Used Toyota Camry Buyer's Guide
On the market since 1983, the Toyota Camry is consistently one of the two best selling cars on the planet. Offered worldwide, before the economic slowdown of 2008, Toyota routinely sold in excess of 400,000 Camrys annually'”in the U.S. alone! Designed specifically to appeal to American tastes, the Camry sells so well; Toyota eventually built a Camry factory in the U.S. to cut down on shipping costs.
Aside from its reasonable pricing, comfort, spaciousness, and easy driveability, Camry's worry-free nature is what makes it so popular. As long as you keep gas and clean oil in a Toyota Camry, it will run pretty much forever. For a large swath of the motoring public, interested primarily in getting from Applebee's to Best Buy, the Camry is a godsend.
BTW, for you trivia lovers out there, Camry is a loose phonetic iteration of the Japanese word kanmuri, which means 'crown'. When the first Camry was introduced, Toyota was in the habit of christening its models with some form of the word. For example, Corona and Corolla are both Latin words'”the former meaning 'crown', the latter meaning 'little crown'.
Present - 2006 Toyota Camry
Launched in 2006 as a 2007 model, both four and six-cylinder variants are available. The 2.4-liter inline four makes 158 horsepower and is available with a five-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. The 3.5-liter V6 makes 268 horsepower and comes with a six-speed automatic. In 2009, the car was mildly redesigned and the four-cylinder's displacement and output were bumped to 2.5-liters and 169 horsepower (179 in SE models). A six-speed automatic transmission was specified for it as well. Nicely equipped, standard features include stability control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a six-speaker CD audio system, satellite radio, and Bluetooth. This generation of Camry also offers a hybrid powertrain whose total power output is 190 horsepower. Fuel economy for the hybrid hovers in the mid-thirties.
2006 - 2001 Toyota Camry
In 2001, while Camry grew slightly larger, the station wagon version was dropped in favor of the Highlander crossover suv, which also shares the Camry platform. The two-door Camry coupe was called Solara (since spun off into its own product line). Three engines powered this iteration of the Camry, a 154-horsepower, 2.4-liter four, a 190-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6, and a 210-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6'”introduced for the 2004 SE model. The six-cylinder engines were delivered with a six-speed automatic transmission; the four could be had with a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. Four-cylinder cars built before 2005, used four-speed automatic transmissions. The only real chink in this version of the Camry's armor is its lack of anti-lock brakes as standard equipment. Otherwise, they are exceptional used cars in that they are recent enough to have a full compliment of safety features, as well as many modern comfort and convenience items.
2001 - 1996 Toyota Camry
Launched in 1996, as a 1997 model, this generation Camry saw the introduction of the Camry Solara coupe. The look of the Camry remained the same throughout most of this product cycle, with but one styling refresh in 2000. Engines were a 133-horsepower, 2.2-liter four and a 192-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6. Side airbags and antilock brakes were options. Like every Camry since, the car was trouble free, easy to drive, and easy to live with. The Camry Solara coupe debuted in 1999, a convertible version followed in 2000. While built on the same platform, Solara had a unique look.
Many enthusiastic drivers dismiss the Camry as an appliance, and would only be caught sleeping in one. However, 400,000 people a year, for many, many years, voted Camry because of the reliability, comfort and safety of the car. Anyone shopping for good, dependable transportation in a used car would do well to check out a Camry in their price range.
That said, even though these cars have a strong reputation for reliability, you should still make it a point to have any Camry you're seriously considering subjected to a mechanical inspection by a trusted professional mechanic'”one knowledgeable of these cars.