By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.5
Whether it was years of criticism regarding the Camry's lackluster styling, or a gentle wakeup call from Korean competitors like the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, Toyota finally took the plunge last year and gave its hot-selling family sedan the red-carpet treatment. With a stronger appeal to younger buyers, Toyota hopes to keep the 2013 Camry's impressive sales figures running high, and with models ranging from the base L to the sporty SE, to the fuel-efficient Hybrid or the luxurious XLE, it seems there is no shortage of variations to appeal to just about every taste. Still, the Camry is facing some tough competition this year from the new Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion, as well as more visually alluring models from Nissan, Kia and Mazda.
If you like the idea of Toyota quality and resale value, but years of Camry mass-appeal styling has made you look elsewhere, the 2013 Toyota Camry will bring a smile to your face. Fuel economy on the hybrid model is actually better than some compact sedans.
While its styling has improved, the 2013 Toyota Camry still looks the wallflower when placed beside the new Fusion, Optima or Mazda6. And, Toyota still doesn't offer an all-wheel-drive option, an important attribute for those who live in snowy climes.
The 2013 Toyota Camry sedan sees some improvement in interior materials and color matching. Cross Traffic Alert is added to the Blind Spot Monitoring System, which is now optional on the SE trim. Camry L and Camry Hybrid LE gain the new Display Audio radio as standard equipment, and all models now feature a new turn-signal stalk requiring only one tap to initiate a 3-blink sequence.
Driving Impressions Last year's makeover saw Toyota engineers diligently work to improve the Camry sedan's structure and suspension. More high-strength steel was used, increasing rigidity of the body while trimming weight –...significantly on gasoline models and by over 230 whopping pounds on the hybrid models. Revised chassis components and new geometry give all Camrys a more confident feel with better ride compliance and body control, changes that are particularly noticeable when the going gets twisty. Numerous new noise-abatement technologies also make the 2013 Toyota Camry nearly silent over most roads. Without a doubt, the biggest beneficiary of Camry's recent remake is the Hybrid. With major mass reduction, handling dynamics on par with its conventional kin, and a redone Hybrid Synergy Drive system that finally has the engine/motor/transmission triumvirate speaking far more directly to each other, the most fuel-efficient Camry variant has far greater consumer appeal regardless of the price of gasoline.
UPGRADED HYBRID SYNERGY DRIVE (HSD)
Taking a much-needed next step in the greener arena, the 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid features Toyota's most technologically advanced HSD system to date. Light, tight and impressively integrated, the new system yields spirited performance under all conditions and an eye-popping set of fuel economy numbers.
TOYOTA ENTUNE INFOTAINMENT
Still a work in progress, Toyota's new Entune multimedia/telematics system already shows solid introductory capabilities and offers both a user-friendly interface and the promise of an ever-expanding group of downloadable apps that should make it a worthy state-of-the-art rival to in-car alternatives of its competitors.
The Toyota Camry cabin for 2013 is generous in both space and contemporary sophistication, highlighted by a leather-covered "layered" dash set off by trim-specific instrumentation and a center cluster inspired by portable music players. Headroom is generous in all positions, while aft passengers are treated to ample hiproom and legroom. Other key pluses include a set of supportive front bucket seats, and revised lower cushions on the 60/40 folding rear bench seat that adds stretch space for the middle rider. Trunk space is also generous, but sees a 2.1 cubic-foot reduction on hybrid models.
The 2013 Camry sedan sports a bold front and rear look with highly expressive contours and character lines that impart a wide, low look and a pronounced wedge-like profile. Helping the cause are a host of subtle touches like mini-strakes on the mirrors and taillights that channel air to improve stability, and new underbody work that further reduces drag. Unique front/rear/side-sill styling adds more cosmetic swagger to the Camry SE while blue-trimmed "Hybrid" and "HSD" (Hybrid Synergy Drive) badges visually define the most fuel-efficient 2013 Camry.
The base Camry L sedan offers numerous power assists, air conditioning, cruise control, Display Audio with USB/iPod inputs, Bluetooth, Toyota's STAR safety system and 10 airbags. The LE adds keyless remote entry, a multifunction steering wheel, and an upgraded Display Audio sound system. Moving up to the Camry SE nets you a dedicated sport suspension/wheel/tire package with unique trim, Softex covered sport seats and paddle shifters. The top-line Camry XLE sedan features dual power seats, dual-zone climate control, a power moonroof and premium fabric or leather (V6-only) upholstery. Both the SE/XLE V6s add Navigation and Entune multimedia telematics, HD radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The Camry Hybrid sedan offers LE and XLE trim-level appointments.
The 2013 Toyota Camry sedan's extras roster is confined to color choices on the L trim and a power driver's seat and moonroof on the LE. SE/XLE buyers can opt for upgraded Display Audio packages with Navigation and Entune – including a 10-speaker premium JBL system – as well as dedicated Convenience Packages and Leather-trimmed Ultrasuede Sport Seats, while SEs can also be had with a power moonroof. Camry Hybrids offer a Leather Package, Moonroof Package and two tiers of JBL-enhanced Upgrade Packages, one with Navigation and one without.
Last year's drivetrain revamps yielded impressive gains in both performance and fuel economy that carry over for all 2013 Toyota Camry sedans. Modest internal enhancements to the 178-horsepower 2.5-liter four, 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and their standard 6-speed automatic transmissions, plus lower-rolling-resistance tires, help improve EPA city/highway numbers. Improvements to the Camry Hybrid include lighter, more compact and better-managed electrical components – including a newly redesigned battery pack and a CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic with new ECO and EV modes. While the total hybrid-system output is set at 200 horsepower, preliminary EPA figures – 43/39 mpg for the LE and 41/38 mpg for the XLE – reflect superb fuel economy for a mid-size sedan.
