ebeaudoin's 2001 Toyota Camry LE Introduction

ebeaudoinebeaudoin Member Posts: 509
edited July 2015 in Toyota
My daily driver is a 2001 Toyota Camry LE 4cyl automatic. Over the course of my long-term blog on this vehicle, I hope to shed some light on what it's like driving a 15-year old vehicle everyday. I will share the joys of ownership, the maintenance and repair costs as well as day-to-day experiences.

My in laws bought this car as a retired demonstrator back in 2001. My mother-in-law drove it everyday until 2008 when she bought a 2008 Highlander and my wife bought it from her parents. I've been driving this car since 2010 when my wife and I started dating, and it's been my daily driver since April 2014.

Right now the odometer reads 127,380 miles. Back in 2010 when I started driving it, it had 76,000 miles. It's given me 50,000 relatively trouble-free miles and I plan to drive it into the ground.

Look for more detailed posts and updates to come!


  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin Member Posts: 509
    edited July 2015
    Features Overview

    This Camry is the LE trim with a 2.2L 4cyl engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission. The exterior is finished in Graphite Gray Pearl and pairs with a gray cloth interior. This particular Camry LE features the Camry Convenience Package (auto-dimming mirror, rear spoiler and 15" alloy wheels); 4-wheel ABS (includes Daytime Running Lights and Automatic Headlights) and a Power Moonroof. The Camry originally priced out around $23,000.
  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin Member Posts: 509
    edited July 2015
    Fuel Economy

    I have been using Fuelly to track my fuel economy since October 2013. In that time I have tracked 14,236 miles in 56 fuel-ups. I reset the trip computer each time I fill up and divide miles driven by gallons added.

    My lifetime average is 24.7 MPG. My best tank recorded was 36.3 MPG logged over 126.1 miles on the highway. My daily commute is 19.6 miles round trip 5 days a week and is made up of 35 MPH - 50 MPH surface streets with a total of 4 traffic lights. This car rarely deviates from my daily commute and I am the only passenger roughly 95% of the time.
  • MarkHolthoffMarkHolthoff Member Posts: 101
    Thanks for the post! We'll get your blog linked on the Readers' Rides promo on our Long-Term blog shortly. Would love to see some photos, too, when you have a chance!
  • MichaellMichaell Moderator Posts: 218,101
    You've probably got a lot of life left in your Camry. Keep the posts coming!

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  • quadricyclequadricycle Member Posts: 827
    ebeaudoin said:

    Right now the odometer reads 127,380 miles.

    A couple more miles and it should be broken in!

    My first car was a 1996 Camry, great vehicle.

  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin Member Posts: 509
    Road Trip Report

    As mentioned in previous posts, the Camry is mainly my commuter car. This weekend I completed a 500-mile round trip with the Camry and I was reminded of how well this vehicle cruises. I filled up once with 371.1 miles covered at an average of 31.2 MPG. Not my best tank but I was pretty impressed. Based on tank size I probably had another 180 miles of range!

    Overall I was glad I got to spend some time logging some highway miles with the vehicle. Very satisfied!
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    edited August 2015
    I drove an inherited near-pristine 1996 Camry for 9 years starting in college. They don't make them like that anymore. No one does. Damn thing had quality soft-touch materials all the way down to the door sills. The dashboard beneath the steering column was padded. So was the outside of the glovebox door. The doors shut with a solid ka-thunk. Just a remarkable vehicle in every way, I can see why it murdered the domestic competition of the time. In inflation adjusted adjusted dollars, that basic LE-trim car would be $27K today. The 125hp 2.2L four cylinder and 4 speed auto were a bit pokey, but very smooth, very refined, and still managed to pull a car fully loaded with 3 people, gear stacked on half the backseat, a trunk completely jammed with gear, and 2 mountain bikes hanging off a trunk rack up the 11,000 foot 1-70 pass outside of Denver at 60mph without problem.

    It probably would have run forever, but with a real income and kids on the way I decided to sell it for something with new safety equipment. And, as guilty as I feel for saying it, after 9 years I was really bored with it and wanted something with steering feel and a bit more pop under the hood.

    They're great cars, I hope you get many more miles from yours.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    ebeaudoin said:

    Features Overview

    The Camry originally priced out around $23,000.

    That would be $31K for a loaded 4-cylinder model in 2015 dollars. You can option up a 4-cylinder Camry to that price today, but you get far more equipment and technology now. There's a reason the Accord and Camry don't feel as expensive on the inside as they used to, I think they've traded tactile material quality for new features to stay price-competitive.
  • jdarcy1jdarcy1 Member Posts: 3
    I had a 2001 Camry 5sp. bought new and drove it 263,000mi. in almost 11 years. It was a pillar of reliability requiring only 2 repairs (motor mounts 137,000mi, oxygen sensor 240,000mi), everything else was scheduled maintenance. Fuel economy was 33 suburban, 29 when mostly city, and 40-41 long road trips (60mph). It had the original clutch and brakes when I gave it to a friend who drove it 3 more years until it met its end in a crash with 280,000 on it. Fortunately no one was hurt.
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