Car Buying Tips

Buying A Used Toyota: Best and Worst Used Toyota Cars

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Last Updated on July 22, 2022 by Rose Morah

“You will never lose money when you buy a used Toyota” Is this true?

Well, if you are shopping for a used Toyota, I’m sure you have probably heard this statement repeated over and over again.

However, as much as this statement is true, it does not apply to all Toyota vehicles.

And for that reason, we are going to discuss the best-used Toyotas to buy and ones to avoid at all costs.

But before that, let’s take a look at a few important tips for shopping for a used Toyota:

  • Always inspect the car for severe rust, especially on Toyota trucks. Do not buy a Toyota that has severe rust, you will regret it big time!
  • Avoid used cars that had major recalls over the years.
  • Used cars that have broken or worn out parts replaced with OEM parts are often a sign that the owner took good care of them.

Note: OEM parts are original equipment from the vehicle manufacturer. They are not parts from 3rd party or aftermarket.

Best Used Toyota to buy in 2022

1. Toyota Highlander (2014 to 2016)

The 2014 to 2016 Toyota Highlander has proved, over the years, to be one of the most reliable Toyota cars. It can go thousands of miles with very minimal issues.

You can’t go wrong with the highlander as long as the seller has taken proper care of it.

2. Toyota Camry (2015 to 2017)

The 2015 to 2017 Toyota Camry are the 7th generation models. Most car owners and Toyota mechanic experts recommend them because of their good gas mileage, great transmission, solid engine, and spaciousness.

Toyota Camry (2015 to 2017) is one of the very few used cars that have proven reliable even when they are not properly maintained.

However, I would still recommend doing proper maintenance to your Toyota Camry.

You may like: Don’t Buy A Toyota Extended Warranty Before Reading This (Is It Worth It?).

3. Toyota Camry V6 (2004 to 2006)

The Toyota Camry V6 has got decent gas mileage and they are timeless. I know of people who have covered over 250k miles with this car and it is still very reliable.

Additionally, most people who own the 2004 to 2006 Toyota Camry love them because they are very DIY-friendly, thus saving you money on labor costs.

4. Toyota Avalon (2013 t0 2018)

Most of the time you can’t go wrong with a well-maintained Avalon from the years 2013 to 2018 Toyota Avalon.

And because of its reliability, this car only needs basic maintenance.

5. Toyota RAV4 (2016 to 2018)

The first years of the Toyota RAV4 (2013 to 2015) had a few issues. But from 2016 to 2018, Toyota got rid of the previous issues and made it even better.

6. Toyota 4Runner 

Toyota 4Runners are great value for the money, especially if you are looking for a vehicle that can perform well when driving off-road. 

They are very off-road capable, and very reliable used cars.

See The Best and Worst Years For Toyota 4Runner (Buyers Guide & Tips).

7. Toyota Tacoma (2005 to 2015)

The 2005 to 2015 Toyota Tacomas are very durable trucks that have retained their value for many years and even up to now. 

If you are looking to buy a used Toyota Tacoma truck, the 2005 to 2015 years Tacoma has been rated as the best years of the Toyota Tacoma.

See also: Buying A Used Jeep Wrangler JK: What To Know & Look Out For.

8. FJ Cruiser

FJ Cruiser not only looks cool but also holds value. In fact, the last time I checked it was appreciating.

Some people compare it to a 4Runner because they think it rides like the 4Runner. Other people feel like it is a lot more fun to drive than the 4Runner.

9. Tundra

If you are shopping for a used Toyota truck, 2013, 2015, and 2018 Toyota Tundra should be on the top of your list. 

These years of the Toyota Tundra received lots of praise from most car owners because of its all-around reliability.

See also:

Tips For Buying A Used Lexus and the Pros And Cons.

Best and Worst Used Lexus Models in 2022 (Buyers Guide).

Toyotas to avoid when buying a used car

Much as Toyota is well known for its reliability, not all its cars are reliable.

The following are Toyotas to avoid when shopping for a used car:

1. 2001 to 2002 Toyota RAV4 

The 2001 to 2002 Toyota RAV4 had issues with the engine control unit (ECU) which made the transmission shift really hard and would end up destroying the transmission if you continued driving it with that problem. 

However, you will find that those that have managed to cover more miles had this issue fixed.

But if you spot a used one that has very little or unrealistic low miles on them, like a 2001 to 2002 RAV4 with 40k miles, it could mean that they have never had this problem fixed.

You may also like: Is 4Runner Comfortable For A Long Road Trip?

2. 2002 to 2004 Toyota Camry (4 Cylinder 2AZ-FE)

These cars have overheating problems, gasket issues, and other stubborn issues.

Other Toyota models that had the same engine as the 2002 to 2004 Camry were the 2006 to 2008 Toyota RAV4 (4 Cylinder) and the 2007 to 2009 Toyota Camry (4 Cylinder).

Fortunately, the 2006 to 2008 Toyota RAV4 (4 Cylinder) and the 2007 to 2009 Toyota Camry (4 Cylinder) engines were so much better than the previous ones.

However, they had other issues and Toyota had to recall them.

Therefore, when buying any of these used cars make sure that you stay away from those that were never fixed during that limited fix time by Toyota.

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3. 2009 to 2013 Corolla and Matrix (with the 2.4L 2AZ-FE)

These Toyota models had a common problem of burning oil. Most of them never got repaired during the campaign (recall).

However, the 1.8L version of this model did not have these issues, which makes it a better choice than the 2.4L Corolla and Matrix.

Hello there! My name is Rose. I’m passionate about electric cars and clean energy. My adventurous spirit and journalistic pursuits make each day fascinating and far greater. I consider traveling not just about the grandeur moments, but the little elements that transform the whole experience.