2019 Toyota Camry

Performance


#1 out of 19 in Midsize Cars

$23,845 MSRP
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2019 Toyota Camry Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.9

You might want to sit down before we tell you that the 2019 Toyota Camry has some of the better driving dynamics in the class. It comes standard with a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, offers a punchy V6 as an option, and handles better than many of its classmates while also providing a comfortable ride.

  • "Let's be clear, this is no sports sedan, but it's no wallowing beast either. We hustled it harder than probably 99 percent of Camry owners ever will and it almost never felt out of its element. The electric steering firms up quickly into turns, the brakes … bite down adequately when called upon." -- Automobile Magazine (2018)
  • "Regardless of which engine you choose, though, the 2018 Camry is better to drive. Actually, that applies regardless of trim level, too. You see, the LE and SE trim lines carry over for 2018, giving customers a choice of more comfort- and sport-oriented variations, respectively. However, although the two continue to provide clear distinctions visually, the line between them dynamically has been blurred. It can honestly be tough to tell them apart and it's for the better. Both get improved steering that is communicative and impressively consistent in its effort (though admittedly less-so with the V6), along with a suspension that remains impressively composed through corners. The ride remains comfortable in both, but the LE is now more controlled over bigger bumps and undulations." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "With either engine, the Camry driving experience has been elevated. … The chassis is remarkably stoic and gamely resists body roll. In gentler driving, there's a newfound poise that replaces the somnambulant motions of the previous car. The steering has real weight that builds nicely as you turn the wheel. Even in its sportiest iteration, the new Camry may not goad you into screaming around corners or whipping through a series of switchbacks, but should you take the initiative yourself, the Camry steels its gaze and plays along." -- Car and Driver (2018)

Acceleration and Power

The Camry comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 203 horsepower (206 horsepower in the XSE trim). An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. This engine delivers decent acceleration and never feels weak. The transmission is smooth and has well-timed shifts, though it occasionally takes a moment to downshift.

Higher trims offer a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 301 horsepower. While Camrys with the base engine perform well enough, V6-powered models feel energetic. They're quick off the line, and the V6 puts out more horsepower than most rivals' engines.

With its base engine, the Camry gets outstanding fuel economy for a nonhybrid sedan, earning an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. The V6 can't match that efficiency, but it still gets 22 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

  • "Rev up the four-cylinder engine and it accelerates adequately. At our test track, our test car went 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds. It's a willing engine, but it can sometimes feel lackluster at low rpm or around town. The pricey V6 option is a luxury, not a necessity." - Edmunds
  • "The mechanical changes mean that the transformation from behind the wheel is more evident than you might expect. The mainstay four-cylinder is now the most powerful naturally aspirated four in the segment, and its additional output is evident. We found it to be energetic and well mannered with its eight-speed automatic partner." -- Car and Driver (2018)
  • "Finally, it is worth drawing distinction between the 4-cylinder engine and the far more powerful V6 engine. … I actually prefer the 4-cylinder. It puts less weight over the front tires, giving the car sharper bite in tight turns. It is also significantly more fuel-efficient. And while it certainly is slower, as far as 4-cylinder engines go, it provides lively and refined response when the driver steps on the accelerator pedal." -- New York Daily News (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Camry's smooth ride makes it a great commuter car. Its buttoned-down handling may surprise you, as the Camry exhibits good composure on winding roads and provides more driving enjoyment than many midsize sedans.

An available drive mode selector lets you choose between three modes (Normal, Eco, and Sport) that alter this sedan's driving dynamics to suit your preferences. Front-wheel drive comes standard.

  • "The steering wheel adjusts more than previous Camrys and felt more even than competitors. The ride is quiet but not isolated, and a little application of spirited driving -- switching to sport mode and using the paddle shifters -- breathes life into it." -- Autoweek (2018)
  • "A smooth and comfortable ride has always been a Camry strength, and this remains true even with the car's improved agility. The suspension of the LE model we rented from Toyota soaked up bumps easily, even when the going got rough, delivering a smooth and refined ride." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "Camrys have been known for comfortable rides, but nimble handling typically has been way down the engineers' kaizen wish list. Yet it's the eighth-gen Camry's biggest improvement. This might be the best-riding and -handling Camry to date." -- Motor Trend (2018)
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