From the humble beginnings in 1983 the Toyota Camry has blossomed into the best-selling passenger car ever to be produced. Amazingly there have been over 10 million Camry’s sold to date, and for good reason. They are simply great cars. The 5th generation Camry that ran between 2002-2006 is no exception. It is critical, however, to know which of those years are the best.
The Camry is a no-nonsense, 5-passenger sedan that goes about the business of transporting you in ease and comfort. No pulse-pounding excitement here. Reliability is the key. The Camry is one of the best choices for a used car that money can buy.
It is important to know that even though the look of the Camry changed very little between the years of 2002-2006, there were major mechanical upgrades during that time. The fifth-generation Camry was powered by the sedate but fuel conscious 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine or the 3.0 liter V6, until 2004 when it was replaced by the 3.3 liter. 2004 was also the year the more fuel efficient 5-speed automatic transmission became standard issue.
If I were given a choice of which year to choose from I would recommend the year 2005. That is when the Camry received freshened styling as well as standard antilock brakes. This year also brought better gauges, steering wheel audio controls and upgraded seat fabrics. The XLE V6 gained standard leather upholstery. Changes were minimal for 2006.
On the road, the Camry relaxes into a ride that is quiet and smooth. Power and fuel economy are excellent with either engine. The only major downside is the car’s handling, which isn’t as lively or engaging as that of other top family sedans, such as the Honda Accord or Nissan Altima.
Even though the Camry was built as a great car and it is on my Halo List, it can be made into a lemon by bad ownership. When buying a used Camry my 10 Easy Steps will walk you through the step by step process in knowing how to make sure the car has been well kept. The idea is to get the best car at the best price. In order to get the best car I will help you determine how to look at the following important criteria:
- No Accident
- Highway Miles
- Dealer Maintained
- Original Owner
- All Records
- Garage Kept
If the Camry you decide to buy has all these six criteria you will be rewarded with a dependable and loyal driving companion. Let me help you in this journey.
Greg Macke – Your Car Angel
This is another in a series of Used Car Reviews.
Greg Macke is a professional car buyer and consumer advocate. He has worked closely in the industry to improve the buyers experience. His internet tutorials offer help to the car buying public. Visit him at www.yourcarangel.com
Filed under: Used Car Reviews
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