The venerable midsize sedan still has plenty of appeal.
Despite sedan sales showing a downward trend around the globe, some still manage to rack up solid numbers each month. The Toyota Camry is one such example and now moves into its 37th year of production with some important upgrades to fend off rivals like the Honda Accord and Mazda 6. This comes after a big 2020 which introduced an all-wheel-drive version of the Camry for the first time since 1991.
For the 2021 model year, the Camry becomes the first Toyota to debut the brand's new Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) suite. It also gets revised front styling, upgraded interior trim, and the Camry Hybrid gets a new XSE variant. Buyers interested in the Camry have more choice than ever before, with 17 different versions spanning various trims, engines, and drivetrains.
All models receive a refreshed face, with the SE and XSE using a sportier honeycomb grille and the LE and XLE having a different lower intake section. Blueprint is a newly introduced color, and the TRD has access to Ice Edge paint with a two-tone black roof.
The new TSS 2.5+ safety suite has an improved pre-collision and pedestrian detection system that can now also detect a preceding cyclist or, in low light, a preceding pedestrian. Additional features include automatic high beams, lane departure alert, and a rear seat reminder. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are standard on the XLE, XSE, and TRD, but optional on other trims.
In the cabin, a new floating seven- or nine-inch touchscreen display is similar to that of the new RAV4. Classier interior trim is another new addition, with the XLE getting a textured herringbone seat pattern.
As before, there are three powertrain options, starting with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder with outputs varying between 202-206 horsepower and 182-186 lb-ft of torque depending on the trim and whether power goes to the front or all wheels. This engine is paired with an electric motor and produces 208 hp in the Camry Hybrid. The 3.5-liter V6 produces 301 hp and 267 lb-ft. The Hybrid has a CVT but all other versions use an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The L trim has fallen away as the base model, which is now replaced by the LE. This is followed by XLE, SE, SE Nightshade, XSE (now also as a Hybrid), and TRD trims. The sporty TRD has proven immensely popular with its aerodynamic kit, cat-back dual exhaust system, and red-accented cabin trim.
The Camry should continue providing comfortable, reliable transport for buyers who aren't ready to say goodbye to the three-box sedan just yet.