Shopping for a new Toyota Camry?
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That's why we give the 2011 Toyota Camry an overall score of 6 out of 10 on the FamilyCarGuide scale. While its bland styling, mid-pack performance, unimpressive interior appointments, and concerning safety scores hardly win friends, the Camry still offers good value for the money—plus a range of models, like the Camry Hybrid, to fit all needs. It's just in urgent need of an update to bring it up to the higher standards of sedans today.
The Camry range is still quite vast, and includes economical and sporty variants, with three different engines in all. The base four-cylinder model works just fine for most family needs (and, if you really want it, you can get it with a manual gearbox), with reasonably good fuel economy. The V-6 is strong, smooth, and indeed somewhat thirstier, but it's the choice for families who often load the car to the brim, or those who need extra passing power. A Camry Hybrid remains available and gets an EPA 31 mpg city, 35 highway—impressive, but significantly lower than the rival Ford Fusion Hybrid.
The Camry's cabin is still where it all makes sense; it's roomy and well-designed, with space for taller adults in back as well as in front. Ride quality is soft, but not bouncy, and wind and road noise have been mostly hushed. Cargo space isn't quite as impressive as other sedans, though, and hinges can crush cargo. Build quality has been lackluster on some Camrys we've seen, though, and interior materials, especially on the lower trims, can feel flimsy and cheap. Luckily, top XLE models do upgrade some of those details—and add extras like a 440-watt JBL sound system, dual-zone climate control, and heated leather seats, but a fully loaded XLE can run way past $30k.
Perhaps the sorest point about the Camry now is its safety ratings. In the latest federal crash tests, the Camry scored just three out of five stars in frontal and side impact protection; however, that might be disputed, as the Camry maintains mostly 'good' scores from the IIHS.
To see more information about features and performance, as well as related news, see The Car Connection's full review on the 2011 Toyota Camry.