We purchased this new, and after 7 years, I have had only one repair, other than routine maintenance. The breaks needed to be replaced after 85,000. The car is extremely quiet, which I really like. It now has 93000 miles, and I expect to have it another 7 years!
Runs good most of the time (hard to start in the winter). Powerful and smooth engine. Gets around 30 mpg. Smooth, quiet ride with roomy and comfortable interior. Now the bad... Interior is very cheap; it's just about falling apart. Engine does not want to start in cold weather. Car is too low. It bottoms out on everything! Hard to get parts for. Toyota charges an arm and a leg for the parts they do have. No ABS with brakes that tend to lock up all the time. Transmission likes to downshift when slowing down on a downhill. If it does that in the rain or snow your tires will lose traction! I've had too many close calls with lost traction in this car.
Roomy interior, quiet ride, good gas mileage, powerful engine.
Toyota now offers ABS standard on these (very smart move). Make parts more readily available for a car this popular. Make the interior more durable than an '85 Ford Escort's (my parents had one... sadly my Camry reminds me of it). Engine needs to be better for cold weather.
I always thought the 02 Camrys were ugly as sin, but I don't care about that when I buy cars anyway. In every other way this car is absolutely superb. I'm at 112k miles with no significant problems. Only major expense so far was timing belt swap but that was a maintenance item not a repair. With the 4 cylinder engine the pickup is acceptable and the mileage is extremely good considering it is a pretty decent sized car. I'm going to go to about 200k on this one and then buy another new Camry - I suppose I'm due around 2011 or so. Engine light just went on last week and the code says its the catalytic - that will be a little expensive but can't complain at this mileage.
Quiet, comfortable, soft ride but without sloppy handling (Toyota really has a knack for that). Excellent interior ergonomics. Very good fuel mileage but engine is adequately powerful.
Car is ugly, but the new ones are a little nicer so that's already fixed. If windows are cracked open a lot of water comes in when you drive in rain - enough to impair the reliability of the automatic locks and window controls. Cupholders were never much good and they broke after a while.
Have owned this car since 03. Bought it as an off lease car w/24K miles. Now has 72K miles and have never been to the shop. I maintain the car myself and find it very easy to service. We drive the car normally and get 28-30 MPG city and have seen almost 40 MPG with the cruise set to 70-75 mph. Not very inspiring to drive, but what a great car for the everyday commute and plenty of room. Paint is starting to peel on rear quarter pannel, but it's now 6 years old and stays outside. Installed aftermarket 17" rims w/performance tires and instantly felt like a different auto!! Overall I am a Toyota customer for good.
Fuel economy is fantastic, 4 cyl is great engine, good stereo, AC is ice cold, super easy to maintain.
Don't really like the clock location, seats are a bit firm, paint quality??
The car has been good until last year (2007) when I had to rebuild the transmission. Don't like the fact you can see the muffler hanging down - looks like its falling. Now springs and then struts went. Don't think I will be buying another Toyota. Should be able to get more than 6 years out of a transmission!
Rides smooth, good pickup when going onto highway.