1999 Toyota Camry LE 2.2 litre inline four from North America


Reliable, safe and economical


I've had some niggling things go wrong with the car. The passenger side vanity mirror cover broke, the driver's side window regulator stopped tracking, and the power mirrors stopped working.

Overall it's been incredibly reliable.

General Comments:

It's reliable, functional, comfortable and economical transportation.

I gave it a higher performance mark, because the inline four has good torque and revs quite nicely.

It rides pretty soft, and is more of a GM type of feel, but with much higher quality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th April, 2013

1999 Toyota Camry LX 2.2 4 cylinder from North America


Reliable, just don't plan on passing it down to your kids


For starters, my mom purchased this car in hopes of never having to buy another car. She took very good care of it, and only had it serviced at the dealer. Yes, it had 197k when the engine went. But this is a Toyota - it should have gone longer than that!

Engine went at 197k due to excessive oil sludge. Toyota acknowledged the problem, but refused to fix it or at least share the cost of replacement. They simply said it was due to lack of maintenance and high miles. This was said by a Toyota service writer! The car was serviced every 3-5k as required by Toyota with full synthetic oil, and they still would not stand behind their product. Dealer blamed engine failure on the engine light being illuminated (see below).

Engine light came on at 80k, and was blamed on a fuel canister, costing $800 to replace. Dealer said to leave it alone, despite having the engine light continuously lit. Dealer advised they would be able to spot any problems at service internals (which they did not).

The radio display quit working at 30k. Dealer refused to fix under warranty, stating it was not covered under the bumper to bumper warranty. Refused to replace with a junkyard unit, stating it would void the bumper to bumper warranty!!!

Rear struts failed at 20k. They were replaced under warranty, but failed again at 40k. The car was driven until 80k with bad struts before being replaced with lifetime struts from Monroe. Never had any problems after that.

General Comments:

This car was generally fairly reliable for my mother until the engine went. Other than the nit-picky items, it was a very solid car. I recommend doing what she did and trading it in on a 2003 or newer V-6 model.

We received such poor service from the Toyota dealer, we refused to go back to buy another car. Instead, we found a Lexus dealer that had a very nice Toyota Avalon V-6 with low miles. Thus far, it has been a very good car for her.

If you're looking at a 97-2002 model, stick with the V-6 model, as they are less prone to the sludge issue and timing belt service.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st July, 2012

1st Aug 2012, 16:48

All Toyota engines from that era were prone to the sludge issue.

Consider yourself lucky that your Camry's engine didn't sludge at 48,000 miles like our Toyota based Pontiac Vibe did.

3rd Aug 2012, 16:46

I was very impressed with the Pontiac Vibe and test drove several. My main reason for not buying one was the unreliable Toyota drivetrain. I've just experienced too many problems with Japanese cars.

8th Aug 2012, 10:50

I wasn't aware that the Vibe had the same engine. It would have been nice if the dealer would have at least offered to share cost in replacing the engine, but they did not. It was very disappointing to figure out later, that in some circumstances, Toyota WAS replacing engines under an extended warranty.

1999 Toyota Camry XLE 3.0 V6 from North America


Dependable transportation


Instrumentation lights on the right side, and the heat/AC controls are out.

Fuel filler door needed the spring replaced at 215,000 miles.

The factory CD player quit working about 50,000 miles ago.

Driver door handle broke at 210000 miles.

General Comments:

This has been, hands down, the best car I've ever owned. Yes, it is boring to drive and look at, but the benefits outweigh that for a daily commuter.

I bought this car in a rush in 2007, after my daughter totalled my 1998 Altima. I needed a car for work (35 miles each way) and to drive to law school 3-4 nights a week (add another 30 miles each way). When I bought this Camry, it had 85,000 miles on it. Five years and 135,000 miles later, old whitey is still rolling hard. Nope, she isn't pretty (faded paint, scratches, a dent in the rear quarter panel where I backed into a post, and the front bumper cover is cracked from where I took out a skunk doing 50 mph).

The only things I've replaced are the brakes (once), the tires (twice -- the tires were always evenly worn), and at 180,000 miles, I finally broke down and had the following replaced: intake gasket, timing belt, alternator belt, water pump, plugs, and a tie-rod end.

The "service engine soon" light is on (needs a charcoal canister), but it doesn't affect the driving, and we don't have to pass emissions where we live. In other words, outside of regular maintenance items (and even then, they weren't exactly performed "on schedule") nothing major has ever gone wrong.

The only things that have "gone wrong" are convenience items that do not affect performance or driving, like the CD player, door handle, and the fuel filler door spring. The door handle was $15, and hubby fixed the fuel filler door easily.

The interior is in good shape. The only very small tear in a rear seat that was there when I first purchased the car, is the same as it was then, even with me hauling around several 100+ pound dogs in the back. Some of the fake wood trim has faded and one piece is curling slightly, but like I said, she is not a thing of beauty. The seats are still comfortable. The A/C will freeze you out, and the heat keeps you toasty in winter.

While it definitely isn't the most exciting car to drive, it's got plenty of pep when you need to go. After switching to Schaeffer's oil, I'm now getting a steady 30 mpg with combined driving. Even before then, with regular oil, mpg averaged 26-28 combined.

I've looked long and hard at getting a new car. I've researched and looked, and I don't know that there is anything out there that could outdo what I already have. It is a practical car -- a plus in today's economy. The reality of it is, I guess I can do without "pretty", because I know I'm going to get there, and it's not going to cost me an arm and a leg to do it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th May, 2012

10th Oct 2012, 08:59

1998/1999 Toyota Camry LE V6.

I own both of these vehicles, and have extensively researched problems and service the vehicles myself. I started repairing these vehicles as the dealer was costly and unreliable in my area.

The 98 Camry had to have the strut mounts replaced at 75K miles, and the problem soon reappeared.

The 98 and 99 Camrys both have had the alternators go at about the same mileage at about 90K miles.

The bushings and stabilizers in the back are problematic, and went on both cars at the same mileage of about 60k miles.

I used aftermarket alternators, and they went subsequently on several occasions, and I have no trust in the Autoz... parts, their warranties are good and had no problem replacing again. Thank God I didn't have to pay someone to do it.

The calipers went at about the same time for both vehicles around 80k miles. Again, replaced with aftermarket, and they were relatively good from Autoz... Brake pads and rotors replaced about every 30k miles on both cars.

Interior dash lamps gone on both cars.

Charcoal canisters/vacuum gone on both cars.

Power steering started going on both cars at the same mileage. Rack and pinion on both cars went at about 130k miles. Sunroof leaks on the 98 to the interior. 98 radio falling apart front speakers not working well. 99 Camry starter rebuilt at about 150k miles.

Biggest complaint with both cars are the problems relating to the bushings and stabilizers.

The 98, I was just told when having the muffler done, is that brake lines are rusting badly and have to be replaced. They should have been stainless steel. Some bolts on the underpart of the car should be stainless as well.

The 99 Camry leaked oil from a sensor on the right side lower part of the engine, replaced part for 20 bucks at Autoz..., mechanic wanted to replace the seals for about 900 bucks. I pulled the wheel off, got up under it, and was able to locate the leak myself.

Engines run as if they are new and are still very reliable at 170k miles. I can't say enough about that. Aside from maintenance I plan on running them for another 3 years or more, if I can. The transmissions have been very reliable as well. They both can get up to 90 mph in no time.