Don’t let its sporty looks fool you: the 2020 Toyota Camry is a gentle performer in most configurations. That works well enough for us to elevate its score to 6 out of 10 based on its comfortable ride. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The 2020 Camry lineup consists of four basic flavors: standard L, LE, and XLE trims; sportier SE and XSE trims; hybrid versions; and the new Camry TRD.
The base 2.5-liter inline-4 shuttles 203 horsepower to the front wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. In most situations, the base engine provides more than adequate acceleration, though it can feel rough at lower speeds. The optional 3.5-liter V-6 makes the most of its impressive 301 hp sent forward again through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Passing power is superb with the V-6, which is only available in XSE and XLE trims.
Opt for the hybrid in LE, XSE, or XLE trims and Toyota swaps in a 176-hp version of the 2.5-liter inline-4 teamed with an electric motor that combines for 208 hp. Acceleration is on par with the base non-hybrid engine, and the powertrain works well with the electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Curiously, the base Camry Hybrid LE makes use of a lithium-ion battery, while the Hybrid XSE and XLE trims feature a heavy, lower-tech nickel-metal-hydride setup that’s less fuel-efficient.
Camrys with an L in their badges have a soft ride paired with light, accurate steering. They roll into corners when pushed, though they never feel sloppy. They’re cruisers, in Camry tradition. S and XSE version have a stiffer suspension and a lower ride height, as well as more steering heft. They’re not exactly sporty compared to, say, Toyota’s own 86 coupe, but they’re more entertaining than most mid-size sedans. Hybrids generally perform like their non-hybrid siblings, with a softer ride due in part to the extra heft of their batteries.
The Camry TRD injects a little more fun into the package. Its 3.5-liter V-6 barks through a cat-back exhaust, and its buttoned-down suspension sits lower to the ground and utilizes stiffer dampers and beefier, solid sway bars. Body bracing stiffens up what was already a fairly beefy body shell.
Bigger brakes stop the Camry TRD better, while wider tires wrapped in available summer tires provide better grip.
The TRD is the Camry we’d buy as automotive enthusiasts, but it might not be the best choice for families due to its firmer ride and summer tires inappropriate for wintry or wet weather.
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