• (4.7) 52 reviews
  • MSRP: $1,781–$7,409
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 24-28
  • Engine: 157-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic
2002 Toyota Camry

Our Take on the Latest Model 2002 Toyota Camry

2002 Toyota Camry Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Hoping to broaden both its image and appeal beyond what it deems the “big middle” of the car-buying population, Toyota has introduced a fifth-generation version of its midsize front-drive sedan. The Camry has been the best-selling car in the U.S. market for the past four years, though sales slipped somewhat during 2000 as the Honda Accord made a strong showing.

Toyota hopes to retain that No. 1 slot with a sedan that’s quieter and bigger inside, and a wheelbase that is 2 inches longer than before. To that end, developers have “broadened its appeal by sharpening its focus,” says Don Esmond, general manager of the Toyota Division. At the same time, he says it’s critical to “never lose sight of why satisfied Camry owners keep coming back again and again.”

An all-new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 157 horsepower — a 15 percent increase in power — is expected to go into more than three-fourths of the cars. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard with the four-cylinder engine, and a four-speed automatic is optional. Camry’s equipped with the 3.0-liter V-6 engine come only with the automatic transmission.

Toyota has reduced prices, added standard equipment and revised the Camry lineup. The low-end CE model is gone, so crank-down windows are no longer available. Models now include the standard LE, upscale XLE and a sporty new SE with different suspension tuning and 16-inch sport tires. A navigation system is optional for the first time, and adjustable pedals are scheduled to become available in January 2002.

Toyota’s two-door Camry Solara coupe and convertible, and the Avalon sedan, are built on the same front-drive platform as the prior-generation Camry. Most Camrys sold in the United States have been manufactured at Toyota’s Georgetown, Ky., plant, and the new model claims 85 percent domestic content.

Toyota asserts that the 2002 Camry has crisper, bolder, more upscale styling that is “a move from sensible to sensual,” according to Project Manager Dan Hargitt. But the overall appearance hasn’t changed dramatically from the fourth generation. Two inches longer than earlier models, the 107.1-inch wheelbase is a hair longer than that of the Accord, and at 189.2 inches long overall, the Camry is about the same length as its Honda rival. The sporty SE sedan features a blackout grille, fog lamps and a rear spoiler.

The Accord comes as a coupe and sedan, but the Camry remains available as a four-door sedan only. The Camry Solara coupe and convertible have different styling and are treated as separate models, and the Solara version will not be redesigned until later.

Toyota claims that rear legroom is 40 millimeters greater than before and passenger hip points are higher. Space is ample for four adults and acceptable for five, and the driver’s seat has enough fore-aft travel to accommodate tall and short people. Standard 60/40-split rear seatbacks supplement the load volume of the trunk, which now holds 16.7 cubic feet of cargo.

Standard LE equipment includes electronic air conditioning, programmable automatic door locks, power windows and mirrors, a full-size spare tire and a four-spoke tilt steering wheel. The center console contains a bilevel storage box. Additional items on the XLE include power front seats, heated mirrors, automatic climate control, an engine immobilizer/alarm system, keyless entry and a rear sunshade. The sportier SE sedan gets unique sport fabric upholstery, brushed chrome interior trim, a leather-wrapped gearshift lever and sport gauges.

Under the Hood
Toyota’s new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 157 hp and mates to either a five-speed-manual or four-speed-automatic transmission. The 192-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 comes only with the automatic gearbox.

Curtain-type airbags are standard on the Camry XLE and are joined by side-impact airbags for the front seats. Front airbags deploy in three stages, depending on crash conditions. Antilock brakes are standard on the XLE and V-6 models and are available as an option on four-cylinder LE and SE sedans.

Driving Impressions
If the Camry has been criticized for anything in the past, it’s been bland styling. Then again, stimulating design isn’t what causes more than 400,000 buyers per year to drive one home from the dealership. What most Camry consumers seek is Toyota’s reputation for reliability and high quality, along with excellent resale value. When it’s time to sell the Camry, someone will be eager to get yours as a secondhand model.

Even though its appearance has made no giant leaps into fresh territory, the new Camry’s shape is appealing. All the other Camry attributes are here, and if anything, they are better than ever. Owners still get a pleasantly comfortable ride, ample interior space, blissful quietness and reasonably energetic performance. Acceleration, in fact, reaches well past the acceptable mark with the four-cylinder engine, which is just about as quiet as the V-6. No wonder so many buyers are content with the four-cylinder models.

Little penalty in ride comfort is evident in the sporty new SE sedan, which promises a little tauter handling than other Camry trims. But differences are less than dramatic. Fans of manual transmissions will be pleased to learn that the manual-transmission Camry performs admirably, its lever clicking crisply through the gears without a care in the world.


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 52 reviews

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by JULIED from Brentwood on November 11, 2017


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6 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2002 Toyota Camry trim comparison will help you decide.

Toyota Camry Articles

2002 Toyota Camry Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Toyota Camry LE

Moderate overlap front

IIHS Ratings

Based on Toyota Camry LE

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Moderate overlap front

Left Leg/Foot
Overall Front
Right Leg/Foot
Structure/safety cage


Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Toyota Camry LE

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Toyota Camry LE

Overall Rollover Rating
Front Seat
Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.


There are currently 4 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years