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2021 Toyota Camry Review

Stephen Rivers

The updated 2021 Toyota Camry is perhaps the most powerful and efficient example of the classic and trusted sedan from Toyota ever made.

What’s New for the 2021 Toyota Camry

For 2021, the folks at Toyota didn’t make any Earth-shattering changes to the platform that came out in 2018. Small adjustments can be found all over though. Not only does the lineup lose its base car, the L trim level, but now all trims get enhanced safety features like adaptive cruise control. In addition, new wheels, paint colors, and some gentle exterior styling redesigns have also been added. A new 9-inch touchscreen is available for the first time inside.

2021 Toyota Camry - pressroom.toyota.com

2021 Toyota Camry – pressroom.toyota.com |  Shop 2021 Toyota Camry on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $24,970

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

FWD or AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

28 City / 39 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Incredible efficiency from the Hybrid model

Top of the range TRD is affordable

TRD models have some real performance

Base engine is disappointing

CVT is underwhelming

Interior quality feels a bit cheap

An AWD TRD would be nice

2021 Toyota Camry Specs

Trims & Pricing

LE - $24,970
SE - $26,485
Hybrid - $27,270
XLE - $29,870
XSE - $30,420
TRD - $32,185

2021 Toyota Camry Powertrain

2021 Toyota Camry 2.5L I4 - carsforsale.com
2021 Toyota Camry 2.5L I4 - carsforsale.com

While the performance gap isn’t as grand as the difference between the base Charger and its Hellcat trim level, the 2021 Toyota Camry reminds you of that performance difference. The base 203 horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and CVT transmission make you wonder if this car isn’t a few years older than it really is. It’s slow to respond, slow to accelerate, and slow to react. Of course, it’s a Camry so that’s less shocking than what happens behind the wheel of the TRD trim level.

2021 Toyota Camry 3.5L V6 - carsforsale.com
2021 Toyota Camry 3.5L V6 - carsforsale.com

Slip behind the much more aggressive steering wheel of the Toyota Camry TRD with the 301 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine and everything feels alien. This is undoubtedly the best Camry Toyota has ever made. It’s actually pretty quick. It handles pretty well, and dare I say it… it actually looks like it drives. Perhaps for the first time ever, almost anyone who could want a brand new Camry will have a version that perfectly fits them. The only down side of the TRD model is that with so much power channeled to the front wheels alone, the torque steer is noticeable.

2021 Toyota Camry Fuel Economy & MPG

The Camry is a truly efficient vehicle that we can’t knock in any way. The worst of trim packages with fuel efficiency in mind is the TRD and it still gets 22 mpg city and 31 on the highway. The regular Camry gets 28 mpg city and 39 mpg highway, while the hybrid goes to the extreme with up to 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

Perhaps the most unchanging part of the 2021 Toyota Camry is the interior. None of the trim levels seem to take a dramatic step up or down in either direction when it comes to quality. Fit and finish inside is great, but it’s unlikely that anyone seated in a Camry could be convinced that they’re in a luxury vehicle. While that might not be shocking, it’s important to consider that many competitors of the Camry offer just such a feeling. The XLE comes close to offering a bargain luxe feeling, but in our eyes comes up short largely because of how loud things are in the cabin. Good luxury cars are quiet inside and the Camry is not that. Still though, that gives those who want the TRD model just one more thing to like as its sporting personality can be heard and not just felt.

That shouldn’t take away from the fact that the Toyota Camry is a comfortable and well laid out car that can easily fit four full-sized adults. The design of the interior will remind you of older Prius models in terms of the layout. Maybe the most underrated feature is the outstanding climate control system that easily manages both zones with quick and capable adjustments. Cargo space is satisfactory, but not particularly noteworthy.

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Entertainment & Technology

2021 Toyota Camry - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Camry - pressroom.toyota.com

Every 2021 Toyota Camry comes standard with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, which is a great feature. Both the 7 and 9-inch touchscreen infotainment centers are responsive and well laid out. The system Toyota is using is called EnTune, which is now on its third version that shows through in how it behaves. The wireless charging, multiple charge points, and optional nav are all welcome additions too.

