Words: Evan Yates
Exterior: Toyota has done a fantastic job at making the Camry look the least bit Camry-ish possible. Razor sharp edges, a ferocious fascia and bolder hues have catapulted the latest Camry into an entire new stratosphere. The days of drab, forgettable aesthetics are certainly long gone. The 18-inch alloy wheels with black painted accents, LED daytime running lights and color-matched rear spoiler further enhance the XSE’s appeal.
Interior: The XSE’s interior is fun and functional. The leather-trimmed and ultrasuede sport seats look and feel great and truly give off a sporty vibe. The ultrasuede continues onto the doors, which looks OK, but some type of carbon fiber vinyl would have been fine. The rest of the interior is simple and refined and everything is in proper position for the driver and passengers.
Electronics: The Entune premium multimedia system features a seven-inch touchscreen and comes equipped with navigation and Toyota’s App Suite. The blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is certainly helpful as parking lots can get a little crazy as soccer moms tend to text-and-cart.
Performance: The 2.5L four-cylinder may be the only reminder that you’re not actually in a sports car but the performance shortcomings can certainly be excused. The XSE four-banger still performs well in most typical driving situations plus it gets tremendous fuel economy. I did find that when passing at high speeds, there isn’t much power left with the accelerator planted. Thanks to Toyota’s sport tuned suspension, the Camry XSE is not only comfortable, but capable for whatever road conditions you can throw at it.
Final Verdict: For $30k, what else on Earth could you possible purchase?!
Power: 178 hp, 170 ft lb
Gas Cash: 28 MPG (combined)