2008 Toyota Camry Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Toyota Camry Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Camry Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 268 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Toyota Camry

  • Like nearly every Camry before it, the 2008 Toyota Camry is pleasant to drive and spacious enough to keep a family of four content wherever their travels take them. But although it's still a solid choice, other sedans better this segment titan in terms of overall performance and cabin refinement.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Expansive interior, powerful and fuel-efficient V6, plush ride quality, legendary reputation for reliability, top crash test scores, high resale value.

  • Cons

    Inconsistent fit and finish, a few low-grade interior plastics, minimal steering feedback.

  • What's New for 2008

    Redesigned last year, the Camry is unchanged for 2008. Toyota has dropped the CE name from the base trim level.

Full 2008 Toyota Camry Review

What's New for 2008

Redesigned last year, the Camry is unchanged for 2008. Toyota has dropped the CE name from the base trim level.

Introduction

While various SUV nameplates have won and lost favor with consumers' changing tastes, the Toyota Camry's popularity has remained constant over the last decade. There's good reason for this, as the Camry has never wavered in its mission to be the perfect American family sedan. It's not perfect, of course, but the current Camry rates highly in most of the areas mainstream buyers will consider important: It's roomy, comfortable, safe and easy to drive. And when it comes time to sell it, you'll get a nice price for it.

The 2008 Toyota Camry represents the second year of the nameplate's sixth generation. Although the car retains a midsize classification, this is the largest Camry ever and that fact is immediately apparent when you get inside: Headroom, shoulder room, hiproom and legroom are abundant in both the front and back. This is also the most powerful Camry ever by a wide margin. The optional 3.5-liter V6 engine develops 268 horsepower, and using the services of a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, propels the sedan to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds -- as quick as some sport sedans and coupes. It also returns fuel economy that's not far off from what you'd get with the Camry's base four-cylinder engine.

In spite of the current-gen Camry's speed, performance is still not among its major selling points. Instead, buyers are likely to notice how easily this family car executes passing maneuvers and maintains utter composure and serenity when going over just about any road surface. Handling is also sharper than on any previous Camry, although the car's abilities are masked by its ride-biased tires and lack of steering feedback. Truly, those seeking a truly sporting drive in a midsize sedan will continue to be better served by such cars as the Mazda 6, Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy.

However, for most consumers, it's cost rather than a lack of athleticism that tends to be the chief sticking point when they're shopping for a Toyota Camry. Properly equipped, the Camry usually ends up more expensive than most midsize sedans. That's hard to overlook when value-packed and worthy rivals like the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata are available. Also making things tougher for Toyota's big seller is its longtime chief rival, the Honda Accord, which has just been redesigned. The Accord may not be as hushed at freeway speeds, but it handily beats the Camry in terms of driving enjoyment and overall cabin refinement. Considering the amount of strong entries in this class, we suggest back-to-back test drives before making an automatic decision for the 2008 Toyota Camry.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Toyota Camry comes as a midsize four-door sedan available in four trim levels -- base (formerly CE), LE, SE and XLE. The base Camry comes exclusively with a four-cylinder engine, while the three higher trims offer a choice between the four-cylinder and a V6.

Base Camrys include 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD audio system with an auxiliary input jack, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, full power accessories and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat among its standard equipment. The Camry LE adds keyless entry and an eight-way power driver seat. The SE includes a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, and special interior and exterior styling details. The luxurious XLE reverts to the LE's softer suspension settings and 16-inch wheels while treating its occupants to a 440-watt JBL sound system with an in-dash CD changer, Bluetooth connectivity, an automatic dual-zone climate control system with a high-tech air filter, reclining rear seats, a moonroof, wood-tone accents and, on the V6 model, leather seating. Note that neither the SE or XLE offer folding capability for the rear seat, though each has a center pass-through.

Most buyers' needs should be satisfied by the assorted trim levels; however, a few key options are available, including a navigation system and heated seats. A keyless start system is available on XLE V6 models.

Powertrains and Performance

The standard engine on all trim levels is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated for 158 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. In most states, the four-cylinder carries Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) certification. It meets the more stringent Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) standard in California and certain Northeastern states, but has slightly lower output ratings -- 155 hp and 158 lb-ft. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and a five-speed automatic, and buyers should note that four-cylinder Camry XLEs take the automatic only. Fuel economy ratings for the '08 model year are 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway with either transmission.

For those seeking a faster Camry, Toyota offers a 3.5-liter V6 capable of 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic drives the front wheels of all V6 Camrys. Fuel economy is rated at 19 city/28 highway.

