Best & Worst Toyota Camry Years [Models: 1990-2024]

Here are the best & worst years of every Toyota Camry from 1990 to the present.

Despite being an iconic car, not all years of the Toyota Camry are equal.

The Toyota Camry’s best, neutral, and worst times are analyzed using expert analysis and real user data.

For a comprehensive understanding of the Camry lineage, we will discuss each generation’s unique strengths and weaknesses, revealing the issues faced and the progress made.

The Toyota Camry was first introduced in 1982 and has grown into one of the most popular passenger cars in the world.

As a reliable midsize sedan with impressive safety features, the Camry has been a popular choice for families and individuals alike.

Let’s start by looking at the different generations of the Toyota Camry.

Toyota Camry (Wide Body) Generations

Toyota Camry’s wide-body version, which was introduced in 1992, broadened and strengthened its appeal. It set a new standard for midsize sedans in its class in terms of design and build.

The table below summarizes the six generations of the wide-body Camry:

1st generation (XV10)1992-1996
2nd generation (XV20)1997-2001
3rd generation (XV30)2002-2006
4th generation (XV40)2007-2011
5th generation (XV50)2012-2017
6th generation (XV70)2018-Present

These generations have been categorized to provide a clearer picture of the Camry’s evolution. Potential buyers often consider the changes between generations, in terms of technology, safety, and build quality.

Toyota Camry Best, Neutral and Worst Years

Various factors were taken into account when determining the best and worst years, including but not limited to:

  • Surveys of owner-reported reliability
  • The annual cost of maintenance
  • The safety rating system
  • Scores of reliability from Consumer Reports
  • Scores of owner satisfaction from Consumer Reports
  • Investigations, recalls, and complaints by the NHTSA
  • Ratings from Edmund’s owners
  • Ratings of JD Power owners
  • Owner ratings in Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB)
  • Ratings of owners
  • Ratings from owners

For each model year, here is a graph combining ratings from the sources mentioned above.

The table below shows the Best, Neutral, and Worst years for each generation of Camry:

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation19951993199419961992
2nd generation19982000199719992001
3rd generation20042005200620022003
4th generation20102011N/A200720082009
5th generation201420172013201220152016
6th generation202220182019202020232021

A neutral year is one in which neither exceptional performance nor poor performance was observed across all the categories evaluated. Most of these models were not affected by significant recalls or complaints, exhibiting balanced performance.

A car’s reliability score is negatively affected by factors like NHTSA recalls and complaints. The more recalls and complaints a car receives, the lower its reliability score and consequently its reliability rating.

To better understand each generation and its respective years, let’s dig deeper into the data of Best & Worst Toyota Camry Years.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Camry 1st Generation (1992-1996)

Best & Worst Toyota Camry Years

Toyota’s first-generation Camry marked a shift in the midsize sedan market, positioning it as the second “world car” for the company after the Corolla.

The Best Years: 1995, 1996

Among the highlights of the first generation were the 1995 and 1996 models. Known for their durability and reliability, they had a sturdy engine. Their advanced transmission system and electronic fuel injection systems were among the cutting-edge technologies of their time.

Anti-lock brakes and twin front airbags were also included as safety features. The 1995 and 1996 models were favored by consumers because of their combination of dependability, technology, and security.

The Neutral Years: 1993, 1994

While the 1993 and 1994 models weren’t necessarily exceptional in any particular area, the technology, safety, and design gradually improved and maintained a consistently high level of performance.

During these model years, Camry continued to offer reliability and comfort, earning its neutral status.

The Worst Years: 1992

The 1992 Camry was plagued by numerous structural problems despite being the first-generation model. The issues affected overall reliability and performance, resulting in numerous complaints from customers.

Among the worst model years, this model year had troublesome transmissions and reports of engine failures.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Camry 2nd Generation (1997-2001)

Best & Worst Toyota Camry Years

A reputation for high performance and reliability was earned by Toyota Camry in its second generation (1997-2001).

During this time, except for 2001, Camrys were the best-selling passenger cars in the United States.

The Best Years: 1998, 2000

In terms of this generation, 1998 and 2000 stand out as the best years. They provided a seamless driving experience, featuring an enhanced interior, an improved powertrain, and a higher fuel economy.

In order to improve passenger safety, Toyota added optional side airbags during this period.

For example, the 2000 model offered a 3.0-liter V6 engine with excellent fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

The Neutral Years: 1997, 1999

There was no major breakthrough in the 1997 and 1999 models of the Camry, but they were dependable and efficient.

The 1997 Camry was the introductory model of the second generation, offering solid performance, improved fuel efficiency, and enhanced safety features. With incremental improvements in technology and design, the 1999 model maintained a steady performance.

These were the neutral years of the Camry brand, offering reliability and comfort while introducing no significant changes that differentiated them from each other.

The Worst Years: 2001

The 2001 Camry faced some challenges despite its significant successes. In addition to engine and transmission issues, the model was plagued by numerous other problems.

The NHTSA received numerous complaints about oil leaks, premature engine failures, and transmission hesitations. Combined with these challenges, the second-generation Toyota Camry’s reliability scores and consumer satisfaction dipped, making this the worst year for the model.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Camry 3rd Generation (2002-2006)

Best & Worst Toyota Camry Years

With the third-generation Camry (2002-2006), Toyota refocused on performance and design. The year ended up with a mix of successes, challenges, and failures, resulting in a mix of best, neutral, and worst performances.

The Best Years: 2004, 2005

As far as the third generation is concerned, the 2004 and 2005 models are the best. Performance, safety, and comfort improved significantly during these years.

Safety has been improved greatly by the addition of side-curtain airbags and Vehicle Stability Control systems.

A powerful and safe driving experience was enhanced with the SE trim level’s upgraded 3.3L V6 engine.

