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    Thread: What year is the BEST Toyota Camry?

    1. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      07-01-2012 09:40 PM #1
      let's say based on features, performance and durability... what SINGLE year is the best year and why?

    2. 07-01-2012 09:42 PM #2
      1994

    3. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      07-01-2012 09:43 PM #3
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    4. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      07-01-2012 09:44 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by 1995Camry View Post
      1994
      any particular reason?

    5. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      07-01-2012 09:45 PM #5
      The latest model simply because I want cool features and don't want a dated box that will have people assuming I work at Burger King.

    6. 07-01-2012 09:50 PM #6
      1992-1994, they are the same. The 1992-1996 (3rd gen) you will hear are the best from anyone that has owned multiple generations of camrys. The 95-96 is called the gen 3.5 and it received a minor facelift, but at the same time the interior was cheapened slighly, and it had no more features than the year before.

      The 1994 got the all aluminum 3.0 V6 too. It was one of the most quiet, refined and smooth engines out at the time, also one of the most reliable. The 4 cylinder is just as reliable but not as smooth and refined, but it is easier to work on.

      The Gen 2's are probably just as good as the gen 3's as far as build quality and reliablity. But are almost all rust buckets though and the gen 3 is much more modern and comfortable. The v6 was not as good either.

      Gen 4 camrys had the sludge problem, not a problem at all actually if the oil has been changed, but on a 10 plus year old car you cant be sure. They really have just been downhill from there as far as quality until the most recent generation.
      Last edited by 1995Camry; 07-01-2012 at 09:55 PM.

    7. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      07-01-2012 09:51 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      any particular reason?
      The 1992 was the first year for the model generation. Hmm. But the 1994 model got a passenger side airbag and a more potent V6.

      Many think that generation of Camry was the last Camry made to be the best it could be without cost cutting (old Toyota durability with modern design). In 5 speed V6 SE form it was actually a driver's car.
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      07-01-2012 09:54 PM #8
      Actually some useful info in this thread...I was expecting this to turn into a "what type of hemorrhagic fever do you want?" thread. I too have heard then gen 3 4cyl are the most bombproof.
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

    9. Member two.twoliter's Avatar
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      07-01-2012 09:56 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      The 1992 was the first year for the model generation. Hmm. But the 1994 model got a passenger side airbag and a more potent V6.

      Many think that generation of Camry was the last Camry made to be the best it could be without cost cutting (old Toyota durability with modern design). In 5 speed V6 SE form it was actually a driver's car.
      Didn't the V6 engines have a tendency to blow headgaskets?

      Despite the supposed cost-cutting, I would take a brand new Camry Hybrid over all the others.

      If you live in an area that doesn't use road salt, a solid argument could be made for the original '83 Camry, of which there are plenty still rolling around.
      Previous: 87 325e, 90 Accord Coupe, 99 Neon ACR, 91 CRX Si, 93 S-10, 00 Protege ES

    10. 07-01-2012 09:59 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      The 1992 was the first year for the model generation. Hmm. But the 1994 model got a passenger side airbag and a more potent V6.

      Many think that generation of Camry was the last Camry made to be the best it could be without cost cutting (old Toyota durability with modern design). In 5 speed V6 SE form it was actually a driver's car.
      Outside of the Lexus LS400, toyota spent more money developing the 1992 camry than any other car it has ever made. It was also the first car they designed using CAD.

    11. 07-01-2012 10:02 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by two.twoliter View Post
      Didn't the V6 engines have a tendency to blow headgaskets?

      Despite the supposed cost-cutting, I would take a brand new Camry Hybrid over all the others.

      If you live in an area that doesn't use road salt, a solid argument could be made for the original '83 Camry, of which there are plenty still rolling around.
      The earlier 88-93 v6's with the iron block and aluminum head did. But in 1994 it got a new all aluminum motor which has no issues really.

    12. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      07-01-2012 10:11 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by two.twoliter View Post
      Didn't the V6 engines have a tendency to blow headgaskets?

      Despite the supposed cost-cutting, I would take a brand new Camry Hybrid over all the others.

      If you live in an area that doesn't use road salt, a solid argument could be made for the original '83 Camry, of which there are plenty still rolling around.
      In term of just durability/reliability for a four banger auto sedan, the later EFI 2nd gen Camry takes my vote.

