Home Travel Stories Gas Logs 1999 TOYOTA Camry LE 135 SEFI MPG= 23.4 City/ 34.2 Hwy
1999 TOYOTA Camry LE 135 SEFI MPG= 23.4 City/ 34.2 Hwy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Saturday, 01 September 2012 20:52

1999 TOYOTA Camry LE 135 SEFI MPG= 23.4 City/ 34.2 Hwy


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown


Metric= 2.2 L engine- 10 L/100km City, 6.9 L/100km Hwy


1999 Camry LE MPG When New= EPA 20 MPG City/ 28 MPG Hwy

By 1999 the Camry had established itself as the ubiquitous USA family car to the point where the 2000 model year revival of the Chevrolet Impala (which was THE family car from 1960 to 1980) featured a FWD platform for the first time. Chevrolet seemed to be taking its cue from the Camry. The Camry for its part was definitely morphing into the Impala format, growing incrementally every few years. The Camry was now a fairly large car by the car size standards of the time at 188.3 inches long on a 105.1 inch wheelbase. Width was now 70.1 inches.

In keeping with its status as the top level Toyota car, the Camry had gradually acquired gizmos and gadgets over the years. However, starting in with the new 1997 redesign 'de-contenting' had been applied to production to save money. People were paying for the 'Camry reputation' which had been established with details such as triple weather seals and asphalt coated body mounts among other fine points which used to add up to a 'bank vault' solid and quiet car. The de- contenting meant that the 1997 generation Camry used only single weather seals like most mid range cars of the time. The things that used to set it apart were insidiously stripped out of the car. 1997 was the first year that Camry came out on top in the sales competition with Ford Taurus. Most people figure that Toyota didn't really win. It's just that Ford lost. The controversial Taurus redesign caused Ford's sales to drop. The Honda Accord held third position.

Still using the 2.2 Litre (135 c.i.) 4 cylinder as a base engine despite the ever increasing size of the car, the Camry managed to squeeze 20 City and 28 Hwy EPA out of a fairly large car running through a FWD 4 speed automatic transmission. (the V6 used a true transaxle). The five speed manual version of the 2.2 gained 1 MPG in each category. The 2.2 produced 133 HP and 147 Ft lbs of torque this year, still hanging on a plateau in power that had been constant for about 8 years, despite improvements to the fuel system. Tightening emissions meant engineers had to work extra hard to maintain output during the late 1990s.


OOCC 1999 Camry LE MPG= 23.4 City

The OOCC Camry was built in Japan in August, 1998, having traveled 100,000 miles by the time it was 14 years old. The gas logs were recorded soon after the car was sold by the original owners who did required maintenance and nothing more. A long stint of mundane family duty explains rear door handle child protectors still set to disable and rear power windows sealed up via the master lock. The glove box still contains the warranty, owner's manual and an unused bottle of touchup paint.

The body and interior is decent, although the passenger side rear wheel well suffers rust bubbles which happens when a car is rarely washed. All the silt and salt collects on the passenger side of crowned roads. The passenger side of most cars is subjected to more corrosives. If left unwashed this side of most cars detereorates more quickly. The rear passenger door edge was nicked and rusted from repeatedly being bashed into objects.

The OOCC Camry is all original except for a new AAA battery, new exhaust, and tires. Excessive pedal travel indicates that it is due for a second set of brakes. Some bushings are developing slop. The timing belt is way, way overdue. The passenger door had an on again off again rattle but otherwise the car was fairly quiet and smooth but lacking the solid feel of the earlier 1992-96 generation of Camry.

Camrys came with more content than the smaller Toyotas. The LE model expands on this in order to justify its higher price as the second step up the ladder of the Camry hierarchy. Camry LE includes tilt steering, auxiliary power outlet, power windows, remote fob and automatic alarm system, remote trunk and gas tank locks, fold down rear seat, front seat belt pretensioners, two front air bags with supplemental side bags, daytime running lights, vanity mirrors in both visors, sliding extenders on the visors, fold down arm rest in rear seat, cup holders, A/C, ABS brakes and traction control. The electronic odometer in the 140 MPH speedometer contains two separate trip meters. Real temperature gauge and fuel gauge with warning light and a digital clock comes standard. Even the automatic transmission cars have a tachometer.