The Neutral Years: 2006

Camry’s 2006 model year is considered neutral. However, it failed to match the popularity of the 2004 and 2005 models despite showcasing advancements in safety technology, such as an Advanced Airbag System.

Despite its reliability and performance reputation, the 2006 Camry drew few complaints.

The Worst Years: 2002, 2003

The 2002 and 2003 models, despite being the most successful of the third generation, encountered numerous problems. There were a total of 1037 NHTSA complaints regarding the 2002 model, primarily about the speed control, service brakes, hydraulics, and engine.

Oil leaks, brake failure, and unintended acceleration have all been reported by owners. The same issues continued to plague the 2003 model year. There were several recalls and a drop in reliability scores due to brake and engine problems reported by consumers.

In 2002 and 2003, these significant challenges overshadowed the third-generation Toyota Camry’s otherwise reliable performance.

The NHTSA recalled the Toyota Camry in 2002 and 2003.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Camry 4th Generation (2007-2011)

Best & Worst Toyota Camry Years

From 2007 to 2011, Camry’s fourth generation was characterized by more powerful engines and enhanced safety features.

The Best Years: 2010, 2011

Among the fourth generation models, 2010 and 2011 stood out as the best. Performance and fuel economy were significantly improved by Toyota during these years.

An anti-lock brake system, stability control, and traction control are just a few of the safety features that made the ride safer.

Its high owner satisfaction ratings were attributed to its high resale value, excellent gas mileage, and powerful, available V6 engine.

The Worst Years: 2007, 2008, 2009

Even though this generation has made significant progress, the initial years – 2007, 2008, and 2009 – have been difficult.

There were 3572 NHTSA complaints and 11 recalls for the 2007 model, mainly related to the engine, vehicle speed control, service brakes, structural issues, and visibility issues. Drivers faced severe visibility problems due to a widespread dashboard defect.

Over oil consumption during these years led to premature engine wear and failures. Speed control issues caused the vehicle to accelerate unintendedly, posing serious safety risks.

In the fourth-generation Toyota Camry, these problems contributed to poor reliability scores.

NHTSA recalls for the Toyota Camry in 2007 and 2008.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Camry 5th Generation (2012-2017)

Best & Worst Toyota Camry Years

Camry sales in Japan were revived with the fifth-generation Camry (2012-2017), primarily due to Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system. Camry’s home market was transformed by this event.

The Best Years: 2014, 2017

This generation’s best models were released in 2014 and 2017. There was considerable praise for the engine, technology, and safety features of the 2017 model year, especially.

Their high owner satisfaction ratings were due to their improved fuel efficiency and overall ride comfort.

The Neutral Years: 2013

A neutral year for this generation is the 2013 model year. Despite its lack of heights, the 2016 model did not suffer from significant shortcomings.

With gradual improvements in interior quality, ride comfort, and safety features, the 2013 Camry carried on the tradition of providing a comfortable, reliable midsize sedan.

The Worst Years: 2012, 2015, 2016

As the worst years of the fifth generation, 2012, 2015, and 2016 suffered from numerous issues.

There were many complaints about the vehicle’s brakes and powertrain during the 2012 model year.

A reduced reliability score was attributed to brake failures under normal conditions, as well as excessive oil consumption.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Camry 6th Generation (2018-2023)

Best & Worst Toyota Camry Years

Embracing advanced technology, improved safety, and superior performance, the Toyota Camry (6th generation, 2018-present) exemplifies the evolution of the automobile industry. Even so, it has seen its highs and lows, like any product.

The Best Years: 2022

A number of key improvements differentiate the 2022 Camry from its predecessors, making it the most successful model year so far in this generation.

It represents the best of what the sixth-generation Camry has to offer in terms of performance and reliability.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) is included in the 2022 model as an enhanced safety feature to ensure passenger safety. Additionally, the engine performance of the 2022 model is more robust and efficient.

The Neutral Years: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2023

As part of the sixth generation Camry, the 2018 model year, 2019, 2020 model year, and 2023 model year are the neutral years.

Neither of them introduced groundbreaking improvements nor had significant drawbacks, so they are considered neutral years.

The Worst Years: 2021

Camry’s 2021 model year faced significant challenges, in contrast. According to consumer reports, this generation had the lowest ratings for reliability and owner satisfaction.

Fuel system, airbag, and brake problems were reported by owners. A malfunctioning seat occupant sensor and warning lights were observed in the airbag system.

Last but not least, some 2021 Camry owners have reported problems with the braking system, including the unexpected activation of the stability control and brake assist systems.

Read: Best & Worst Honda CR-V Years

Read: Best & Worst Toyota RAV4 Years

Read: Best & Worst Honda Civic Years


Which year of Camry is most reliable?

2009-2011 Toyota Camry – Every used Toyota Camry from 2009-2011 earned a 4/5 or 5/5 reliability rating. As these vehicles are over a decade old, they are priced well.

What years did Toyota Camry have problems?

Several recurring issues were also reported for the 2004 to 2010 model years, such as oil leaks, sludge buildup, early transmission failures, brake problems, excessive oil consumption, and other electrical issues. When buying a car between 2004 and 2010, double-check the details.

How Long Can I Expect My Camry to Last?

 It is possible for a well-maintained Toyota Camry to reach 200,000 miles easily. If you buy an off-lease car, you can still expect it to last for 20 years if you drive 10,000 miles a year. In addition, there have been instances where Camrys have reached 300,000 miles.


When buying a Toyota Camry, you can now make an informed decision. Make sure you don’t buy a Toyota Camry from the worst years!

As an owner or enthusiast of cars, what has stood out to you about the Camry’s evolution?

Tell us about your personal experience with the Camry if you have any. Let us know in the comments.

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