If you’re shopping for a midsize family sedan, you’ve got a lot of great options. The Toyota Camry has been one of the most popular offerings in this segment for years, for good reason, and, in fact, was the best-selling car in America in 2016.
Competitors worth checking out include the Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyunda Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda6 and Nissan Altima. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of these cars. It’ll boil down to the price and features that work best for you.
The five-passenger Toyota Camry comes in LE, SE, XLE and XSE trims. There’s also a Hybrid. Starting prices range from $23,070 to $31,370. Don’t bother with the base LE model—it’s spendy for what you get and some competitors will give you more bang for the buck. In the rest of the trims, the Camry is a solid choice, and the higher trims are actually priced a bit less than some competitors. Front-wheel-drive is standard; no trims offer all-wheel-drive.
There are two powertrains available in the gas-powered Camry: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 178 horsepower and a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 268 horsepower. The four-banger does fine in most driving situations, but if you want more power, opt for the V6. Both engines are paired with an automatic six-speed transmission.
The 2017 Camry has the well-mannered driving dynamics you’d expect. No, it’s not sporty but you will enjoy a smooth and comfortable ride. The transmission shifts quickly and smoothly, especially downshifting when more oomph is needed.
Fuel economy is about average for the class. EPA Mileage estimates for my V6 tester are 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with a combined rating of 24 mpg. I got 25 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The cabin is spacious, attractive and functional. Controls are easy to reach and use. Passengers in both rows of seating will enjoy good leg- and head-room; even taller passengers will be comfortable in the back seat.
All Camrys come standard with a rearview camera, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, USB port, and a 6.1-touchscreen for Toyota’s Entune system with voice recognition. There’s also Siri Eyes Free for iPhone which lets you control your smartphone through the Entune system. The Entune system is easy to use but graphics are dated. A plus is that you can operate the infotainment system either via the touchscreen or with easy-to-reach, large buttons. What’s missing, though, are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay—these apps are now widely available so it doesn’t make sense that Toyota wouldn’t offer them in its most popular vehicle.
The Camry has 15.4 cubic feet of storage in the trunk which is above average for the class, and the trunk has a large opening, making it easy to load bulky items. The back seats fold but don’t get flat.
Spacious in both rows of seating
Smooth and comfy ride
Great reliability with a 5 out of 5 score from J.D. Power and Associates
Lots of available safety features
Starting price is higher than many competitors
Base trim is overpriced for what you get
Infotainment system is behind the times
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay aren’t available on any trim
My tester starts at $31,370. Blind spot monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert is $500. Entune premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite is $710 and includes the Entune Multimedia Bundle and 10-speaker audio system. The Advanced Technology Package is $750 and adds Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beam. The special color (Ruby Flare Pearl) is $395. Carpet and trunk mat set is $224. Rear bumper applique is $69. Wheel locks are $65. Illuminated door sill enhancements are $299. Delivery fee is $865, bringing the grand total to $35,247.
If you want a sporty midsize sedan with an updated infotainment system and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the Camry is not going to be your first choice. But if you want a well-rounded, comfy cruiser with an attractive and spacious interior, decent fuel economy, and excellent reliability, put the Camry on your test drive list.