Midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,000 – $10,800*


2002 Toyota Camry


2002 Toyota Camry interior


2002 Toyota Camry XLE


2002 Toyota Camry LE


2003 Toyota Camry SE

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Build quality
  • Interior storage space
  • Quietness
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Navigation-system controls

Camry’s redesign brought laudable new safety features and lifted comfort, convenience, and refinement to nearly Lexus levels. Although all these must-try midsizes still engage the head more than the heart, Toyota’s proven reliability is tough to beat. Slightly lower new-car sticker prices made Camrys an even stronger value than before, but high resale figures tend to keep used-car prices on the high side. Don’t buy a midsize car without considering Toyota’s all-around excellent family sedan.

Overview

Toyota redesigned one of America’s best-selling cars for 2002. The popular Camry got new styling, as well as a 2-inch longer wheelbase than its 1997-2001 predecessor. Slightly taller and longer overall, the front-drive midsize sedan was only a little heavier.

Base LE, uplevel XLE, and sporty new SE models were offered. Standard was a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, with 21 more horsepower than the 2.2-liter that it replaced. A V6 was available on all models. All V6 sedans and the four cylinder XLE had a standard automatic transmission and antilock braking; both of those items were optional on other Camrys.

New options included front torso side airbags, and curtain-style airbags; V6 models could combine those safety features with a newly available antiskid system. Also new was an optional navigation system, with dashboard touch screen.

Standard LE equipment included air conditioning, air filtration, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, a cassette/CD stereo, cloth upholstery, and 15-inch wheels. The SE sedan got a firmer suspension with 16-inch tires, fog lamps, rear spoiler, and special trim. Moving up to an XLE brought heated power mirrors, power front seats, automatic climate control, and a rear sunshade.

The ES 300 from Toyota’s luxury Lexus division shared the Camry’s basic new design. Rivals included the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Ford Taurus.

Yearly Updates

2003 Camry
Power-adjustable pedals were newly optional on sedans with an automatic transmission. Fog lamps became standard on the XLE model, while the LE gained standard remote keyless entry.
2004 Camry
In 2004, the 3.0-liter V6 available in the LE and XLE gains 18 hp, making it get 210-hp. Now available in the SE is a 3.3-liter 225-hp V6. Both mate to a new 5-speed automatic transmission this year.
2005 Camry
Antilock brakes are standard on all models of this popular midsize sedan for 2005, and 4-cyl versions get a new transmission. V6s come with a 5-speed automatic, which for ’05 replaces a 4-speed automatic as optional for 4-cyl models. All Camrys include ABS. It had been optional on Standard models and on the 4-cyl LE and SE, though the 4-cyl LE retains rear drum brakes, while other Camrys have 4-wheel discs. The ’05 Camrys get minor changes inside and out, including standard steering-wheel audio controls and a rear center headrest. SEs come with a specific new grille and a firmer suspension. Satellite radio joins an options list that also includes a navigation system and, for automatic-transmission models except the Standard, power-adjustable pedals. Leather upholstery is optional for SEs and 4-cyl XLEs, and newly standard for V6 XLEs.
2006 Camry
There were no changes for the 2006 Camry.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Toyota’s dual-overhead-cam 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produced 157 horsepower, while the 3.0-liter V6 generated 192 hp. Four-cylinder models could have either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission, but the V6 mated only with automatic. In 2004, The 3.0-liter V6 now produces 210-hp instead of 192-hp, and a 3.3-liter 225-hp V6 was also added. Both come with a new 5-speed automatic transmission in 2004. In 2005, V6s come with a 5-speed automatic, which also replaces a 4-speed automatic on 4-cyl models.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/144
Engine HP 157
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 162
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
24/33
23/32
23.3
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/183
Engine HP 192
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 209
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

20/27

20.4

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.3/202
Engine HP 225
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 222
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic

20/29

Road Test

A four-cylinder LE with automatic transmission accelerated to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds. That’s competitive with class rivals and adequate for most any chore, aided by a smooth, alert automatic transmission. The V6 is strong and responsive, reaching 60 mph in 8.3 seconds.

