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Life With the Toyota Camry: What Do Owners Really Think?

toyota-camry-comments 2019 Toyota Camry | Cars.com graphic by Paul Dolan

Liftgates and tailgates are more in vogue than trunks nowadays. But while SUVs and pickup trucks dominate in sales popularity, such vehicles usually can’t match the handling and driving experience of sedans — even the likes of the Toyota Camry. The Camry is the bestselling sedan in the U.S., and it also takes the podium as Toyota’s second-bestseller after the RAV-4. To see why the Camry is still treading water in the sea of SUVs, we dug into Cars.com user reviews to compare owners’ perspectives to our own expert evaluations.

Related: 2021 Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid Get Safety, Tech Upgrades

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Last redesigned for the 2018 model year, the Camry is available with a gas-only or hybrid powertrain, offering a choice of three engines and front- or all-wheel drive (AWD was added for 2020). Toyota gave the sedan a light refresh for 2021 that included rejiggered dashboard controls and a larger available touchscreen. 

In our evaluation of the 2019 Camry, we found many positive qualities — including handling, ride control, solid engine options and safety accolades. On the other hand, noticeable transmission lag and cheap materials in lower trim levels knocked some points off the sedan’s scorecard.

Toyota Camry Raves and Rants

When we analyzed consumer reviews for the current-gen (2018-21) Camry, several common threads surfaced. Cars.com users were impressed with the vehicle’s sporty handling, spacious cabin and acceleration of the Camry Hybrid. Along with these praises, there were some constructive — and less-than-constructive — criticisms. 

Similar to our expert evaluation, owners found the Camry’s transmission lag to be a problem along with Toyota’s Entune 3.0 multimedia system and the vehicle’s wheels and tires. Below are the common raves and rants about the Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid (comments have been edited for clarity). 

Rave: Razor-Sharp Handling

wrecklass-driving-during-covid-19-toyota-camry-xle-2018.jpg 2019 Toyota Camry | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

In our own review of the 2019 Camry, we enjoyed the sedan’s precise steering and handling — standout qualities from a nameplate not usually known for them, and enough to give the Camry the strong handling scores in a 2018 comparison test against the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. Many Cars.com users mirrored our opinion, touting the vehicle’s capable handling, especially on curvy roads. 

  • “We have the XSE model and we are really enjoying it. The body is stylish, but the most impressive thing is the handling and the way the car feels when driving. The suspension is tight, as is the steering. We decided that we made a really good choice with this car. Anyone who likes driving and feeling the car as it drives, this car is for you.” — Cars.com consumer review for 2021 Camry; New Orleans
  • “Great mileage on both city and highway. Lots of power for regular driving needs. Agile, holds the curves beautifully, no sway.” — 2019 Camry; Phoenix
  • “Its biggest benefit is that it’s a really stable car on curves and high-wind situations.” — 2018 Camry; Longview, Texas

Rave: Fits 6-Footers and Their Gear

toyota-camry-xse-v6-2019-cl--15.jpg 2019 Toyota Camry | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

User feedback indicates the Camry is generous on passenger and trunk space. One Cars.com user even claimed the interior is too big (there’s a first). Although we found modest legroom in our review, headroom was sufficient for tall drivers. Cars.com’s independent testing of cargo space, meanwhile, ranks the Camry’s trunk mid-pack among rival sedans.

  • “Great legroom for 6-footers. Spacious trunk space. Upholstery material adds luxury. Glove compartment design allows for more legroom. Legs can be fully stretched. My previous car, the Highlander, served me for many years and though I miss it, I believe I have found an excellent replacement. The interior is delightful and the handling is friendly.”  — 2021 Camry; Brunswick, Ga. 
  • “Plenty of driver legroom (I’m 6-foot-6). … Looking forward to a beautiful relationship in the years to come.” — 2021 Camry; Sarasota, Fla.
  • “The interior seemed a little too big. I’m 6 feet and I felt dwarfed in the car. The car itself looks very nice and is definitely a luxury car.” — 2018 Camry; Portland, Ore.

