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2019 Toyota Camry XSE Review by John Heilig

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Toyota Camry Content Archive

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

REVIEWED MODEL: 2019 Toyota Camry XSE
ENGINE: 2.5-liter inline 4
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with Sequential Shift Mode
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 205 hp@ 6,600 rpm/184 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm
WHEELBASE: 111.2 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 192.7 x 72.4 x 56.9 in.
TIRES: P235/40R19
CARGO CAPACITY: 15.1 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 28 mpg city/39 mpg highway/33.4 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 16.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,395 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata
STICKER: $36,630 (includes $920 delivery, $5,244 options)
BOTTOM LINE: Toyota Camry is a good, solid four-door sedan that is a leader in the mid-size segment.

It’s easy to understand why the Toyota Camry is always among the best-selling, if not the best-selling mid-size sedans. First, it has conservative styling (although each year it pushes the envelope) without a lot of gewgaws and doodads. This, for example is a philosophy that has served Buick, among others, well. Give the people what they want.

Second, the Camry is just a damned nice car.

The 2.5-liter engine under the hood is quiet under normal operation, which makes cruising comfortable. There are few things worse than a noisy engine on a long ride that make conversation and listening to the radio difficult.

We took the Camry on a pair of long rides (down and up) and were comfortable the whole way. While our trip included significant Interstate miles, we still did some local driving and enjoyed, for example, our hillclimb to the local golf course. 

Which leads me to the trunk. It’s a good trunk that not only had room for several golf bags but also most of the fixings for Easter dinner (at least one way). In addition, the rear seat backs fold easily to increase cargo capacity, with the releases in the trunk.

Front seats are comfortable, even without a lot of side support. The power adjustable lumbar support in our XSE trim version eased back pain on long drives. 

The driver faces a clear instrument panel with the standard tachometer, speedometer and information panel. In addition, there was a heads up display with a digital speedometer, although we never did find out how to adjust the HUD to make it more readable. 

I’m always impressed by a nicely designed dash, and the Camry fitted the bill. The graceful curves even made the ubiquitous infotainment screen seem less like an add-on and more like it belongs. Additional style touches include doors with diagonal panels, and brushed aluminum strips on the doors that provide continuity from front to rear. The sunroof extends to the rear seats.

The infotainment screen is complete. Our screen held audio on the top left, economy on the lower left, and a map on the right half with a digital clock above it. Our only issue was finding the volume control among the tuning and HVAC knobs.

Internal storage consists of a nice cubby at the base of the center stack, a deep center console/arm rest with two USB ports, and room for water bottles in the doors. 

We had a fun week in the Toyota Camry with many miles added to the odometer. It proved to be a comfortable good driver/rider with enough interior styling touches to make it interesting.

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