their cars. When I got my Camry (1996) - nothing that Honda offered was even remotely close to build quality, ride, and choice of material. Spring forward 5 years - not much as changed, as I was looking for a good commuter car - settled on a Corolla instead of a Honda. Now - Honda seems to have made a quantum leap in interior appointments and choice of materials. The Toyota equivalents seem bland and sparse in comparison - now, the only one that I would ever consider is the new Venza - not for build quality, but for its size and versatility.

I don't think that Toyota has dropped the ball on quality, if you sell more cars and trucks, there is a greater chance that something will be wrong - just a matter of statistics. Probably more accurate to say that the competition has been very aggressive and taking more notice of what people like to see in a car - quality control is much tighter and brand loyalty doesn't have the aura that it used to have. Toyota still makes a very good product, IMO, just that their quality "yardstick" of what is considered quality has moved down a couple of notches. I mean the Canadian plants still have one of the most streamlined manufacturing processes and top QC out there. I think where Toyota went wrong was trying to catch GM in the first place, sure it would look good on paper, but they forgot or ignored the importance of what got them there in the first place.

One point of the article was what I can "junk" journalism. Pretty misleading how the general media jumped on that tragic death of the family of four in the Lexus rental car. Toyota had to do a knee-jerk recall those floormats, when it appeared that the dealership "stacked" two mats ontop of each other, one being for a completely different vehicle. That is a recipe for disaster for any make - but for damage control, not sure if this had the result that Toyota is looking for. Plus, the 911 call showed that the family seemingly "gave" up. Of course we may never know what really went through their minds the few moments before the crash - but common sense would assume that a CHP trained office should be able to react to that situation by shutting down the car, pulling it in neutral, etc. etc. - but the fact is, doesn't matter what happened, people died and it was in a Toyota product, the public doesn't necessarily respond to logic or details.

dwb4

My brother in law and his wife tried a Camry then the Accord. Same deal..looking for a daily driver.They went with the Honda also.Liked it much better and it has been a good car.My son has an older Civic that has served him very well.

My wife got an 2010 Corolla S. It's ok ...I don't find I can get comfortable but she likes it. Unfortunately she got black which scratches VERY easy,has swirl marks already. I find the paint ( or clear coat ) terrible .I may have to get it buffed. We had a 98 which scratched and chipped ,was hopeful that the new ones were better but I guess not. Mechanically , I expect it will be better than the Gran Am we traded in.

Wayyyyyyy back we had 3 celica's 74,77,and 79 .Yup I'am old. Was young then tho ,drive the tar out of em.Couldn't break them,no way .

db

01loadedLE

I prefer the new accord over the camry also. I think you made a good choice.

TRCar54

So far the car is great. I'll try to remember to post the link to the car and driver article comparing the Accord, Camry and the other foreign and domestic competition. It's right on the money regarding the Camry and Accord. I drove a friend's 2009 Camry yesterday and there is a perception of cheesiness. The doors don't appear to be nearly as heavy as the Accord. The Accord's 4 cylinder is very quick but is louder than the Camry and is even louder than my 276K mile 1995 Corolla. The exhaust on the Accord is also louder. The differential whines in reverse...I kinda like it.....sounds like a stick. The interior of my Accord is much nicer than my friend's Camry but I don't know what model the Camry is so that might not be fair. Mine is the EX which is the 3rd of 6 levels. I just find the Camry to be bland unless you get into the SE trim level. The ride of the Accord is also firmer than the Camry and the steering is very responsive.

This is the 1st brand new car we've ever had. My wife was driving to work in the rain and got hit from behind in the middle of a rotary. The "guy" took off before my wife had a chance to get out of the car. I guess it's a good thing it wasn't me....I might have made the news. Looks like his plate bracket cut through the surface of the bumper cover....not too bad. Certainly not bad enough to have it fixed right now. This is Massachusetts...there will be more. It's just annoyomg that we've only had the car for two weeks.

If you're looking for something in this bracket I would recommend the Accord. With my $600 trade I paid $21,500 for the EX. The EX includes a power sunroof, 6 CD changer, 16 inch alloys and low profile Michelins, a slightly better cloth interior and probably a few other little perks. A friend of a friend bought the identical car a week later at Herb Chambers and paid $21000 with no trade.

Jay in MA

TRCar54

I agree Fishman.

We can't assume that because he was a cop that he should know anything about cars but it would seem that one of the first things to come to mind would be to get it into Neutral and let the governor do its thing with the revs.

I heard that Toyota is recalling based on floor mats but they might have an inkling that there is mmore to this than just floormats. We'll see.

One point of the article was what I can "junk" journalism. Pretty misleading how the general media jumped on that tragic death of the family of four in the Lexus rental car. Toyota had to do a knee-jerk recall those floormats, when it appeared that the dealership "stacked" two mats ontop of each other, one being for a completely different vehicle. That is a recipe for disaster for any make - but for damage control, not sure if this had the result that Toyota is looking for. Plus, the 911 call showed that the family seemingly "gave" up. Of course we may never know what really went through their minds the few moments before the crash - but common sense would assume that a CHP trained office should be able to react to that situation by shutting down the car, pulling it in neutral, etc. etc. - but the fact is, doesn't matter what happened, people died and it was in a Toyota product, the public doesn't necessarily respond to logic or details.

01loadedLE

Wow TR that's a bummer. Don't worry though, the "guy" will get his. What goes around comes around....in spades believe me.

K_Watson

The new Camry's (07 and up) look great on the outside but the interiors are butt ugly, and cheap feeling plastic. The radio is the worst looking part.

If I could drop the interior like my GF's '01 XLE in a new Camry, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

TRCar54

Here is the link I spoke of earlier. This car is a keeper......it's a great looking design, no squeaks or rattles and you get a really good feel for the road.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comparisons/08q1/2008_honda_accord_vs._nissan_altima_chevy_malibu_hyundai_sonata_toyota_camry_ford_fusion_dodge_avenger-comparison_tests

...........I'll try to remember to post the link to the car and driver article comparing the Accord, Camry and the other foreign and domestic competition. It's right on the money regarding the Camry and Accord.