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The 2019 Toyota Camry wants you to think that its wallflower past is well behind it. We’re mostly convinced. Its duds are fresh and edgy, its performance surprising in certain trims, and its tech game is mostly on point. All models have flair, although that’s discounted somewhat in the base Camry L with its chintzy steel wheels covered by plastic hubcaps. For about $500 more, the Camry LE uses larger alloy wheels that fit its styling personality better.
Up front, the Camry has a wide, gaping lower grille in L, LE, and XLE trims. The sport-styled SE and XSE trims swap in a different front bumper that looks almost muscular. The Camry is more conservative in profile, though its roofline slopes toward a truncated tail with wide, complex taillights. A spoiler and a faux diffuser below the bumper add some style to SE and XSE trims.
Look for L, LE, or XLE badging on the back of a Camry and you’ll find a soft ride and light, but accurate steering. These versions of the Camry lean into corners and don’t encourage enthusiastic driving, but they’re sufficiently polished and confident. SE and XSE trims swap in a retuned suspension and steering heft that’s firmer, but not necessarily more communicative.
A 2.5-liter inline-4 rated at a smidge above 200 horsepower comes standard on all trims and it delivers power to the front wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. The base engine provides good power in most situations, but can feel a little gruff at lower speeds.
The Camry’s optional 3.5-liter V-6, available on XSE and XLE trims only, delivers an impressive 301 hp, which makes for thrilling acceleration. The V-6 can overpower the front wheels on damp roads, but the Camry’s traction control system is quick to intervene. We’d like to see all-wheel drive with the Camry’s V-6.
The Camry Hybrid starts with a 176-hp 2.5-liter inline-4 that pairs to a two-motor hybrid system with a combined output of 208 hp. An electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) shuttles power forward.
Camry L and LE trims come standard with firm, supportive seats up front wrapped in grippy cloth upholstery. Synthetic leather with a different pattern covers the SE’s seats, while XLE and XSE are upholstered in real leather hides. The base Camry L has a 8-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, but all other trims have power adjustment. A power passenger’s seat is standard on Camrys with leather.
Accessing the Camry’s rear seat requires taller passengers to duck their heads due to the low roofline. Once back there, passengers will find good leg room and a well-contoured seat. Heated rear seats aren’t available and only higher trim levels have rear-seat air vents for the climate control system.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.