Toyota's bread-and-butter sedan offering, the Camry gets a host of changes for 2020 including the availability of all-wheel drive and a performance oriented TRD model. Camry was redesigned for 2018 and is a midsize 4-door sedan that seats 5 passengers. It competes with vehicles like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Passat.
Six trim levels are offered: L, LE, SE, XSE, XLE and TRD. Most come standard with a 203-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Optional on the XLE and the XSE and standard on the TRD is a 301-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Both mate to an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels. For 2020, all-wheel drive is offered on 4-cylinder models in LE trim and above. Camry is also offered as a hybrid.
Standard on every Camry is Toyota Safety Sense, which includes automatic hi-beam headlights, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control andforward-collision warning with pedestrian detection. L models start at $24,425 and includes 16-inch wheels, LED headlights, 7-inch touchscreen, USB port, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and a six-speaker sound system. LE comes in at $24,970 and adds power-adjustable driver's seat, alloy wheels, 60/40-split folding back seat and two charge-only USB ports.
SE lists for $26,170 and adds additional exterior trim, sport-tuned suspension, revised steering, automatic climate control, simulated-leather upholstery and leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters. XLE and XSL are up-scale packages on the LE and SE that add comfort and convenience features like an upgraded audio system, leather upholstery, larger driver information display, heated front seats and more advanced adaptive cruise control system.
Finally, the new TRD starts $31,170 and builds on the SE by adding the V6, 19-inch black-painted wheels, aerodynamic body kit, upgraded brakes, TRD-tuned suspension and additional chassis bracing. It also gets keyless entry and ignition, the more advanced cruise control system and driver-selectable driving modes. Performance tires are a no-cost option.
While competitors offer turbocharged engines, Camry's stays true to the traditional midsize formula with a large-displacement 4-cylinder and optional V6. The base four provides a solid blend of acceleration and economy. It works well with the smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic to provide effortless around-town acceleration and adequate passing punch. Those looking for a little more excitement should opt for the smooth and powerful V6 engine. It's powerful enough to push the Camry from 0 to 60 MPH in less than 6 seconds. In addition, it's smooth and silky in around town driving.
EPA numbers for the 4-cylinder are 28 MPG city and 39 MPG highway. The V6 nets EPA ratings of 22/32 MPG. Those numbers fall slightly short of most competitors that offer smaller turbocharged engines, however, in reality the Camry engines provide very similar fuel economy. That's because the turbocharged engines tend to do very well in EPA testing, but stumble a bit in real-world driving. In routine driving it's easy to average 30 MPG overall with the four and perhaps 27 MPG with the V6.
From behind the wheel, most Camry models feels like just about any other midsize sedan (albeit one that favors comfort over sport). Around town the electric steering is nicely weighted. On the highway there a slight numb sensation that makes it a little difficult to track and straight and true. The brakes have adequate stopping power and the pedal is easy to modulate in most circumstances. TRD models get revised steering that reacts to driver inputs more quickly.
From a road holding standpoint the Camry Hybrid isn't going to win many auto-cross events -- the soft suspension and economy-minded tires make sure of that. Still, the midsize Camry is more than capable in most situations and actually shines in urban environments and on bumpy roads. At the limit, the Camry Hybrid stable as its front tires give up grip first and the vehicle transitions into controllable understeer. TRD models have a much more taught ride that can get a bit harsh on badly broken roads. Handling limits are higher and there's a bit more control in the corners.
Interior noise levels are impressively low, especially around. There's a bit of engine drone in hard acceleration, but even at extra-legal highway speeds the Camry is free from tire and wind noise. Buyers of the Camry TRD will want to avoid the summer tires as they add a lot of road noise and need to get swapped out in the winter anyway.
The interior design is flowing and functional, with materials that are appropriate for the class and price point. Drivers face a twin-dial setup that provides vehicle speed. There is a configurable display screen in between and a head up display is also available. The center stack features a high-mounted touch screen and buttons and dials for audio and climate control. Ancillary controls are well positioned for easy use with the exception of a few IP-mounted buttons to the left of the steering wheel.
Though the front seats don't look like anything special, they are extremely comfortable and offer just the right amount of support on long trips. In addition, the design will accommodate just about any body type. The same can be said for the rear seats, which offer adult-size comfort. Head and leg room is exceptional, front and rear. Entry exit is excellent thanks to large door openings and a reasonable step in. Visibility is also quite good thanks to a low beltline, large rear windows, and rear-view camera. Blind-spot alert and lane-departure warning are welcome options.
Toyota has finally added support for Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The touch screen is quite large and is easy to navigate without any smartphone integration. The available wireless charging tray is a nice plus and its design allows you to slide it out of the way when not in use.
At 15.1 cubic feet, the Camry offers one of the largest trunks in the class. The trunk opening is wide and lift over reasonably low. Interior storage is good, but not class leading. There are a few open and covered bins throughout, but map pockets and glove box are just modest in size.
Bottom Line -- Camry was always the safe and reliable choice when it came to midsize sedans and the 2020 model reinforces that idea thanks to the addition of all-wheel drive and Android Auto/Apple Car Play. In addition, the TRD model finally gives Camry fans a true sport edition from the factory. Kudos to Toyota for making adaptive cruise, automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist standard. Those are welcome safety features. Camry strong points continue to be comfort, economy, and passenger and cargo capacity. In other words, there's a lot to like.