In today's extremely high-priced new and used car markets, many buyers have been forced to consider "older" vehicles as a means to a better budget fit. This has made reliability and dependability an even more important issue than ever.
But the good news on the 2011 Camry is that it has proven to be a well-made and durable sedan. Surely, as a Toyota, that's no surprise. One properly maintained is expected to last 250,000 miles or more, and according to J.D. Power, has dependable engines and no serious mechanical problems.
So here, we'll review its features as released in 2011, it's pros and cons, its reliability, and specific less-common mechanical issues which should be checked before buying one.
But first, and very importantly ...
Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Vehicle
Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.
Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's usually best to move on.
Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $150-$200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.
Also, Always Know The Value Of Your Trade-In!
Whether you are trading or selling on your own, it's just a good idea ... even whether you are in the market or not at the moment. You can then use this important information for a number of purposes ... to negotiate with a dealer, or to know how to price your car in the retail market, or simply to know the value of one of your assets, which is always a good idea.
Getting trade-in values online tend to vary a lot from site to site. But I've found the one at Edmunds Trade-In Quotes is particularly comprehensive and accurate. It's free, it's quick and there's no contact by any third parties. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN#. They really focus in on the specific vehicle.
The 2011 Toyota Camry
The 2011 Camry was once again simply one of the best family sedans available. Sure, it's not known for its sporty and engaging driving experience, but its comfortable and plush drive is renowned, while its roomy cabin, excellent safety ratings and strong yet fuel efficient V6 have helped the Camry impress for years. And the 2011 is no different.
The Camry's available 268-horsepower and super-smooth V6 engine was considered by most to be the best in the family sedan market at the time, while the smaller 2.5-liter inline-4 still provides respectable power. Toss in its high level of comfort and long list of available features (including luxury) and the Camry satisfies whether used for daily commuting or long family road trips.
While the 2011 Camry is clearly a top choice, the midsize sedan segment is particularly crowded and competitive. Top rivals worthy of consideration include, in no particular order, the Hyundai Sonata, the Ford Fusion, the Honda Accord, the Chevy Malibu, the Nissan Altima and the Mazda6.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
This Camry is available in four trims: base, LE, SE and XLE. While the base Camry comes with the four-cylinder engine only, all other models are offered with either the four-cylinder or V6
Even the base Camry is quite well-equipped with standard features which include full power accessories, cruise control, auto up/down windows, 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a 6-speaker CD stereo system with an auxiliary input jack. The Camry LE has all of the previous features plus an 8-way power driver seat and keyless entry.
Car Buying Tips:
Easily Negotiating The Lowest Price
Do This For The Best Trade-In Price
The Truth About Wholesale And Trade-in Values
How To Get The Lowest Rate Car Loan
Standard features on the Camry SE include 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, and special exterior and interior styling accents.
The top-of-the-line Camry XLE returns to the LE's softer suspension and 16-inch wheels while upgrading with leather upholstery (on the V6 model), a power passenger seat, a moonroof, automatic dual-zone climate control, reclining rear seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, wood-tone accents and a premium JBL-branded audio system with satellite radio, an in-dash CD changer and Bluetooth phone and music connectivity.
Most of the XLE's upgraded features are available on the other models as options. Additional major options, depending on trim level, include navigation, heated front seats and keyless entry and ignition.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
The standard engine powering the base, LE and XLE models is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 169-horsepower. The SE comes with an adjusted version of the same engine that generates 179-horsepower. A 6-speed manual transmission comes standard on all four-cylinder Camrys except for the XLE, which only comes with a 6-speed automatic. The automatic is optional for the other models, while all Camrys are front-wheel drive.
Available on all models except the base Camry is an optional 3.5-liter V6 that's good for a robust 268-horsepower and 248-lb-ft of torque, and comes only with the 6-speed automatic transmission. A Camry so outfitted goes from a standstill to 60 mph in a very quick 6.5 seconds.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for a manual Camry with the 2.5-liter engine is a solid 22 mpg city and 33 mpg on the highway. An automatic version dips only slightly to 32 mpg highway. The gas mileage for the V6 is 19 city and 28 highway, impressive numbers for a car with this kind of acceleration.
Standard safety features for all Camry models include stability control, antilock brakes (ABS) with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.
The 2011 Camry aced all government crash tests by earning perfect five-star-ratings across the board in all frontal and side impact protection categories.
