2017 Toyota Camry XLE Review
A known quantity with good qualitiesNo Comments
Driving the Toyota Camry isn't thrilling. It gets you where you're going comfortably and at the speed limit, but there's little fun in wringing the thing out. The vehicle is happiest cruising along. It rewards you most when you drive it leisurely and carefully. This is a car designed for the grind of everyday life and not something that prefers a short sprint over a longer slower trek.
Ride Quality: The Camry is smooth and comfy over bumps and cracks. We wouldn't say its ride is pillowy, but it does a good job of soaking up rough city streets so you don't feel them much.
Acceleration: This is no race car, but it does a decent job off the line and passing on the highway. Reported 0-60 mph times are about 8 and a half seconds.
Braking: The Camry's brakes feel progressive and strong. Reported braking distances are on par with most of the competition.
Steering: Its steering is light and somewhat vague. This car would benefit from a little more steering heft and feedback to the driver.
Handling: There is a fair amount of body roll and understeer, but it is easy to manage. It isn't much of a canyon carver but performs adequately in the turns.
Toyota has outfitted the Camry with plenty of fine safety technology, a number of entertainment features and a useful navigation system. Because of this, you might think we'd rate this car pretty high when it comes to technology. The issue with the car's tech is that many other automakers have better systems. That's not to say that the Camry is lacking features, it's just that its interfaces aren't as good.
Infotainment System: The Entune 7-inch touchscreen system feels a little dated at this point. The graphics could be better and the system smoother and faster.
Controls: There's a nice mix of buttons, knobs and touchscreen controls in the Camry. Everything is close at hand, but angling the screen and system towards the driver slightly would make things even easier to reach.
Bluetooth Pairing: Connecting a phone was easy and reconnecting upon re-entry seamless.
Voice Call Quality: For the most part, calls were clear. We experienced some minor issues with calls cutting in and out. However, it was unclear if those issues were network-related or a problem with the infotainment system itself.
The Camry is a car designed to appeal to a wide variety of buyers. This means the car doesn't have many elements that could be considered polarizing. While this is generally a good thing, it's also what makes the Camry a bit boring looking. It's interesting that the company has found a way to make the Camry more interesting and attractive for the upcoming 2018 model while still using many similar styling elements. If you want a more interesting-looking car, wait for the 2018 model. If you don't care, this year's model will do just fine.
Front: The Toyota logo and a chrome bar that stretches the length between the headlights stretches across the top portion of the grille adding some variation on the front end of the car. It's a reasonably attractive nose but the large, lower grille mouth reminds us somewhat of a fish.
Rear: The rear is tied together by the taillights and the chrome bar that connects them. Pair that with the slightly protruding trunk lid and you have an attractive but not all that interesting tail.
Profile: The side of the Camry is conservatively styled with no polarizing elements. The character lines are subtle, and there isn't much to complain about or praise.
Cabin: The interior styling of the Camry is on the busier side. The dash and center stack looks chunky and layered and there are a lot of hard plastics. It's not the worst-looking dash out there, but Toyota could certainly do better.
From a comfort standpoint, the Camry is one of the better cars out there for the money. It features a spacious cabin and high-quality interior materials. There is room for improvements, and some parts of the cabin feel cheap and hard. In general, the car is an excellent place to spend an extended period of time.
Front Seats: The front heated power seats were leather trimmed and supportive, though a bit flat, meaning we slid around a little in the curves. However, most of the time, the flat seat and tons of space allows you to stretch out and get comfortable.
Rear Seats: The large, leather-wrapped rear seats proved comfortable and spacious, with plenty of support and padding. They offered a lot of space to stretch out and relax.
NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The quiet cabin of the car isolates you from the road and makes cruising around very enjoyable. We noticed no odd vibrations or sounds while driving. It felt solid and quiet even at highway speeds.
Visibility: You can easily see the road from the driver's seat. Front and side visibility are good and rear isn't too bad either. The backup camera came in handy in some tight parking situations.
Climate: The dual-zone climate control and heated front seats make heating up or cooling off the cabin easy.
Family sedans have to be safe. The Toyota Camry in many ways exemplifies all of the safety attributes you want from a midsize sedan. The NHTSA awarded it an overall crash-test rating of five stars, and if that isn't enough of an indication that the car will keep you and your family safe, it also received top honors from the IIHS.
IIHS Rating: The Camry is a top Safety Pick+ for 2017. The IIHS awarded the Camry good ratings in all crash tests and an advanced rating in crash avoidance and mitigation technology. The headlights and ease of use for the child seat anchors received acceptable ratings.
Standard Tech: The Camry XLE comes with a fair amount of standard safety equipment, including enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and smart stop technology, a backup camera and tire-pressure monitoring.
Optional Tech: Our test vehicle did come with some optional safety equipment, including automatic high-beam headlights, radar cruise control, lane departure alert, anti-theft system, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
Because the Camry is the go-to family sedan for many families, it's packed with storage space, right? Not necessarily. It has a spacious cabin but we feel that the company could have used that cabin space a little better to accommodate more storage areas. However, what is there is well-places and easy to use.
Storage Space: Between the small compartment in front of the shifter, the space beneath the armrest and the door pockets, you should have enough places to stow your everyday carry items. These spaces are easy to access and use, but not extremely large. If you need a lot of interior storage, you may want to shop around a little more.
Cargo Room: There's 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space available in the trunk of the Camry. That's a fair amount for the segment, but slightly less than some of the Camry's tough competition. Both the Chevrolet Malibu and the Hyundai Sonata have more.
The Camry is the kind of car that does it all. Its midsize family-sedan status means that it has to be at least reasonably efficient, and it is. The EPA rates this car at 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. While you can find cars out there with better gas mileage, those are respectable numbers.
Observed: We saw an average of 24 mpg during our week with the vehicle.
Driving Factors: We drove a mixture of city and highway driving, covering more city miles than highway ones. As a result, we ended up in a lot of stop and go traffic.
The 8-speaker JBL audio system provides loud and clear sound to all areas of the cabin. We noticed no sound distortion even at high volume.
Final Thoughts The Camry XLE provides an excellent midsize sedan package to families at a good price. The car isn't exciting but it's genuinely good all around, which makes it a pretty enticing buy for the average car buyer. If you're looking to stand out or would like to get something you can feel cool in, look elsewhere, otherwise, this car is likely an excellent choice.