Think midsize sedan and there's a pretty good chance that the Toyota Camry will come to mind. This spacious, dependable, comfortable family car may not be as flashy or as technically sophisticated as some of its rivals, but it remains a big seller in North America. In fact, it's the best-selling midsize sedan south of the border.
Changes are few for the Camry for model year 2017. The premium sport XSE V6 trim level now receives standard pre-collision warning, emergency autonomous braking, radar cruise control, automatic high beams, and lane-departure alert as standard equipment. The SE trim level now gets heated front seats as standard.
Most Camry models sold are powered by the brand's trusty 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder. It produces 178 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque, and drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic.
One of the segment's last remaining V6s is offered on the top-spec XLE luxury and XSE sport trim levels. It produces 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque, and gives the Camry smooth and quiet acceleration. It also makes the Camry something of a sleeper with an estimated 0-100 km/h time of six and a half seconds. It also drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic.
A hybrid version of the Camry is also offered for those desiring compact-beating fuel economy. It's covered in detail in a separate review.
The LE trim receives standard display audio system, reverse camera, Bluetooth, USB input, air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, and full power accessories. With a starting price of less than $25,000 it's right in the wheelhouse of most of its rivals including the Sonata and Accord. 16-inch alloy wheels, heated seats, and an eight-way power driver's seat are included in the Upgrade Package.
SE and XSE trims add sport-tuned suspension, paddles for manual shifting, seats with added bolstering, and a rear spoiler. The XSE trim level adds a larger 7.0-inch display audio system with navigation, 18-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, proximity key with push-button start, LED daytime running lights, and ultrasuede and leather-upholstered seats. A blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, moonroof, and auto-dimming rear-view mirrors are optional on the XSE. The XSE V6 adds all the above equipment, plus a premium JBL audio system, pre-collision warning, lane-departure warning, automatic high beams, and LED headlights.
The XLE and XLE V6 feature a 7.0-inch display audio system with navigation, 18-inch wheels, proximity key with push-button start, and leather upholstery. The XLE's Premium Package adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, power moonroof, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The XLE V6 adds the above equipment, alarm, pre-collision warning, emergency autonomous braking, lane-departure warning, automatic high beams, blind spot monitor, LED headlamps, and wireless device charging.
The Camry goes up against some pretty stiff competition including the value-packed Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, and fun-to-drive models from Mazda and Ford. The latest Chevy Malibu and Honda Accord also give it a run for the money. Nonetheless, the Camry is worthy of consideration for any midsize sedan shopper.
Pricing for the Camry ranges between $24,970 for the LE and $36,520 for the XLE V6.