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    13. 07-01-2012 10:12 PM #13
      The tan ones

    14. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      07-01-2012 10:15 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by 1995Camry View Post
      Outside of the Lexus LS400, toyota spent more money developing the 1992 camry than any other car it has ever made. It was also the first car they designed using CAD.
      And I believe that.
      The 2nd gen Camry was a success and Toyota's reliable image was solid by the late 80s.
      But they needed to compete with the big dogs (us domestic sedans- namely the extremely popular, good looking and driving Taurus), and in order to do that they really needed a sedan that competed at the midsize sedan level without compromise (power, room, ride, features, looks, refinement).

      ^

      And it is good to know for 94 the V6 head gasket issue was addressed.
      (you guys act like replacing a head gasket is some impossible repair)
      I keep an eye out for 5 speed manual V6 camries of this gen.
      Fuel economy is so-so, but for beater money you can have a really good car.
      The 5 speed V6 626 was more enthusiast tuned... but I bet the Camry will hold up much better.
      Last edited by BRealistic; 07-01-2012 at 10:26 PM.
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    15. 07-01-2012 10:24 PM #15
      2013 is newest and bestest

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      07-01-2012 10:32 PM #16
      The 98 I had was pretty bullet proof...I am also extremely impressed with its rust resistance. As a Canadian car, with basically 0 care from me(I took over from my parents from 2005 on, sold last year to a coworker who still drives it), with lots of scrapes and scratches that exposed metal. The rusts were just confined to those area with damage....The car was basically just a put gas in it and go, and change oil every 10k km. Brakes were serviced at some point, some control-arm bushing were replaced....and the car gets 30MPG no matter how fast (or slow) you drive...

    17. 07-01-2012 10:39 PM #17
      The one that kept all it's letters on.
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    18. Member nm+'s Avatar
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      07-01-2012 10:43 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by 1995Camry View Post

      The Gen 2's are probably just as good as the gen 3's as far as build quality and reliablity. But are almost all rust buckets though and the gen 3 is much more modern and comfortable.
      .
      Worth highlighting. The Gen 3 had extremely good rustproofing.
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    19. 07-01-2012 10:45 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      let's say based on features, performance and durability... what SINGLE year is the best year and why?
      Well, my wife is a big time Camry fan. She bought a '91 Camry right out of college, then I bought her a '96 Avalon and I replaced that with a '99 Camry and then I replaced that Camry with an '08 Accord.

      I put A LOT of seat time in these cars. For durability, I would say the '99 was the most durable followed closely by the '96 Avalon (which I believe was just a stretched '92-96 Camry.) Neither one of those cars ever had anything break, ever, over several years and miles of ownership. In fact, I don't think I ever changed so much as a light bulb in ether of those cars. Not a belt, not a battery, nothing. We put 100k on the '96 Avalon and just over 100k on the '99 Camry.

      However, having said all that, I think by a long shot my favorite of them all was the '91 Camry she had. She put 100k miles on it and was ready to get rid of it. I loved that car so much that I traded in my beloved (but terribly unreliable) '93 Ford Probe GT (stick) for her automatic, 4 cylinder, stripped down, base model Camry. . . not an LE, not a DX, a base model - cloth interior, roll up windows, no cruise control, nada. It did have AC, rear window defroster and an oem cassette deck. I held on to it and drove it for years and put an additional 125k miles on it. When I donated it to charity it had 225k miles, a lot of rust but it still ran like it did new.

      It was just such a nicely balanced car though. I loved the shape, the size, pretty much everything. I put in batteries, did brakes every 80 or 90k miles. A set of tires would last two terms of a president, cheap, cheap, cheap to own and operate. Oh and speaking of tires, plain old all season tires would get you through the worst Indiana snowstorms. Outstanding snow car.

      Super easy to work on. One time the starter went out. I walked into Autozone, bought a replacement, asked the guy behind the counter if he knew where it was. He had no clue. So I asked "can you at least tell me is it on top of the motor or under it somewhere?" He said "oh it says here it's on top." So I held up the starter up and just looked around the engine bay for something that looked like it - found it - replaced it maybe 20 minutes.

      I loved the cloth interior too in that car. It was like a really rugged tweed fabric. It cleaned up easily and wore really well. Overall, I think the best Camry ever or at least my favorite Toyota of the bunch we've owned. . . and I say that because they stopped being fun after that one.


      Kind of looked like this one - notice it didn't have hub cabs even! :

      Last edited by sullie; 07-11-2014 at 12:52 PM.

