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What is the most reliable generation of Camry?

  • Camry Generation 1

    Votes: 3 4.5%
  • Camry Generation 2

    Votes: 15 22.4%
  • Camry Generation 3

    Votes: 28 41.8%
  • Camry Generation 4

    Votes: 12 17.9%
  • Camry Generation 5

    Votes: 6 9.0%
  • Camry Generation 6 (projected)

    Votes: 3 4.5%
  • Camry Hybrid (projected)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

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Toyota Collector
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12,024 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm curious what everyone thinks is the most reliable generation of Camry? I've included Gen6 as an option even though obviously the vehicle is far too new to have any long term experiences.

edit: by request here is the Camry generations list: (also posted by RningOnFumes)
  • 1983-1986: Generation 1
  • 1987-1991: Generation 2
  • 1992-1996: Generation 3
  • 1997-2001: Generation 4
  • 2002-2006: Generation 5
  • 2007- ? Generation 6 (current)
 

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Still confused...
95 camry coupe v6
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2,304 Posts
i voted 3rd generation but that's because i'm biased.

however, the 3rd gen has been on the roads long enough for people to see their reliability. also, they can already be aquired for a rather cheap price. gen 1's and 2's are getting old and some are starting to show age, especially with rust. having air bags as practically standard, the 3rd gen was one of the safest camrys and also one of the most reliable ever. after all, the 5sfe engine is a strong piece of machinery and the 1mz was pretty much the trademark engine for toyota so yeah.... they're pretty much the most reliable generation i feel.
 

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Infrequent Tourist
1989 Toyota Camry
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20 Posts
Why Gen2 is most reliable Camry

Specifically, the Gen 2 Base model has all the advantages for reliability:

1. Very few power accessories to break
2. No fancy projector beam headlights or adaptive cruise control . . . no cruise control at all
3. Light weight, tall gearing, high-profile tires, soft suspension all conspire to minimize stress on the chassis. Add some overly soft bushings and you have a car that soaks it all up and feels nothing. It is the "Comfortably Numb" driving experience.
4. Significant proportion of US Gen 2s were built in Japan (my 89 base for example), those Japanese guys wrote the book on build quality!
5. Gen 1 to Gen 2 was about improvements, not radical change . . . resulted in a well proven but improved design


The Gen 2 was basically a taxi cab in design, feel and appearance. The base models include only the most robust parts and very few features or options. With fewer things to go wrong and all of it working at a lazy pace, the car just runs and runs.

The new Camry Hybrid may achieve the same gas mileage, but with so many high-tech gadgets and complex integrated multiple computer networked bluetooth-enabled bells and whistles it has little chance of meeting the precedent for reliability set by the Gen 2 base model Camrys. Complexity=problems

I did not pick the Gen 1 Camry for a few reasons:

The engine does not produce enough power and must work hard
Front wheel drive was new when the Gen 1 was designed. It was a big change that replaced existing RWD cars
It has a carburetor which tends to require more maintenance than EFI
 

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Toyota Collector
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12,024 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[...snip...]

Good post, and I happen to agree. My '87 is a bit rough around the edges, but damn the thing is reliable. Literally zero unscheduled repairs with 250,000 miles so far. My cost of ownership is so low I almost feel guilty!

I did just purchase a 2001 though... :eek::
 

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VeeZed
1988 Toyota Camry V6
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2,298 Posts
Gen 2 for sure. There so many of them running around still...testiment to there build quality.
 

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Registered
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1,094 Posts
Nice89 said:
It has a carburetor which tends to require more maintenance than EFI
Every gen1 sold in the U.S. came with EFI - The engine was 2S-E.

I tend to agree with the gen2.... I had one for many years, never could kill it. A friend of mine still drives one.
 

