Used Toyota Camry Saloon 2001 - 2004 review

Category: Executive car

Boring but capable

Toyota Camry Saloon (01 - 04)
  • Toyota Camry Saloon (01 - 04)
  • Toyota Camry Saloon (01 - 04)
Used Toyota Camry Saloon 2001 - 2004 review
Star rating

What's the used Toyota Camry saloon like?

Look past the fact that the Camry has none of the image or prestige of almost any other car in the executive class and there's a huge bargain to be had for canny used buyers.

It also comes loaded to the gills with luxury goodies, especially the 3.0 V6 model. However, what that model doesn't have much in the way of is performance, because it's better suited to relaxed cruising. The 2.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine - the only alternative - is quite happy to rev hard, but it becomes a bit too noisy for comfort when it does. There are Sport versions of the Camry, but the firmer suspension does little to cure the car's tendency to lean in corners and it also causes more lumps and bumps to be felt in the cabin.


Boring but capable

  • It's well equipped, spacious
  • incredibly reliable and cheap
  • It's hard to imagine a car with less image

Ownership cost

What used Toyota Camry saloon will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Toyota Camry saloon?

The 3.0 V6 engine drinks fuel at 24.0mpg, while the 2.2 improves this to 30.0mpg, but both will drop drastically if the engines are made to work hard on the motorway or mooch around town.

At least Toyota's servicing charges are notably cheaper than for more mainstream executive rivals', and independent dealers will cost even less. Replacement parts are not as pricey as they once were because Toyota now looks on the Camry as an older model. Insurance will be one of the biggest costs, even though the car costs relatively little to buy. Insurers look on the Camry as an oddball and charge accordingly. The other significant cost to bear in mind with the Camry is depreciation - regardless of what you pay for one, it will continue to lose money at a faster rate than most rivals, especially on newer cars.

Our recommendations

Which used Toyota Camry saloon should I buy?

The 3.0-litre V6 engine is not as easy on fuel as the 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine, but we can forgive this when you consider its ample and relaxed power delivery. It's also whisper-quiet in normal driving and comes with an automatic gearbox as standard.

The 2.2 is ideal for those racking up more miles, thanks to its better economy, but the pay-off is that it's less refined than the V6. Overall, we prefer the larger engine, especially because you'll get all the kit you can dream of on V6 models, including electrically powered leather front seats, cruise and climate controls and alloy wheels. You may also find Sport models, which have firmer suspension. But, the Camry could never be considered a sporting option when the likes of the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series exist, so stick to the standard car.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Toyota Camry saloon?