IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The Toyota Camry boasts dynamic styling, a fairly engaging driving personality (when properly equipped), and an excellent selection of powertrains and options to suit a broad range of buyers.
The folding rear seatbacks (which aren’t available on the base L or TRD models) rest about seven inches above the trunk floor when folded, making it difficult to slide long items forward.
Even the base L model comes standard with Toyota’s Safety Sense-P suite of equipment, which includes forward collision warning and mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and mitigation, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control.
WHAT IS IT?
The Camry is Toyota’s midsize sedan, which has perennially been one of the most popular (if not THE most popular) cars in its segment. Three powertrains are available: a 203-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder (which is offered in L, LE, SE, XLE models and the sportier XSE, where it makes 206 hp), a 301-hp 3.5-liter V6 (offered in XLE, XSE, and new-for-2020 TRD form), and a 208-hp 2.5-liter gas/electric hybrid 4-cylinder (available in LE, SE, and XLE trim). The Hybrid uses a CVT transmission; the others have an 8-speed automatic. Available features include a head-up instrument display, 360-degree surround-view camera, LED headlights, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and a brake-hold feature.
The Camry gets a performance-focused TRD model for 2020 (TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development, the brand’s performance arm). The Camry TRD uses the same 301-hp engine as the other V6 Camrys, but it is outfitted with a TRD sport exhaust system, additional body bracing, upgraded brakes, sport-tuned suspension, lightweight wheels on wider performance tires, special interior trim, and sporty body-styling add-ons. The Camry lineup also gains Android Auto functionality this year, in addition to its previously available Apple CarPlay capability.
The 4-cylinder is EPA-rated at 29 mpg city/41 mpg highway in the base L model and 28/39 in the other models. The V6 is rated at 22 city/33 highway (22/32 in XSE trim, and 22/31 in TRD form). In LE trim, the Camry Hybrid has a lithium-ion battery pack and an mpg rating of 51 city/53 highway; the SE and XLE trims use a nickel-metal-hydride battery and have a rating of 44 city/47 highway. In Consumer Guide® testing, a 4-cyl. Camry XLE averaged 27.8 mpg in 60-percent city driving, an XSE V6 averaged 24.5 mpg in 60-percent highway driving, and a Hybrid XLE averaged 40.9 mpg in 60-percent city driving in frigid winter weather.
VALUE IN CLASS
The Toyota Camry has long been a default pick for a reliable mainstream midsize sedan, but over the years it had gained a reputation as a rather plain-vanilla appliance. In recent years, Toyota has successfully imbued the Camry with a bit more spice. While the 2020 Camry is as practical and sensible as ever, it’s really no less dynamic that the rest of its class when properly equipped, and the new TRD model is one of the sportiest cars in the segment—and also the most affordable way to get a V6 Camry.