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1986 toyota camry
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119 Posts
Nice89 said:
I did not pick the Gen 1 Camry for a few reasons:

The engine does not produce enough power and must work hard
Front wheel drive was new when the Gen 1 was designed. It was a big change that replaced existing RWD cars
It has a carburetor which tends to require more maintenance than EFI
My Gen 1 has overdrive, has fuel injection, runs well, and is mine, enough said :cool:
 

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Toyota Camry Vienta CSi
Toyota Camry Vienta
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188 Posts
Peronally I think both the Gen2 and Gen3 are about the same reliability wise... its hard to split them and say which is MORE reliable when we all know that both of these Gen's just keep on cranking well passed the age of the other cars of their time. And even the more recent Gens are more than likely just as reliable, but they are still youngens in comparison to these older models.
 

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2002 Camry
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2,231 Posts
Regarding the poll, i hate to sound dumb but can you please say what year each generation encompasses? i get em mixed up much of the time.
 

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2010 Camry SE V6
2021 Toyota Camry TRD
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3,261 Posts
i voted gen 5. this car has only been in the shop once and it has about 25,000 miles, yes still a youngin compared to you people with 250,xxx miles. But this 2AZ-FE engine seems very promising, I free rev it to red line and Flore it on a daily basis, many time it hits red line about 5 or 6 times a day. She is still pering like a kitten. I like the fact it has a timing chain and an all aluminum block.
 

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Registered
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88 Posts
Supposedly all cars, including Toyota's, keep getting more reliable. If the Gen 2 is most reliable, and I have no data either way, then that would mean Toyota has failed to improve for two decades.

In the future, I intend to be able to answer this question with some actual data, at least for the more recent generations. I don't foresee going back more than ten years.

Vehicle reliability research
 

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Infrequent Tourist
1989 Toyota Camry
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20 Posts
mkaresh said:
Supposedly all cars, including Toyota's, keep getting more reliable. If the Gen 2 is most reliable, and I have no data either way, then that would mean Toyota has failed to improve for two decades.

In the future, I intend to be able to answer this question with some actual data, at least for the more recent generations. I don't foresee going back more than ten years.

Vehicle reliability research
I think that this general statement applies best to American cars. Twenty years ago, American cars were mostly problem prone lemons compared to Toyotas. Now, American cars are not as good as Toyotas, but the difference is smaller.

European cars have unfortunately declined in reliability over the years. For example, Mercedes are amongst the least reliable cars produced today. They were much better in the 80s.

Toyota has not failed. Toyota has stayed at the top of all quality comparisons for years. When you are the best, it is hard to do any more than stay the best. Toyota is the brand you buy when reliability is your goal. Toyota is about to pass GM as the largest automobile producer on earth. That is about as far from failure as you can get.
 

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I don't think Toyota has failed. I just also believe that the reliability of its cars has improved, just not as quickly as others because, as you note, the others had more room for improvement.
 

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Insanity makes more sense
1990 camry
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210 Posts
2nd gen is definately the most reliable. I have had roommates with 3rd and 4th gen camrys, they are also extremely reliable cars... but... they always seemed to have more problems with theirs due to electrical malfuntions...

I think that the 2nd gen is most reliable because its low cost of keeping it running... mine still runs... even after I fookin wrecked it last week... and before that, I have been autocrossing it as well. The car can take a lot of abuse, and still won't quit.
 

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reliability

Toss up between gen2 and gen3. I have gen 2 89 wagon 158,000 runs every day looks like the rust bucket from heck. I have a gen 3 92 wagon with 285,000 very little maintance other than 2 timing belts and tension adjuster. Looking at another gen 3 also, looking into a gen 4 love my toyotas I work for a newspaper between 3 different offices kids in school a 100 miles away live in Maine they go everywhere in snow (with snow tires) and when they do break down generally nothing major and easy for my husband to fix LOL. He was an Dodge man until my first gen2 went me 3 years till my next door neighbor backed into took the whole front end out.
 

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The best Toyotas were build around late 70s, early 80s.
 
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