2019 Toyota Camry
There's a reason the Toyota Camry is a ubiquitous sight on the highways and byways of the United States: it's one of the better-rounded midsize sedans available, with a spacious interior, comfortable ride and efficient engine options like a fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain. Exciting it is not, but for buyers who place a premium on practicality and reliability, the Camry is an option well worth considering.
The Camry rides on Toyota's modular platform, an architecture that underpins a growing number of models including the Prius and the Corolla Hatch. It's longer, lower, and wider than the previous-generation model and it wears a markedly more aggressive (dare we say emotional?) design than ever in the nameplate's long history. It reflects Toyota's attempt to build more exciting cars.
Quiet and comfortable, the Camry features a commodious, well-built interior with an attractive dashboard built using soft-touch materials. Passenger space is ample, especially for those riding in the back. Every Camry is fitted with a seven-inch touch screen that runs Toyota's Entune infotainment system. Navigation comes standard, as does a six-speaker sound system.
Buyers who explore the upper echelons of the trim hierarchy unlock more niceties, including an eight-inch touch screen, a nine-speaker sound system, and an in-car Wi-Fi connection. Toyota includes a six-month plan; buyers who plan on using the Wi-Fi connection for longer will need to pay for it.
Trunk space checks in at 15.1 cubic feet, which is about average for the segment.
The Camry comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 203 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. It spins the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy figures check in at 29 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg in a combined cycle.
Buyers after more power can step up to the 3.5-liter V6. It provides 301 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 267 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. It shifts through the same eight-speed as the four-cylinder. Fuel economy predictably drops to 22, 33, and 26, respectively.
Finally, the Camry Hybrid gets a 176-horsepower version of the base car's four-cylinder and an electric motor linked to either a lithium-ion or a nickel-metal hybride battery pack; the chemistry depends on the trim level. Either way, the two power sources deliver 208 horsepower. The system shifts through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The EPA gives the Hybrid fuel economy ratings of up to 51 mpg in the city, 53 mpg on the highway, and 52 mpg combined. Selecting the top two trims lowers those figures to 44, 47, and 46.
Standard and optional features
The Camry line-up includes five trim levels called L, LE, XLE, SE, and XSE. All come with a four-cylinder engine but XLE and XSE models are offered with a V6. Buyers shopping for a hybrid have a choice between LE, SE, and XLE models.
The list of standard features includes A/C, a 4.2-inch display in the instrument cluster, cloth upholstery, six-way adjustable front seats, adaptive cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, a multi-function steering wheel, wood trim, chromed interior door handles, remote keyless entry, power windows with an auto up/down function, a day/night rear-view mirror, an overhead console, one USB port, dual sun visors with extensions, and a foot-operated parking brake.
There are no factory options available. Buyers who want more features need to move up to a higher, more expensive trim level.
Every Camry regardless of trim level comes with dual front, front side, front knee, rear side, and curtain airbags in addition to electronic traction and stability control systems.
Toyota also includes a long list of electronic driving aids like pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. These features come standard on every trim level.
Before pulling the trigger on a Camry, buyers should also test drive the Honda Accord, Volkswagen Passat, the Mazda6, the Chevrolet Malibu, the Nissan Altima, and the Kia Optima.