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Car Review

Toyota Camry (US) review

$32,035 - $34,605
810
Published: 07 Jun 2024
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Toyota’s latest Camry offers up buckets of hybrid-powered range and an equal amount of comfort to help enjoy it all

Good stuff

Exterior and interior glow-up. Considerable fuel eco. Smooth ride

Bad stuff

Punchy on the low end but lacks guts afterward. Spongey brake response. Hyperactive safety sensors

Overview

What is it?

It’s the almost-all new Toyota Camry, which is to say very mostly new, but not as new, because it doesn’t need to be.

Okay… what’s new?

Its look, for a start. The Camry’s front end continues to move away from the “baby Predator’s first mandibles” design it carried before the previous generation’s refresh, building from that change and making it look even more sharp. What it has going on appears to be a blend of the Corolla and Crown’s grille and the new Prius’ headlights. It even juts out a bit, a design feature similarly found on its Lexus cousins.

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The biggest change, however, has to be that the Camry is strictly a hybrid from here on out.

That’s huge. What are the engine options?

One engine, two different power outputs. The current Camry sports a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a hybrid system that provides a total of 225hp for the front-wheel drive models and 232hp for the all-wheel drive Camrys. The difference being the FWD cars work with two electric motors while the AWD has an extra third unit spinning the back. All powertrains are married to a CVT transmission.

You said “almost new". What’s the same?

Just about everything you don’t see. The Camry continues to run on the same platform, so it’s structurally similar to the previous version, which tracks as there wasn’t much call for that drastic of an overhaul. Don’t fix what’s not broken and all that.

How’s the interior?

Surprisingly, it’s very nice. That’s not to say that we don’t think Toyota capable of arranging such a thing, but it’s certainly the kind of step-up in quality and looks you’d wish for in a generational revamp but rarely ever get for volume commuter cars. The steering wheel currently shared across the family brands is here, chunky and functional, matching well with the more streamlined interior of the Camry. It’s been thoroughly decluttered and made up of neatly arranged lines matched with soft woven fabric touch points that make the cabin feel quite cozy.

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How does it stack against the competition?

If you mean similar cars, it’s as close a comparison as its ever been, with just a few details separating the Camry from the rest of the affordable mid-sized four-door pack. As has been the case for a while, the Camry butts heads with the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata. Both of those cars have hybrid offerings that offer an estimated 47 combined mpg, edging out the 44mpg the Camry is said to be capable of, though neither have AWD options for their hybrids.

Really, it’s the Camry against the world, as SUVs and crossovers continue to eat the cost-effective mid-size sedan segment’s lunch, with the promise of superior utility and cargo capacity. We’d argue there’s still very much room for both kinds of cars to still exist, and the AWD availability of the latest Camry can certainly ease the fears of anyone worried about driving in sloppy conditions.

What's the verdict?

Don’t knock it ’til you try it. Toyota’s perennial go-to is harder than ever for haters to dismiss

The Toyota Camry has been highly stigmatized as a mere appliance over its many generations and sure, in the past, maybe that’s been correct. In its current iteration, however, the Camry is far from a run-of-the-mill also ran. The revised exterior design goes a long way without looking like it's trying too hard, something it suffered with in past iterations. Most of what elevates the Camry is found in its well thought out, well appointed interior. Surfaces are a mix of durable rubber and cozy touch points that make the Toyota a nice place to sit, further supported by the superb visibility provided.

This is a bigger deal than you might think since the Camry’s 40+ mpg means you’ll be sitting in it for quite a while before needing to stop. In terms of driving, the Camry does better than expected in daily instances, but isn’t a stealth stunner. Still, its ride is tight and comfortable, and when it needs to maneuver, it’s responsive. If anything sullies the experience, it’s the squishy brake engagement.

Naysayers who have dismissed the Camry in the past should definitely give it a reappraisal in its current form. It might not give drivers the bubble and froth of a more endearing car, but across the board, it’s objectively much better than the previous versions of what was always a decent sedan that folks still love to hate.

The Rivals

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