Following last year’s systems overhaul, the Camry mostly stands out for 2016. Towing the lineup is a Special Edition model coming on the existing SE that includes exclusive items like smoked taillights, a sportier gauge cluster and blue interior accents.
The balancing feature continues for the 2016 Toyota Camry edition, the best-seller that’s striving to move forward without abandoning its foundation. With nimble, aggressively styled competitors nipping at its heels, Toyota’s popular family sedan brought about last year, debuting sleeker looks and a tauter sport-tuned suspension in certain editions. At the same time, the Camry faithful demand traditional traits like an ergonomic control layout and a hushed, buttery drive. Delivering these two masters will be a key to the Camry’s continued success.
To sustain the standard from last year’s redesign, the company has introduced a Special Edition trim level for the year 2016. Based on the sporty Camry SE, the four-cylinder-only Special Edition ups the edginess option with flashy 18-inch wheels, smoked taillights, the SE’s sport-tuned suspension and vibrant blue interior trim. Because the company realizes that not everyone wants tuner-inspired performance and styling flourishes, which is where the relatively defined LE and XLE trims come in. decorated with more conservative bodywork, a comfort-only suspension and restrained interior decor, this Camry edition reassures longtime fans that the company hasn’t lost touch with its tradition.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Features
The 2016 Toyota Camry lands as a five-passenger midsize sedan available in LE, SE, Special Edition, XSE and XLE trim levels.
Standard features on the base LE includes 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, air-conditioning, keyless entry, a rearview camera, cruise control, an eight-way power driver seat (that is with two-way power lumbar adjustment), 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, cloth upholstery, a 6.1-inch Entune touchscreen electronics interface, voice controls, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Siri Eyes Free and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.
The SE builds on that with 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, sport-themed exterior styling and interior trim elements, cloth and synthetic leather upholstery, a leather-trimmed steering wheel with paddle shifters and a 4.2-inch color driver information display.
Optional feature on the LE and SE is an Entune Audio Plus package that includes an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen, satellite radio and HD radio. A sunroof is also an optional feature.
The SE-based Special model trim has the Entune Audio Plus package and sunroof as standard feature, and it includes 18-inch wheels, smoked taillights, keyless entry and ignition (including hands-free trunk opening), blue interior trim (inclusive of seat inserts and contrast stitching), unique gauges and Qi wireless smartphone charging.
The XSE does not come standard with the sunroof, keyless entry and ignition or the wireless phone charger, but it still has the sport-tuned suspension and adds 18-inch wheels of its own, LED running lights, leather and synthetic suede upholstery, heated front seats, a four way power passenger seat and dual-zone automatic climate control.
A Convenience package is provided on the SE and four-cylinder XSE trim that have the keyless entry and ignition with hands-free trunk opening and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The XLE is packed similar to the XSE, but switches to the LE’s comfort-oriented suspension tuning and goes without the sporty styling elements. It has 17-inch alloy wheels and full leather upholstery.
The sunroof is an optional feature on the SE, four-cylinder XSE and four-cylinder XLE, while the wireless smartphone charger is optional on the XSE and XLE trims.
the V6-powered versions of the XSE
and XLE has a few additional standard options, including LED headlights, a noise-reducing windshield, the sunroof, the Convenience package, the wireless smartphone charger and an upgraded Entune touchscreen interface with split-screen capability and smartphone app integration. The latter is actually optional on all but the base LE trim, same with the navigation system.
Optional feature on the XSE and the XLE is a blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert system, a Technology package (that is lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision warning and braking system and automatic high beam headlight control) plus a 10-speaker JBL sound system.
The XLE can additionally be endowed with Safety Connect emergency telematics.
Powertrains and Performance
Every 2016 Toyota Camry trim lands standard with front-wheel drive, six-speed automatic transmission and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that sends out 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque.
In a test, a Camry LE with that went from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, which is an average for a four-cylinder midsize sedan.
The XSE and XLE trims also features a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. An XLE V6 zoomed to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds, a quick result for this class of vehicle with an upgraded engine.
EPA estimated fuel economy for the four-cylinder engine is 28mpg combined 25 city/35 highways which is a few mpg behind the four-cylinder Mazda 6 and Honda Accord in its class.
The V6’s EPA-estimated fuel economy of 25mpg combined 21/31 is about average compared to rival V6 engines.
Every 2016 Toyota Camry arrives standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, front knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a rearview camera.
The XSE and XLE can be optionally equipped with a blind-spot warning system that is added with a rear cross-traffic alert system. The Technology package has a lane-departure warning system and a collision mitigation system that warns the driver of an imminent collision and automatically applies the brakes if necessary.
Optional only on the XLE is the Safety Connect, which includes an automatic collision notification, an emergency assist button and a stolen-vehicle locator.
In a car test, a Camry LE halted from 60 mph in an impressively short 116 feet. However, a pair of XLE V6 test cars stopped from 60 mph in 127 and 129 feet, which is on the long side for this category.
In government crash testing, the Camry an impressive Five stars for overall crash protection, and four stars for frontal-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Camry its best possible “Good” rating in its moderate-overlap and small-overlap frontal-offset impact tests. The Camry also got a “Good” score in the side-impact, roof-strength and head restraint/seatbelts (whiplash protection) tests.
Interior Options and Special Features
The 2016 Toyota Camry offers one of the most comfortable and spacious cabins of any midsize family SE. There’s much of headroom and legroom up front and not much less in back, where even taller adults will be content to ride for long periods. Moreover, a rear-facing child seat can be fitted in back with ease. The fixed rear headrest makes it difficult to properly secure a front-facing child seat, though. Space in the trunk, is kept at 15.4 cubic feet which is average for a midsize sedan.
From the driver’s pit, most of the physical buttons are pretty large, easy to understand at a glance and glove-friendly. The sensibly designed climate control demands special praise for their simple, intuitive operation. On the technology front, the Camry has a standard 6.1-inch version of Toyota’s Entune touchscreen infotainment system, with an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen specified on multiple trim levels. The graphics aren’t as cool as the segment’s best, but like the Camry’s other control interfaces, these screens are relatively straightforward and easy to use.
Much thanks to numerous improvements last year, the 2016 Toyota Camry is more responsive to driver inputs than the previous editions, not to mention more composed when going around corners. This is especially true of the SE, Special Edition and XSE trims, which increases the driver engagement even further with their sport-tuned suspensions. If true sportiness is your interest, you’ll still likely prefer competitors like the Ford Fusion and Mazda 6, but Toyota has closed the clearance significantly.
Of course, the Camry has traditionally been known for its comfort and quietness, and fortunately those traits are still richly available. Even the sport-tuned trims have a supple ride, but if you want the creamiest suspension possible, the LE and XLE can offer that. Under the hood, the base four-cylinder accelerates well enough, however the optional V6 is the star of the show with its effortless and seemingly endless thrust. Either way, the six-speed transmission is quite refined and notably quick to downshift.