Over three decades, the venerable Toyota Camry has been one of the best-selling cars in the automotive market. While sedans are becoming less popular as most people go for SUVs and trucks, the Camry remains a best-seller for Toyota. And why not? If you’re looking for an affordable, reliable, and durable car that will take you the farthest, it’s hard to go wrong with the Camry.
However, like all vehicles, the Camry has its fair share of strengths and weaknesses. Over the years, the Camry isn’t a top priority for Toyota anymore. The main proof of this is that the Camry struggles to keep up with its contemporaries, especially when it comes to driving dynamics.
So today, we’ll talk about the Toyota Camry’s pros and cons. What makes this midsize sedan a good purchase? What are the flaws that will cause you to pass on the Camry? Let’s take a look!
What We Love About the Toyota Camry
To begin this guide on the Toyota Camry’s pros and cons, let’s start with the car’s positive qualities.
For many decades now, the Camry has developed a reputation for reliability – the kind of car you can drive until the wheels fall off. The average lifespan of a Toyota Camry ranges from 200,000 to 300,000 miles and may last you 15 to 20 years. Of course, you can only achieve such longevity with diligent care and maintenance.
According to RepairPal, the Toyota Camry has a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking 3rd out of 24 midsize sedans. With an annual repair cost of $388, the Camry has one of the lowest ownership costs.
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Good Powertrain Selection
The base Camry model is powered by a modern four-cylinder engine, capable of delivering a competitive 206 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. There’s also a larger 3.5-liter V6 engine with outputs of 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. The Camry provides a smooth performance with 8-speed automatic transmission. The extra punch helps the Camry reach 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds.
The hybrid variant runs with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder setup that produces 208 hp and is paired with a CVT transmission. Regardless of your powertrain choice, the Camry offers a satisfying engine performance.
Camry sedans used to be as plain as they can get, but that’s hardly the case anymore. Toyota has done a great job updating the Camry and making it edgier and sleeker. One noteworthy styling cue of the Camry is its sharp edges and creases, giving it a more athletic look. Plus, the Camry’s short trunk and long nose give it a similar look to European luxury cars.
Toyota has managed to keep the Camry fresh and intriguing with a few exterior tweaks.
Excellent Fuel Economy
Another reason folks love the Camry is its top-notch fuel efficiency, which is becoming more critical by the day considering the skyrocketing gas prices. The 2.5-liter engine returns EPA estimates of 28⁄39 city/highway. That’s really nothing to write home about, but it’s still pretty good compared to the competition. However, the hybrid version is where the Camry shines in terms of fuel economy.
The Hybrid LE trim boasts the best-in-class mpg ratings of 51/53/52 mpg city/highway/combined. In comparison, other hybrid vehicles can only manage 44/47/46 mpg ratings. It’s basically a Prius without all the stigma.
Top Marks for Safety Features
The Camry is the car you want if you value vehicle safety above everything. Consistently earning top marks from the IIHS and NHTSA, the Camry offers impressively stacked standard safety features. Some standard driver-assist features include lane departure alert, a pre-collision system, road sign assist, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control.
If you have the XSE and XLE models, you’ll receive optional safety features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. For most drivers, the long list of standard safety features should be good enough.
What We Don’t Like About the Toyota Camry
For the next section of this Toyota Camry’s pros and cons, let’s talk about the qualities that are potential deal-breakers.
Many models of the Camry struggled with interior noise. To Toyota’s credit, Camry’s noise level has improved over the years. However, even with the most recent models, there are still several reports of people having a hard time with road and wind noise while inside their vehicle. In comparison, the Honda Accord has done an excellent job of hushing its cabin.
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If you’re looking for a spacious trunk, the Camry may not be your best option. With 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, the Camry is far from class-leading in storing luggage. Most people would likely be okay with the Camry’s trunk space, but you have to consider that the competition has larger spaces. For example, the best-in-class trunk space comes from the Accord with 16.7 cubes. Not the biggest flaw out there, but it certainly could be better.
Not the Most Engaging Drive
Those who prefer a more engaging driving experience would likely be disappointed with the Camry, especially with the base trim. We’ve seen many owners who have gotten bored of their Camry but can’t let go due to its reliability and not having car payments. Dull but dependable, that’s the best description for the base trim Camry.
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Should You Buy a Toyota Camry?
Let’s wrap up this guide on the Toyota Camry’s pros and cons with the question: Should you buy this midsize sedan?
The Toyota Camry gets our vote if you’re looking for a reliable sedan that you’ll drive for years. This sedan checks all the right boxes and is a perfect daily commuter. It may not be the most spirited vehicle in the market, but it gets the job done and more. Even with its dull driving dynamics, you can go for the TRD variant for a more involved driving experience.
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