By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 9.1
The best-selling car in America continues to impress with racy styling, new features and the same old reputation for value and quality. The Toyota Camry sedan for 2016 continues to give Americans what they want, that being an affordable 5-passenger family sedan that doesn’t look like a generic rental clone. Stacked up against its main rival, the Honda Accord, the Camry comes off a bit more youthful. The Camry also offers a few more high-tech features, such as the Qi wireless charging pad. However, if you want all-wheel drive or a panoramic moonroof or ventilated front seats, you’re going to have to continue to look to competitors such as the Ford Fusion, Chrysler 200 and Kia Optima.
While we can appreciate the Camry's youthful new look, it still isn't as feature-rich as a Ford Fusion, Kia Optima or Chrysler 200. The Camry doesn't offer the option of all-wheel drive or a turbocharged engine, but there is a hybrid model.
KBB Expert Ratings
A new Special Edition trim is added this year and includes two unique paint choices, smoked taillights and 18-inch alloy wheels. XLE and XSE trims are upgraded to include a 7-inch audio display screen.
Thanks to last year’s revised suspension tuning, the 2016 Camry sedan from Toyota delivers a lively driving experience, yet still remains one of the quietest and most comfortable family sedans...
... available. The standard 178-horsepower 4-cylinder engine makes up the bulk of Camry sales and although it lacks the authoritative punch of a V6 or turbocharged engine, it’s more than adequate when it comes to acceleration and passing power. Those who can afford a bit more will want the 268-horsepower V6, which delivers excellent performance with only a slight reduction in fuel economy. Compared with the Honda Accord, we found the Camry felt a bit more in touch with the road, but it is still no match for the Mazda6, Ford Fusion or Nissan Maxima. The XSE trim is clearly aimed toward enthusiast drivers, but its big 18-inch wheels and stiffer shocks somewhat diminish the Camry’s ride quality.
Tired of stringing wires across your console to charge your mobile devices? The 2016 Camry sedan eliminates this problem with an available wireless charging pad. Although most phones require a special case to take advantage of the pad, some newer phones already incorporate the technology.
Toyota’s Entune infotainment system helps keep you connected via a 7-inch high-resolution touch screen. Also onboard are navigation, USB and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and integrated apps for Pandora and Yelp. Standard with the navigation is 3-year complimentary access to traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports scores and stock prices.
The inside of the 2016 Toyota Camry isn’t as new as the outside, but the change is apparent as soon as you settle in. With upgraded materials, designs and technologies, the 2016 Camry simply feels fresher and more contemporary than previous generations. With a decidedly Lexus-like interior, Toyota moves the Camry into a more upscale realm without sacrificing head- or legroom in the process. Even a base Camry LE is well-equipped, with features often optional on other sedans, such as the modern 6.1-inch touch-screen radio.
Have you ever seen a more stylish Camry? We haven’t. Bookended by a bold, eye-catching front end and a nicely detailed rear, the stylish – but not outlandish – Camry is sure to attract new buyers without scaring away longtime devotees. The latest Camry design language also promises to stand the test of time better than some of the segment's more novel styles, which tend to age faster. For buyers who want a little extra edge, the Camry SE, Special Edition and XSE trims offer slightly more aggressive notes.
At its starting sticker price of just under $24,000 including destination charges, the 2016 Toyota Camry sedan features Toyota’s Entune infotainment system with a touch-screen display, USB device connectivity, voice recognition and a rearview camera, plus Bluetooth wireless phone and audio connectivity. The Toyota Camry also includes a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, notable only because its chief competitor, the Honda Accord, offers just a one-piece folding rear seat. The Camry also comes with 2-year/25,000-mile no-cost maintenance and two years of roadside assistance regardless of mileage, plus a long list of standard safety equipment, including 10 airbags.
A fully loaded 2016 Toyota Camry XLE tops out just under $35,000 with a V6 engine, moonroof, leather, keyless entry and start, wireless phone charging, and the range-topping Entune infotainment system. It will also apply the brakes if it senses an impending collision, and alert the driver if the vehicle drifts out of its lane, if there’s a vehicle in a blind spot, or if there’s a vehicle approaching while you're backing out of a parking space. Other highlights include adaptive cruise control, auto high beams, and a Safety Connect system that includes automatic collision notification and a stolen-vehicle locator.
The Camry’s proven powertrain lineup remains competitive in power and fuel economy. The 4-cylinder engine is by far the most popular choice, but the more powerful V6 is rated to return just three fewer miles per gallon in city/highway-combined driving. We also like the gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, which delivers an instant-electric kick off the line. With that said, the Accord Hybrid is the current gas-electric
midsize sedan to beat. All Camrys are front-wheel drive, and the 4- and 6-cylinder engines are matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
178 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/35 mpg
268 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 mpg
2.5-liter inline-4 gasoline-electric hybrid
200 net horsepower (gas + electric combined)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 43/39 mpg (Hybrid LE), 40/38 mpg (Hybrid SE and XLE)
The 2016 Toyota Camry has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $24,000 and tops out closer to $35,000 for a fully loaded XLE or XSE V6 model. While those prices are essentially on par with the Honda Accord, Mazda6 and Ford Fusion, they are slightly higher than the Subaru Legacy, Hyundai Sonata and Chrysler 200. Of course, you wouldn’t buy any new car without first checking its Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price for that week, would you? The Camry’s reputation for reliability has helped support strong resale values for years, and we suspect the 2016 model will hold its value measurably better than almost all rivals, save for the Honda Accord and Subaru Legacy, which will hold similar values.