1999 Toyota Camry XLi 2.2L, 4 Cylinder. from United Arab Emirates


An excellent family sedan


1. Due to the extreme heat in this country (i.e. 45+ degrees Celsius), the car's headliner had completely unglued itself over a 6-year period. This cost me US$ 80/- to fix at a local garage. It looks absolutely perfect now.

2. The fabric from the front passenger door is also detaching itself. Once again, due to excessive heat build-up in the vehicle.

And that, ladies and gents, is it. These are the only things that have gone wrong with the car.

General Comments:

I bought this ‘99 Camry XLi in 2005, and I've driven 20,000 Kms so far. This brings the odometer reading to 158,000 Km (100,000 Miles approximately).

What do I think of this vehicle, thus far?

Positive comments:

1. Under the hood, things have been ultra-reliable.

2. The engine is quite smooth for a relatively small unit.

3. Maintenance costs are very reasonable for a mid-sized sedan. Toyota spares are extremely easy to find in the local market. Every single auto store carries them.

4. The seats are fairly comfortable and supportive.

5. Power is more than sufficient from the 4-cylinder engine, especially when taking into account good fuel economy. In my opinion, Toyota's got the balance just right with this 2.2 Liter rig.

6. Air Conditioning is great.

7. Safe car. Solidly built.

8. It's great to have dual air bags. (This is not a mandatory requirement in the UAE, and as such, not all lower-spec cars are equipped with dual air bags).

9. Controls and dials are logically positioned and easy to see/access.

Negative comments:

1. The transmission is not as smooth with up-shifts, as I'd like.

2. Steering feel is a little heavy/vague.

3. The brakes aren't bad, but I think Toyota should have put in stronger ones, to offset the weight of the car.

4. Quite a lot of wind noise from window seals.

Advice to potential buyers:

If you're looking for a safe, reliable and economical 4-door, then a 4-cylinder Camry comes highly recommended. However, the 6-cylinder would be a better choice for those who need a little more oomph. And if that still isn't enough to satisfy the racer in you, then get yourself a Nissan Maxima; it's got a wonderful, multi-award-winning engine, better suspension, great brakes and more room inside.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th June, 2006

2nd Jun 2009, 08:35

Fantastic, well-written review. Really appreciate your feedback and advice. Thank you!

1999 Toyota Camry LE 2.2L 5S-FE (4-cylinder) from North America


The perfect mid-size sedan


A couple months ago I started the car, but it would not stay running. This only happened once and has never occurred since. Putting in a gas additive seemed to correct this problem.

The brakes, even though they are in good condition, often squeak. However, I have been told cheap brake pads will do that. This is not the fault of Toyota.

General Comments:

Forget what people say when they complain about the four-cylinder's "lack of power" (133 horsepower, or 130 if you live in a state following California's emmissions standards). It is adequate for the Camry's size, and can return 23 miles per gallon in the city, or about 27 in mixed driving. I have been recording fuel economy at each "fill-up", and personally I recommend skipping the V6 unless you like more refinement and/or want leather and traction control.

The Camry's ABS system has proven to be a life-safer on more than one occasion (a dog running out in front of me on a rainy day, and a car turning left in front of me for no reason). Just press the brake pedal with as much pressure as possible, and steer around the obstacle. The pedal does not jerk or groan that much at all.

The HVAC (heater/vent/air conditioning) controls are well laid out, and it's possible to know the controls like the back of your hand within a day or two. With three large dials representing temperature, vent position and fan speed, it is no problem switching settings (for example I can go from air conditioning on my face to defrosting on the windshield within seconds).

The seats are extremely comfortable, though I have gotten backache after about an hour of stop and go driving.

The interior is a nice shade of tan, and save for some black plastic on the center console, it has a very upscale, warm feeling.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th June, 2006

30th May 2008, 08:50

Squeaking can often be avoided by applying a special paste between brake pads and a cylinder.

I would also like to add that rear drum brakes (4 cyl model) are inadequate and are pain to replace. I wish they used disc brakes instead.

13th Jun 2010, 00:25

I have owned a 1999 Camry 2.2 sedan. 22,000km. Man I could not stand it. Handling was good. Feel from the wheel great. Ride comfort good. All the mod cons great. But rotten power. Best I could do was 10lt - 100km on the highway, 12-15 in town. Used a heavy foot with the low power trying keep up with traffic. And trying to overtake on the highway is waste of time. Only Camry I will ever by again is a V6, no matter what. All taxi drivers I talk to say both the 2.5 and 3.0 V6 are cheaper to run than the 2.2.

I downgraded to a 1995 Mits Diamante and love it. Fuel is 10lt in town, 7 on country roads, 6 on the highway if no overtaking. By far a better car.