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While various SUV nameplates have won and lost favor with consumers’ changing tastes, the Toyota Camry’s popularity has remained constant over the last decade. There’s good reason for this, as the Camry has never wavered in its mission to be the perfect American family sedan. It’s not perfect, of course, but the current Camry rates highly in most of the areas mainstream buyers will consider important: It’s roomy, comfortable, safe and easy to drive. And when it comes time to sell it, you’ll get a nice price for it.
The 2008 Toyota Camry represents the second year of the nameplate’s sixth generation. Although the car retains a midsize classification, this is the largest Camry ever and that fact is immediately apparent when you get inside: Headroom, shoulder room, hip room and legroom are abundant in both the front and back. This is also the most powerful Camry ever by a wide margin. The optional 3.5-liter V6 engine develops 268 horsepower, and using the services of a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, propels the sedan to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds — as quick as some sport sedans and coupes. It also returns fuel economy that’s not far off from what you’d get with the Camry’s base four-cylinder engine.
In spite of the current-gen Camry’s speed, performance is still not among its major selling points. Instead, buyers are likely to notice how easily this family car executes passing maneuvers and maintains utter composure and serenity when going over just about any road surface. Handling is also sharper than on any previous Camry, although the car’s abilities are masked by its ride-biased tires and lack of steering feedback. Truly, those seeking a truly sporting drive in a midsize sedan will continue to be better served by such cars as the Mazda 6, Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy.