Falcon, Commodore, Magna or Camry?
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  1. #1
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    Default Falcon, Commodore, Magna or Camry?

    G'day froggers,

    No I'm not going to the dark side, but I maybe leasing a car on a novated lease through the Police Force and wanted to know which of the big Locals people considered best.

    At this stage I was probably leaning towars the 2.4VVTi Camry Sportivo, as I've heard they're not a bad donk....Ive also heard that they are a reasonable drive. Bearing in mind that I have a buy back option at the end, I think that the resale would be better on the Toyota also.

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    Has anyone driven the new camry???

    What were your honest thoughts?

    Regards,
    Richard
    Last edited by mistareno; 16th November 2003 at 08:06 AM.

  2. #2
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    I've driven the new Camry.

    The 2.4 VVTi is amazingly refined. I remember sitting at the traffic lights, and turning the ventilation fan to 1 made more noise than the engine. It has an almost turbine like decorum about it, impressively smooth for a 4 cylinder (I've never come across a 4 potter that refined). With the 5 speed manual it's fine in my books. From what people have told me, it's good on the fuel too - actually didn't the auto clubs recently say it was the cheapest large family car to operate?

    You can definately tell Toyota has tried to give the car a more European feel about it in the driving experience. The steering has a bit of weight - very un Japanese, and the car handles nicely for a big family car and is composed over bumps - far better than previous incarnations of Camrys. I'd like sharper brakes, but I'm used to fairly sharp brakes to begin with.

    Big car, huge boot. You really wonder why Toyota makes the Avalon.

    Ugly dash though and the car's styling looks as if the designers finished everything behind the C pillar in 15 minutes Doors shut nicely with a good thunk, the cars I've driven/been driven in have been rattle free.

    All the other usuals apply, well made, easy to discount, good resale, etc.

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    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Can you get a Magna AWD? Meant to be a pretty impressive drive - nice V6, masses of traction and a very composed chassis. Magnas have always seemed a lot more solid than a Camry.
    Having driven BA Falcons a lot, I have to say the build quality, cabin design and engine are pretty good. Sedans have a decent chassis too. But far too big and heavy in my books, and very thirsty. Commodores are sensible and solid, but lose value very fast like a Falcon and have engines that were last used to power the Ark.
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    Are novated leases available to all members? Or is it to do with your rank, or what?

    I love the Magna 3.5 engine, very very nice. But the FWD ones can have nasty torque steer. Its a great cruiser tho, on the pre facelift ones you can steer with your little finger, I believe they have firmed it up since then tho.

    If your going to buy at the end of the lease a magna is not a bad option. If your going to sell, then its woeful resale might come into it.

    Not sure which model you can afford, but the base model magnas come with way more toys than the competition.
    Tim

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    I can't comment on the Camry, as I haven't driven one but...

    If it's Commodore/Falcon, I'd go the Falcon. I've driven a brand new VX II (is the current model VX or VY?? It's 1.5 weeks old anyway) Commodore, and wasn't impressed with anything. The car hasn't changed in driving dynamics one bit from the VT of 1997. I was a passenger in a new BA Falcon sedan for several hundred kilometres of windy as anything country roads around Tumut last week. I was extremely impressed with the ride, the handling, the power and the comfort of it. A *very* refined motor car. Albeit a fuel guzzler...

    I have driven rental 3.5L Magnas in the past and the torque steer at full throttle worries me. They do have a beautiful engine though

    Hope those comments help.

    Derek.
    Last edited by DeKa; 16th November 2003 at 05:06 PM.

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    my father recently bought a few year old Verada, no doubt it's a nice car, but WILL bore you to tears within a couple of weeks. It has great power though from the 3.5 litre V6. The leather etc inside it is very nice.

    The Camry my mother got under a similar scheme about 4years ago was much the same. At first great to drive (stunning power from it 3.5litre quad overhead cam V6 with variable valve timing). But it got bland & boring really quick. When we picked it up, the car salesman was saying they were extremely hard to sell the the crummydore crowd. They would come down and complain it was slow in comparison. It was actualy MUCH quicker, but the crummydore slammed through it gears, the tailshaft turned to jelly and vibrated and the car really *felt* like you were moving. The Camry on the other hand had a sikly smooth V6, the gearchanges were so smooth even under full throttle they were barely detectable. With regards to engines & automatic gearbox the Japs are country miles ahead of the french cars we drive

    seeya,
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    PS: If my wife/girlfriend was going to be driving it, I'd immediatly rule the RWD's out, I could just see them giving it a bootfull out of a corner on a greasy road and wheeeeeeeeeeeee..............
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    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeKa
    I have driven rental 3.5L Magnas in the past and the torque steer at full throttle worries me. They do have a beautiful engine though
    Hence I mentioned the new All Wheel Drive version - cures all the torque steer woes and makes it a very nice thing to drive apparently.

    FordHoldens are just too bloody big and heavy...
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    The Camry my mother got under a similar scheme about 4years ago was much the same. At first great to drive (stunning power from it 3.5litre quad overhead cam V6 with variable valve timing). But it got bland & boring really quick.
    Bear in mind that is the old model - the new model really is quite a different machine. You can tell they have tried to make the car more dynamic.

    The new model will have a shortened life though, as Toyota Australia seeks to gain parity with the rest of the world. For example, the "Widebody" Camry launched in '93, was actually launched to the rest of the world two years earlier in '91.

    The Mitsubishi 3.5 V6 is wonderful with a glorious wail - whilst previous cars haven't been super inspiring to drive (super light remote, built to roll down highways on cruise control type of driving experience), the murmurings from the press seem to be far more positive these days. Commodores have hopeless autos, I'd choose the Falcon over it hand over fist - sure it'll use more fuel, but you're hardly an environmental saint driving a Commodore anyway.

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    I agree with the others, a Camry or AWD Magna. I must say I find Mitsubishi V6 engines slightly additive! They make a wonderful burble sound. As others have mentioned the base model Magna now has the same sort of standard equipment as previous model SE/Altera (equal to Berlina/Fairmont). However the Magna is also getting quite old inside - space is quite poor for a car of its size. As Tim mentioned, resale is shocking on any car with the Magna badge.
    Nick
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  11. #11
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    hmmm...the new camry 4 cylinder seems like a good option...many of the journalists seem to think it better option than the v6 (ie much smoother)...i ve driven the previous versions (both v6 and 4) and i think they were dull cars but the new models seem much better...i actually like the styling as well....rear doors look like they came of a benz...(i think toyota has been chassing benz "qualities) and through its lexus arm has learned a lot....its now obvious even their non lexus cars are beneffiting from this experiance....so the camry is not a bad option...

    re magna:,....well i think the new frontal treatment looks SO bloody ugly the fact that it has a decent motor just puts me off it completely...and i agree on the torque steer issue completely (although i love it in my 205)...just not very nice in a big sedan...i think the ride in the magna is not half bad...

    re..commodore...again...i m a fan of what the holden designers have achieved with a vt body....not a bad car just sad that they still carry 70s engines (yet people still think they r getting value for money...)and then there is the traction issue...still a pretty sad state of affairs for a 03 model vehicle...how they believe the car was made for corners is beyond me....just because it carries a lion it doesnt meant it is one...

    then there is the BA....i LIKE this car....if u manage to end up with one thats been put together nicely it should deliver many years of reliable transport...fuel economy is actually not bad on these when driven "nicely"....one must also consider servicing and future PARTS costs.....and at the end of the day "a well looked after" falcon should hold value reasonably well....

    I m not sure how important this is to you but i would assume u r driving either a comm or falcon duty wise...so it might be wise to stay with rear drive since its something (i assume) u know well (control and handling wise).....


    so...if it was me ..i d be choosing between BA or camry....although if possible the AWD magna(as mentioned )sounds good to...still think they r dog ugly though..


    cheers
    dino

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    No brainer as far as I'm concerned Camry 4 cyc with manual will serve you well. The engine has won rave reviews for power and economy, resale will be much much better than the others.

    They will all become boring cars that's unavoidable but at least the Sportivo is value for money comes std with many features that are extras on the others as well.

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    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Why is everyone so keen to deride the Commodore engine?

    Even in their derision they're wrong: It dates back to the early fifties in origin, with the V6 version produced as a stop-gap in about 1963.

    But it's been refined and refined since then... it's smooth, sweet and powerful, and extremely economical... what more can you ask?

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    well my dad and I both drive the 3.5magna the 3.8commodore the 4.0falcon and 3.0camry back in 99

    we both found the most refined along with the std auto was the camry.
    the magna felt the most willing but the auto gear change was jerky.
    the falcon plenty of power not as quiet or refined as the camry or magna
    the commodore just screamed from low to high rpm reasonable power but noisy noisy noisy

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    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    i've driven the new Camry and think it's an utter bore, like the old one. I just can't help but nearly fall asleep in the thing, I think it's a safety hazard really.

    I've driven a Magna VRX and the torque steer is awful, as it he driving position, drab cabin and Saab like resale value.

    I haven't driven a Commodore.

    I've driven a BA Falcon and really like it. I'm biased as I've always liked Fords, but I do think it's a great car. It handles well enough and has a great engine in it. It's a very easy car to drive, and if your job involves lots of driving and I'd buy one without hesitation.

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    I'm a bit suprised anyone could find the Magna's auto jerky.

    Not one journalist I've heard of has argued that there is a better auto in an Oz made car than the INVECS-2 Magna Auto. Its simply better than the competition, although I believe the BA has caught up a bit in this regard.

    Sportivo manual could be an interesting drive, but I would not be so sure it was "value for money". In terms of equipment levels, none really come close to the (dated) Magna.

    I guess the BA would probably be my pick however. I keep hearing my brother rave about how much better the BA is to chase crooks in than the commodores they used to have at Knox. Seems pretty nice inside too. BA makes the most sense as a base model though. Fairmont/Fairmont Ghia models left me wondering where the $$$ went.

    Anyway, we probably need a bit more info about your requirements...
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    Well I have driven the BAXR6 and currently own a VT so here's my opinion. The BA is a huge improvement. They still haven't got the back right and its still a bit thirsty for my liking. I have a VT that I have done 180,000 trouble free kilometres in three years - much to the annoyance of my froggy car club friends. I have looked after it and it is as good as the day I got it. Sure the technology may not be the latest and greatest, but the trade-off is I don't spend time on recalls etc.
    Having said that, Holden stuffed the aesthetics with the VY. I am currently looking to change my VT and would prefer a really good VX S11.
    I haven't driven the Toyotas but a friend of mine has one and yes it may be boring but seems reasonably bullet proof.
    My advice is take all three for a drive and buy which ever one fits your character, lifestyle and preferences. The days of getting stuck with a P76 or Marina seem to have gone and the buyer can't seem to make a mistake.
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    Even though it's leased .. value for money - the Camry. It'll be lighter on your pocket fuel wise and unless you need to tow (or have 3 kids) the slightly smaller donk (& rear seat) isn't an issue .. anyway is the new Camry boot bigger (vol) then the other two .. if not it's a close run thing.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    the taxis in town now are going for the camry's over the commodores and the falcons
    in the time they run the car they are finding it's a lot cheaper to run the camry
    they carry 3 across the back with ease and ride very well
    still perform fine with a car load and have a boot with plenty of room in it
    i'm not going to say which is the better of the lot but if it were me i'd pick in the following order
    camry
    commodore
    magna
    falcon
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

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    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

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  20. #20
    1000+ Posts tekkie's Avatar
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    BA is getting some very good reviews.

    I personally like the commodores and the new VY interior is in my opinion lightyears aheads of Camry and specially Magna. Magna really has that throwback to the 80's feel about it, not to mention the loan car few months back developed fuel guage problems with only 10000 kms on the clock. When returned the lady at the counter commented aw geez, same car again, apparently it has been getting serviced for faults since they got it new.

    The V8 commodore auto is quite good compared to the V6, and I dont notice gear hunting like the V6 seems to do. The ride is quite refined for such a big car And after driving calais, exec in VY I liked both, and my VX2-SS is quite firm yet very compliant for easy driving. The dead feel steering apparently can be fixed with noe-prene bushes at the front and larger swaybar.
    Fuel economy I get 14.5/100kmsL city driving, and recently sydney to kiama and back (about 300km trip) I did 9.5/100kms (and that was in traffic averaging 70~80 kms/ hr).
    Being a police Iam sure you could get a test drive with some of the boys in both BA and VY.
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    1000+ Posts Pug_405_Mi16's Avatar
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    I have driven the Magna, Falcon and Commodore.....Go the commodore...

    They are really not a bad car, power steering is better then the other 2 and if you put some decent tyres on they really dont handle all that badly either!


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    ive heard the BA's are having a few recalls on them??

    although, if it was an XR6 turbo ,then i would be sold, otherwise i would take the commodore ,at least theyre not jappers
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  23. #23
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    QUOTE: ray bell

    Why is everyone so keen to deride the Commodore engine?
    Even in their derision they're wrong: It dates back to the early fifties in origin, with the V6 version produced as a stop-gap in about 1963.
    But it's been refined and refined since then... it's smooth, sweet and powerful, and extremely economical... what more can you ask?


    yes ray...we know when the engine dates back from, i was trying to be a little bit polite to the holden fans by only dating it back to 70s, reffering to 50s just seemed so scary....

    but since u ve bought up the issue....U MUST then be talking about some 50 years of REFINEMENT....WOW...they have ceartinly gone far with it....NOT....
    what? its had efi added to it? big deal!....i think u r giving this level of technology to much credit CONSIDERING whats offered by the magna, the camry and the now updated BA.....surely the aussie buyers deserve more for their money...


    As for it being SMOOTH (hmmmm),...SWEET (yeah right...absolutely nothing sweet about it) and POWERFULL (rightooooo....).....all of the above BEAT the 3.8v6 in the above respects (in my opinion anyway)......as for economy...well
    i suppose they r not bad considering.....but there are many better engines out there which will deliver much MORE power considering 3.8l capacity...

    what i m basically saying is that the holden V6 (considering i genuinely believe us aussies are very inventive and creative) should have been running variable inlet, variable timing, quad cam, variable exhaust etc....at least 3-5 years ago....instead we have to rely on the good old us and canada to deliver the goods for us....


    cheers

    dino

    ps....i understand the fact that if something is NOT BROKEN then WHY FIX IT....sure that theory is fine....but justifying such a huge price premium for the engine component (which has received little development in its 50 year old life and hence falls beyond par compared to competition)...is beyond me...

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    I think Commodore engines can be summed up by saying they are relativly economical and powerful in spite of their design and refinement, not because of it - a testament to modern electronics. But still a woefully outdated peice of equipment - when did the french last produce an all iron pushrod passenger car engine?

    I'd still go for an AWD Magna. A very different animal to the 2WD version, running unique suspension settings, bigger brakes, better steering and tyre/wheel package. Overlook the old cabin and remember that (like the commodore engine :> ) it is a well sorted car.
    If you cant get an AWD, and you can afford the fuel, BA sedan - bloody quick car and finlly on a ford, a decent chassis.
    I personally dont mind the new Magna front...
    Last edited by Haakon; 17th November 2003 at 11:47 AM.
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    both holden and ford have come a long way since the days of the XK falcon and the VB commodore
    i'd say the falcon has come a lot further than the commodore
    but, both makes have taken an awful long time to finally come up with a car that meets the standards we as froggy drivers are used to
    as for the jap cars they have been there for a little longer with refinement and have dont in it a shorter time frame due too the technology around the world

    my pick if i were going to buy one of the 4 would still be the camry first
    the falcon is a nice car and so is the commodore
    i not sure but i have heard that next years falcon is to sport DOHC 6CYL

    BTW technically quad cam is 4 cams per head not 4 cams in total otherwise the 604 is a DOHC which it isn't it is only a SOHC
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

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