2010 Toyota Camry Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
September 23, 2009

The 2010 Toyota Camry is competent in all respects but certainly not trendsetting, and it remains one of the smartest mid-size sedan choices.

TheCarConnection.com studied a range of reviews pertaining to the 2010 Toyota Camry to produce a comprehensive full review. TheCarConnection.com’s editors have also driven various versions of the Camry and report here with firsthand impressions of its strengths and weaknesses versus rival mid-size sedans.

The best-selling Toyota Camry sedan was last completely redesigned for 2007, and for 2010 it gains a number of improvements, including a new engine, slightly different front and rear styling, and better safety equipment.

The Camry now stands as one of the most conservative-looking sedan profiles, but Toyota makes an effort to dress it up a little bit for 2010 with a new grille, front bumper, and restyled tail lamps. Wheels are upgraded to 10-spoke 16-inchers on the XLE, while the SE still runs on 17-inch alloys but with a new design.

A 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 remains available, but the newly standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, making 169 hp. SE four-cylinder models get a more powerful version good for 179 hp. Four-cylinder Camry models come with either a six-speed manual or new six-speed automatic transmission, while the V-6 comes only with the automatic. The four-cylinder engine has plenty of power for most types of driving, but the V-6 is the choice for those who often travel with a full load or need strong high-speed passing ability. Both engines are surprisingly quiet and refined, and fuel economy is better than before with the four-cylinder, at 22 mpg city, 33 highway with the manual and 22/32 mpg with the automatic.

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With those two engines and a seven different models in all, ranging from the base (and quite stark) CE model to the sporty SE and luxurious XLE, the 2010 Toyota Camry can satisfy almost any mid-size sedan shopper’s need. Most Camry models have a rather soft ride, though the SE grade gets stiffer suspension settings and other performance improvements. Throughout the lineup (except the SE), don’t expect sporty handling.

The 2010 Toyota Camry has a very roomy interior, with plenty of legroom in back for most adults and enough space for five. Overall, the design is a little understated and conservative yet upscale; controls are intuitive, not needlessly complex. The only issue remains materials that seem unimpressive, especially at the top of the model range, where prices can exceed $35,000 for a loaded XLE V-6, and TheCarConnection.com has seen multiple test vehicles in previous model years with flaws and unimpressive build quality.

The safety feature set of the Camry is improved this year. Front side airbags, full-length side-curtain bags, and a driver’s knee bag are standard across the model line, and electronic stability control is newly standard for 2010. Crash-test results are solid for the Camry, with "good" results from the IIHS—except for a "marginal" rear-impact result—and five-star results from the federal government.

The base Camry model includes air conditioning, power windows and locks, and a CD sound system—enough to please the most frugal buyers, especially considering the sticker price is around $20,000. Newly optional on base and LE Camry models is an upgraded audio system with Bluetooth, a USB port, MP3, and streaming music capability. A 440-watt JBL audio system (with Bluetooth technology) is standard on the XLE, as are keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, heated mirrors, and a garage-door opener. A DVD-based navigation system, heated seats, leather upholstery, and a Smart Key entry system with push-button start are all optional on the XLE and SE.

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