Is the 2009 Toyota Camry a Good Car?

Originally a compact model when it hit the market in the 1980s, the Toyota Camry has since grown into the midsize sedan segment. Exalted by the Japanese automotive giant as a “world car,” the Camry has been built to serve consumers as reliable, budget-friendly transportation. With incognito styling and an interior painted in mass-produced medium gray, the Camry was never enthralling but always trustworthy. Toyota recently injected some enthusiasm into the Camry, but how does one from yesteryear stand up today? Let’s find out. 

What does the 2009 Toyota Camry provide?

Although it was as uneventful as a cup of vanilla ice cream, the 2009 Camry was refined. With a smooth, passenger-friendly ride, U.S. News & World Report noted the Camry’s performance as “polished” among the segment. 

Its roomy cabin included a six-speaker stereo system with an auxiliary port, cruise control, power locks and windows, and a welcome seven airbags. Consumers could get a sport-tuned suspension, Bluetooth capability, dual-zone climate control, and leather upholstery on more expensive trim levels.

There were three engine configurations for the 2009 Toyota Camry. The 158 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder could achieve 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, the EPA says. If the 268 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 was chosen, the figures drop to 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Cars.com says the optional 187 horsepower hybrid option—the 2.4-liter mated with a 105-kWh motor—could do a combined 35 mpg.

How reliable is the 2009 Toyota Camry?

A red 2009 Toyota Camry driving alongside a fence
2009 Toyota Camry | Toyota

Like most Toyota products, the 2009 Toyota Camry is exceedingly reliable. In fact, Toyota asserted a few years ago that 80 percent of their vehicles built since 1995 were still on the road.

J.D. Power placed the 2009 Camry at the top of the midsize sedan segment. They scored it above the Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Ford Fusion, and Saturn Aura. The Camry performed particularly well in quality, reliability, and resale value. 

What problems does the 2009 Toyota Camry have?

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While test drivers never found much to dislike about the Toyota Camry, consumers found one issue in particular that drummed up annoyance. 

CarComplaints.com says the 2009 Camry “used to be adorned with our ‘Seal of Pretty Good.'” However, that changed when “an alarming number of complaints started rolling in for excessive oil consumption.”

Owners were “caught off-guard” by how quickly their 2009 Camrys ran out of oil. An analysis of the complaints shows that one quart of oil will disappear in engines with as little as 1,200 miles. There are no reported leaks from consumers, but Toyota released numerous technical service bulletins (TSBs) dating back to 2011. Luckily, only V6 models were affected. 

One TSB remarked how the rubber on the VVT-i actuator oil supply hose “may degrade over time,” ToyotaProblems.com states. Toyota recalled nearly two million vehicles over three phases to fix the issue.

Is buying a used Toyota Camry worth it?

Given the Toyota Camry’s excellent resale value, shoppers shouldn’t think they’ll get one on the cheap. An example with under 200,000 miles will fetch between $8,000 and $10,000, Autotrader shows. Yet, 2009 Camrys don’t get much more expensive than that. For example, there’s one on Autotrader with 37,000 miles on the clock for just $13,000.

The 2009 Toyota Camry may be a relatively unexciting mode of transportation. However, for those who just want to commute to work, it’s nearly as reliable as a sunrise.