$14,764 - $20,225

2016 Toyota Camry Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Toyota Camry was new.


Performance: 7.7

The 2016 Toyota Camry draws praise from reviewers for its smooth ride and responsive handling, which they say give it a somewhat sporty feel. Some critics think the available engines provide good power and acceleration, but others argue that they are past their prime and make for a dull driving experience. Test drivers report that the automatic transmission is refined.

  • "In addition to changes that made the new Camry sportier, we also think the family sedan is now a lot quieter on the road. In fact, we think this is the latest Camry's most immediately noticeable change. Current Camry drivers will quickly recognize that the new model offers a quieter, more refined driving experience. To us, top-level Camry models are now closer to Toyota's luxurious Lexus brand than they've ever been before." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • The LE, with its 4-cylinder engine, 16-inch steel wheels with wheelcovers, and cloth interior, is the least glamorous Camry, but it still delivers smooth, adequate (if sometimes labored) acceleration and an exceptionally calm, absorbent ride." -- Consumer Guide (2015)
  • In total, the Toyota Camry doesn't provide what we would consider an engaging driving experience, nor are the SE and XSE really sport models. Rather, they collectively feel like a family sedan should: buttoned-down and confidence-inspiring in varying degrees." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Camry faithful have no fear: The rethought Camry still qualifies as one of the most comfortable, easy-to-drive midsize sedans you can buy. But it's also a little livelier now, thanks in large part to revised steering, braking and suspension tuning." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Toyota Camry features a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 178 horsepower. A 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 268 horsepower is available. Each engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2016 Camry gets an EPA-estimated 25/35 mpg city/highway, which is in the middle of the pack among non-hybrid midsize cars.

Test drivers generally find that the Camry’s base four-cylinder engine holds its own, but most prefer the available V6 for its additional power and eager acceleration. Some critics argue that these proven engines have outlived their expiration date and provide a dull experience. Most reviewers praise the six-speed transmission. They find it responsive and say it downshifts willingly when rapid acceleration is required.

  • "Under the hood, the base four-cylinder accelerates well enough, but the optional V6 is the star of the show with its effortless and seemingly endless thrust. Either way, the six-speed transmission is quite refined and notably quick to downshift." -- Edmunds
  • The transmission isn't afraid to kick down a few gears when power is needed and, overall, the engine feels adequate. It isn't fast, but it'll get the job done in most driving situations a Camry is likely to face." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "We'd complain that Toyota seems to be hanging on to these long-in-the-tooth engines, but darn it if they aren't still laudable and competitive in terms of smoothness, power delivery, and fuel efficiency." -- Consumer Guide (2015)
  • "The Camry's V6 makes a muscular 268 horsepower, and even the 4-cylinder puts out a respectable 175 hp. Indeed, we suspect few Camry buyers are clamoring for more power, and we certainly aren't either." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "The … Camry's engines are both elder statesmen at this point. The 178-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 have earned their retirement several times over. Neither offer much in the way of spirited performance." -- Road and Track (2015)

Handling and Braking

Test drivers report that the 2016 Camry delivers a comfortable ride. The suspensions in the sport-tuned SE and XSE trims, however, are a bit firmer than those in the LE and XLE trims. Critics say the Camry provides a surprisingly sporty feel in the SE and XSE trims. They add that it is composed through corners and the brakes are responsive.

  • "Of course, the Camry has traditionally been known for its comfort and quietness, and fortunately those traits are still abundantly present. Even the sport-tuned trims have a supple ride, but if you want the creamiest suspension possible, the LE and XLE certainly deliver." -- Edmunds
  • "The Camry rides as smoothly as ever, but now feels more buttoned down and confident over bumps and in curves. No more wallowing and undulating body motions in curves or over rough pavement. For my money, the ‘sportier’ suspension on the SE and XSE is the way to go, as the LE and XLE are a little more floaty and allow a bit more body motion over the bumps." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • Naturally, the XSE V6 is the most dynamically engaging Camry (yes, I just strung those three words together). In terms of cornering ability and sporty driving demeanor, the XSE feels like it can hang with most any mainstream midsize sedan. The trade-off for the XSE's crisper moves are a stiffer ride and noticeably more road noise from its standard 18-inch tires." -- Consumer Guide (2015)
  • "One particular revelation involves the Camry's XSE's brakes, which are remarkably well tuned, thanks in part to a new two-stage master cylinder. Initial bite is crisp and response is linear all the way down the pedal travel." -- Autoblog (2015)

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