This 1997 Toyota Camry will outlast just about anything on the road if properly maintained. There are still plenty of these cars out there as they make for great commuter vehicles. That being said, our customer did find the convenience features of this older Camry lacking, even when compared to modern entry level vehicles. A backup camera is one of the most requested features as it makes both stall parking and parallel parking much easier. If the parking camera helps avoid hitting the car behind you just once, it more than pays for itself!
The other most sought after feature in car tech is bluetooth handsfree connectivity. While not all drivers care about having A2DP bluetooth music streaming, most drivers want to have handsfree calling for convenience and to avoid expensive distracted driving tickets. The cost of this whole system installed in this Camry actually came up to less than the cost of a distracted driving ticket and the associated insurance penalty premiums!
We went with a license plate frame style backup camera for this car. These are fairly subtle and are always centered on the rear of the vehicle. They also allow for some degree of adjustment which isn't always an option on certain factory style cameras.
Our customer chose the Pioneer AVH-211EX double din receiver for this vehicle. In terms of price point, it's fairly affordable for a DVD AV deck as it does not have navigation or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. If all you're looking for is a disc drive and bluetooth connectivity, this makes for a great choice. Despite it's lower price point, it actually has a lot of premium features such as:
- Snappy and responsive 6.2" touchscreen
- 6-Channel preamp output
- 13 band EQ and time alignment settings
- Variable colour illumination
There are cheaper DVD receivers from relatively unknown brands out there but we don't recommend these as the sound quality and reliability likely won't hold up as well as this Pioneer. For anyone considering a Pioneer AV deck, we always recommend getting a parking brake bypass which allows for video playback while driving and unlocks additional settings while driving such as bluetooth configuration. Video can also be played through the USB port if preferred.