Photos & Words: Evan ‘Evo’ Yates
Exterior: Finally, the Camry has been designed to garner some looks as it cruises down the street and although it may be shoe-horned into mediocrity for the rest of its existence, it still looks pretty sharp as it is today. The evolution of the Camry’s exterior has definitely come a long way and the overall aesthetics is definitely on-par with everything else in the competition. The optional rear spoiler that my test vehicle came equipped with is a MUST if you yearn to not look like a rental car, though.
Interior: The Camry’s interior is comfortable, quiet and even a little plush here and there. The driving position is exactly how and where it should be, every knob and armrest is ergonomically placed to perfection and the materials are quite fancy for a mid-level sedan. Nice job, Toyota.
A/V: The XLE comes loaded and my particular test car was maxed-out with the Entune Premium JBL Audio system with navigation and App Suite. This particular Camry also came equipped with the Technology Package which includes Lane Departure Warning Alert (very helpful), Dynamic Rdar Cruise Control (didn’t use it) and Automatic High Beam headlights (not necessary but appreciated.) All of these goodies and others I neglected to mention are certainly nice to have but if you were looking to cut a few costs, this might be where you look first. On the flip side, if you’re techy person, I’d go ahead and check all the boxes.
Performance: Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking the V6 Camry doesn’t have some legit giddy-up. The 3.5L DOHC V6 under the hood mated to the 6-speed automatic ECT-I transmission cerainlty makes for some pleasing acceleration. This power and smoothness shines the most when pulling out into traffic or passing someone on the highway. Yes, there’s oversteer involved if you get on it too much but that’s pretty standard for any FWD car and in actuality, you shouldn’t be hot-rodding your Camry anyway. If the wave of practicality washes over you on a daily basis the performance factor of the XLE is what will keep you engaged. In addition to the Camry being plenty powerful, thanks to the Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control make for a nice and smooth ride under any condition. It’s worth noting that the optional Technology Package also comes with the Pre-Collision System which I had the opportunity to witness in its full capacity when a car (a first generation Camry!) pulled out in front of me on a divided highway.
Floss Factor: You won’t win any car shows with the new Camry unless perhaps it’s painted purple but you simply don’t buy a Camry for attention. Thankfully, the practicality cancels out any urge to customize your Camry. However, we wouldn’t mind seeing one with some type of matte wrap lowered
Power: 268 hp, 248 lb-ft
0-60: 5.8 sec
Gas Cash: 25 MPG (combined)