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TheCarConnection.com perused a wide range of published reviews on the new 2009 Toyota Camry to produce this comprehensive one. To help pick out the Toyota Camry's strengths and weaknesses versus the competition, TheCarConnection.com's editors have also driven and reviewed the 2009 Toyota Camry firsthand.
The top-selling 2009 Toyota Camry mid-size, front-wheel-drive sedan was thoroughly revised and updated for 2007, with exterior styling and interior changes. A 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 is available, but the standard engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which is good for 158 hp. The V-6 comes with a six-speed automatic transmission; the four can be ordered with either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The 2009 Toyota Camry comes in several different models, ranging from a base CE to the sporty SE and luxurious XLE. The SE grade gets stiffer suspension settings and some other performance improvements, and because of an additional rear brace, the backseat doesn't fold down as it does in the other models. Even in the SE, the ride is comfortable and well controlled, though it's downright soft with base four-cylinder models—don't expect sporty handling. The 2009 Toyota Camry has a very roomy interior, with plenty of legroom in back for most adults and enough space for five.
With a design that's understated but upscale, the interior of the 2009 Toyota Camry looks good, and its controls are intuitive, but some of the materials seem a little cheap—especially at the top of the range, considering that prices can exceed $35,000 for a loaded XLE V-6—and several of our test cars have had unimpressive build quality. All trim levels come standard with A/C, power windows and door locks, and a CD stereo. A 440-watt JBL audio system (with Bluetooth technology) is available, as is a DVD-based navigation system, making the Camry—at least in features—feel like a luxury car when so equipped.
All Camrys come with a knee airbag for the driver as well as full-length curtain and front seat side-impact airbags, for seven airbags in total. Traction control is standard, but stability control remains optional, even on pricier, more powerful V-6 models. Other than that omission, the 2009 Toyota Camry does quite well in safety, including five-star results in the federal government's crash tests and "good" results from the insurance industry tests, except for a "marginal" result in the rear-impact test.