Taking a cue from the old 1960s Mercury Cougars and Ford Thunderbirds the overhead space above the rear view mirror has been put to use. The normally useless space houses a garage door clicker bin with a button to activate the clicker just by pressing the center of the panel. This door can also be switched out with another door to create a storage bin overhead. Despite the long list of content which would only come in a luxury car in years past, the vast use of plastic makes the interior look cheap.

The OOCC Camry lacks the optional engine immobilizer keys, vanity mirror lights, power seats and the moon roof. It does have a few basic options such as remote starter, power rear view mirrors, power door lock system, automatic transmission with overdrive switch, cruise control, rear view mirror defogger, and CD player/ radio combo.

The Camry currently runs Michelin radial XSE tires which are the same size as factory issue 195/70R14. The V6 Camry this year was shod with bigger 15 inch fancy wheels while the regular 2.2 stood pat with the usual black painted 14 inch steel wheels and cheap plastic hubcaps. The original tires call for 90 S tires, while the replacement Michelins read 90T M+S. DOT B9H0 WPXX. B9 indicates the tire was made in the Michelin North American Plant, Lexington, South Carolina. Tread wear 800, Traction A, Temperature B. Factory inflation is recommended 30 PSI front and rear which should be increased to 35 PSI for sustained high speed driving.

The 5S- FE 2.2 Liter engine ('G' code in fifth VIN position) has some MPG advantages built into it. This engine uses twin ground electrode platinum tipped spark plugs. Platinum plugs are reputed to provide absolute peak MPG. The recommended oil is 5W30 energy conserving blend and gas is 87 unleaded. The 9.5:1 compression ratio allows the car to run fine on 87 octane gas. The Toyota manual warns against anything other than 90% gasoline content- large concentrations of methanol, ethanol, gasohol, MTBE are all discouraged in the owner's manual.

A lack of power forces the 133 HP 2.2 engine to hold around 2,200 RPM in mild city stop and go driving until a constant 35 MPH cruise on flat ground is achieved. Then overdrive kicks in and revs drop to 1,500. On the highway, the RPMs don't climb much as shown in the photos below.


A steady 70 MPH cruise is smooth, quiet at a mere 2,500 RPM. 80 jumps to 3,000 RPM. 90 is 3,300 and 100 is a smidge over 3,500 RPM. The aerodynamics must have improved, or perhaps the overdrive gearing is more radical than past years. See the story on the 1992 Camry in the GAS LOGS. The 1992 with the 135 HP 2.2 and a direct drive 5th manual gear overdrive is revving a bit over 3,500 RPM at 90 MPH. The 1999 model has gained 10 MPH despite the inherent slippage of an automatic, more weight and smaller tires.

As you can see in the picture, road vibration has risen despite no real apparent sensation of roughness while driving. The car will cruise quietly forever at 100 MPH. This car has extremely low temperature gauge readings at any speed over 60 MPH and no body lift at higher speeds.


The logs were recorded during dry warm weather around 75 degrees F. 159,283 km till 159,548 km is all city driving. There are several wide open throttle intersection manuevers mingled into the generally tepid stop and go driving style. 265 Kilometers is about 164 miles. After the last fill there were about another 12 miles for a total of 176 miles of city driving in the logs shown below.



Highway driving was primarly recorded from 159,548 km to 159,885 km. 337 Kilometers of highway driving translates to 209 miles. About 25 miles of the road trip was done at a steady 100 MPH on an empty dry Interstate, with an additional 100 miles at a steady 80 MPH once traffic began to appear. Cruise control was used for portions of this drive which is supposed to improve overall MPG. Secondary highways were taken at 55 to 65 MPH with traffic lights and stop signs appearing intermittently. There are small amounts of very slow driving included when the road passed through small towns.


Kilometers Gallons Octane   MPG (uncorrected)   
159,283    1.9    87        N.A.
159,491    2.9    87        N.A.
159,537    3.0    87        N.A.
159,721    3.0    87        N.A.
159,830    1.0    87        34.2 MPG

Last Updated ( Monday, 04 September 2017 19:14 )