These Toyota Camry Years are Unreliable, Says Consumer Reports

The Toyota Camry is known for its reliability. Generally, that reputation is well-earned. Most recent Camry sedans are incredibly reliable, affordable, and offer a good range of standard and available features. They’re a budget car shopper’s dream come true. But, there will always be a few lemons thrown into the mix. Instead of hunting through Toyota Camry recalls looking for issues, read this article to learn which Toyota Camry years are unreliable.

Toyota Camry reliability ratings by year: the worst Camry years to buy

If you’re wondering why your Toyota Camry won’t start, it may be because you’ve ended up with one of these most unreliable Camry years.

Consumer Reports (CR) diligently records car reliability ratings based on carefully collected data. CR claims that its rating charts “provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2021 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.”

2006-2008 Toyota Camry reliability: 4 out of 5

Rear view of a 2006 Toyota Camry, an unreliable sedan overall
2006 Toyota Camry | Toyota

In the past, MotorBiscuit has recommended not to buy any Camry models older than 2014—I’d say you can get away with a few, but try to steer clear of 2006, 2007, and 2008 Toyota Camrys. These midsize sedans did receive a 4/5 reliability verdict from Consumer Reports. A score of four means that the vehicle will be slightly more reliable than other new cars. However, it’s still a lower score than other Camry model years, which means you could do better.

2018-2019 Toyota Camry reliability: 4 out of 5

Blue 2019 Toyota Camry sedan, an unreliable car overall
2019 Toyota Camry | Toyota

After a long stretch of incredible reliability, the 2018 and 2019 Toyota Camry hit a bit of a rut. These midsize cars still offer relatively impressive used car reliability ratings like the models above. Still, they are not up to the standards we’d expect from Toyota—one of the most reliable car brands. The unreliable 2018 and 2019 Camry struggled the most with fuel system problems, brake issues, and in-car tech.

2001 Toyota Camry reliability: 3 out of 5

An old-school taupe 2001 Toyota Camry, one of the most unreliable Camrys you could find
2001 Toyota Camry | Toyota

The 2001 Camry had a lousy year. Consumer Reports rates its reliability at just 3 out of 5—which isn’t necessarily all that bad, but it’s not what you want out of an affordable Toyota car. This Camry year experienced both major and minor engine problems, fuel system issues, and problems with the climate system, suspension, brakes, paint and trim, and the in-car electronics. The 2001 Camry was very unreliable—avoid it at all costs.

2020 Toyota Camry reliability: 3 out of 5

2020 was a challenging year for everyone—including the Toyota Camry. A scary 2020 Camry recall assured that this model year took a hit in reliability ratings. It didn’t have as many issues as the 2001 model, but it still struggled with minor engine problems, a few major engine problems, and issues with the electric system, brakes, and body integrity. If you’re shopping for a recent-model-year used Camry, go with the 2021 Camry over the 2020 model.

What are the major problems for the Toyota Camry?

Consumer Reports provides a breakdown of problem spots for vehicles. Camrys that are unreliable appear to struggle with fuel system issues, brake problems, paint or trim issues, and/or problems with body integrity in older models. 

In some years, the Camry’s in-car electronics have also received average to poor reliability ratings. Another major Toyota Camry problem involves oil leaks, which lead to low oil pressure warnings.

Is it still worth it to buy one? Overall, yes. While these specific years weren’t very reliable, the Camry has shown to be a durable and dependable ride more often than not. Avoid these key years, and check out what Camry models are most likely to last.

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