2020 Toyota Camry
One of the best-selling vehicles in America is a mid-size sedan that yields a high level of owner loyalty, build quality, and a reputation for great reliability. In a time where SUVs own the marketplace, this sedan continues to deliver on ownership satisfaction and steady sales for the past few decades.
The Toyota Camry embodies all of these attributes and more. Since the first one was sold for the 1983 model year, it is the one car that families, businesspeople, and commuters rely on day-in and day-out.
This current generation model marked a huge leap in the Camry’s progression. We wanted to bring one in for us to evaluate and tell its story. Our 2020 SE tester is a prime example of the most typical example you will find on the roads today. Here’s the reasons why.
When it was introduced a few years ago, Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda deemed the new Camry as “sexy.” It is one of the most compelling versions of this long-running model. It starts with a three-dimensional front end based on an open T-shaped upper grille and a choice of two lower grille treatments.
The side profile features a more natural look, with various lines, curves, and textures. The roofline is lower than before, with more rakish front and rear window angles. The window area actually is larger, as are the doors, compared to previous generations. The rear end is complimented with new slimmer taillight units.
Our SE tester offers a sportier look, with a mesh-style grille up front, a diffuser in the rear bumper with a single set of dual exhaust ports, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Once inside, drivers are greeted with a wider instrument binnacle, a triangle-shaped center stack, and a deep center console with plenty of storage. Our SE tester received the standard 4.2-inch information screen in between the speedometer and tachometer dials.
The front seats in our SE tester have a shape that integrates comfort and support. Although a bit more bolstering for the seats would make them perfect. Rear seat room was fine for many bodies to sit behind each other. Trunk space is spacious with 15.1 cubic feet that expands further with the rear seats folded down for longer cargo.
The our “sexy” Camry SE is powered by the 203-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It offered plenty of power and solid highway cruising, even though there were some occasions when the transmission did not shift smoothly. In terms of fuel economy, we averaged 33.4 MPG.
If you are looking for a smooth driveline for the Camry that offers great fuel economy and a smoother driveline, we recommend the Hybrid version. It comes in three trim lines, including the SE.
The ride quality is on the firm side but has some suppleness to it. You can see it in the handling, where the cornering and agility are tempered, but tame. Steering is also pretty good, with some sharper maneuvering from the wheel to put it into place. Driving in Normal and Eco mode exposes a bit of play on-center. That is easily fixed by putting the Camry Hybrid XLE in Sport mode, where the steering feel is heavier and more controlled. Also, Sport mode offers transmission shifts that are more aggressive, using higher revs without penalty to overall engine performance – something you never thought was possible with Hybrid drivelines.
Brakes are also pretty good, with a soft pedal feel. They also offer great stops in normal and panic situations.
The 2020 Camry lineup starts from $24,445 for a basic L model. Our SE tester came with a sticker price of $27,125. You have the choice of twelve different models, three different engines, and available all-wheel-drive to decide upon for your Camry.
Being the long-time standard bearer of the mid-size family sedan class, the Toyota Camry is still being compared to its long-time rivals. These competitors include the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, Mazda 6, Subaru Legacy, Chevrolet Malibu, Volkswagen Passat, and the Ford Fusion.
While everyone seems to be buying SUVs and crossovers over sedan, the Toyota Camry still leads the way in its segment. It offers the highest level of customer loyalty among any passenger car in this country. Perhaps the next time you are looking at a sedan, consider all of the reasons why the Toyota Camry remains a popular automobile in America.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors