I've been researching a new car for a few months. I currently have a 2002 Explorer V8, and it's just burning a hole in my pocket with a 25-mile commute one-way, and it's getting a bit long in the tooth at 210,000 miles. Great car, but I do not like the new Ford Focus, and although I like the Fusion, I don't like the 1.6 and it would cost me around $30,000 to get the 2.0T.
So, after driving the Ford Focus, Fusion, and Escape, Hyundai Elantra and Sonata, 2013 Accord, and 2013 Camry and Cruze, I've narrowed my choices down to the Camry and Cruze. I know they are in a different segment, but they are similarly priced. The 2013 Cruze 1LT automatic with a sunroof and RS package, as well as a few other options comes out to around $23,000, and the Camry SE comes out to around $23,500 (24.5 with a sunroof).
So, based on your ownership experience (any of those of you that have owned a Toyota before?), what would you recommend? I have read about a lot of reliability issues - coolant smell, transmission issues, etc. with the Cruze, but I really like the way it drives. I have also read about transmission concerns with the Camry. So neither is perfect from an internet forum perspective, and I am the first to realize that forums are where people come to vent about car troubles. I just want to make an educated decision here.