Popularity of a particular consumer item in America and the quality of said consumer item don’t always correlate very well. Whether you’re talking about hamburgers or watches, cheap often wins the day, but that’s not the case with the 2017 Toyota Camry. This is a best-selling sedan and and it’s also one of best.
This largely comes down to how well the Camry goes about its business. It’s comfortable to drive every day and has a big backseat that will carry some friends to lunch or haul your family across the country. The Camry is also easy to see out of, can be fitted with a helpful array of technology features and boasts excellent safety scores. Toyota even offers two distinct versions of the Camry, the regular LE and XLE and the sport-themed SE and XSE, to better satisfy a range of driving preferences.
We’re partial to the Camry SE or XSE because of their sportier styling and more taut suspension tuning
Even if you go with the SE or XSE, the Camry isn’t the sportiest sedan in the segment. The Camry’s arch-rival, the Honda Accord, is a bit livelier, as are the Ford Fusion and Mazda 6. Nor does the Camry have the lock on value as the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima are impressively well-rounded for the price. But overall we think the Camry deserves a look thanks to its overall level of refinement, features and comfort.
The 2017 Toyota Camry is a midsize sedan available in LE, SE, XSE and XLE trim levels. The Toyota Camry Hybrid is reviewed separately.
Standard equipment on the base Camry LE includes 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, air-conditioning, keyless entry, a rearview camera, cruise control, an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way power lumbar adjustment), 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, cloth upholstery, a 6.1-inch Entune touchscreen electronics interface, voice controls, Bluetooth connectivity, Siri Eyes Free and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.
The Camry SE builds on that with 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, sport-themed exterior styling and interior trim elements, cloth and synthetic leather upholstery and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with paddle shifters.
Optional on the LE and SE is an Entune Audio Plus package that includes an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen, satellite radio and HD radio. A sunroof is also optional.
Next is the Camry XSE, which starts with the SE’s equipment and adds 18-inch wheels, LED running lights, leather and synthetic suede upholstery, heated front seats, a four-way power passenger seat, dual-zone automatic climate control (with rear seat vents), the Entune Audio Plus package, a 10-speaker JBL premium sound system andQi wireless smartphone charging.
The Camry XLE is equipped similarly to the XSE, but switches to the LE’s comfort-oriented suspension tuning and goes without the sporty styling elements. It has 17-inch alloy wheels and full leather upholstery.
The bigger 7-inch touchscreen comes standard on the XSE and XLE trim levels.
A Convenience package is offered on the SE, XSE and XLE trims that includes keyless ignition and entry (with hands-free trunk opening) and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Note that the V6-powered versions of the XSE and XLE get a few additional standard features, including LED headlights, a noise-reducing windshield, a sunroof and the Convenience package.
Optional on the XSE and the XLE is a blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert system and an Advanced Technology package that bundles lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision warning and braking system and automatic high-beam headlight control. A navigation system with additional smartphone app integration (the Entune Premium Audio with Navigation package) is optional for SE, XSE and XLE.
The XLE can additionally be equipped with Safety Connect emergency telematics (see Safety section).
Every 2017 Toyota Camry trim comes standard with front-wheel drive, a six-speed automatic transmission and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque.
In Edmunds testing, a Camry LE with the standard engine went from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, which is a bit slower than average for a four-cylinder midsize sedan.
The XSE and XLE trims also offer a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. An XLE V6 sprinted to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds in our testing, a quick result for this class of vehicle.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the four-cylinder engine wasn’t available as of this writing but last year’s Camry was rated at 28 mpg combined (25 mpg city/35 mpg highway), a few mpg behind rivals like the Honda Accord or Kia Optima.
The V6’s EPA-estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg combined (21 mpg city/30 mpg highway) is about average compared to rival V6 engines.