$6,100 - $8,667

2009 Toyota Camry Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Toyota Camry was new.


Performance: 7.6

The Camry's performance is good, but not good enough to outshine the Honda Accord, or more athletic rivals like the Nissan Altima. However, reviewers almost unanimously describe the car as a refined road performer if not a sporty one -- and say owners of earlier generations of the Camry might be surprised by the power of this one. In addition, most say the Camry's polished performance still compares well to the Accord and other family four-doors.

  • "The most muscular Camry ever, with an available 268-horsepower V6 at the driver's beck and call. Matched to a smooth six-speed automatic transmission, that powerhouse can propel this family sedan to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds -- as quick as some sport sedans and coupes." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2009 Toyota Camry drives much like most family sedans, not too sporty and not too soft. The base car tends toward the soft side, but the LE and XLE are crisper and more athletic. Most fun to drive, at least on smooth roads, is the lower and stiffer SE sport model." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Camry offers comfortable, quiet and smooth ride, even when the road conditions are less than ideal." -- All Auto Reviews
  • "On the road, we were underwhelmed by the Camry's performance." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

The 2009 Camry offers a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.5-liter V6 with 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. To reviewers, the base engine is sufficient for most drivers, but the V6 is good for providing a few thrills. When it comes to the powertrain -- most reviewers say it's a matter of preference -- the Camry's engines and transmissions are comparable in power and performance to those of its close competitors -- the Honda Accord or Nissan Altima. EPA ratings for the 2009 Camry range from 19 to 21 mpg in the city to 28 to 31 mpg on highways.

  • "Toyota's four-cylinder engine is not the strongest, but it's more than adequate with the manual transmission." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Our LE model came with Toyota's 2.4L engine -- rated at 158 horsepower and 161 lb-ft of torque -- and struggled a bit to carry around the 3,300 lb Camry. According to Toyota, 0-60 takes a leisurely 9.5 seconds. Under acceleration, the engine is also quite loud and buzzy yet works well with the five-speed automatic transmission." -- Left Lane News
  • "The muscular V6 is a powerhouse, good for a zero to 60-miles-per-hour burst in less than seven seconds." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "V6's 6-speed automatic transmission is sometimes hesitant to kick down for passing power." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

The Camry's quietness is one of its strong suits, thanks to a MacPherson strut front suspension and dual-link rear suspension. Most test drivers describe the Camry's ride as soft and smooth, and several praise the sport-like qualities of the SE trim.

  • "In stark contrast to the Fusion, it was almost impossible not to drive the Camry smoothly, making it the car everyone wanted to inhabit during heavy-traffic slogs." -- Car and Driver
  • "Most fun to drive, at least on smooth roads, is the lower and stiffer SE sport model, which has added structural bracing, firmer springs, shock absorbers, bushings and anti-roll bars, better steering feel and even an underbody aerodynamic treatment for enhanced high-speed stability." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Steering on all but the Hybrid is accurate and responsive, if a bit overboosted and numb in the opinion of some testers." -- Consumer Guide

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