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96 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1)- Understand the differences between the model years, options/trims etc.

LE: Basic model
SE: Sport Edition > be aware the suspension is going to be tighter than the LE's. I found more SE cars with options (Keyless go, Entune and Mood roof) than the LE
XSE: Once again the suspension seems lot stiffer than the XLE. Doesn't come with leather (at least I didn't see any in my 3 weeks of intense national search)
XLE: Fully loaded and is usually owned by mature individuals so cars are kept in much better overall condition.


Keyless go (convenience package where you never have to take out the keys from you pocket, a must have option)
Upgraded music system
Back-up Camera (standard)
Heated seats
Leather seats ( did not like the quality in our 2016 XLE but love in our recently bought 2013 though)
Navigation ( Though obsolete but does give you a much bigger screen making the interior looks so much better)
Moonroof. even if you don't use one, the glass does let quite a bit of light in making the Interior once again lot nicer

2)- Compare the cars at different websites ( Autotrader,, Cargurus, CarMax and Autonation) and get a general idea as to what people are asking for. Anything considerably below the market means something fishy going on.

3)- Dealers could ask top dollars for even the basic model with absolute no options, so buyer be aware.

4)- Review the CarFax for where the car has spent most of it's life not to mention, any accidents and for service history

5)- Locate the car in a more desirable geographical area where the car has not had rough time even though it might cost you a bit more. Avoid Northern States cars especially cars from rust belts (Cleveland/NY/NJ/PA/MA) etc that not only have rust but the conditions are hard on the mechanicals too (suspension/brakes/shocks) as well as cosmetics like door dings/bumper scuffs

6)- When comparing prices, don't always negate the dealers higher asking prices as they do refresh the cars with appropriate services like touching up the dings/brakes/tires/alignment/keys etc. So factor all that in, in your purchase price if buying from Private party vs Indy vs Toyota dealer

7)- Make sure it comes with all books/manuals and keys especially the 2 Key FOB's

8)- Always ask for final out the door prices and have them send that to you for your sit down review to look at all the add on's. Once again during my search, I realized Floridah dealers had somewhat lowered asking prices to get the people in but then they shove your xxx with so many added costs that the final price is way above the market. I think all FL dealers charge $999 for documentation, $$$ for other documentation, SSS for title/tags and $$$ for Certification making a car jump from $13,600 advertised price to $17,999 in a blink of an eye ( just went through this)

9)- Don't/never ever , trust the selling dealer as they will screw you in a NY minute, no matter how good they sound or how big their dealership is. Remember they are in the business of money and to them, giving you $50 is like you giving them $500 (relative scale)

10)- The new tires that most dealers install especially the Independent, are usually the cheapest one available

I did end up buying from a Missouri (Dry State) Toyota dealer (high reviews -Yeah I know), a CPO 2013 Camry XLE (warranty), one owner with 56,000 miles in excellent shape with paint meter verified (4.5-5.5-all panels) for $14,100 + Tax. I only paid $149 documentation fee.

Please feel free to share your tips in buying a used car to help other members I will keep adding to the list as I remember more.

Hope this helps

2018 Yaris LE hatch, 2020 Yaris LE hatch
81 Posts
With Camrys, higher miles are nothing, and cheaper to buy. I got my '15 XSE with 76K miles, last year, for same price as SE/LE with 40-50k. It had service history and was lease turn in.

Now, I have 101k, since I have 35 mi drive to work, and do not care about the higher than avg. miles. It's not a collector car, and plan to keep long time. Also, not a lesser brand that falls apart over 110k miles.
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