Since its appearance in 1983, the Toyota Camry has been a top seller on the United States automobile market. The vehicle has proven its long-term reliability, appearing on “Best Seller” and “Top Pick” lists throughout the automobile world throughout its nearly-forty year reign. Its top-notch fuel economy and low cost to own have made a solid choice for sedan drivers. The 2021 Toyota Camry continues in the path created by generations past.
Not only did Toyota’s engineers provide the latest Camry with a stylish new look, but the Safety Sense 2.5+ system also debuts for the 2021 model year. Of course, each new model year is provided with a full suite of state-of-the-art technology, along with all the creature comforts that bring drivers back to the Toyota brand time and time again. With a model suitable for every budget and drive style, the 2021 Toyota Camry promises to carry on the brand’s legacy of high quality, economical vehicles that bring drivers miles of satisfaction.
Under the Hood of the 2021 Toyota Camry
One key element of the 2021 Camry is that of choice. While many family-friendly and daily driver sedans offer one basic drivetrain option and a handful of trims, Toyota offers Camry drivers plenty of choices. A total of 12 trims are available, with a selection of powertrains that includes a four-cylinder engine with optional all-wheel drive, a powerful V6 with available performance features, and even an efficient hybrid option.
The 2.5-liter inline-4 engine is standard on the LE, SE, XLE, and XSE trims. This engine provides a very generous 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque on most trims, with the XSE expanding those numbers to 206 and 186, respectively. The fuel economy is dependent on trim, but drivers will get up to 32 MPG combined on front-wheel drive models and 29 MPG combined on all-wheel drive models. Those are some good numbers, but if efficiency is your aim, consider the hybrid options.
The Camry Hybrid is powered by a Dynamic Force 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and ECVT transmission. This hybrid system can propel the Camry with an impressive 208 combined horsepower, all while achieving up to 52 MPG combined fuel economy. Available on the LE, SE, XLE, and XSE trims, the hybrid powertrain is arguably the best all-around option for the 2021 Camry.
The 3.5L V6 engine is standard on Camry’s high-performance TRD trim, and the XLE and XSE trims are both offered as a V6 version, as well. This engine takes things up a few notches, with 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Though the V6 models lose a bit of fuel economy, you can still expect up to 26 MPG combined, which is a remarkable figure for a midsize car with over 300 horsepower.
Trims, Features, and More: The 2021 Toyota Camry
The 2021 Toyota is offered in 12 total configurations. The standard trims include the LE, SE, XLE, XSE, and TRD. Hybrid trim versions include the LE, SE, XLE, and XSE. The XLE and XSE are also offered with a special V6 package, and the SE Nightshade Edition rounds out the 2021 lineup.
The LE starts things out on the right foot, with all the necessities drivers require to make the daily commute. This includes a 7-inch touchscreen that provides access to the infotainment system. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility are standard, along with a WiFi hotspot and six-speaker audio system. The rear seats offer a 60/40 split-fold, providing even more cargo room when the spacious 15.1 cubic feet available in the trunk is not enough. The driver’s seat features 8-way power adjustments, and a backup camera with path projection is standard, as well.
Moving up to the SE trim adds sportier features, from the 18-inch black alloy wheels to the SofTex-trimmed sports seats for the driver and front passenger. The exterior features continue with a blackout mesh front grille, spoiler, and color-keyed rocker panels. The sport-tuned suspension and paddle shifters add to the overall experience. Drivers of the SE Nightshade Edition will be treated to sophisticated black appearance details, such as a front grille with sport mesh and unique Nightshade badging.
The XLE trim steps more towards the luxurious, with an upgraded 9-inch touchscreen taking the place of the 7-inch version. Not only are the front seats trimmed in leather, but they provide multi-stage heating, with multi-stage ventilation as an option. The XLE includes Toyota’s Smart Key System with push-button start, selectable drive modes, and a panoramic glass roof. Drivers who choose the V6 version of the XLE will also enjoy a 10-inch head-up display in addition to their zippier engine.
The 2021 Toyota Camry XSE combines luxury and performance, sitting atop 19″ gloss black wheels. Its performance features include a sport-tuned suspension, along with a dual exhaust wearing four chrome tips, and available appearance features, like a darkened spoiler or two-tone Midnight Black Metallic roof. The V6 version of the XSE maintains the sportsman-like appearance and suspension while sharing the comfort and convenience features of the XLE trim.
At the top of the line is the TRD, a Camry variant produced by Toyota Racing Development, Toyota’s performance division. This trim combines sport and speed features along with a one-of-a-kind exterior. Not only is the V6 engine standard, but the TRD gets its very own features, including 19-inch matte black alloy wheels combined with track-tuned springs, shocks, and anti-roll bars. The suspension upgrades are complement by aero elements such as a glossy black rear spoiler, front splitter, and rear diffuser. The TRD is also the only trim that does not include a folding back seat due to the racing-style rear bracing added for greater rigidity.
In a Class of Its Own: The 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Toyota has always been at the forefront of the hybrid movement, so it’s hardly a surprise that the manufacturer should release not just a hybrid trim of its top-selling sedan but an entire hybrid lineup. The battery has been conscientiously placed to avoid sacrificing truck space or passenger room, adding to the draw, along with the enhanced fuel economy.
The LE hybrid has the most range of the lineup, with 52 MPG combined. It also receives similar features to its gasoline-powered counterpart, such as the 7-inch touchscreen, automatic on/off headlamps, and automatic climate control. It also includes the Smart Key System with push-button start and four driving modes, including EV, Economy, Normal, and Sport.
The SE hybrid doesn’t sacrifice sportiness for economy. It still features a sport-tuned suspension and SofTex front seats, along with the stand-out side rocker panels. The main differences include a quieter, more economical ride that provides an exceptional 46 MPG combined. XLE hybrid models also include the upgraded audio system with a larger touchscreen and multi-stage heated seats with leather trim, while the XSE adds the sport paddle shifters to the hybrid format. Both the XLE and XSE offer Qi-compatible wireless charging and ambient interior lighting.
Reliability, Performance, Economy, and Options
Whether you’re looking for a high-quality family vehicle that won’t break the budget, or you’re in the market for a hybrid that doesn’t sacrifice performance, the 2021 Toyota Camry has a lot to offer. With two traditional gasoline engine options that range from the higher side of peppy to outright fast and a hybrid system that meets the modern challenge, drivers can expect reliability and fantastic fuel economy from whichever Camry they choose. From the sport-oriented SE, XSE, and TRD to the pragmatic LE and luxury XLE, there’s a trim that meets your driving style. Enjoy driving in comfort no matter which option you choose, with a one-of-a-kind level of reliability and economy that Toyota Camry drivers have enjoyed for nearly 40 years.