“I did exhaustive research. I’ve been researching cars for about a year.”

The Ride
The Driver: Todd
Car in Question: 2012 Toyota Camry SE
Spotted at: 74th St Beach, Miami Beach, FL 33141
Odometer: 552


Q: Tell us about your ride. Why did you pick this car?

A: It looked better than the Accord. It’s a better value than the Subaru. It had more bells and whistles and it was cheaper.

Q: I hear they are really safe cars?

A: It has 10 air bags on it. They haven’t done the safety tests on it yet, but I assume it will be safer than the other cars I was considering.

Q: Where did you buy the car?

A: Al Hendrickson Toyota. I negotiated the price before I even got there. I got the car for a really good price. I did exhaustive research! I’ve been researching cars for about a year. I cross shopped cars between Honda, Subaru, Toyota and some others. I did exhaustive research with Consumer Reports and other online agencies. I did some math calculations.

Q: What kind of math calculations?

A: Figuring out which car I could get for the best deal. I calculated invoice, bottom lines, what can you get it for out the door, gas mileage, maintenance, what they give you. This car came with five years of roadside assistance free and two years of scheduled maintenance free. It was a better deal in the end.

Q: So where will you be driving to most in your new 2012 Toyota Camry SE?

A: To work.

Q: Naturally. And this beach, do you come here often?

A: I come here to walk the dog.

Q: Ah, the dog. Any rules in this car?

A: No smokers inside. If they smell like smoke, they’re not allowed in the car! No eating and drinking. Water only.

Q: What else should we know about your car?

A: Drives nice. It’s reliable. Well, we’ll see if it’s reliable. Hopefully, it will be. Toyota is a pretty reputable brand. It drives basically like a Lexus, but it’s a lot cheaper. This is the same platform they built the Lexus 350. So this is their basic platform and they build it up or down.

Q: How’s the air condition? It’s hot here in Miami.

A: It’ll freeze you out!

Photos and interview by Aimee Heller

View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at CBSMiami.com/Autos