What toyota is the most reliable?

What would you rate as the most reliable toyota? Perhaps the 92-96 camry? Or the 97-01 camry? Or would it be the 93-97 corolla? Or maybe the 98-02 corolla? Part of me even thinks that the 03-08 corolla is the most reliable toyota ever. What is your opinions?

I understand that the 98-02 corollas have an oil burning problem but I dont really count this as unreliable. As long as the owner keeps it filled with oil, these cars will run forever. How does it match up with these other toyotas I mentioned above?

The most reliable Toyota is the one that gets the proper maintenance over its life.


I don’t really care what one of those someone might think is the most reliable . They are all old so the current condition is all that matters .


One of our regulars here, @George_San_Jose1 , would certainly say an 82-84 carbed Corolla is the best.

But I would vote for the 94 Camry.

Certain Toyota’s engines did have “oil sludge” issues that spanned approximately 1998-2003. It was due to a head design change that caused the oil passages to not get cooled properly, leading to the premature sludge.

Toyota owners with those engines were sent notices to stop following the documented 7500 mile oil change interval and to drop to 5000 miles for those engines. That recommendation worked fine and no sludge occurred.

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The XV20 (1997-2001) has coil packs instead of a single coil. Maybe some XV10s did too, at least the 6 cylinder. A coil failure on an XV10 will stop the car. The XV10 is always going to be the older car so it’s going to have more problems. The XV10 radiators all develop a crack on top after about 20-25 years or 160k miles. The XV10 as a bit wider front bumper so it can handle small collisions a bit better. I was told that at one point if liquid spilled in the center console it would make the airbags blow up, but this was fixed. The XV20 daytime running lights will reduce bulb life. XV20 window regulators break frequently. The pin that holds the X together breaks. The XV10 uses a different design with wire rope and a spool, which can break too.

As far as maintenace, the XV20 has more failing rubber parts like the throttle body to air filter pipe, the plastic around the windshield, and the door panels kind of deform around the window control switches. XV20 steering wheel foam seems to deterioriate. XV10 has an oil cooler that can leak, but the XV20 got rid of it. XV20 has power seats on the power window circuit. If that circuit stops working the seats and windows get stuck.

Additionally, circa 2007-2009 (I don’t recall the exact model years), some of their 4 cylinder engines had piston rings that were badly designed and that led to premature oil burning.

One of my friend’s wife had a 2007 Camry. This was one of the oil burners and it didn’t help that she would let him know it was low on oil when the oil light came on. He would tell her not to do this and added like 4 quarts. Finally he just got to where he just added a quart of oil every couple days and kept up on the level.

Toyotas are good cars overall but sometimes even the best makes have a dud.

A quick look at the Consumer Reports auto issue covering '14 and newer cars, that car is a Prius, with the most better than average and the least below average. Don’t know why everyone here seems to think old Toyotas were better.

The late 1990s through 2000s Toyota sedans I’m familiar with are about as reliable as a car can get. I do not think there has been any meaningful improvement (nor decline) in either reliability or fuel efficiency in the 20 years since then. What has improved markedly, though, are the systems that protect the occupants in the event of a collision and the newer systems that help to avoid collisions or accidents in the first place. And creature comforts, obviously.

Emissions have improved, too, ironically at the cost of some fuel efficiency, but the big factor in the fuel efficiency stagnation since then is the increased weight of all the safety system and the larger size in general.

You might be surprised. According to fuelly, Camrys with the I4 mpgs have improved steadily over time, starting around 24 in 1992, increasing to 30 or better starting in 2018. My brother always gets better than 30 mpg in his 2020 I4 Camry (non hybrid), sometimes better than 35 mpg.

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How is that possible? The 5S-FE engine was used in the 1992 VX10 Camry all the way to the end of the XV20 in 2001. An engine redesign flaw couldn’t span across difference engines. The cylinder head opening was blocked off and a shorter camshaft was used when the distributor was removed in the XV20. I think the cylinder head is otherwise identical. Toyota 5S Engine | Turbo, upgrades, engine oil, etc.

Unfortunately only side impact crash preformance and non life threatening injury (such as foot and leg protection) has improved significantly.

Easy. Newest one. With warranty.


Quite possibly the most reliable and durable car on the market. Quite an achievement given its many novel technologies.

That wasn’t one of the vehicles affected.
The vehicles included:

• Camry 4 cylinder from 1997-2001,
• Camry 6 cylinder from 1997-2002,
• Camry Solara 4 cylinder from 1999-2001,
• Camry Solara 6 cylinder 1999-2002,
• Sienna 6 cylinder from 1998-2002,
• Avalon 6 cylinder from 1997-2002,
• Celica 4 cylinder from 1997-1999,
• Highlander 6 cylinder from 2001-2002,
• Lexus ES 300 from 1997-2002 and
• Lexus RX 300 from 1999-2002.
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The 1997-2001 XV20 Camry has the 5S-FE engine! After that they changed to one with VVT-i.

No experience w/any of those model years, but I expect they are all very competitive with other cars, reliability-wise. One way to estimate how reliable they are is how much demand there is for them as used cars. If higher priced than the competition used, pretty good chance they are reliable runner.

As far as which used car is the best choice now, suggest to query the forum search link, above right this page. By the reports we get here, the newfangled gadgets and gizmos seem to cause car owner’s the most grief: Tire pressure monitors, air bags, electric door & window controls, complex automatic transmissions, variable valve timing, etc. The basic engine parts, pistons, valves, and manual transmissions, all seem pretty robust.

lol … sorry, not gonna recommend a 40 year old car as reliable, even one as good as the Corolla. Personally I wouldn’t purchase any carb’d car of that era, the carbs are electric-controlled and very complicated. If OP wants an older car, early 90’s Corolla is the sweet spot, electronic fuel injections without the gadgets and gizmos.

By reports we get here, while the Corolla & Camry certainly to do well, but so do the Mazda 3, Civic, & Accord. I wouldn’t be concerned about any of those cars, esp in their manual transmission configuration.

Co-worker bought a 2007 Camry second hand and had the oil burning issue before 100,000 miles, Toyota put in the new design pistons and rings and she put at least 300,000 miles in total on the car before upgrading to a new Camry Hybrid. Really seems to depend on how you maintain even a Toyota.

Mom has a 2010 Prius that other’s have reported oil burning but her’s hasn’t burned a drop in 13yrs. Could be because she changes oil on a more conservative schedule than Toyota calls for but it’s the interval that the trusted mechanic suggested which is the same as her previous car that she had for 19yrs with only minor oil consumption if any.

Don’t forget the late 80s and early 90s Toyota pickups. The base model I bought new in 1993 is still going strong and burning zero oil after 310,000 miles. Things like alternator, starter, clutch, that I would have expected to wear out after 29 years are still working fine.

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Time to inject grease in the bearings of the alternator and AC compressor! No need to wait for it to fail!