Always liked this generation the most, later they declined in build quality and too many electronic refinements: drive-by-wire throttle, automatic climate control. Also they stopped offering V6 with stick. Mine has leather, alloy wheels, sunroof. Bought used in 2009 with 64,000 miles for around $7500, probably could have negotiated dealer down but really wanted this car because of rarity. And besides regular maintenance and some worn out parts: suspension springs, clutch, and evap. charcoal canister, have had no unexpected issues. Engine is one of the best Toyota has ever made, great compromise between power and fuel economy. We have 123,000 now, happy that we bought it. K&N air filter too
Smooth V-6 power, 5-speed manual transmission, spacious interior with 4 occupants or less, cushy ride, fairly quiet on highway, sunroof.
Everything has been great, nothing has gone wrong or been unsatisfactory with realistic expectations for a high-mile used car over ten years old, even with typical high Toyota quality. Have barely needed to throw any money at it to maintain, and probably only replaced clutch because multiple people learned to drive stick on it and we also don't drive it gently because we love the power and control with the five-speed. Its not like it has a racing clutch and tranny, haha.
My parents' third Camry and our family hauler for 12 years until my dad bought a Honda CR-V last July. Our Camry has been all over Eastern North America including the Maritimes (PEI, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia). I learned how to drive on this car and my mother drove it to work for several years. Never any problems, except a small rattle that started 2 years ago, goes away when the engine warms up. This thing is a tank! It has 144K (about 89,000 American miles I think) and still has tons of life left in it, barely any rust. I drove it to high school and as a high school (university now) student I love it, fantastic first car, will last forever, is a beast in the snow, and reliable as hell.
It rides great for a stick shift, the Dolby sound system is AWESOME!!!! It's given us 13 years of loyal, trouble-free service and will last through the harshest winters, always starting even at 40 below. The older Camrys are the best, we tried the new one and like ours better, makes a fantastic family car, very comfortable, we tried the 2000 Accord and found the ride choppier at the time.
We can't figure out what caused the rattle in the engine. It goes away when the engine warms up but it's weird. The best mechanic in the city doesn't even know what it is. It hasn't caused any major problems, just confuses us. Apart from that, no other issues, except headroom for taller people especially in the back isn't great, I'm 6'4 and can't fully sit up straight in it.
My grandma talked me into buying a used 2000 Camry LE from a sporty car that I had been eying. It was the best decision made. It had 40,000 at purchase (2004) and how has 162,000. It has been reliable driving through MN snowstorms and flash floods. In fact, I've made it through snow where bigger vehicles had gotten stuck, and "puddles" where bigger vehicles had flooded. Few problems. The only reason why it's dying now is because I didn't change the oil every 3,000 miles. VERY important to keep up on the oil changes with this car!! I was hoping to keep it around for another few years.
Make sure to also use Toyota parts.
The LE has a lot to offer. Upgrades are wonderful. LOVE the factory sound system. Power seats are amazing. Very durable and reliable vehicle as long as you keep up with the regular oil changes.
Wonderful gas mileage. I was able to get appx 38 mpg in the perfect conditions. Love this car. I am also very short, but felt like I had awesome control of the car and good view of the road. Very very sad I didn't take better care of it. Lesson learned. :-(
Wish I had gotten the V6. Power is lacking. Can get uncomfortable on longer drives. Has a bad drivers side blind spot. Drivers side door handle came off. Discovered this is a defect of the car.
Very reliable as a starter car, I got this to go to college. It had 77k on it when I received it. Now it has around 81k after two years.
I did, however, run into a couple problems. One was the check engine light, and the other was the alternator dying on me. The engine was free as it was well within the 30-day guarantee, but the alternator was $200 and self-repaired.
Since mine had a starter on it, I cannot use it if I park the car in the winter for more than a few days, otherwise it would start then quit. I live in Michigan, and temperatures can go down to -8 F. Driving is great and very comfortable. Very fuel efficient as I fill up every month, despite driving 4 days a week to school.
Power windows, engine, fuel-efficiency.
Interior door design, car grill should be silver instead of paint over it which peeled after a year of harsh weather.
I bought my camry new in 1999. It has been the most reliable car I have owned. It replaced my 1996 Lexus ES, and had better options, and was more comfortable. I've changed the oil every 3,000 miles, which is just about every month for me, I'm a. The 2.2i4 has almost as much power as my Lexus had! I've been in 2 accidents, only damage was to the front corner, and was cheap to fix. Replaced the timing belt, both ignition coils, and 2 oxygen sensors, and it still runs like new! 278,823 miles and counting! I plan on buying a new camry this week, deffinately keeping this one for my sons first car!
Could do better with the wood trim, all of it has pealed off. Looks fine without it, but it only lasted about 5 years.