Author Topic: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?  (Read 1330 times)

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Offline SimpleMan

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What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
« on: February 23, 2021, 10:01:03 PM »
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  • (I put this under The Catholic Bunker, in that it at least remotely touches on disaster and urban preparedness.  You always want a reliable car that doesn't spend half its time in the shop, a fortiori for if/when the SHTF.)

    Those who read CI regularly may have heard of my car woes.  It is back in the shop for the umpteenth time, and the mechanic tells me that they can't keep replacing the rack and pinion with remanufactured units, which is what the warranty covers.  He told me that a new R&P would be about $800, and would have to be specially made (2009 Buick Lacrosse, piece of s*** car, lemon from day one, 126K miles).  Purchasing and installing a new R&P would not come under warranty.  If this is the case, I'm just going to park it in the short run --- I can drive my father's car, he no longer drives --- and get a good used car in the longer term.  I'll probably just give it to Goodwill or a similar charity, as I don't want to sell it to an individual and have them on my doorstep when yet another thing goes wrong with it.  I couldn't get pocket change out of a trade-in, no use even to think about it.  The tax deduction would be more advantageous than that.

    I am looking at Toyota Camrys, which are supposed to be an excellent car if you just maintain them as you should.  I could get a 2018 Camry from Carmax for just shy of $20K.  I am not in a position to spend any more than that on a car.  Is the 2018 good?  Any problems anyone knows of with that year of Camrys?  Is there a preferred year (2016+) when the Camrys were especially good?  Any years where the Camry had issues?  (2009 was such a year for Buicks.)

    Any ideas, I'd appreciate it.  Either here on CI or PM is fine.  Thanks in advance.

    Offline Incredulous

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 10:15:49 PM »
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  • 2000 ~ 2006, 4-banger


    Good for 300K miles, original drive train
    "Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi


    Offline Your Friend Colin

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #2 on: February 23, 2021, 10:58:03 PM »
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  • My first car was a 2001 Toyota Camry. Great car. Too bad I got rear ended on the highway and they ended up totaling the vehicle. 

    I can’t tell you which year is the best, but I definitely recommend Toyota. I have had 2 Honda Accords as well. I will only buy Japanese makes.

    Offline Seek the Truth

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #3 on: February 24, 2021, 07:55:20 AM »
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  • Simple Man....

    I have owned both accords and Camry’s. They are both good cars but in my opinion the Honda Accord handles better on the road. Between my wife and five children we have 5 Accords and 1 Honda minivan which has 350,000 miles on it. The Camry has a blown transmission which blew at 200,000 miles.

    Depending on what Camry you are looking at; 20k for the 2018 LE is overpriced. If it is they sport edition or xl depending on mileage it might be a deal.

    Do your research on Edmunds.com. I have found this site gives the most accurate vehicle value.

    Go test drive a new accord and camry to determine which one you prefer to drive as I mentioned they handle differently. Both cars should last well over 200,000 if you stay up with oil changes.



    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #4 on: February 24, 2021, 08:13:27 AM »
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  • https://www.motorbiscuit.com/used-toyota-camry-years-to-avoid-at-all-costs/
    .
    The 2007, 2008, and 2009 models of the Toyota Camry are inexpensive to purchase, but they can be a real maintenance nightmare. The big issue that owners have had with these years of the Toyota Camry has been with one of the most expensive components that can fail in a car: the engine. The engine for these model years burns so much oil so quickly that it can actually cause the motor to cease.
    .
    Personally, i've had great luck with Nissan Altimas.  I owned a '96 for 10 yrs and still own an '06.  Bought both a few years old with around 40-50k miles for around 10k.  Very reliable.


    Offline SimpleMan

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #5 on: February 24, 2021, 08:38:45 AM »
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  • Simple Man....

    I have owned both accords and Camry’s. They are both good cars but in my opinion the Honda Accord handles better on the road. Between my wife and five children we have 5 Accords and 1 Honda minivan which has 350,000 miles on it. The Camry has a blown transmission which blew at 200,000 miles.

    Depending on what Camry you are looking at; 20k for the 2018 LE is overpriced. If it is they sport edition or xl depending on mileage it might be a deal.

    Do your research on Edmunds.com. I have found this site gives the most accurate vehicle value.

    Go test drive a new accord and camry to determine which one you prefer to drive as I mentioned they handle differently. Both cars should last well over 200,000 if you stay up with oil changes.
    Good to know, thanks.  It sounds kind of twisted, but one selling point the Toyota Camry has --- and this may be entirely apocryphal --- is that they are preferred by ISIS and other Middle Eastern terrorist groups.  For obvious reasons, they want cars that are reliable each and every time.  I suppose you can't very well have your car hose up on you in circuмstances like that.  (I can see it now --- "Camry, built terrorist tough!" --- wonder if the Pax Christi types would organize a boycott! :jester: )

    I have heard that if you get a Camry and take care of it, it will last you forever.  That's the big selling point with me.  I've also heard good things about Lexus.  The Lexus is huge among black people where I live.  That would be neither here nor there with me --- it's their money, they can buy whatever car they like --- just noting the fact.  (Just so long as they don't rear-end or T-bone me while they're driving along and doing that incessant jabbering on their cell phones!  I'm old school and believe that driving requires at least a minimal amount of situational awareness.)

