If there was a benchmark among family cars, it could easily be the 2017 Toyota Camry. This midsize car offers a spacious interior, along with great safety ratings and a competitive list of standard features. All this comes at a price that won’t break the bank.
The Toyota Camry seats five and has front-wheel drive. A four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard, and a V6 engine is available. Four trims are offered: LE, SE, XSE and XLE. The Toyota Camry Hybrid is also offered, and it’s covered in a separate review.
The Camry sees few changes when compared with the 2016 model, though the Camry XLE and XSE gain a few new standard features, including a JBL audio system.
While the Camry’s sheet metal has never really stood out as a subject of adoration, our Camry XSE had some unique touches that brought a bit of flair to America’s best-selling car. These included LED daytime running lights up front, while attractive 18-inch alloy wheels added visual interest to the Camry’s profile. Our test car also featured a few standard features that are unique to V6-powered models, such as an acoustic windshield, a power moonroof and a dual exhaust system.
The base Camry comes with automatic headlights, daytime running lights and 16-inch steel wheels. Higher trims provide access to 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as a rear spoiler, LED headlights and a piano-black grille.
Cabin space is a hallmark of the 2017 Camry, which provides seating for five and ample head- and legroom in both rows. Our test Camry XSE featured an attractive cabin with high-end touches like red contrast stitching across the dash and door panels. It was also fitted with comfortable front sport seats that were trimmed in leather and an attractive faux-suede fabric (Ultrasuede).
Our Camry featured heated seats that warmed up quickly and were a welcome addition on colder days, providing plenty of heat on the seatback and cushion. Overall, they were some of the best heated seats we’ve experienced from a mainstream brand.
Cargo space stands at 15.4 cubic feet, which is about average for a midsize car. A standard 60/40-split folding rear seat provides additional space for bulkier items.
The base Camry LE comes standard with interior features that include a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, cloth upholstery and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Higher trims bring in a range of upholstery choices that include sport fabric (SofTex), leather and the leather/Ultrasuede mix featured in our test car. Dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a power-adjustable passenger seat are also offered.
The 2017 Toyota Camry comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. A 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque is offered on the Camry XLE and XSE. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard on all models.
The base Camry gets an EPA-estimated 24/33 mpg city/highway, while V6-powered models are rated at 21/30 mpg.
We were pleased with the composed driving dynamics of our Camry XSE. While many car buyers will probably be just fine with the standard engine, our test car’s 3.5-liter V6 was exceptionally refined, with plenty of power off the line and on the highway. The six-speed automatic transmission was well-matched to the engine, shifting quickly and smoothly when more power was required.
Camry SE and XSE models benefit from sportier suspension tuning, which was definitely a highlight of our test car. While it might not be quite as sporty as competitors like the Mazda6, our Camry XSE offered a controlled ride and handling that was composed enough to keep the drive entertaining. Camry LE and XLE models are noticeably more comfort tuned, so we recommend driving both versions to see which provides the right balance for you.
In general, the 2017 Camry provides hassle-free access to its tech features. The center stack is dominated by large, clearly labeled buttons and knobs, making it easy to quickly adjust audio and climate settings. Still, the Camry lacks smartphone mirroring technologies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are offered in competitors like the 2017 Ford Fusion and Honda Accord.
An Entune audio system with six-speakers and a 6.1-inch touch screen comes standard with the base 2017 Camry. A USB port, Bluetooth and Siri Eyes Free compatibility are also included. XLE and XSE trims get a larger 7-inch touch screen, navigation, a 10-speaker JBL audio system and satellite radio. Keyless entry/ignition, Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging, a universal garage door opener and an upgraded Entune system with smartphone app integration are offered.
A rearview camera and 10 airbags come standard with the base Camry, while the list of available safety equipment includes forward collision warning with autonomous braking, as well as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high beams and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The 2017 Camry earned a top five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its overall performance in crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2017 Camry its Top Safety Pick+ designation and an Advanced rating for its available driver-assistive technology.
The 2017 Toyota Camry LE starts at $23,070 plus an $865 destination charge. The Camry SE starts at $23,840, while XLE and XSE models both start at $26,310. If you’d like a little extra power, the V6-powered Camry XLE and XSE are both priced from $31,370.
Our test Camry XSE carried a suggested price of $35,113. It came with the V6, and it built on the list of standard features with options that included the upgraded version of Entune, blind spot monitoring and an Advanced Technology package that adds the rest of the available driver assistance features.
While most shoppers probably don’t need the V6 engine’s additional power, we recommend paying a little extra for the extra features that you’ll get with the Camry’s higher trims. Our pick would be a four-cylinder Camry XSE, which brings in dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats and premium interior materials. Add all of the available tech and driver assistance features and you can expect the Camry XSE to carry a suggested price of about $30,000 after destination.
The Toyota Camry has a higher starting price than many midsize cars, but there’s little doubt that the 2017 model continues to offer a lot of value. A roomy cabin and excellent safety ratings make the Camry a great family car, and those qualities are bolstered by a strong list of standard equipment and Toyota’s reputation for dependability. There’s little doubt that these attributes continue to resonate with consumers.