The Toyota Camry midsize sedan has been on sale in the US since 1983 and in those 35 years, the automaker has sold more than 10 million examples in America. A complete redesign for the 2018 model year spun the Camry into its eighth generation. With its recent redesign, not much is new for 2019, except for one important addition: standard Apple CarPlay.
Toyota offers the Camry with a choice of two engines. There's a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, although in XSE trim, that same engine makes 206 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.
For those who like some extra shove, Toyota offers a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Both engines' power outputs lie on the healthier end of the segment. All Camrys pair their powerplants with an eight-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels.
The most economical four-cylinder Camry can achieve an EPA-estimated 29 miles per gallon in the city and 41 mpg highway, which is pretty miserly for the class. For comparison, the best a non-hybrid Ford Fusion can do is 21/34 mpg, but the base Honda Accord is more competitive with its 30/38 mpg rating.
There's ample room for up to five passengers in the Toyota Camry, but trunk space falls on the lower end of the segment at 15.1 cubic feet. The Chevrolet Malibu does a little better with 15.8 cubic feet while the Ford Fusion bests the Chevy with its 16 cubic feet. The Hyundai Sonata and Honda Accord offer even more cargo space at 16.3 and 16.7 cubic feet. All Camrys but the base model feature a 60/40 split-folding rear seat.
Camrys come standard with a six-speaker audio system and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment setup that can support Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto. Also standard is a complimentary six-month or 2GB (whichever comes first) Verizon 4G LTE data trial to power a Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to five devices. There's even standard Amazon Alexa integration.
When it comes to standard driver-assistance goodies, the Toyota Camry is pretty much top of the class. Adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane-keep assist and automatic high beams are all part of the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of features.
For the lower end of the segment, the $23,845 Camry L is competitively priced, but the top-tier, $34,600 XSE V6 sits on the pricey side of the well-optioned competition. The Camry L comes standard with LED high- and low-beam headlights, 16-inch steel wheels, an acoustic windshield, TSS-P, a 4.2-inch TFT instrument-cluster display, a 7-inch touchscreen and auto up/down for all four power windows.
The $24,350 Camry LE adds a power driver's seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and an anti-theft alarm. Next up in price is the $25,550 Camry SE, which features a sportier appearance thanks in part to a more aggressive fascia, rear spoiler and 18-inch black machined-finish wheels. The SE also boasts auto climate control, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and sport suspension.
Moving up, the $28,925 Camry XLE builds off the LE's touring-oriented appearance, but gets you a lot more stuff, some of which includes a larger 8-inch touchscreen, 18-inch silver machined-finish wheels, LED daytime running lights and heated mirrors with blind-spot monitoring.
The XLE also includes keyless access, dual-zone climate control, HVAC vents for the rear seats, wireless charging for your smartphone, 7-inch TFT instrument-cluster display, leather seats with heating for the front row and power adjustment for the front passenger, autodimming rearview mirror and rear cross-traffic alert.
The $29,475 XSE adds 19-inch black machined-finish wheels, dual exhaust, plus an extra 3 horsepower and 2 pound-feet of torque from the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Jumping up to the $34,050 XLE V6 adds (as the name implies) the 3.5-liter V6 engine, nine-speaker JBL premium audio, a panoramic sunroof and a 10-inch head-up display.
Finally, we arrive at the $34,600 XSE V6. This top trim offers the same features as the XLE V6, but with the sportier appearance and suspension. Options for higher trims include embedded navigation, surround-view monitor and rear cross-traffic braking. All pricing excludes a $920 destination charge.
The 2019 Toyota Camry is on sale nationwide now.
Ah, the venerable Toyota Camry, a car that's as innocuous as it is ubiquitous. This ever-practical four-door is about as enticing as a new pair of slacks or even a coupon for half-off cheesy breadsticks with the purchase of a medium, one-topping pizza. Yes, it's a wild and crazy ride! Long a symbol of automotive indifference, the Camry is easy prey. Even the current, eighth-generation model, which is indisputably the most exciting version Toyota has ever produced, is still more than lampoonable. But it in no way deserves to be the butt jokes hurled by automotive snobs like me.
In many ways this is an enviable family four-door, spacious and quiet, smooth, comfortable, safe and probably the most reliable vehicle in its segment. Change the oil once every decade or so and you should be good for hundreds of thousands of trouble-free miles.
Not only that, this has also been the best-selling car in America for, like, the last 452 years. Didn't Thomas Jefferson drive around his Monticello estate in a Camry? Highlighting its popularity, Toyota stores delivered more than 340,000 of them in 2018. Clearly, there are reasons why this simple, unintimidating vehicle appeals to so many consumers.
The Good The Camry TRD offers a superb powertrain anchored by a silken V6 engine, more style than you might expect, a well-controlled ride and even an aggressive-sounding exhaust system.
The Bad While more engaging than any other version of this four-door family-hauler, the TRD model is still trying a bit too hard to be something it really isn't. Toyota could have done a bit more to make this a driver's car.
The Bottom Line This TRD-modified sedan performs well, sounds good and looks aggressive. It could be the car for you if you want a vehicle with Toyota reliability and more pizzazz than a run-of-the-mill Camry.
Step into a Highlander Hybrid for $39,320.
If you want a four-door sedan with Toyota reliability but are turned off by more-mainstream Camrys, check out the TRD model. Thanks to chassis and appearance enhancements it looks and feels like a different car entirely.
Toyota's Camry is known for unbeatable quality, reliability and efficiency, but it's also infamous for being a bit of a snooze. In a bid to spice things up, the automaker has introduced a TRD model, which benefits from improvements made to its chassis, body, interior and elsewhere.
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