Rave: Hybrid Model Is Quick and Efficient

toyota-camry-hybrid-xle-2021-03-angle--blue--dynamic--exterior--rear.jpg 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid | Cars.com photo by Steven Pham

Quiet acceleration was a highlight in our expert review of the 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid. We also found it to be quicker in terms of drivetrain responsiveness than its rival, the Honda Accord Hybrid, though Honda edged out Toyota in a head-to-head drag-strip test. Cars.com users agreed, raving about the hybrid’s acceleration and efficient powertrain. Gas mileage for the Camry Hybrid gets up to an EPA-rated 52 mpg combined for the base LE model and drops to 46 mpg combined for higher trims.

  • “Excellent fuel economy without any compromise. It runs better and accelerates faster with less noise than a regular Camry. The seats are quite comfortable and there’s a lot of interior space. Both my wife and I love to drive it.” — 2021 Camry Hybrid; Setauket, N.Y.
  • “As a hybrid, it gets a combined mpg of 52. The interior is very comfortable with nice amenities. The ride is quiet, comfortable and smooth. It handles very well with great acceleration when needed. When stopped for a light, stop-and-go traffic or bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic, it is not burning any gas, saving me dollars and cutting my greenhouse gases.”  — 2019 Camry Hybrid; Sacramento, Calif.
  • “I’m 6 feet tall and fit comfortably inside this car while getting almost 50 real-world mpg. It looks OK but won’t win any beauty pageants. It is powerful for a hybrid, easy on gas, handles pretty well and rides sweet. Overall, an excellent value for the money with a big trunk to hold your gas savings.” — 2019 Camry Hybrid; Middletown, N.Y.

Rant: Sleepy Transmission

toyota-camry-trd-2020-16-detail--front-row--gearshift--interior.jpg 2020 Toyota Camry TRD | Cars.com photo by Brian Wong

As we noted in our 2019 review, the Camry’s base engine is potent, but the vehicle is hindered by an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be slow to downshift. User reviews for the 2018 and 2019 Camry express similar concerns about the transmission; oftentimes, it’s the only complaint. 

  • “This is my third Toyota Camry; I’ve owned a 2005, 2012 and now the 2019. The eight-speed transmission is OK, and you’ll need some adjusting to get used to it. It sometimes doesn’t know what gear it wants, and the hesitation when giving it gas can become annoying. My overall opinion is you’ll love the car despite some of the negatives.” — 2019 Camry; New Haven, Conn. 
  • “I’ve owned my 2018 Camry LE with the convenience package for one month, and I absolutely hate it. I had a 2015 Camry so I really didn’t take the new model for much of a test drive. I should have known better than to buy a car in the first year after a total redesign. The transmission is horrible, shifting into higher gears too soon and requiring significant amounts of throttle to downshift — and only after the transmission thinks about it for a while.”— 2018 Camry; Saginaw, Mich.
  • “I do not like the new eight-speed transmission. A fiasco in my opinion. Driving in the city, it seems that the car does not have enough zip when driving bumper-to-bumper. When on the highway, the 7th and 8th gears never show up. Therefore, mileage per gallon is not even close to the numbers the dealer said.” — 2019 Camry; Boston

Rant: Entune Is Out of Tune

toyota-camry-xse-v6-2019-cl--26.jpg 2019 Toyota Camry | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Vehicle tech was a common rant among owners of 2018 and 2019 Toyota Camry models. Toyota launched an Entune 3.0 system on the 2018 Camry, and complaints range from the system’s poor connectivity and responsiveness to the lack of Android Auto capability (Toyota added it for 2020). We found the tech in the 2021 Camry Hybrid to be a mixed bag: The controls aren’t user-friendly and the graphics are outdated, but we experienced no problems with smartphone connectivity. 