Safety

Every 2008 Toyota Camry comes with front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Antilock brakes with brake assist are also standard. Stability control (which includes traction control) is optional across the line. In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Camry earned a perfect five stars in all frontal- and side-impact categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the top rating of "Good" after administering its frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

In base and LE models, the Camry's interior design is function-driven. Controls are oversized and neatly arranged, the seats are wide and capable of accommodating a range of body types, and there's a nice selection of cubbies and compartments to collect whatever personal effects that may be accompanying you. The seat fabric isn't much to look at, but it's durable and does a fine job of camouflaging lint and dirt. One of the few exceptions to Toyota's hyper-practical aesthetic is the uncharacteristically stylish ice-blue backlighting for the audio and climate controls. Camry SE and XLE models have different interior treatments that raise the sedan's style quotient. In particular, the cloth upholstery in four-cylinder XLEs is coated in silkworm cocoon extract, which makes it very soft to the touch. Additionally, rear-seat passengers in all XLE models can recline their seatbacks. Trunk capacity is 15 cubic feet in base and LE models and 14.5 cubes in the SE and XLE.

Driving Impressions

The base four-cylinder engine should be adequate for most buyers, though it's surpassed by the more potent four-cylinder offerings in the Altima and Passat. A more appealing choice for those with fewer budget constraints is the smooth and vigorous V6, which transforms the Camry into one of the fastest mid-priced sedans on the road. A soft, quiet ride characterizes the Camry's on-road demeanor, though the SE sedan's handling capabilities will likely impress you if you push it a bit. Still, the overriding impression is one of refinement and a somewhat isolated feel from the road compared to more athletic competitors. Toyota knows that the majority of buyers in this market segment are more interested in comfortable, stress-free travel than tearing through corners, and the refined and very capable 2008 Toyota Camry should prove a hit with them.

Read our Toyota Camry Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Uses oil between changes

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry LE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

My 2008 Camry uses 1/4 to 1/2 quart of oil per month. Toyota is aware of this widespread problem but has not issued a recall or set up a customer support program. Had this started during the first 5 years, there was a TBS (or something like that), but mine didn't start until around 60,000 miles last year, which seems to be the mileage at which this problem starts. I bought this car new - it had 6 miles on it, and all oil changes have been done. If the rings and pistons need to be replaced, which is the one solution the dealer came up with, the cost will be $3800.




Toyota is loosing ground to

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry LE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

First and last time to buy Toyota brand. I have a 2008 Camry LE bought almost brand new. Since I got it I had few repairs I did not expect. First the U joint for the Steering wheel column right at 50K miles after the warranty expired. Few thousand miles later the left front Spring broken and paid another 900 $ to replace the spring and strut. Not to mention the engine starting to burn oil already at 50K miles too. I had a windstar few years back and had a spring broken and because Ford is having a concern for their customer's Safety they did have a recall on this problem. Toyota should not be even operating in NA when they do not care about those issues that could put drivers at risk




Good car for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Bought this car in 2011 for my wife. It's a red Camry SE Sport edition with the 4 cylinder. Overall it's a good little car. We typically get 25mpg+ city driving. We bought it with 99k miles on it and it currently has 128k on it now. The only mechanical issue we've ever had was the left front wheel bearing failing and it cost less than $100 to repair at the dealership. The interior finish is a little disappointing, as the silver painted trim wears easily so we can see black plastic through some areas but overall held up well and it's comfortable to drive and extremely reliable. The 4 cylinders idle rough which we don't like, but confirmed this is normal on these cars and it runs fine.




Outlived any american car i

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry CE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I owned several brand new Chevys and NONE of them came close to the reliability of my 08 Camry. ALL of the Chevys I had ever owned were in need of major service before 30k. I regularly commute from Upstate NY and this car never gave me any trouble. I follow the owners manual and service it myself. Synth. oil from day 1. I will not let those butchers at the dealership touch this car. Aside from the normal wear and tear items it is the most reliable car I have ever owned. I never had a car that had factory brakes last 100k! The only major component replaced was the water pump. I drive this car HARD and make regular trips to .FLA and NC 2 to 3 times a year with it. Toyota got it right this time



2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Good car for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry CE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Bought car new and currently has 82000 miles on it. Overall this has been an exceptional car for the money. Average around 25 mpg. It is the base model so it lacks some of the more refined features. With that said there are some annoyances. The slight steering shutter at highway speeds. You press the accelerator but there is a short delay then the car takes off. Uses around a 1/2 qt of oil between changes (5000 miles with Mobil 1). Blind spots. Base model is a little noisy at highway speeds. Original tires were awful. New Goodyear’s are much better.




Rear hub bearing to be

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry LE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

my car needs now hub bearings to be change at this low mileage to me. the dealer says is wear and tear and have to pay it.!!!!! ridiculous since there is no way i can brake as a driver the hub bearings. im trying to change my car i will never buy toyota again!!!!!



Talk About The 2008 Camry

2008 Toyota Camry Discussions See all Started By

jdelgado89
jdelgado89
07-16-2007
I notice the 08 Camry Solara is out. Anyone knows when the 08 Camry will be out....


taogan
taogan
01-11-2008
my girl friend's camry got this wierd vibration around 40miles/h especially go up on hill. Does anyone have the same experience? How we should decribe this to dealer? Take him for a ride?...


mackabee
mackabee
12-02-2007
Just to keep things interesting and maintain the Numero Uno best selling car in America, Toyota is releasing the 2009 Camry in January 21st of 2008. Yes you read it right here folks. 2009 Coming in. R...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
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  • 28
  • highway
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