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2016 Toyota Camry XLE Review by John Heilig +VIDEO

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2016 Toyota Camry XLE Reviewed

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

AUTO PAGE SPECS - 2016 Toyota Camry

MODEL: 2016 Toyota Camry XLE
ENGINE: 3.5-liter V6
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 268 hp @ 6,200 rpm/248 lb.-ft. @ 4,700 rpm
WHEELBASE: 109.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 190.9 x 71.7 x 57.9 in.
TIRES: P215/55R17
CARGO: 15.4 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway/20.4 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 17.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,460 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Mazda6, Chevrolet Malibu, Chrysler 200,(Compare With 4 Other Makes or Toyota Camry Trim Levels).
STICKER: $35,118 (includes $835 delivery, $2,913 options)

BOTTOM LINE: There are mid-size sedans and there are pretenders. The Toyota Camry is the benchmark for all of them, and that is why it has remained the sales leader for so long.         

After a complete redesign for the 2015 model year, the Toyota Camry returns with minor changes. After all, why mess with a winner?          

My overriding sense of the Camry is that it is comfortable. The 3.5-liter V6 engine delivers comfortable power. By this I mean that if you need the power to accelerate from an entry ramp onto a highway it is there. If you just want to quietly move along on a rural road, there isn’t so much power that the engine gets in the way. The 6-speed automatic doesn’t hurt, either.          

The Camry is also a comfortable driver and rider overall. Handling is good, but not great. Only if you drive like a fool can you get yourself in trouble. But you will arrive at your destination without major aches and pains from the car during the trip. I have driven some cars that purport to be comfortable that I can’t wait to get out of at my destination.          

The front seats offer good support for the sides and back. They are heated. In the rear, the seats feel hard, but there is adequate legroom for all but the tallest NBA players. In addition, there is a low center hump so a third passenger could ride back there without major discomfort. The rear seat backs fold easily (the releases are in the trunk) to increase cargo capacity. Interestingly, there is room for three water bottles in the rear doors. Toyota must expect passengers back there to stay for a long time.          

Passive and active safety features include a blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, dynamic cruise control, pre-collision warning and automatic high beams. I like the latter because I’m often embarrassed when I discover that my high beams are still on when I approach oncoming traffic.          

The driver sits behind a comfortable (there’s that word again) fat wheel with multiple controls for audio, phone and dynamic cruise control (the standard Toyota cruise control stalk is located behind the wheel on the right).          

There is a good JBL audio system with a large selection of choices, including AM, FM, XM, Bluetooth, USB, etc. The heater did an admirable job in some fierce Pennsylvania cold.          

In the center stack is a 7-inch color touch animation screen that displays not only audio information and navigation maps (our tester did not have navigation installed), but also vehicle functions. Beneath the screen on the center stack is an enclosed cubby with 12-volt and USB outlets, as well as wireless charging. This flat area is also good for holding keys. In addition, the center console/arm rest is deep and useful.          

Nice features include extensions to the sun visors and bottoms to all the door pulls. I like these as an additional receptacle for keys. There are four assist handles located in the cabin to aid in entry and exit. And the large trunk has a large opening to aid in sowing articles there.          

Overall, the Toyota Camry is a leader because of attention to detail. There’s no reason why it should lose its leadership position with the latest edition.

© 2016 The Auto Page Syndicate

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