The Toyota Camry quietly debuted late in the 1983 model year, when Toyota replaced its old rear-wheel-drive Corona with the front-wheel-drive Camry. From these humble beginnings, the Toyota Camry would go on to dominate the midsize family sedan segment for virtually, the next 25 years, as consumers immediately embraced it for its high build quality, comfortable ride and impressive durability.
The Toyota Camry is offered solely as a front-wheel-drive, midsize four-door sedan. Four traditional Toyota Camry trim levels are offered: base, LE, sporty SE and luxurious XLE. Even the base model includes stability control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a six-speaker CD audio system, satellite radio and Bluetooth.
A 169-horsepower 2.5-liter inline-4 is the base engine in the Toyota Camry, and the Toyota Camry SE receives a 179-hp version of the same engine. A powerful 3.5-liter V6 (268 hp, 248 pound-feet of torque) is available on all trims except the base model Toyota Camry. Transmission choices for the four are a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic (standard on XLE), while the V6 sends its power through a standard six-speed automatic.
In base and LE models, the Toyota Camry's interior is straightforward and functional. The main controls are large and logically placed, and the wide seats easily accommodate most body types. There are plenty of storage cubbies, too. The ice-blue backlighting for the audio and climate does liven things up a bit. The Toyota Camry SE adds sporty interior styling cues, while the Toyota Camry XLE raises the bar with convincing fake wood accents and an upscale feature not typically seen in this segment -- reclining rear seats. Trunk capacity for all models is 15 cubic feet.
The Toyota Camry's formula is to provide excellent ride comfort and isolation at the expense of engaging driving dynamics. The Toyota Camry SE ratchets up the fun in tight corners. The Toyota Camry's cosseting suspension may be preferable to the firmer, sportier approach taken by Mazda and Nissan.