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2007-2012 Toyota Camry Review | Hard Hit, Easy Miss

In the US, it seems like every time we drive on the road we see at least ONE of the vehicles pictured above. The previous generation Toyota Camry. Produced for model years 2007-2011 the XV40 body Camry has been a hot seller since it’s release in 2006 considering it to be huge step up in style from it’s predecessor. Toyota reported 473,108 Camry sales alone and about 1.9 Million total sales of the XV40 Camry during it’s production in US ALONE. Meaning, the Camry is also a common seller on the used car market as well. However, purchasing the right Used Toyota Camry can be a hit or miss.

 

The XV40 Camry Today

It’s 2016, meaning that it has been about 10 years since the first 6th-generation Camry has been produced. Being such a strong seller in the US,  many of them are available for sale as a used car and many are still driving on the road today. Overall, the Camry is highly regarded as a reliable, affordable, and spacious sedan. Which is true given its success. However, theres a various mix between ones in excellent condition and others in poor condition.

Previous Owner Behavior: Many previous generation Camrys have already had more than one owner. With so many Camrys on the road and double (possibly triple) the previous owners, you can expect every type of previous care behavior and every type of history with the Camry. A large majority of previous owners have shown poor care to their Camry paying a little more attention to mechanical and putting cosmetic care on the back burner so to speak. However, theres also a good amount of people who shown great care to their Camry during time of ownership. These well taken care of Camrys are usually lower-mileage examples which there is a healthy selection available for all model years, while high-mileage is much more common on the Camry since they are commonly purchased for long commutes and daily drivers. History wise you can find almost any variation with the Camry from One Owner, Two Owners, No Accidents, Total Loss, Theft Recovery, Previous Rental Car, Salvage/Rebuilt Title, Minor Accident, 5 Accidents, you name it. With the Camry being so common, it’s easy to find yourself checking out a Camry that may have a cheap price, but the history shows something that dictates that price. When checking out your next Camry get a full history report and check for restoration signs, like a non-factory paint job, swirls in the headlights (to restore the fading), vague stains from before. Some sellers may try to recondition your possible new Camry to look presentable but hide something that could come up later. So check the history and quality of the reconditioning work if any.

Mechanical Quality: Mechanically, the previous-gen Camry has been able to live up to its name with reliability, but not without flaws depending on the year. 2007 & 2009 have been reported to be the worst years for the XV40. Ad significant number of complaints for excessive oil consumption (worse than high performance car) have been made due to defective piston rings from the factory requiring 1 quart of oil every 1,200 miles. Automatic transmission flares have also been reported both with V6 models because of improper fluid filling from the factory. Other common problems include Brake Pulsation, Premature Strut Failure, Premature Water Pump Failure, and Oil Line Ruptures. Being that the Camry is an affordable car, most of these common problems can be corrected at your local Toyota Dealership or reputable mechanic at a reasonable cost. You can more HERE about the common problems with past generation Camry models as well best maintenance practices thanks to one knowledgeable user on the Toyota Nation Forums. Whatever year you choose to purchase, at Rev Critic we strongly recommend you have your prospective Camry thoroughly inspected by Certified Toyota Dealership or Toyota Specialized Mechanic.

camry-paint-peeling
Common Paint/Clear Coat peeling on a 2007 Toyota Camry when not kept in a garage or cover parking space regularly | Credit: carcomplaints.com

Cosmetic Quality: With the Camry being designated as an affordable mid-size sedan, the overall cosmetic quality of the Camry is on the lower end. From a first impression stand point, the Camry has a cheap feel to it. Hollow doors, thin body panels, plastic interior finishes, and lower-grade leathers to name a few. However, after examining many pre-owned Camry examples, these cosmetic finishes WILL hold up with proper care. Paint/clear coat fading has been common for pre-owned models that we’re not kept in a garage or under a covered parking space. Peeling paint on the bumpers has been common across a large majority of models we’ve came across, signifying a cheap paint job from the factory. Inside the interior has held up well with minimal signs of pre mature aging like we found in our 7-series example. Electronics have shown to hold up well and function properly, not without flaws but very minimal complaints. However, with a majority of owners showing lack of care, faded paint, hazed headlights, peeling bumper paint, stained interiors, and unrepaired body damage have been some common flaws we’ve ran into.

Recalls: The XV40 Camry has received a significant number of safety recalls, most notably the stuck accelerator pedal issue. It is important that you verify any and all recall work has been completed.

Driving Impressions

The Camry by no means is a sporty car, regardless of how Toyota styles it. The driving characteristics are designed for decent comfort and smooth driving for the original price it offered as New. You will find better acceleration in the V6 model. The transmission in 4-cylinder models tends to “hunt” for gears when accelerating for fuel economy. Steering is light but smooth, being that the Camry is only a Front Wheel Drive vehicle torque steer is noticeable in V6 models.

Pricing

As of this article, the 6th generation Camry usually has an asking price as low as $4500 and as high as $18,000 ($5,000 less than a Brand New Camry). The common conception people have is the Camry has a high resale value, which is good for sellers if they’re not upside down on their vehicle. However, the pricing of the XV40 Toyota Camry can be very sporadic regardless of Year, Mileage, Engine, and Trim. Making finding the right Camry at the right price a challenge for you as a buyer. Some Camry Models have been priced above the $10,000 mark with over 100,000 miles them and some priced around $8,000 with less than 100,000 miles on them.

The opinion as to whether or not the Camry is over priced on the used market strongly varies. Being that is is such a common car, we would anticipate the average price to be around $5,000 even with lower miles on the odometer. Unlike other used cars though, pricing on the Camry can vary between regions in the US depending on the demand. Some do swear by the Camry for it’s outstanding reliability despite is low-grade quality. So if you find a good deal out of state, you may want to consider making the trip or having it shipped to you.

When shopping for a pre-owned Camry, it is very important that you take everything into account when comparing pricing to avoid over paying. When comparing pricing take into account the vehicle’s year, condition, engine/transmission configuration, mileage, and accident history. Keep in mind, trim levels and optional features don’t always substantially affect the vehicles value. The worst thing a buyer could do is over pay for a popular car. Over paying and financing a popular vehicle is a high risk at putting yourself in position where you would owe more than the vehicle is worth.

Verdict

Finding the right used Camry at the right price can be a definite challenge, a hard hit but an easy miss if you don’t do your homework. At the end of the day you will have a spacious sedan that is reliable, comfortable, and great on fuel. It’s a matter of making sure your Camry won’t catch you by surprise or cause you to pay more than it’s worth. Keep in mind, the potential incentives offered on a Brand New Camry could allow you to drive a brand new Camry with same payment as used if you qualify. If you can’t find the right Camry, keep waiting for the right one or research some of our other vehicles we’ve reviewed that offer the same, if not better.

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