1999 Toyota Camry LE 2.2L 5S-FE from North America

Summary:

Best used car for the money, period!

Faults:

Oil pump seal (o-ring) started leaking.

General Comments:

Purchased the Camry several years ago. It hasn't really received a lot of maintenance except for sporadic oil changes since I've owned it, because I'm busy. Oil pump seal went at around 300,000km but was easily replaced. The part was cheap and the 2.2L engine is a joy to work on. Toyota really out-did themselves with this drivetrain. Despite the high mileage, the engine runs extremely well and the transmission shifts smooth. Very comfortable and quiet ride. Best used car you can buy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2018

1999 Toyota Camry XLE 3.0 V6 from North America

Summary:

A solid family car that has earned its good reputation with intuitive design and smooth performance

Faults:

This car was well cared for. I bought it at 190k, and I am the second owner. I think the owner didn't want to do the next round of major maintenance and traded it in. I have replaced brakes, timing and water pump, and the radiator hoses and front struts. On a used car that was pretty well cared for, I think that's OK. Fluids are all clean, engine and transmission are smooth.

General Comments:

I have been in other's 4th gen Camrys in the past, but never drove one. I had been driving a 1992 Gen 3 V6 LE for many years. That car was purchased new by my grandmother and I bought it from her in 2005 with 84k. I drove it to 209k, when I had a major power steering failure. Age and cost prohibited the repairs, and parts have gotten harder to source in the last year or so for the 25+ year old 3VZ-FE V6 engine that Toyota used in the Camry and ES300 in 1992 and '93 only. It was time to say goodbye, but I can surely say that car was one of the most well built, well-engineered, and quiet cars I have ever own, not to mention tough as nails for eeking it out for 25 years. She will truly be missed.

That being said, I wanted another Camry of course. However, I was in the middle of trying to move to another state, so I certainly did not want to spend a whole lot on a car when I needed the money for moving expenses. I found a local dealership who had this beautiful black on tan leather interior XLE V6 for sale. The mileage was a bit high, but the dealer was able to provide all of the owner's history and service records. $3,000 and I was sold.

It is a nice car. However, I can see a few cut corners compared to the early gen 3s (92-94, the de-contenting process began in 1995). The soft touch materials are a little thinner inside, lots more plastic, and a less overdone approach overall. The fact that it is fully loaded helps make up for it though. The leather has held up well for the age. I like the tan and taupe interior color. Plenty of room for everyone and I like the large trunk space. Little extras like the cargo net, power seats and sunroof add to the appeal.

Power is adequate. Has plenty of punch if you really need it, but I usually am pretty easy on my car, I don't like to exceed 2,000 RPM when accelerating. The car is quiet at highway speeds, but seems like they may have skimped on a little of the insulation compared to the previous model. Braking is responsive with the 4-wheel discs. A/C is ice cold, and other than a little chintzy plastic here and there, not a bad deal at all. I would only say that the sun visors of this generation are probably the worst in any Camry ever. Cheap plastic and glue that does not hold up well at all. That's my only major gripe about it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th July, 2017