Newer cars tend to have way more airbags. I think one car has 7 and the other one has 9. In addition to the front, there's the side, overhead and knee airbag for the driver. I think the older one doesn't have the knee airbag. In additional, stability control which also includes traction control was standard on cars built after 2012 but was available on models before that. There's also automatic braking and backup cameras make it easier/safer to drive.I know 20 years old sounds old, but 2002 doesn't sound old at all
A 2002 Camry has dual airbags, possibly even side airbags, and ABS
On the east coast, if it's rust-free, it's safe
They do say it's counter intuitive, but the kid should get the newer car because it has more safety features and they're more likely to get into accidents than older drivers. Still it's hard to hand the keys to an expensive car to a young driver with the chances that it may be destroyed.