Purchasing late model Camry

Joined
Feb 6, 2020
Messages
368
Location
Charlotte, NC
I very rarely purchase vehicles; I tend to keep them "forever". I hate buying a vehicle. I feel like I am getting ripped off every time. Anyhow.
My wife and I are going Monday to perhaps seal the deal. Maybe a 20 or 21 Toyota Camry. Base model, 2.5L.
A few random thoughts / questions, etc.
Consumer Reports lists all the used Camrys from 15 to 22. 20 shows low ratings in the Electrical and Body Hardware categories; everything else is green. 21 shows low ratings in the Brakes and Noise/Leaks categories; everything else is green. What gives? Was their actually issues for only one year in these random categories, or just somehow skewed by the way their information is gathered?
Does anyone on here own one of these vehicles? Any known issues?
 
CR is fine for buying a toaster or washing machine. CR is a pretty useless resource for selecting a car. Better to check out the long term road tests from the car magazines.

The only thing CR is good for is cutting it up into 4"x4" squares and putting it on the top of the toilet tank in case you run out of TP.
 
I have been poking around online. I am need of buying some additional vehicles. My issue is a 15 year old Camry is $10K a 3 year old Camry is $24K, and a brand new Camry is $30K. I don't know which is the best value - maybe none of them?
 
I have been poking around online. I am need of buying some additional vehicles. My issue is a 15 year old Camry is $10K a 3 year old Camry is $24K, and a brand new Camry is $30K. I don't know which is the best value - maybe none of them?

Buy new and trade it at the 3 year mark, costs you $2k/year to drive a brand new car under warranty. Cars quit depreciating a little over a decade ago.
 
You should be fine purchasing a late model Camry. They're a good (if somewhat boring) vehicle. Condition is "everything". Condition isn't actually "everything", but it matters.

And check out how to tell if the odometer has been turned back. Seems that's become a thing again.

New at MSRP might be better. That's what I'd do.
 
The only thing CR is good for is cutting it up into 4"x4" squares and putting it on the top of the toilet tank in case you run out of TP.
Have you actually subscribed to CR?

They're not perfect but they provide useful information based on a regular survey of a vast number of members. That's a reasonable enough strategy. What do you have?
 
Have you actually subscribed to CR?

They're not perfect but they provide useful information based on a regular survey of a vast number of members. That's a reasonable enough strategy. What do you have?

I have subscribed in the past, it's trash.
 
You should be fine purchasing a late model Camry. They're a good (if somewhat boring) vehicle. Condition is "everything". Condition isn't actually "everything", but it matters.

And check out how to tell if the odometer has been turned back. Seems that's become a thing again.

New at MSRP might be better. That's what I'd do.
I would likely buy new if it were for me - but the next two are for my kids, and I need 2 of them in succession ?
 
Buying used at this point is pretty much dumb ( few exceptions). I’ve seen beaters that normally go for 2-4K now at/ around 10k. Market is not going to get better, even if the economy tanks (which it will). Thanks to covid and EVs, there will be a shortage of these for years to come.

Buy new, or lease if the deals are good. Everything is going to be quite overpriced for a while…..
 
Prices for used cars are going down considerably for those manufactuers who are able to produce new models. The Wall Street Journal just recently published an article about it. But I've seen this at the auctions for at least a couple of months now.

My advice is to find a late model used car that is unpopular but reliable. Here's a short list.

Ford Fusion with the 2.5 Liter engine
Base-to-mid level VW Jetta/Passat with the 2.5 liter engine
Mitsubishi Outlander and Outlander Sport (perfect for non-enthusiasts)

Toyota products are enormously overpriced right now because they can't build enough cars. I buy a lot of Toyotas but unless you want to opt for older models. the above three listed will be your best buys.
 
Buy new and trade it at the 3 year mark, costs you $2k/year to drive a brand new car under warranty. Cars quit depreciating a little over a decade ago.
I should give that approach some thought—I liked the idea 20 years ago, but drove too much for it to be feasible. Kinda expensive though, at least for someone who’s not had a payment for a while.

Base-to-mid level VW Jetta/Passat with the 2.5 liter engine
Mitsubishi Outlander and Outlander Sport (perfect for non-enthusiasts)
Not particularly interested in Ford, but the VW 2.5 has always interested me… but Mitsubishi? How are the 10 year old ones? I currently am aiming for 10yr/250k ownership (unless if dishdude is correct)—I’m not sold on keeping our hybrid that long, I have my fears, but we’ll see.
 
A couple of things...

First off, the $2000 a year depreciation expense is completely bogus. Your taxes and other government fees are going to likely be at least $2000 if not more, and historically vehicles usually lose around 30% to 40% of their new car value over three years. The only reason why values in the used car market have remained strong since 2021 is the chip shortage, and that's already abating.

You also have a disposition fee when it comes to leasing along with the bogus dealer fees that come with purchasing a new car at a dealership. All these costs make new cars money losers once you do the math.

The 2.5 Liter is an excellent motor. No turbo. No high compression ratio. Plenty of torque for when you need it and as the co-developer of the Long-Term Quality Index, I have seen this engine along with the conventional VW automatic register high miles.

The Outlander and Outlander Sport also feature an engine that has been around for over a decade and if you service the CVT every 30k to 50k, you should be more than fine.

These powertrains along with the 2.5 Liter Mazda engineered Ford engine are the sweet spot if longevity and value are your goal.
 
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