It’s easy to see why the Toyota Camry is the most popular car in Toyota’s line of vehicles and recently took over the title of being the best selling car in North America in May 2012. After spending a week with a Camry SE, I determined that this mid-size car that is spacious enough for a family, gets great gas mileage, and features lots of extras that still allow the vehicle to remain affordable.
What did we love?
Thoughtful technology that is well integrated into the vehicle. The Camry comes equipped with Entune, an app-based system integrates the apps you love into your in-vehicle experience so you can pull up your favorite Pandora stations, scroll through Sirius XM, navigation, and make calls at the touch of a button. Bluetooth pairing is easy and pulls in your contacts from your address book immediately.
The navigation system is probably one of the best I’ve seen in vehicles that I’ve tested recently thanks to clear directions, warnings, and a really accurate determination of your arrival time that takes into account speed of travel, traffic, etc. Powered USB ports are in convenient places, yet hide behind a door so they can remain low profile when left in the car.
Trunk space. As a midsize car, the Camry didn’t disappoint when it came to trunk space. During my week with the car, I had to pick up my daughter, 2 friends, and a fellow parent from a Brownie camping trip. 4 sleeping bags, pillows, assorted gear, and lots of warm clothes made it in the trunk of the car. There was never a doubt that everything was going to fit.
Wide enough back seat for 3 children. We tested the width of the back seat on our drive home from the campgrounds where we needed 2 booster seats and one girl sitting in the middle. Everyone fit just fine!
- Entune system
- Integrated USB located in a convenient place but yet hidden away behind a panel so your device doesn’t attract attention from passerbys.
- Large touch screen for navigation, Entune, making calls via Bluetooth pairing, music from Pandora, Sirius, the radio, and more.
- Trip information screen displays your average speed, MPG for your trip, and the distance you can travel on what’s left in your tank.
- Cons: This car uses a key that degrades its geek factor for those who like prefer proximity sensor key fobs that allow you to open doors and start the car with a touch of button as long as the key is nearby. The odometer measures in whole miles, rather than in tenths of a mile which was a little strange. This car also lacks a backup camera.
- Satellite radio. Apparently the kids are getting to be quite the car snobs and reported to my husband that they would only want to ride in the car if it had satellite radio. Camry passed the test and they loved listening to Gagnam Style on their favorite channel.
- Spacious back seat that seated three 9 year old girls comfortably with lots of legroom.
- Smooth ride. The kids hate when we get cars with tight suspension. While these are fun for me to test for a week, they report that they’re bumpy. There were no complaints about bumpiness with the Camry.
- Cons: None reported!
- The dog registered his complaints about not being able to fully test out this car due to lack of car rides. While it seemed that he would have fit perfectly fine in the back seat between the kids, the car had a black interior and came to us with only 9 miles on it so I didn’t feel that our local dealership would have appreciated vacuuming an abundance of dog hair out of the brand new car.
If you’re looking for a midsize sedan, consider the Toyota Camry if you’re looking at the following vehicles:
- Honda Accord
- Nissan Maxima
- Kia Optima
- Volkswagen Passat
As a member of the Toyota Women’s Influencer Network (TWIN) program, Toyota provided me with an extended ride and drive. I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own and based on personal experience and do not reflect the views of Toyota.