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Used Toyota Camry Years to Avoid at All Costs

The Toyota Camry is one of the most popular sedans you can buy. They are reliable, affordable, and you can get older ones without worrying too much about mileage or repairs. The newer Camry models are inexpensive, but older models can be a real bargain. Whether you hate car payments or are looking for an excellent option for a teen driver, there are a lot of reasons why you should look at a used Toyota Camry. For almost every year, you can rely on getting the Toyota reliability that you know and love, but these few years miss the mark in every way possible.

A bargain worth avoiding

After about ten years, the price of your average car has dropped so low that they really can’t get any cheaper. Even with relatively low mileage or in good condition, you can find older Toyota Camry models for less than $5,000. For many used cars, this could be a total bargain. While you may not get all of the new safety features and cool technology of a modern vehicle, things like the radio and sound system can be upgraded for a fraction of the cost of buying a newer car.

Still a great used car, the 2007 Camry XLE boasted a luxurious interior
2007 Toyota Camry XLE | Toyota

The trick to buying a used car

If you are buying a used car, chances are you want to save money. So buying a car that is reliable and mechanically sound is of the utmost importance. The 2007, 2008, and 2009 models of the Toyota Camry are inexpensive to purchase, but they can be a real maintenance nightmare. That could mean buying a car for cheap and spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair the constant problems that they have.

A 2007 Toyota Camry on display at an auto show.
A 2007 Toyota Camry | Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images

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The big problem with the Toyota Camry

The big issue that owners have had with these years of the Toyota Camry has been with one of the most expensive components that can fail in a car: the engine. The engine for these model years burns so much oil so quickly that it can actually cause the motor to cease. A motor run without the correct amount of oil can cause extensive damage that may require an entire engine replacement. As you could imagine, having your engine replaced at a shop can be rather expensive, and it also leaves you without a car.

a 2007 Toyota Camry was a great car new, and its still great used. This light blue one is parked on the street in front of some gorgeous trees.
2007 Toyota Camry | Toyota

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While these years of the Toyota Camry might be worth skipping, there are still a lot of years to choose from. For a car that has been in such a long running production, there are a lot of options for buying a used Camry without paying the price of a brand new car.