The Toyota Camry turned “America’s favourite sedan” a very long time in the past, a lot to the chagrin of automotive patriots from North America. The Camry continues to play that function regardless of the proliferation of SUVs doing their darndest to unseat this perennial. Whereas many Detroit corporations appear to have phased out most of their competing sedans, the Camry continues to plug alongside.
So how nicely does the Camry plug alongside? The ClassicCars.com Journal workers examined a 2023 Camry SE Hybrid Nightshade sedan to look at the state-of-the-art of suburban transportation.
These days of Camry DX, LE, and SE are long-gone. Right this moment we’ve 13 Camry fashions. They begin with the $26,320 Camry LE after which proceed with the next:
- $28,655 LE Hybrid
- $27,860 SE
- $28,860 SE Nightshade
- $30,190 SE Hybrid
- $31,190 SE Hybrid Nightshade
- $31,070 XLE
- $33,545 XLE Hybrid
- $36,195 XLE V6
- $31,620 XSE
- $34,095 XSE Hybrid
- $36,745 XSE V6
- $33,385 TRD
When the current-generation Camry debuted for 2018, it was considerably of a revelation as a result of Camrys of the previous had been so intentionally milquetoast. Although styling is clearly within the eye of the beholder, the brand new Camry actually got here off showing a lot sportier than it had completed previously. Throughout the Camry collection, totally different trim ranges might characteristic totally different styling (particularly up entrance), with some showing extra polarizing than others. Within the case of our Camry SE Hybrid Nightshade, it includes a “black entrance grille with sport mesh insert” complemented by black facet mirrors, window trim, and badging. Nineteen-inch bronze alloy wheels set it off the Reservoir Blue properly. Different trim ranges characteristic extra of a large “chin” that the SE, XSE, and TRD handle to keep away from. Maybe the everyday Camry goal market is not going to care, however we might have a distinct opinion: the schnoz may also be polarizing relying on trim stage, with some invoking the look that Acura was criticized for a decade in the past.
Camry hybrids are powered by a 2.5-liter Dynamic Pressure DOHC four-cylinder with twin variable valve timing that gives 176 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. With help from a 650V hybrid system, mixed horsepower turns into 208. Contemplating right this moment’s Camry serves a goal no totally different than a four-door Plymouth Valiant from a number of generations in the past, the efficiency of the Camry is considerably of a revelation: 0-60 within the low sevens and quarter-mile ETs in underneath 16 seconds. To distinction, a Valiant with the Slant Six would get to 60 in nearly the identical time because the Camry’s ET. The efficiency obtainable out of your common, up to date four-door sedan (hybrid or in any other case) is sort of astounding although, in accordance with the buff books, the Camry hybrid isn’t as sizzling as different autos in its class. Nonetheless, it doesn’t undergo due to it.
Though this isn’t a Prius, the Camry hybrid might seem like a extra spectacular car, all issues being equal. The quantity of consolation obtainable as a result of its dimension belies the truth that it’s federally rated at 44 mpg metropolis/47 freeway/46 mixed. Whereas that’s about 10 mpg lower than the Prius, the Camry is way more automobile with out compromise. We ourselves achieved 45 mpg in combined driving. And keep in mind that Valiant? It might solely obtain half the mpg at greatest. For these stats alone, we completely adore the Camry and the expertise that has pushed it thus far.
Our SE Hybrid Nightshade was furnished with Sport SofTex-trimmed entrance seats with material inserts. It’s a sturdy imitation leather-based that seems throughout the Toyota spectrum, nevertheless it lacks an opulent feel and look. On the SE Hybrid Nightshade, the driver-side seat is power-operated and contains lumbar help; the passenger makes do with guide controls that’s simply advantageous with us. In any other case, our Camry got here with a lot of the conveniences you’d count on in a contemporary sedan, corresponding to distant keyless entry system, push-button begin, USB-C port, dual-zone local weather management and, typical for contemporary automobiles, a busy, 4.2-inch multi-function show between the speedometer and tachometer. We do just like the knobs used for quantity and tuning and, after all, should you want buttons, you will have the steering wheel to regulate quantity and a complete bunch of different issues. The infotainment system is easy and never too troublesome to pair together with your telephone, particularly for these adept at setting the clock on a VCR.
Driving the Camry SE Hybrid Nightshade is a benign expertise. It does every part you demand and does it whereas serving up stellar gas economic system. If the Camry was a rental automobile, there can be little doubt it could be the perfect rental automobile on the earth. You possibly can rely upon its competency like no different — one thing we want lets say about most issues in life. It is advisable to make a quick flip? The Camry will do it with aplomb. The expertise gained’t be like a Supra’s however, as a testomony to trendy transportation units, the Camry will deal with what you set it up towards. It’s an out of sight/out of thoughts expertise, like an extension of your being mixed with reliability that has been a Camry trademark because it unseated the Ford Taurus as America’s favourite sedan (although there’s been that pesky Honda Accord now and again). In some methods, the Camry is the anti-SUV as a result of it provides all of the spaciousness and utility most want whereas providing sufficient inside and trip consolation so you possibly can get pleasure from your podcast with a minimal of fuss. Like many trendy automobiles, there are a number of gimmicky driving modes: Regular, Sport, Eco, and EV. Every setting provides a number of shift factors and electrical motor cut-offs that may have an effect on acceleration and economic system. Contemplating the extra economy-minded settings could be lazy in hilly nation, we will admire this characteristic in opportune moments. Nevertheless, it could not shock us that thx x e common Camry drive retains it on one setting and has forgotten about it.
The 2023 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid Nightshade jogs my memory of how one journal characterised the Camaro in 1968: it tries to be all issues to all folks. The Camaro was criticized as a result of, whereas it aimed to please a big phase of the inhabitants, it appeared to excel at nothing as a result of it wasn’t targeted. Compared, the Camry doesn’t undergo from attempting too onerous. Quite the opposite, it appears more proficient at checking all of the bins and being competent at every part — not fairly the instructor’s pet, however one that may all the time be within the instructor’s good graces if given the occasional apple. For this, we’ve nice respect for the Camry SE Hybrid Nightshade, as we’ve no bones to select with its effectivity. Nevertheless, as people who aren’t fairly the Camry’s goal market, we’re left wanting extra: we’d love higher styling, sharper dealing with, a extra upscale inside (which could be faked fairly simply, as Mazda has confirmed) and, maybe, higher acceleration to be extra aggressive with different hybrids out there (although the seat of our collective pants has no points). None of these items really matter at this level contemplating Toyota is getting ready the next-generation Camry for 2024. If the newest choices from Toyota are any trace, such because the GR Corolla, GR86 coupe, and even the I-hate-to-say-it-but-the-new-Prius-is-almost-stunning Prius, we might even be excited with what Mr. and Mrs. America will have the ability to drive subsequent.