The 2011 Camry's cabin is attractive, comfortable and user-friendly. There's also an abundance of storage compartments and the blue backlighting for the climate and audio controls adds an upscale ambiance. The SE boasts sportier interior styling accents, while the XLE creates a more luxurious look and feel with very good imitation wood accents and reclining rear seats - a feature not usually found in this segment. The trunk capacity for all Camrys is a useful 15 cubic feet.
While the seating is both comfortable and supportive, front and rear, there has been a noticeable dip in build and materials quality from previous-generations. The panels look a bit cheap and some of the plastics are lower quality. While the Camry's interior certainly isn't a liability, it no longer is above average for this class.
The Camry's ride has earned worldwide acceptance by favoring driving comfort over dynamic performance. While the SE tries to add some "fun-factor", its suspension is actually only slightly firmer. The Camry succeeds well in providing a ride that's smooth, comfortable and quiet.
That said, the V6 Camry is one of the fastest straight-line sedans in its price range and still produces impressive fuel economy numbers. While the four-cylinder is naturally less spirited, this is an excellent engine that produces solid performance and fuel economy for a midsize sedan.
2011 Toyota Camry Pros
Reliability: Toyota Camrys are renowned for their reliability and durability. The 2011 model is no exception. It often ranks high in reliability ratings and is known for requiring minimal maintenance.
Comfortable Ride: It offers a smooth and comfortable ride, making it suitable for daily commuting or long trips. The seats are generally comfortable and supportive.
Fuel Efficiency: The Camry typically offers good fuel economy, especially with its four-cylinder engine option.
Spacious Interior: It has a roomy interior, providing ample space for both passengers and cargo. The rear seats are particularly accommodating for adults.
Resale Value: Toyota's reputation for reliability tends to translate into good resale value, so you might get a decent price if you decide to sell it later.
2011 Toyota Camry Cons
Bland Styling: Some people find the design of the 2011 Camry to be rather conservative or dull compared to its competitors. It might not stand out in terms of looks.
Handling and Performance: While it's a comfortable ride, the Camry may not offer the same level of sportiness or engaging driving experience as some other midsize sedans.
Interior Quality: Compared to rivals, the interior materials might feel a bit less luxurious or upscale, especially in lower trim levels.
Outdated Tech: The technology might be outdated compared to newer vehicles. Features like infotainment systems, safety tech, and connectivity options may not be as advanced.
2011 Toyota Camry Reliability
This Camry has several positive reliability qualities that contribute to its reputation as a dependable vehicle:
Engine Performance: The Camry's engines, particularly the four-cylinder option, have a history of reliability. Properly maintained, they tend to perform consistently well over the long term, requiring minimal repairs.
Transmission: While there were occasional reports of transmission issues, overall, the Camry's transmission has been regarded as reliable, especially when regular maintenance schedules have been followed.
Minimal Major Mechanical Problems: Compared to many other vehicles, the Camry has a relatively low incidence of major mechanical failures, such as engine or transmission malfunctions, if properly maintained.
Low Maintenance Requirements: Routine maintenance, such as oil changes, brake pad replacements, and fluid checks, is typically all that's required for the Camry. Its parts and systems tend to hold up well over time.
Longevity: Many owners report driving their Camrys for hundreds of thousands of miles without major issues, showcasing the vehicle's ability to withstand wear and tear over an extended period.
Overall Build Quality: Toyota is known for its rigorous quality control measures, contributing to the reliability of its vehicles.
Remember, individual experiences can vary based on factors like maintenance history, driving habits, and geographic location. Regular maintenance and timely repairs play a significant role in any car's reliability and longevity.
2011 Toyota Camry Mechanical Problem Watchlist
While this Camry generally has a very good reputation for reliability, there have been some instances of less common issues and complaints from some owners that should be checked before purchase:
Transmission Issues: While uncommon, some owners reported problems with the automatic transmission, including rough shifting or hesitation, particularly in earlier models of the 2011 Camry. Toyota addressed some of these issues through software updates or, in some cases, transmission replacements.
Power Steering Hose: There was a recall related to a power steering hose that could degrade over time and develop a leak, potentially causing a loss of power steering assist.
Braking System: A few owners mentioned concerns about premature brake wear, including the brake pads and rotors needing replacement earlier than expected.
Suspension Components: Some drivers experienced issues with suspension components, such as struts or control arms, leading to noises or premature wear.
Oil Consumption: A small number of owners reported higher than usual oil consumption between oil changes.
Lastly, Suggestions For Getting The Lowest Camry Price
First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.
Here's another method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.
And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" Camry if the price was crazy good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Car. This works just phenomenally well.