Used SUVs are all the rage, but what if you want a classic, reliable sedan? Used cars like the Toyota Camry are fun to drive and have a good reputation. You probably won’t be disappointed no matter which model year you buy. Why? Because automaker builds the Toyota Camry to hold its value, even years down the road.
Wondering which used Toyota Camry will fit your driving needs (or budget)? Although the car made its debut in America in 1983, Consumer Reports has been testing this popular midsize sedan since the 2000 model year. Here’s a roundup of the ones that earned CR’s coveted “Recommended” label.
Consumer Reports recommends the 2000 Toyota Camry
At the turn of the millennium, Toyota discontinued its station wagons and completely redesigned the Toyota Camry. These models featured a sleek exterior design and a smoother drivetrain.
Consumer Reports recommends the 2000 Toyota Camry. Under the hood, engine choices included a 133-hp 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine and a 194-hp 3.0-liter option.
What about driving the 2000 model? “The Camry serves up a comfortable, absorbent ride on any road,” Consumer Reports explains. “A full load makes little difference. The car is always impressively quiet. The Camry’s handling is sound but not sporty.”
CR’s testers got comfortable behind the wheel of this midsize sedan thanks to its low dashboard and good visibility. They also found the controls within reach and easy to use. Overall, the 2000 Camry earned an owner satisfaction rate of 4/5, making it an enticing choice for car shoppers in the market for a used sedan.
Used car shoppers should check out the 2002–2006 Toyota Camry models
If you’re shopping for a used Camry, Consumer Reports recommends all fifth-generation models between 2002 and 2006. All received an owner satisfaction rating of 4/5, except the 2003 models. Those received a perfect 5/5 for comfort, value, style, and overall driving experience.
So, what changed? These cars were still known for their comfortable ride and quiet interior. Fifth-generation models became slightly larger but still had the same performance capabilities drivers knew and loved. At its peak, the Toyota Camry was a bestseller in the United States.
6th-generation models come highly recommended by Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports also recommends all sixth-generation Toyota Camry models between 2007 and 2011. Three (2009, 2010, and 2011) received a 5/5 reliability rating. Meanwhile, the 2007 and 2008 models scored 4/5. And owner satisfaction ratings for these models ranged between 3/5 and 4/5, depending upon the year.
This Camry generation was the first to introduce Bluetooth phone pairing, standard stability control, and a hybrid version. The 3.5-liter V6 got 23 mpg overall, compared to 24 mpg for the four-cylinder. In addition, 2010 or newer four-cylinder models have a six-speed automatic transmission. These models also benefited from an improved fuel economy of 26 mpg overall.
Used car buyers can’t go wrong with a 2012–2017 Toyota Camry
If you’re in the market for a newer used Toyota Camry, you’ll be pleased to know Consumer Reports recommends all seventh-generation models. In fact, all received a 5/5 reliability rating and a 4/5 owner satisfaction rating.
In addition, good performance, great handling, and excellent fuel-economy ratings carried over to the seventh generation.
Inside, the midsize sedan’s infotainment system provides extra tech features. The 2015 model also boasts upgraded styling details and an easier-to-use touchscreen. Plus, the revisions led to improved crash-test results.
Consumer Reports recommends several newer models too
CR recommends 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022 Toyota Camry models. The 2021 model earned a 5/5 reliability rating and a 4/5 owner satisfaction rating. Meanwhile, the 2018 and 2019 Camry received 4/5 in reliability and 3/5 in owner satisfaction.
The current Camry generation includes the standard L, LE, and XLE trim levels. It also offers sportier trims such as the SE and XSE. There’s a hybrid version too. A 203-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard, and an available 301-hp 3.5-liter V6 provides more pep.
In 2019, Toyota added Apple CarPlay to the infotainment system for a more connected driving experience.
Used Toyota Camry shoppers have plenty of options to choose from
Shopping for a used Toyota Camry doesn’t have to be a challenge. Consumer Reports’ ratings make finding the best pre-owned model a relatively easy feat. Whether you opt for a 2001 or a 2019 Camry, you have plenty of options to choose from.