178 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
(PZEV 173 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm)
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
(PZEV 165 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/35 mpg (6-speed automatic)
268 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (6-speed automatic)
2.5-liter inline-4 plus a 105-kilowatt battery pack
Engine: 156 horsepower @ 5,750 rpm
Battery: 141 horsepower @ 4,500 rpm
Total hybrid system (engine and battery): 200 horsepower
Engine: 156 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
Battery: 199 lb-ft of torque @ 0-1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 43/39 mph (LE with CVT automatic), 41/38 mpg (XLE with CVT automatic)
By annette on Thursday, January 22, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Car is very good shape, serviced regularly by Toyota, garaged. I buy a car every three years and only Toyota."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Matt on Monday, January 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,400overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "miliage (40 mpg), no rattles even after 112k+"
Cons: "road noise, poor performing blue tooth for phone,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I have over 112,000 miles on this car and it is as tight and solid as brand new. No major repairs - just regular maintenance - with one exception: passenger power seat failed to move - Toyota dealer quoted $1300 to repair and replace the broken lower seat unit ($700 for part + $600 labor). He was nice enough to give me an online site though, where I found a used part in CA - part was only $50 but shipping (entire seat) was $150. Spent 5-6 hrs myself and fixed it for total of $200. Toyota customer service 800 number was no help due to high mileage - they in fact were quite rude - no help at all. Still over all, Toyota makes a good solid product and I would buy one again. 36-40 mpg means I get 500 miles+ to every 14 gallon tank of fuel - really nice when gas was near $4/gal. I recommend this car."
12 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By roony on Thursday, January 01, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"OK since week 2 I have not been someone who would want this car as a long term driver. I have 9 months left on a 2 yr lease and can't wait to own something else. These are not serious issues, but rather quirks that can make driving unsafe. 1.headlights - projector beam type - they do not illuminate far enough in front and seem to be aimed too low. Google the problem for yourself. Can be dangerous when reaching the bottom of a downhill 2 lane road. You can't see the area ahead on the uphill portion of the road. 2.roof pillar - drivers side - creates a blind spot too often, however seat adjustment can resolve this but makes driving position uncomfortable. 3.dashboard - sun glare reflects onto windshield distorting vision. 4.transmission - gearing does not allow the engine to be used to slow the car. 2nd gear downhill speeds can reach 40mph, 1st gear can reach 25+mph."
7 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By Henry on Tuesday, December 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Never thought I would be in such a disappointment with Toyota! I have always been a fan of Toyota cars, and own them. However this time I had a very bad experience from the Toyota Company and I feel that I had to share my experience! I walked into the dealer knowing exactly what I wanted to purchase, which was the brand new 2015 Camry XSE. One of my most important concerns about my car is the stereo and speakers. I believe that we spend so much time in our cars and I love to listen to my music while I'm driving so therefore my stereo and speakers needs to have the best quality. While doing my research on the car it explains that this car (Camry XSE 2015) has 10 speakers, so my expectations about my stereo were met, or so I thought. When I walked into the dealer and signed the contract it also stated that the vehicle had 10 speakers. As I drove the car for a couple of a days, I noticed that the speakers were not as loud as I thought/ expected from 10 speakers. So I started examining the car, and noticed that I had only located 8 speakers in the entire car. I took the car to the dealership; they could only locate 8 speakers as well. Five speakers in front, two very small speakers in back and one subwoofer that doesn't work!! Really!! The car has two spaces in the back where it should fit two big speakers, one is filled with a worthless subwoofer and the other space is empty. What kinds of manufacturers design this kind of sound system???? I immediately took the car back but TOYOTA would not do anything to accommodate me for this issue. I called corporate and they did not seem like they wanted to help me either! I paid $5k extra in order to get the premium package, but corporate tries to tell me that since this car is eco-friendly, this is all the quality I will get. They also mentioned that I have to maximize the sound to be able to hear the music, which makes NO sense to me what so ever! If I’m purchasing a new vehicle, and paying a lot of extra money for it, I would like my expectations from the car to be met ESPECIALLY when the contract states that there must be 10 speakers in the car! I shouldn't have to spend more money to change the speakers of a brand new car, since the Toyota contract is misleading, and I trusted them enough to sign! I'm VERY disappointed with TOYOTA! I'm unhappy with my $35K purchase due to misleading info, and I will NEVER walk into any TOYOTA dealership again. I just though I should share my experience with everyone so this doesn't happen to anyone else."
6 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By BigAl on Thursday, December 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price and fun to drive with paddle shifters"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Light Silver exterior; black and grey leather trimmed seats; leather trimmed steering wheel; low mileage. Only reason to sell, we want an SUV."
22 people out of 43 found this review helpful
By RN on Tuesday, December 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, Great Gas milage, Bluetooth"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I drive this car 120 miles/day on the hwy. I get about 34 miles to the gallon and a nice comfortable drive. I love the blue tooth in the car as I have to do business on the phone while driving down the road and this keeps my hands on the wheel. Very reliable, and comfortable. I have owned this car for over a year and had no problems. I put the synthetic oil in and go for 7,000 miles before an oil change. I did put Michelin Tires on for a smoother ride. I recommend this car to anyone that has to travel a distance to and from work! Plenty of legroom, great car!"
11 people out of 16 found this review helpful