The 2017 Toyota Camry is a comfortable commuter without much pretension; a very good appliance for car buyers who prefer substance over style.
The Toyota Camry is America's best-selling car in a competitive segment that includes strong entries such as the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, and Subaru Legacy. The Camry was most recently overhauled in 2015, and this year's model carries over largely unchanged.
It's a a comfortable commuter without much pretension; a very good appliance for car buyers who prefer substance over style.
The Camry earns a 7.0 out of 10 on our overall scale, which is better than average, but not as high as some of the others in its class. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Styling and performance
From the exterior, the Camry looks largely reserved with brief flashes of bold styling. Most notably, its "mechanical catfish" grille returns from last year and could be the car's most polarizing statement. It's unusually bold for Toyota and something that may not turn off many buyers from considering a Camry, but almost certainly won't turn many on. Around the sides and rear, the Camry is handsome without overstating or relying on modern language like a floating roof or a too-high window line.
Under the hood, most buyers will find a modest 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes 178 horsepower, which is the base powerplant. That engine is mated to a conventional 6-speed automatic (many competitors now use continuously variable transmissions) that helps wring out the best from the busy 4-cylinder. The engine isn't overwhelming, but it should be fine for most commuters.
A more potent 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 268 hp and a hybrid battery-engine combo that makes 200 hp are both available here. The V-6 has enough pedal to be confident anywhere; the hybrid returns a stratospheric 40 mpg combined.
Quality, safety, and features
Inside is where the Camry comes alive. Its interior is spacious and considerate, with plenty of interior storage and sound-deadening, and places a premium on seating for adults—perhaps at a cost of versatility and cargo storage. Its 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space is in line with the rest of the segment, and isn't heavily compromised by batteries if buyers opt for the Camry Hybrid.
The Camry performs well in safety tests, but not as good as others in its class. Federal officials have given it a five-star overall rating, despite four-star ratings in side impact and rollover crash safety. The IIHS gave the 2017 Camry its most prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award after it aced all of their tests and its optional forward-collision mitigation technology was rated as "Advanced."
The 2017 Camry comes equipped as standard with mostly acceptable features for cars in its class, but adds a 6.1-inch touchscreen on base models—above-average in our books. The Camry comes in two flavors with different looks: LE and XLE models are plain-clothes models with more luxurious touches to the latter; SE and XSE are sportier-looking variants with the XSE more handsomely equipped.
In hybrid configuration, the Camry can be very fuel efficient. The base inline-4 and optional V-6 engines aren't very advanced when it comes to fuel-saving features.