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #6 on: February 24, 2021, 09:26:20 AM »
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  • Quote
    I have heard that if you get a Camry and take care of it, it will last you forever.  That's the big selling point with me.  I've also heard good things about Lexus.
    Yeah, Lexus is the luxury model of Toyota, so same manufacturing.  My brother got a used Lexus 4x4 and people say it will regularly go for 300k miles.
    .
    Nissan and Infinity are same company.  Honda and Acura are same.  Volkswagen and Audi.

    Offline Yeti

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #7 on: February 24, 2021, 09:39:43 AM »
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  • I am looking at Toyota Camrys, which are supposed to be an excellent car if you just maintain them as you should.  I could get a 2018 Camry from Carmax for just shy of $20K.  I am not in a position to spend any more than that on a car.
    .
    Yikes, no. It sounds like you just want something to get you there, and you don't want to spend more than you have to. If that is the case, you definitely do not want a car that is only two or three years old.
    .
    Get yourself a car that is about 15-20 years old, and get something made by Honda or Toyota. An Accord, Civic, Camry or Corolla from that time period (the 2000s decade) is new enough to have the technology and quality engineering to last basically forever, and old enough to have depreciated almost all of its value. A Camry or Corolla from the 2000s will run you a few grand at the most, and as long as it hasn't really been trashed, will last longer than you are able to drive it.
    .
    Car manufacturers improved design and manufacturing methods of their cars every year until they finally reached a point where the car is made so well that it will last so long that it is more likely to reach the end of its life through an accident than through mechanical failure. I'd say Honda and Toyota crossed that line around the turn of the century. At this point, once you buy a car made then or after, it will likely last longer than you will, as long as you perform the maintenance in the manual and change the fluids at the appropriate time.


    Offline Catholic Ram

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #8 on: February 24, 2021, 09:44:26 AM »
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  • Honda and Toyota make the best engines in the world.

    Offline Last Tradhican

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #9 on: February 24, 2021, 09:59:27 AM »
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  • I know how to repair anything on a car, but knowing that, I might take the car to the dealer to do some work that I can't handle easily. That said the best car in my experience is the Camry with a non-interference engine. Now they make some interference engines with steel chains that they say last a lifetime, and do not require changing, but I would still prefer a non-nterference engine. That said, I do not have any non-interference engines on my two cars because they didn't make my models in non-interference. 

    I had a 2001 Camry for 14 years, it was a non-inference, and the belt broke at 120,000 miles. It broke like 3 miles from the Toyota dealer. They towed it for $50 and did the complete timing belt for like $700. If the engine had been a non-inference, it would have been toast. 

    Here's my notes copy and pasted here from when I( was looking for a 2000 and up Camry for a cousin who only had $2000 to spend:

    2002 Toyota Camry 2.4 VVTi 16 valve (4cyl) 2AZ-FE
    The Camry with 2AZ-FE, 2.4l, has a timing chain that does not need replacement.
     
     The 1MZ-FE, 3.0L, and the 3MZ-FE, 3.3L, have timing belts that do need to be replaced. This is more important on the 3MZ-FE because it's an interference engine meaning the pistons will hit the valves if the belt breaks.
     
     The 2GR-FE has a timing chain also that does not need replacement.

    8/17/2017 – in looking for Vibes for Ale I kept coming up with “transmission rebuilt” and some were automatics, so I researched and found this:
     
    Pontiac Vibe (made by Toyota for Pontiac, same as Toyote Matrix) transmission problems
    http://forums.genvibe.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=35119 
     
    The only widespread transmission problem is with the 2003 and 2004 5 speed manuals. They are the ones with the bad bearings.I haven't heard anything bad about the autos or 6 speed manuals.
     
    My 03 Base Vibe 5 speed began making minor noise at about 115K miles. It was clutch time so I replaced that hoping it would solve my issues. Unfortunately it didn't. At 120K miles my transmission failed. When I bought my car 6 years ago I researched it to death. The transmission issue wasn't known at that time. Or if it was I didn't find it. If I would've known then what I know now the Vibe might not have stayed on my list.
    I would be very cautious about the 5 speed 1st generation Vibes. Be informed, do your research, save some money and headaches!
    Toyota Matrix transmission problems
    https://forums.edmunds.com/discussion/15706/toyota/matrix/matrix-transmission-problems/p18
     
    I posted here back in 2007, after my 2003 Matrix 5-speed transmission died at 65,000 miles. At the time, I thought it might be faulty bearings or something else, so I had it rebuilt for $1800. Well, it lasted a little longer this time. It starting failing a year ago, and now the grinding is really bad again, at 142,000 miles. So, I ordered a 6-speed from a wrecking yard and it is going in hopefully this weekend. But if I have any other major problems, I am basically through with this car. See the list of repairs below.
     
