By KBB.com Editors
Largely due to its solid reputation for quality and reliability, Toyota's midsize Camry has been the best-selling car in America for eight of the past nine years. A thorough makeover last year enhances the Camry's ability to keep its throne, although the new Honda Accord looks to be a keen competitor. The 2008 Toyota Camry is the most curvaceous model to date, with an abundance of interior room and marked improvements in the areas of steering, braking, handling and ride comfort (although in the sportier SE the tuning is biased more toward crisper handling response). Engine choices include a 158-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6.
If you want a safe choice of a much-improved but still conservative mainstream midsize Japanese family sedan, the 2008 Toyota Camry is for you.
No major changes for 2008.
Driving Impressions The 2008 Toyota Camry drives much like most family sedans, not too sporty and not too soft. The base car tends toward the soft side, but the LE and XLE...are crisper and more athletic. Most fun to drive, at least on smooth roads, is the lower and stiffer SE sport model, which has added structural bracing, firmer springs, shock absorbers, bushings and anti-roll bars, better steering feel and even an underbody aerodynamic treatment for enhanced high-speed stability. The latest Toyota four-cylinder engine provides adequate power with good fuel economy, while the muscular V6 is a powerhouse, good for a zero to 60-miles-per-hour burst in less than seven seconds.
Plasmacluster Ionizer HVAC
According to Toyota the dual-zone automatic climate system standard on the XLE and Hybrid reduces airborne odors, mold spores, microbes, fungi, germs and bacteria inside the cabin by creating positive and negative ions that seek out and surround them.
Star Safety System
The standard integrated braking system includes ABS, Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). Seven airbags are also standard, but Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control is optional.
Like the exterior, the Camry's interior is more modern and stylish than in past versions. The windshield base is far forward, allowing for a low two-tier instrument panel. The seatbacks feature a slimmed-down design and front-seat adjustment travel is generous. Larger footwells and a half-inch increase in legroom over the 2006 model better accommodate rear-seat occupants; rear seatbacks recline in XLE models. Instruments are large and legible, with differing illumination depending on the trim level. The controls are easy to read and operate, storage cubbies are plentiful and there are two 12-volt outlets in the console.Exterior
The 2008 Toyota Camry's appearance is a departure from the upright styles of previous generations. Sharing Toyota's swoopier new sedan look with its larger stablemate Avalon and upscale cousin Lexus ES, the Camry's length is unchanged, but its stance is more stable with its wheels pushed farther toward the cornersthe wheelbase is 2.2-inches longer and front and rear tracks are 1.2-inches wider. Its hood, flanks and decklid surfaces have a complexity and character not seen in previous Camrys, and its headlights are the high-tech projector-beam style. Toyota calls the Camry "athletic and modern," and we don't disagree, although the sporty SE, with its lower ride height on bigger wheels and tires, black honeycomb grille, smoked headlamps and aero appendages, looks much more athletic than the other models.
The base CE offers power mirrors/locks/windows, air conditioning with a pollen filter, cruise control, tilt/telescopic wheel, auto on/off halogen headlamps, daytime running lights, 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, 16-inch wheels and six-speaker 160-watt digital audio with CD-MP3 and auxiliary input jack. Standard safety features include Toyota's Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) seats, four-wheel disc brakes with Antilock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist and seven air bags. The uplevel LE adds an eight-way power driver's seat, remote keyless entry and the option of a V6 engine. The top-level XLE adds alloy wheels, 440-watt eight-speaker premium audio with six-disc CD and Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather interior (V6 only), wood-grain trim, a power moonroof, four-way power passenger's seat and a 40/20/40 reclining rear seat (with fixed center pass-through). The very well-equipped Hybrid gets most of this plus push-button start.
Probably to encourage buyers to move up to other models, the only substantial option available on the base Camry is the highly recommended Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control, which is also available on LE, SE and XLE. Additional major options for most of these models include a JBL premium audio system with Bluetooth, power moonroof, leather interior, heated seats, navigation system and the "Smart Key System" with push-button start (on the XLE with V6).
The 2008 Toyota Camry features a standard DOHC 16-valve 2.4-liter Variable Valve Timing "with intelligence" (VVT-i) four-cylinder engine and an optional new DOHC 24-valve VVT-i V6. The Hybrid model marries a 147-horsepower Atkinson-cycle version of the four-cylinder to a 40-horsepower electric motor.
2.4-liter in-line 4
158 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
161 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 (manual), 21/31 (automatic)
268 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28
2.4-liter in-line 4 with Permanent Magnetic Synchronous Electric Motor
147 horsepower @ 6000 rpm / 40 horsepower @ 4500 rpm (187 combined horsepower)
138 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm / 199 lb.-ft. of torque @ 0-1500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 33/34
By theKing on Thursday, October 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable, great gas milage, comfortable"
Cons: "small trunk, soft cushy ride (not sporty)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car new in July 2006. I keep accurate records and this car has average 36mph since new in mostly city driving. It is comfortable, perky when necessary and reliable. It has also never had a mechanical problem. ( I do all scheduled maintenance at the dealer) I am still on the original set of brakes, 3rd set of tires, and other than that all is original. Only criticism is the trunk is small because of the hybrid battery. I also have a Honda civic hybrid, and trust me, the Toyota kills the Honda in every area!!"
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Audrey on Wednesday, October 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"only regular maintenance, no major problems in the 7 years and 8 months I have owned this Camry. Great car.."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Camry on Monday, September 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price mpg"
Cons: "Poor electrical"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"Bought new. Took it back twice for electric door lock problems while under warranty. Was told by service person that they see this problem in a different line but not in Camry. Third time was no longer under warranty."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Marcy on Sunday, September 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great driving"
Cons: "has cup colders and console for CDs or maps"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I'd had this vehicle since 2007 and other than changing oil and buying new tires I haven't had other expenses"
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By NC Chick on Friday, September 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,800overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable Ride"
Cons: "Poor Turning Radius"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"This is the first Camry I've owned -- 2011 XLE. It's loaded with everything -- leather, heated seats, sun roof, power everything, back up camera. And I paid a lot for all those options. Now I see that a lot of these options are standard in the Camry and the price is a lot less, so that's not good for me at trade in time. It has a fairly nice ride but it's deteriorated a bit over time. The tires needed replacing at 35,000 miles, which was disappointing. I had the tires rotated at every oil change and the front end was not out of alignment, so it appears that the tires on the car when I bought it were not of the highest quality. Both key fob batteries went out at almost the 40,000 mark. That tells me they're programmed to do that, which is really, really bad. I really only used one and had the other in a kitchen drawer but both batteries gave out at nearly the same time. My biggest complaint with the car is the turning radius. It's horrible. I love a nice, tight turning radius and getting into a parking space is difficult. I wouldn't put this car at the bottom of the list but it's nothing spectacular. It's a good reliable car for someone that likes a larger sedan."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Gil on Sunday, September 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handles well, excellent condition, low mileage a +"
Cons: "Depends on you - manual transmission"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought car in FL on a special and only drawback from my wife's view is that has a manual transmission. Otherwise, car has been garage kept and because we go to FL for about 4 months each year it has been left for 2 of past 3 years in our garage with a trickle down charger on the battery. Driven locally but once a week it is usually driven to DC using the Beltway so engine etc gets a good workout. A/C is excellent."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful