2008 Toyota Camry Review

Pros & Cons

  • Expansive interior, powerful and fuel-efficient V6, plush ride quality, legendary reputation for reliability, top crash test scores, high resale value.
  • Inconsistent fit and finish, a few low-grade interior plastics, minimal steering feedback.
List Price Range
$4,990 - $13,795

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2008 Toyota Camry models

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.

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2008 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.

Driving

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

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2008 Toyota Camry.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

SE V6 136k Mile Review and Maintenance Records
Ammar,02/21/2019
SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
2/21/2020 Update: 148k on the clock now and the car is still running strong. My wife drives it daily and I occasionally jump in and yet driving my 2010 Prius all week. It honestly feels like a powerhouse every time I get on the highway and go to pass. 2/21/2019 Review: We’ve had this Camry in the family since December 2010 with 29k miles certified used from Toyota. I took over the payments from my dad at 47k miles early 2013 and have throughly enjoyed ownership. Very powerful V6, comfortable leather seats for long drives, great style, smooth ride, and good features for a now 11 year old car. It has Bluetooth (phone calls only - audio only by Aux cable), heated leather seats, sunroof, navigation, premium JBL sound system, but doesn’t have auto climate control like the XLE models. Also has a stiffer sporty suspension when compared to the XLE so its fun to toss around curvy roads. While the car was under warranty, I had a couple of issues worth mentioning. One was a sunroof issue which was quickly repaired by Toyota. The next one could have been more expensive - the infamous VVTi oil hose issue. It’s just a rubber hose that routes oil up from the engine block to the heads for lubrication. Toyota used rubber material that degraded under high heat over time. At the 81k mile mark, my original VVTi oil hose had degraded to the point where I lost 2 quarts of oil in ~30minutes or driving time. I noticed the light show in the dash just before I reached home. When I popped the hood, I noticed oil was everywhere and I feared the worst. I towed the car to the dealership and they quickly pointed to the problematic VVTi hose issue. They put in the new enhanced rubber hose, topped the oil off, cleaned up the mess of oil and the car was back on the road. I was lucky that I wasn’t on a road trip, and also lucky that there was no engine damage. Toyota has since repaired the issue and I believe most owners received the bulletin to get the updated, stronger rubber VVTi hose. Another issue I ran into at 107k miles was a faulty trans temp sensor. While driving through Michigan on a short road trip, the check engine light came on. 10 miles later, the trans wouldn’t shift past 3rd gear and started making a smoky smell. After pulling over and letting the car cool down, I continued another 30miles to my destination with no issues. Apparently when the ECU senses an issue, it moves into “limp mode” to force you to pull over. I had the car towed to my mechanic immediately where he diagnosed the sensor problem. ~$250 later the car was running great again with fresh trans fluid, filter and temp sensor. Aside from the 2 critical issues mentioned above which could’ve caused a bad situation on a long road trip, the other maintenance items above & beyond oil/tires/brakehave been infrequent. I’ll list them below: -Rear wheel bearing @68k miles -Upstream O2 sensor @ 104k miles -Front wheel bearing @125k miles Now with 136k miles on the clock, it still is very fun ride with great style and comfort. The 3.5L V6 engine in the car is also used in many Toyota/Lexus sedans and SUVs/trucks so it is a proven workhorse. Another plus is that it runs on 87 octane fuel in the Toyota’s, while most of the Lexus cars were tuned to run on premium 91+ octane. Despite the issues I’ve had in the past, I still have trust in this vehicle to drive across the country. Gas mileage has been average 22mpg in mixed conditions but I’ve also seen up to 27mpg on road trips - very close to EPA ratings.
Not Toyotas Finest Effort
Detectivejojima,03/09/2016
CE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
The car overall is a good car for everyday transportation. Quiet, comfortable and reliable. Not exciting, nor fun to drive, but it does the job. Weak points are struts, which had to be replaced around 40k. Small leaks and very soft, just too soft, and not under warranty. Needed to replace power booster on brakes around 150k. First time on any car I've owned. Those are expensive fixes. Also, now at 175k mileage, smoke comes out of exhaust when 1st starting in morning, regardless of weather. My mechanic says oil burn, but oil does not drop between oil changes, so not much oil burn, if that is what is causing smoke. But still runs great, no other major problems and I guess it's been overall a reliable Toyota, but below my other experiences with my 5 other Toyotas over the years. Update: 9/9/17 - I recently sold my Camry, 7/10/17, as it was starting to smoke more on start-up, and was