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Ted LaturnusThe year 2010 wasn’t the best of times for Toyota. Unintended acceleration complaints and floormat glitches were giving the company fits. No model in the company’s lineup, it seemed, was immune and Toyota appeared to spend most of its time putting out fires.

But as it turns out, this was a pretty good year for the Camry – it maintained its reputation as one of the more reliable cars on the road.

Available with a four-cylinder or V6 engine, and a hybrid version, the 2010 Camry was offered in a variety of trim levels. It was also on the receiving end of a mild restyling job this year.

Then, as now, when you purchased a Camry, you were usually getting a four-wheeled appliance that would at a minimum give you years of hassle-free motoring. Groups like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power have consistently given the Camry top marks in just about every department for years, and 2010 was no exception.

One of the more popular models was the mid-level SE, which was powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that developed 179 horsepower. This engine was used throughout Toyota’s lineup, in one form or another, including in the Venza and the Highlander.

A tale of two Camrys: XSE and TRD by Ted Laturnus

The most popular transmission was a six-speed automatic but you could also get a six-speed manual with this model. The automatic featured a manual sequential shift feature, and both the manual and automatic transmission versions had almost identical fuel economy, with the automatic being slightly thirstier in town.

Standard equipment on the SE included the usual roster of one-touch front power windows, air conditioning, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, fog lamps, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering and power outside mirrors. Heated seats were optional – still, usability was the key here.

2010 toyota camry

In a year when Toyota spent most of its time putting out fires, the Camry managed to maintain its reputation as one of the more reliable cars on the road

Three safety recalls were on file with Transport Canada. One involved possible issues with the left rear brake hydraulic line on four-cylinder models, while the other two concerned the floor mats and resulting accelerator pedal issues. Toyota mounted a vigorous campaign to sort all this out and these last two glitches should be history by now.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had 21 technical service bulletins for this vintage of the Camry. These ranged from unco-operative sun visors, “dusty” ventilation systems, occasionally “inoperative” engine cooling fans, possible engine oil leaks with the V6 models, and sun roofs that may leak because of clogged drainage tubes.

Consumer Reports really liked the 2010 Camry. Aside from a minor glitch with the braking system, it got top marks in just about every category, garnering a “best bet” designation from this organization. This also applied to its safety rating – the 2010 Camry received top marks in front, side and offset crash tests, both from NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Some comments from owners:

  • “can be a little noisy;”
  • “bottom of seats too short for tall drivers;”
  • “competent handling, quiet;”
  • one interesting comment from an owner who claimed to have had a Toyota of one type of another in his driveway since 1980: “Total unscheduled (non-maintenance) repairs: $410 in 30 years. Time will tell.”

Marketing researcher J.D. Power liked most things about the 2010 Camry, especially its overall quality and powertrain, but was less enthusiastic when it came to things like style, comfort and overall performance. Nonetheless, it gave this year a “better than most” rating for overall quality.

Unsurprisingly, this edition of the Camry has held its value. From a starting price of just under $25,000 new, it’s going for anywhere from $5,000 to $6,000 for the base model (if you can find one) into the $10,000 range for the hybrid and V6 models. The XLE, with all the trimmings, is the priciest.

2010 Toyota Camry

Original base price: $24,900
Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder or 3.5-litre V6
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 9.0 city, 6.1 highway with the SE four-cylinder with automatic transmission, using regular gas
Alternatives: Chevrolet Malibu, Dodge Avenger, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Mitsubishi Galant, Saturn Aura, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Magentis, Mazda6

Ted Laturnus has been an automotive journalist since 1976. He was named Canadian Automobile Journalist of the Year twice and is past president of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). For interview requests, click here.

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