Fuel economy also is a benefit. A four-cylinder LE with automatic averaged 23.3 mpg. Models with V6/automatic averaged 20.4 to 21.1 mpg. All figures included a mix of city/freeway driving. Toyota recommends regular-grade gasoline for the four-cylinder and premium for the V6.

Ride quality is comfortably supple and absorbent in all models, with very low impact harshness. The standard suspension suffers minor unwanted “float” over dips and swells. The more firmly damped SE suspension provides better body control, with no comfort penalty.

Handling is safe, predictable, and pleasant. Body lean is apparent in tight, fast turns, but not excessive. An SE is more confident, with slightly less lean and better stability, but far from sport-sedan nimble. Quick, precise steering needs better road feel in all models. Brakes are strong and easily modulated, but a Camry with ABS is your best bet.

As for quietness, the Camry tops its class in refinement. Minor tire thrum is evident on coarse pavement, but the impressive four-cylinder engine is almost as smooth and quiet as the V6.

Instruments and controls are simple and intuitive, placed in a stylish dashboard that puts most everything up high and close. The optional navigation system is easier to use than some, but requires effort to learn. Its screen tilts for viewing, but must be powered fully open to access CD and tape slots. Workmanship and materials are fine.

Front occupants get adult-size space, with comfortable bucket seats and a good range of adjustments, especially in the XLE edition. The driver sits higher than in past Camrys, but current styling somewhat impedes rearward visibility.

These Camrys feel slightly roomier in back than their predecessors, with ample head and knee space outboard, and enough for a middle rider on short trips. Entry/exit is easy.

The 2002 redesign enlarged the Camry’s trunk by 2.7 cubic feet, for better volume than in many rival sedans, but the narrow aperture cannot swallow really bulky items. Interior storage is ample and handy, particularly in front.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2002 Toyota Camry SE V6 w/automatic transmission

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 10
100%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 5
50%

Other

Value - 9
90%

Total: 69

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
107.1 189.2 70.7 58.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.7 18.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.2 38.3 41.6 37.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2002 Camry 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine noise
Description: Belt squeal and rattle on cold engine due to faulty tensioner on 2AZ-FE engine requires updated tensioner. (2002-04)
Engine stalling
Description: The check-engine light may come on when the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees F) accompanied by poor engine performance. This requires replacement of the throttle body, gasket, and intake surge tank. (2002)
Fuel pump
Description: If the gas cap gets stuck, it can be replaced with an improved cap. (2002)
Poor transmission shift
Description: Early production vehicles with automatic transmissions may shift poorly. The revised engine-control module designed for 2003 models can be installed in older vehicles. (2002)
Valve cover leaks
Description: If service personnel using bulk oil-fill equipment are not careful, the oil-fill nozzle may bend or break the oil baffle inside the valve cover. (2002-03)

Recall History

2002 Camry w/3-spoke steering wheel
Description: During airbag deployment, it is possible that the bottom portion of the airbag cover may strike the driver causing personal injury. Dealers will replace the driver’s-side airbag module.
2002-04 Camry w/curtain shield airbags
Description: One or both of the curtain airbags may be twisted near the inflator and may not deploy rapidly enough.
2004-05 Camry w/front passenger power seat
Description: When installing certain rear-facing infant seat bases onto seat with excessively high belt tension, buckle status switch could become unseated and system might not suppress deployment of the front airbag.
2004-06 Camry
Description: Some air bag inflators were produced with an insufficient amount of the heating agents. In this condition, the expansion force of the gas may be insufficient to properly inflate the air bag, increasing the risk of injury in a crash. Dealers will replace the specific SRS air bag.
2004-2005 Camry with 1MZ-FE or 3MZ-FE engine
Description: Inadequate adhesive between outer and inner ring in the crankshaft pulley could lead misalignment, causing noise, illumination of the battery discharge indicator light, and/or loss of power steering.
2006 Camry
Description: Tire information sticker gives incorrect spare tire size. Correct information and instructions are distributed.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.