The Toyota Camry turns 37 years old in 2021 and as a present, Toyota is giving it its latest Safety Sense system, version 2.5+. The company is also adding an XSE trim to the hybrid lineup, restyling the front end, adding new 7- and 9-inch floating multimedia displays, new colors and some new interior patterns.
Toyota says there’s a Camry for every garage, and that’s probably true. In 2021 there will be 17 different versions of Camry including three V6s, five I4 front-drivers, five I4 all-wheel drive versions and four hybrid grades. LE, XLE, SE, XSE trims will remain, as will TRD and the new Nightshade version; the L trim has been discontinued.
The four-cylinder Camry still makes between 202 and 206 hp depending on trim, along with about 182 lb-ft of torque, also depending on trim. The V6 makes 301 hp and 267 lb-ft. Both get an eight-speed automatic. If you get the hybrid you’re looking at 208 total hp and 163 lb-ft of torque with a max combined EPA rating of 52 mpg. If you get one of the sportier trims, your average should be 46 mpg. All-wheel drive, which accounted for about 15% of sales in 2020, returns as well as a standalone option. It can send up to 50% power to the rear wheels.
The front clip is new, but as with previous years, the LE and XLE trims exude more luxury while the SE and XSE are more sporty. LE trims get new 17-inch wheels, XLEs get new 18s. There are also a few new colors: blueprint replaces blue streak metallic and Camry TRDs get “ice edge” with a black metallic roof. XSE now comes in supersonic red with a black roof.
The TRD model is back using the same 301-hp V6 with an eight-speed automatic. That trim gets special shock tuning, a lower ride height, aero kit, grille, painted brake calipers, steel exhaust tips and a bunch of interior accents including red seatbelts. It also comes with 19-inch wheels, bigger brakes and summer tires.
Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ is standard on all 2021 Camrys and brings emergency braking, pre-collision with pedestrian detection (a better version that help see pedestrians in intersections), steering assist during evasive maneuvers, full-speed radar cruise control, lane departure warning, lane tracing assist, which gently nudges the vehicle toward the center of the lane, road sign assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear seat reminder to tell you when you’ve left your babies in the car.
Moving on from stuff you can’t see to stuff you CAN, inside the Camry buyers will get either a 7- or 9-inch central touchscreen display featuring audio and navigation, a multi-information screen in the gauge cluster, available on XLE and XSE, a 10-inch head-up display and a new herringbone pattern for the seats. Interior color choices, depending on exterior color, include ash, macadamia or black. The XSE grade can also be had in cockpit red.