     Catalytic converter $600
     Starter $400
     Brake rotors warped at 70,000 miles ($300)
     AC Relay stopped working $10
     Transmission $1800
     Transmission 2 $1600 hopefully with new clutch

     
    I've always been a Toyota person, but after dropping $7,000 on a 2003 Toyota Matrix with 100,000 miles on it, and only getting 2 years and 15,000 miles of use before the transmission and clutch went out, I will not buy Toyota again!
     
    it is a very bad idea leaving the original fluid in the transmission (automatic) to the mileage outlined in the owner's manual. Many transmissions, to include Toyota's, are indeed failing around that point because owners don't believe they need to exchange the fluid until sometime around the 100,000 mile mark and beyond. I had the same thing happen to me in a Hyundai. Fact is, leaving the second most important fluid in your car "forever" will ensure a premature transmission failure. Exchange the fluid at 60,000, not at 100,000 or even worse, leaving it in "forever."
     
    I had two hondas that's both made it to 200,000 miles and I never changed the trans oil. I also never changed the clutch as they both lasted until I sold them. I also put 50k miles on a Subaru 5 speed in two years and no problem there either. Would it make it to 65k I don't know but no problems after 50k. I bought my 03 matrix with 65k miles and it already had a weird sound when I bought it. The shop said it was a clutch so I negotiated $950 off the price. Upon further diagnosis it turned out to be the transmission. I had it completely rebuilt and it lasted another 65000 miles. The fluid was new when it was rebuilt. I changed it 30k miles later. Still, the exact same problem came back 30k miles later. So blaming it on the lack of trans fluid changes is BS. I did answer your question about whether fluid changes affect it. As others have stated it is a bearing lubrication failure. You can change the fluid every day and it won't make a difference. It won't help.
     
    I've had over a dozen vehicles with manual transmissions, but have never had a transmission problem until I bought my 2005 Matrix. Next week I will be replacing the transmission for the second time in 2 1/2 years. This is ridiculous and the LAST time I buy a Toyota.
     
    My advice is DON'T go for the AWD in a Toyota. I just bought a used one, only 7 years old, and the transmission failed almost immediately. It was an internal problem that no amount of inspection could have uncovered. Then the rear differential failed completely. I have had the car less than 2 months and it has cost me over $4,000 in repairs and I have been without it many days while it is in the shop or transmission place.
     
    The 2003 and 2004 5-speeds did have a real problem. I just like to tweak the people saying "Toyota is junk".
     You can get a 6-speed transmission for $2,000 and have it installed:

     
    ·         

     

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    Offline 2Vermont

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #10 on: February 24, 2021, 10:43:39 AM »
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  • Honda girl here.
    "For there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come abroad."- Luke 8:17


    Offline Tallinn Trad

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #11 on: February 24, 2021, 11:07:26 AM »
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  • Don't worry about the year.  Buy the value of the car.

    You are after something that has depreciated but is going to give you 5 years of trouble free motoring at minimal cost.

    Anything Japanese or Korean tends to be reliable.  Honda, Toyota, Lexus.

    Great way to buy cars is take out a wanted add in the local paper.  Someone who has a good car and just does not use it much any more is pleased to have someone take the car off them give them some cash and not have the hassles of dealing with the public.

    I have picked up some great cars like this.  Well looked after by people in their 60s and early 70s who have maintained them well.

    Contact the classifieds and say, Cash offered for Japanese Car, Truck, Station Wagon etc.  Give your number and let them call you.

    Offline Last Tradhican

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #12 on: February 24, 2021, 11:36:45 AM »
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  • I know how to repair anything on a car, but knowing that, I might take the car to the dealer to do some work that I can't handle easily. That said the best car in my experience is the Camry with a non-interference engine. Now they make some interference engines with steel chains that they say last a lifetime, and do not require changing, but I would still prefer a non-interference engine. That said, I do not have any non-interference engines on my two cars because they didn't make my models in non-interference.
    One is a truck and it was only made with an interference engine, the other is made with an interference engines with steel chain that they say lasts a lifetime. 
    The Vatican II church - Assisting Souls to Hell Since 1962

    For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Mat 24:24

    Offline Seraphina

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #13 on: February 24, 2021, 01:08:02 PM »
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  • Toyota Camry Station Wagon, 2003.  My sister had one, was a real workhorse.  
    As for me, give me the basic model Chevy, Dodge, Ford, Buick, Pontiac, standard transmission, no power anything, a great heat/defrost system.  Oh yes, a car I can do the maintenance on myself, oil and lube, change tires, 

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: What year of Toyota Camry is the best?
    « Reply #14 on: February 24, 2021, 02:00:53 PM »
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  • Great way to buy cars is take out a wanted add in the local paper.  
    Contact the classifieds and say, Cash offered for Japanese Car, Truck, Station Wagon etc.  Give your number and let them call you.
    You have just dated yourself. I now know you're not a young man. hahaha
    Want to say "thank you"? 
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