1998 Toyota Camry LE 2.2L 4 cylinder from North America


Cheap, reliable, comfortable transportation, despite relatively high repair cost


Starter: Failed and replaced at about 140,000 miles (2009); attributable to 2 years of engine off at red lights and some engine off coasting (hypermiling techniques).

Power steering rack: Began leaking fluid at about 145,000 miles (2010) and proactively replaced at about 150,000 miles (2011).

Exterior driver door handle: Broke and replaced (2010) with a flimsy aftermarket handle to save about $25 bucks; it appears I'll be replacing it again within a year (likely with the higher quality OEM one).

Radiator: Small crack spotted at about 160,000 miles (2011), nursed, and proactively replaced at about 165,000 miles (2012).

Valve cover gasket: Began leaking some oil at about 165,000 miles (2012), nursed, and proactively replaced at about 173,000 miles (2013).

General Comments:

Despite a couple unusual repairs for this model and year, the reliability remains excellent; never truly stranded except for the starter issue.

Quite comfortable; not a Lexus though.

Its duty has been almost exclusively a commuter car in metro Atlanta for the past 5 years, so that's taking its toll, yet it's staving off its demise nonetheless via high quality repair parts (door handle notwithstanding).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2013

1998 Toyota Camry XLE 3.0 from North America


Unreliable brakes


The brakes, the brakes, the brakes. Back to the shop every week for brake issues. Replaced all calipers, pads, rotors, brake lines and hoses. STILL have brake problems. Drive it for about twenty minutes, brakes seize up and have to increase power to 3000 RPM just to move. Back to the shop again and again. Everything checked and diagnosed. Master cylinder, fine, brake booster fine. ABS module tested and it is just fine. No codes. Getting about 15 miles to the gallon like a seventies Cadillac.

Worst car I ever owned for brakes. Toyota Camrys are the worst for brakes. Never ending seizing and pinching. Bring it in, have more parts replaced and it is fine for a couple of weeks, then it starts all over again.

General Comments:

Comfortable and fast, just never ending brake issues that can NOT be resolved. Having to scrap it after about 5 grand in attempts to fix the brakes. Total waste of time and money.

I will NEVER buy any Toyota vehicle again. The reliability reputation is nothing but good marketing. Everything else is fantastic, but I need a car that actually goes down the road without costing me thousands a month, and isn't in the shop every week for brakes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th April, 2013

5th Apr 2013, 05:40

Are you sure it was your brakes? Are they actually seizing and pinching? With all those repairs, I'd actually start to think it was something else like a slipping transmission, wheel bearings binding up or something like that. If there's no input from the pedal, the hydraulic system can't increase pressure unless somehow the brake booster is pressurising the system.

5th Apr 2013, 11:21

The problem is, it's a Toyota.

5th Apr 2013, 14:52

Even though you say the master cylinder checked out OK, these symptoms are very characteristic of a stopped up return valve in the master cylinder. I have seen this exact problem. It is easily fixable and very inexpensive. I suspect an incompetent shop that is fleecing you.

1998 Toyota Camry LE 2.2L from North America


Affordable, reliable, and fuel efficient car


Valve cover leak when bought with 54600 miles.

Broken coolant reservoir cap.

Camshaft seal leak at 69000 miles.

Poor ground for turn signal light (RH).

Steering wheel not centered when driving straight.

General Comments:

I had a 1992 Honda Accord before with 112000 miles when sold, and a 1994 Toyota Previa with 123000 miles, and they didn't have so many little problems like this car with only 54600 miles.

Other than that, the Camry is also very reliable. I use it on 1300 mile round trip once a month with complete confidence. I had important parts replaced such as timing belt, water pump, coolant and transmission fluid changed, all leaks fixed. Now it looks good and is in tip top condition.

Suspension is a little bit soft, but OK. Cabin is quiet at 65 mph with little wind noise and almost no engine noise. Drive is smooth, but the seat is not as comfortable as on the Accord and Previa.

Excellent fuel efficiency; I consistently get between 36 to 38 mpg on such long trips, mostly at highway speed. Amazing 2.2L.

The bottom line is this car is very reliable and fuel efficient, easy to maintain. Definitely nothing fancy, but should take you anywhere you want.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd October, 2011