Overall though, if you test multiple brands you’ll easily spot that Toyota has spent its resources on safety tech and the overall fit and finish of the Camry. What’s truly the most impressive part of the Camry is that outstanding collection of safety tech that’s included on all trim levels and the optional bits too like full-speed adaptive cruise which is a no brainer. Let’s dive into that a bit more now.

Safety Features

While some companies struggle to offer any more than the most basic of features, Toyota remains committed to providing the most vital safety features on every trim level. Automatic braking, adaptive cruise, and lane keep assist are outstanding standard features. The optional extras offer even more in the form of blind-spot monitoring, rear automatic braking, and a heads up display. The 2021 Toyota Camry has a 5-star crash test rating from the NHTSA and is a top safety pick+ from the IIHS.

2021 Toyota Camry Trims & Pricing

2021 Toyota Camry LE - carsforsale.com
2021 Toyota Camry LE - carsforsale.com

LE – $24,970

With the L trim level no longer available, the LE takes the new place as the base level Toyota Camry and does a nice job with great standard safety features and decent efficiency as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2021 Toyota Camry SE - toyota.com
2021 Toyota Camry SE - toyota.com

SE – $26,485

The SE Trim level appoints the Camry with some important features like automatic climate control, 18-inch wheels, and a sport tuned suspension.

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid - pressroom.toyota.com

Hybrid – $27,270

The hybrid powertrain can be had in all but the TRD model and this is where the LE Hybrid is priced to begin. Throughout the range features are equal among gas and hybrid powered Camry trim levels.

2021 Toyota Camry XLE - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Camry XLE - pressroom.toyota.com

XLE – $29,870

Bumping up to the XLE package provides a bevy of tech and luxury upgrades like full-speed adaptive cruise, wireless charging, the 9-inch infotainment screen, and leather.

2021 Toyota Camry XSE - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Camry XSE - pressroom.toyota.com

XSE – $30,420

XSE turns a focus towards more sporty driving with 19-inch wheels, dual exhaust, blacked out grille trim, and the same sport tuned suspension of the SE, but now with much of the luxury and tech goodies from the XLE.

2021 Toyota Camry TRD - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Camry TRD - pressroom.toyota.com

TRD – $32,185

The only engine found in the TRD is the 301 horsepower V6 and its paired with an excellent 8-speed automatic transmission. You’ll get special 19-inch wheels, a unique sport tuned suspension, and aero bodywork among other things.

Warranties

The 2021 Toyota Camry carries the same limited warranty of 5-years or 60,000 miles and 3-years or 36,000 miles for the powertrain that almost every other manufacturer uses. Where Toyota starts to stand out is the 24 months or 25,000 miles of complementary service that they offer. Where other manufacturers don’t offer much of anything, Toyota dominates.

What we think

2021 Toyota Camry - toyota.com

2021 Toyota Camry – toyota.com |  Shop 2021 Toyota Camry on Carsforsale.com

The 2021 Toyota Camry is an outstanding value for money among those who are looking for a vehicle that doesn’t really dominate the game in any one facet. That’s ok though because with multiple facets the Camry can shine more brightly. The Camry can do almost anything you could want it to do from being an inexpensive and reliable car for a college kid to a sincerely sporty front-wheel drive sedan. It’s not a traditional sports sedan, but it’s not just an econobox either.

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Stephen Rivers
Stephen Rivers

Stephen is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion. In his free time, he’s usually at a hockey rink, walking his dogs, or on a road bike. His automotive tastes lean towards cars that oftentimes seem to take a pound of flesh for the ethereal pleasure they provide: things like the Lamborghini Diablo, TVR Cerbera, and a C4 Corvette turned into a street-legal go-kart. He drives his Bugeye Subaru WRX in Autocross, Rallycross, and track day competitions throughout the year and daily drives a twin-turbo BMW 535i.

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