It’s hard to remember when Toyota’s Camry didn’t sit atop the U.S. sales charts for passenger cars – and there’s plenty of reasons for its success. The Camry was seemingly designed to meet the needs of midsize sedan buyers to a tee – space, comfort, reliability and an easy-going drive are all on the menu.
2016 sees the arrival of a new SE Special Edition package which adds 18-inch wheels, 7.0-inch display audio system, proximity key with push-button start, blue interior accent stitching, wireless charging, a power moonroof and more. The range-topping XLE V6 also gets standard pre-collision system, radar cruise control, and lane-departure warning. Other trim levels receive added equipment, including a 4.2-inch instrument cluster display for the base Camry LE, and ultrasuede upholstered heated seats for the Camry Hybrid SE.
Toyota has cleverly divided the Camry’s lineup into two families – models containing LE including LE and XLE are comfort oriented with classic styling cues, while those with SE as a part of their name including SE and XSE get edgier styling backed by firmer bushings and a stiffer suspension, plus sports seats, paddles for shifting, and sporty interior detailing. Regardless of trim, all Camrys have a spacious interior with spacious rear quarters and simple controls. All come with standard reverse camera, Bluetooth, automatic headlights, keyless entry, and air conditioning.
The Camry LE, SE, XSE and XLE all use a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. It produces 178 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque, and is rated at 9.7 L/100 km city and 6.9 L/100 km highway, which is average for the segment. The Camry XLE V6 and XSE V6 utilize a creamy-smooth 3.5-litre V6 engine that develops 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. Despite its bigger size, it’s not significantly thirstier than the optional turbocharged four cylinders that many rivals use; it’s rated at 11.0 L/100 km city, 7.7 L/100 km highway.
But if efficiency is what gets you excited, there’s also the Camry Hybrid, which is offered in LE, SE, and XLE trims. Its 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine is paired to a CVT and an electric motor to deliver 200 net horsepower. It consumes as little as 5.5 L/100 km and 6.0 L/100 km highway.
The 2016 Toyota Camry starts at $24,505 for the base LE, with the plush XLE V6 selling for $35,920. The Camry Hybrid LE starts at $29,065, while the Camry Hybrid XLE sells for $35,985.