    20. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      07-02-2012 12:15 AM #20
      Best is not best without a Camry dent.
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      07-02-2012 12:20 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Best is not best without a Camry dent.
      Love them Camry dents.

      To me Camrys just scream Frigidaire. I could never own one. They are wonderful point A to point B appliances though.
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    22. 07-02-2012 12:21 AM #22
      All camrys are good camrys
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      07-02-2012 12:28 AM #23
      I would say my Camry is OK at best... And that's only because it still runs. Outside of that it's crap. Everything is falling apart.
      <insert comment here>

    24. Member DrewSXR's Avatar
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      07-02-2012 12:49 AM #24
      This one of course (3rd gen), IIRC it had triple door seals.

      There was big hub-bub when the 4th gen was introduced and it only had double door seals.


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      07-02-2012 12:56 AM #25
      In 1992, the Camry was praise for. . .wait for it. . .handling.
      http://www.caranddriver.com/features...ry-v-6-page-11

      Seriously, it is hard to understate what a big deal this car was in 1992. It made the competition look like pieces of crap.
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    26. 07-02-2012 01:05 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by 1995Camry View Post
      The Gen 2's are probably just as good as the gen 3's as far as build quality and reliablity. But are almost all rust buckets though and the gen 3 is much more modern and comfortable. The v6 was not as good either.
      You got tht right the 2vz 6 banger can be a pain in the a** sometimes with the headgaskets.

      All in all 1996 would be that best if I had to picka specific year, such a damn refined drivetrain

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      07-02-2012 04:16 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by nm+ View Post
      In 1992, the Camry was praise for. . .wait for it. . .handling.
      http://www.caranddriver.com/features...ry-v-6-page-11

      Seriously, it is hard to understate what a big deal this car was in 1992. It made the competition look like pieces of crap.
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      07-02-2012 04:55 AM #28
      The 1981. It didn't exist.

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      07-02-2012 09:17 AM #29
      haha

      Quote Originally Posted by Jedidub View Post
      The tan ones

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      07-02-2012 09:20 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      The latest model simply because I want cool features and don't want a dated box that will have people assuming I work at Burger King.
      a MKII GTI?
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      07-02-2012 09:22 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      let's say based on features, performance and durability... what SINGLE year is the best year and why?
      the 1992-1996 generation (3rd gen) is the best Camry period.

      which year exactly?

      1993. It would have the 1st year bugs out. And the V6 5-speed manual combo, even though it's the 188hp 3VZ-FE engine. The 1MZ, iirc, which came in 1994, was automatic only, until the the dramatic cost cutting 4th generation.
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      07-02-2012 09:25 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by two.twoliter View Post
      Didn't the V6 engines have a tendency to blow headgaskets?

      Despite the supposed cost-cutting, I would take a brand new Camry Hybrid over all the others.

      If you live in an area that doesn't use road salt, a solid argument could be made for the original '83 Camry, of which there are plenty still rolling around.
      ... I never had a head gasket issue with the 2VZ.... changing spark plugs was a PITA, reaching under the intake plenum for the rear bank.

      the SOHC 3VZ-E on the truck & 4Runner was notorious for head gaskets
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    33. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      07-02-2012 09:44 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      The 1992 was the first year for the model generation. Hmm. But the 1994 model got a passenger side airbag and a more potent V6.

      Many think that generation of Camry was the last Camry made to be the best it could be without cost cutting (old Toyota durability with modern design). In 5 speed V6 SE form it was actually a driver's car.
      Well said. The mid-90's Camry is really the car that sealed the deal on the "Toyota=Bulletproof" mantra. Solid cars, extremely well-engineered, built before the bean-counters started taking hold.


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      07-02-2012 09:49 AM #34
      In terms of quality and how it drives? 3rd gen, by far. It's still a refrigerator, but it's like the commercial-grade Sub Zero model. It's the Baby Lexus.

      The 2nd gen had more interesting models and features. There was an All-trac AWD version, the first V6, almost Honda-like super low beltline/high roof styling.

      Protip: sometimes the 2nd gen Lexus ES which was entirely based on the 3rd gen Camry can be a better used-market deal. Everyone who wants a cheap old durable car wants a Camry/Corolla/Accord/Civic but people often overlook the luxury variants. Some of them are ghetto baller status, but a lot of them are still gently-driven old lady cars.
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      07-02-2012 09:53 AM #35
      1982-2013...

      Take your pic, although I will say that the mid 90's to early 2000's they were frigin' indestructible.








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