  • “Unfortunately, the infotainment system is awful. Toyota has decided to develop its own system, called Entune 3.0, rather than offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Obviously, Toyota is not a technology company. If I had it to do over again, I would not purchase a new Toyota until Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are supported. Problems so far with Entune 3.0: First, Entune 3.0 doesn’t seem to auto-start — I have to manually start Entune on my phone before it will connect to the car. This has to be done every time I get in the car and quickly becomes very frustrating. Second, Entune doesn’t support nearly as many apps as Android Auto. Specifically, it doesn’t support the following apps: Google Maps, Waze, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, Audible, TuneIn Radio, as well as several messaging, audiobook and podcast apps. Third, Entune comes bundled with Scout for GPS navigation. Scout is not nearly as capable as either Google Maps or Waze. Initial routes take a long time, and rerouting because of traffic or a missed turn frequently fails. Also, the U.S. version of Scout doesn’t support Canadian maps. I live in upstate New York and drive to Canada quite frequently.” — 2018 Camry; Rochester, N.Y.
  • “I really like how this car looks, but not how it drives. Issue 1: After stopping, when you press the gas pedal, it takes a second or two to start to go. Issue 2: The Entune 3.0 auto system is horrible. Our phones have to be resynced several times a week and it is hard to navigate. It is even difficult to tune the radio or to change the display.” — 2018 Camry; Columbia, S.C.
  • “The interior touchscreen was not very ‘touchy.’ I would make a selection and it wouldn’t recognize my finger. I had issues right away with the sound system; my Bluetooth was muffled. No matter what device I synced to it, the music was muffled, but when plugged in through USB, it was fine.” — 2018 Camry; Portland, Ore. 

Rant: Tire Trouble

toyota-camry-trd-2021-08-exterior--wheel--white.jpg 2021 Toyota Camry TRD | Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

Lastly, owners often expressed dissatisfaction with the vehicle’s wheels and tires. The problems include a rough and stiff ride, tires that wear down quickly and a lack of grip. We didn’t experience these problems in our evaluation and found the Camry ride with 18-inch wheels firm but not uncomfortable.

  • “Reviews for the Camry were excellent but did mention the XLE model had a very rough ride and was noisy due to the 18-inch wheels. Basic Camrys have 17-inch wheels, which make for a very comfortable ride. Not so for the 18-inch. I had to buy Michelin tires to make the car a reasonable ride.” — 2020 Camry; Florida
  • “Toyota continues to use the Bridgestone Turanza EL440 as their OEM tire. It’s a good ‘summer’ tire but wears down quickly (expect 20K on tread before road noise becomes unbearable) and absolutely horrible traction in snow. If you buy the car with these tires, you’re going to need to switch them out sooner than you normally would.”— 2020 Camry; Marion, Ohio
  • “I love the car and, really at this point, can’t think of anything negative. Maybe the interior noise is a little bit louder than I would like, but it may be the tires that come with the car. The tires also seem to not grip well from a dead stop in the rain. When it comes time to get new tires, I will probably put Michelins on.” — 2020 Camry; Stony Brook, N.Y.
  • “The ride gets worse with the newer large wheels — a little too stiff.”— 2020 Camry; New York

Toyota Camry Powertrains

The non-hybrid Camry comes with two available powertrains: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 horsepower or a 3.5-liter V-6 with 301 hp. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Camry Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor, which combine for 208 system hp. It works through a continuously variable-style automatic transmission, and the electric motor draws power off a lithium-ion battery pack. EPA-rated combined mileage for the Camry ranges from 25 mpg in the V-6 Camry TRD to 52 mpg in the most efficient hybrid model.

Toyota Camry Trims and Pricing

The 2022 Camry is on sale now. The non-hybrid model comes in six trims, from the  four-cylinder LE up through the V-6 XSE; prices with destination but not factory options run from $26,320 to $36,745. The Camry Hybrid is available in five trims, ranging from $28,405 for the LE Hybrid to $33,845 for the XSE Hybrid.

Amid an inventory shortage among new cars that’s elevated pricing for used cars, a used Camry might not save as much as you think. The median used price among Cars.com dealers for a 2018-20 Toyota Camry is $24,998 for the non-hybrid model; it’s $27,588 for the Camry Hybrid.

All 2021 and 2022 Camry models offer Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.5 Plus suite of driver-assist features standard. The suite includes adaptive cruise control, which Toyota updated for 2021 to improve stop-and-go operation and passing maneuvers. A new floating 7-inch touchscreen is standard on lower trims, while higher trims get a larger, 9-inch display. Android Auto, ApplePlay and Amazon Alexa integration are all standard.

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