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Article Highlights:

  • The 2012 V6 Camry makes waves compared to the hybrid
  • Buying a hybrid Camry will save you money at the pump
  • The gas-only Camry proves to be more reliable

It’s another slam dunk for the Toyota Camry, which holds several spots on U.S News’ best used midsize cars list. It’s an exhaustive list, at 113 cars strong, and the Toyota manages to hold several of the top spots. For those looking for an affordable car under the $15,000 mark, you might be in luck with Toyota’s long-standing favorite sedan. There’s three models on the list, and now it’s time to root out which is the best of the best Camrys.

A Camry Hybrid could be the best used midsize car for you

A gold Camry shot from the front 3/4 in a parking lot
An older Camry LE model | Christopher Evans via Getty Images

We’ll start with the car that tops the list for the Camry lineup: the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid. Obviously, the biggest strength of this model is its range. With 31 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, you’ll easily be able to make it to the gas pump the next county over (and pay out the nose for gas while you’re at it). Unfortunately, Toyota’s own Prius beats the hybrid’s range, but the Camry has proved to be far more reliable.

Really, at this price point, that’s what we all want from our midsize sedan. With seating for five, you can also move more than enough people. Just be aware that the middle jump seat may not be ideal for adults. Thankfully, safety and storage are both highs in the midsize sedan segment. While that hybrid powertrain is great for fuel, the Toyota Camry that’s up next trumps the complexity of it in the name of reliability.

What year Toyota Camry is the most reliable?

A blue Toyota Camry sedan shot from the 3/4 angle at an auto show
A Camry Hybrid | David Cooper via Getty Images

The 2012 Toyota Camry on U.S News’ list ditches the hybrid powertrain, and perhaps for the better. While the 2011 Hybrid was great on gas, the interior was a little lackluster, an issue fixed by the 2012 redesign. Buyers who aren’t fans of the looks of the gold Camry above: you’ll be happy to know that 2012 brought a much more modern design to the platform.

Things in the cabin also got a hair roomier, as the Toyota Camry grew a few more inches all around. We didn’t have any issues with the space brought to the midsize sedan segment by the 2011 model, but we won’t say “no” to more. For those looking for a little more go, you can find a killer Toyota V6 in the Camry from this era without too much trouble, and for not much more money than the four-cylinder model. These V6 models usually produced between 200 and 290 hp.

Should you buy a used Camry?

A Toyota Camry, one of the best used midsized cars, shot from the front 3/4
A 2011 Camry | Christopher Evans via Getty Images

Both models have earned their spots on the list, but we’d take the 2012 model, even if its fuel economy is worse by a few miles per gallon. The visual updates are a huge plus, and the added space makes this practical sedan all the more worth it. Plus, that V6 can’t be overlooked. Prices can range wildly based on condition and trim levels, but the models above can generally be found for $10,000 to $20,000. If you want a Camry for under $15,000, make sure it’s a 2012 Toyota Camry with the V6.


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