I bought this car used when it had 94,000 miles on it. It now has 164,000. It is the first Toyota I have owned and I would buy another one again without a second thought. I add between 600 and 700 more miles to the odometer every week and haven't done anything other than regular maintenance; fluid changes, brakes, shocks and tires. It is a 5 speed, so it maybe feels a little sportier than your grandpa's Camry might. It is not the sports car my ego desires, but my practical side relishes it's reliability and economy. Who could ask for anything more? Oh what a feeling!
Bullet proof powertrain. Excellent fuel economy.
Softer materials on the door side armrests. The hard plastic under a veil of cloth hurts my elbow on long drives. Probably not an issue with the optional leather interior.
I have owned the car from 2003 until 2009. I have put about 80000 miles on the car. It is fun to drive and can boogey after an initial realization pause. The only complaint I have is that the tires and suspension are a bit of a worry because it causes the steering column to shake if tires aren't perfectly inflated and the weight on the axles isn't great; it'll cause you to almost wreck. The car also has a very loose suspension, causing it to "scratch." Most of the time I felt very safe in my Camry... when it was being stubborn, possibly due to a bad mechanic at the dealership.
The rear blind, the speed of it, and the fact that it looks a lot better as the SE style.
The suspension, the steering wheel column squeaks, the tires poke out far.
I am a Toyota mechanic and this is the car I trained on . I saw how well it was built and all the redundant systems and had to buy one. Got mine last year and at 80,000 now am having no problems. Brakes are getting due but for me thats only like $200. Best value for the money. I am adding different aftermarket headlights for originality but other than that it's perfect!
3 spoke leather wrapped steering wheel and instrument cluster, stock rear spoiler ties in great. Great pin-striping and wheels as well.
I own the 03 Camry SE. It has been an excellent car in all regards. Over the past 25 years, I have owned at least 8 new toyotas, so I am inclined to favor these autos. I find plenty of power in the 4cyl. If you want to improve your handling on the SE put a set of 17" rims matched with medium to low profile high performance tires and buckle up. I felt a substantial improvement over the stock tire/rim combo. The car felt like it could turn square corners and remain flat in curves even at speeds in excess of recommended limits.
At 4500 miles I get a squeak from belt or water pump when I start the car. I changed oil religiously at 3500 miles, but the engine ticks/rattles loudly at start up and at low idle. The noise subsides at higher operating engine rpms but is kind of scary. Toyota: please QUIET THIS THING DOWN.
This was my first Toyota after a number of substandard American manufactured cars. I've been converted. This car has performed spectacularly for over 2 years of driving. It has retained its value better than any other car I've owned. And its gotten better mileage than even the advertised sticker mileage, even using regular gasoline. I will always look to buy Toyota first from now on.