verified by my mechanic as oil burn. It also started to consume oil, approximately a quart every 2-3000 miles. The extended warranty ran out in October of 2016, so no warranty either. This, a Toyota Camry, that basically lasted less than 200,000 with meticulous care on my part. Very frustrating, as I always believed most problems with cars start with owners, but this was a design issue with the engine, and Toyota refused to acknowledge it. From the struts failing at 40k, the water pump around 48-50k, the power brake booster failing at 150k, and many other smaller issues that I never encountered with in over 40 years of ownership of 5 other Toyota models. VERY DISAPPOINTED IN TOYOTA DEALER RESPONSE. OF COURSE TOYOTA COULD CARE LESS, AS THEY SELL 400,000 OF THESE A YEAR, BUT WHEN YOU MAINTAIN A CAR AS WELL AS I HAVE, AND IT'S A DESIGN ISSUE, YOU WOULD THINK THAT A MANUFACTURER WITH THE REPUTATION OF TOYOTA WOULD STEP UP AND DO WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING, EITHER REPAIR OR REPLACE. THAT IS WHY I AM BUYING A NEW HONDA TODAY, 9/9/17, AS OPPOSED TO THE NEW 2018 CAMRY.
What Camry should be!
Vladimir,10/07/2016
LE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
The only reason why I bought the 2008 Camry was because I owned a 1993 Camry that lasted 300,000 mile without any major repair or problem. I bought it used in 2010 with 28000 miles, it was a lease return vehicle. 100,000 miles later, it still looks and drives like new and never had any major problems with it. The only thing I repaired in the car was the rear passenger hub bearing which cost less than $150. I just replaced the original brakes last year simply because I wanted to. I changed the tires twice and battery one time, usual car wear and tear. It is nice to drive, comfortable and quiet. The only this I probably don't like with this car is that it drives very light, too light for the size and type of car. Toyota contacted me for all of the recalls and they fixed those. They sent me extended warranties for the dashboard (cracks and warp dashboard) and engine (excessive oil loss), but never had to use them. We really need a van or SUV for the growing family, but we can't imagine trading or selling this car since it has been really great to us. Over all we really love this car, at this pace this one might reach 300,000 miles too.
Best car I have owned!
Ron Mansfield,03/05/2017
XLE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
Bought a loaded 2008 Camry XLE a year ago and l'm very pleased with my purchase. Roomy interior, smooth & quiet ride. The V-4 has plenty of power when needed. Love the JBL stereo, Bluetooth & moon roof. Failed the oil consumption test & Toyota replaced the pistons & rings at 180,000 miles. No other problems or complaints. Replaced the sun visors, added new Michelin Premier A/S tires & do regular maintenance. Very reliable vehicle with plenty of luxury features for the price I paid, overall it's a great car.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Marginal
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2008 Toyota Camry

Used 2008 Toyota Camry Overview

The Used 2008 Toyota Camry is offered in the following submodels: Camry Sedan. Available styles include LE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A), CE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A), XLE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), XLE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A), LE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A), SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), CE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M), LE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Toyota Camry?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Toyota Camry trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Toyota Camry LE is priced between $4,990 and$7,999 with odometer readings between 105032 and181843 miles.
  • The Used 2008 Toyota Camry SE is priced between $6,500 and$9,995 with odometer readings between 79326 and140581 miles.
  • The Used 2008 Toyota Camry XLE is priced between $8,994 and$8,994 with odometer readings between 86684 and86684 miles.
  • The Used 2008 Toyota Camry XLE V6 is priced between $13,795 and$13,795 with odometer readings between 86236 and86236 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 Toyota Camries are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Toyota Camry for sale near. There are currently 13 used and CPO 2008 Camries listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,990 and mileage as low as 79326 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Toyota Camry.

Can't find a used 2008 Toyota Camrys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Camry for sale - 10 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $14,047.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 10 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $21,027.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Camry for sale - 1 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $19,358.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 4 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $17,753.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 Toyota Camry?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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