Approaching its 35th birthday, the Toyota Camry is the top-selling car in the United States. The 2014 edition extends the current generation and will likely continue the midsize sedan’s reputation. It’s a dependable four-door machine that does a lot right albeit without fanfare.
In 11 of past 15 years, the Toyota Camry has surpassed more than 400,000 sales annually. Buyers get a comfortable, efficient and not-too-complicated vehicle. It’s not the fastest or the most handsome. It doesn’t have the best fuel economy or the best performance.
But the Camry does most things right and very little wrong. Which is what many consumers want — strong transportation, a good on-the-road companion that doesn’t cause any trouble and is loyal. It’s like a good friend you can always rely on.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
Like many popular sedans, the Camry is available in numerous trims. I drove the top-line XLE.
The 2014 Camry L features 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, split-folding rear seats, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 6.1-inch touchscreen display and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.
The 2014 Camry LE adds automatic headlamps, power door locks with remote keyless entry, audio controls on the steering wheel and an outside temperature display.
The XLE begins with LE trims equipment and softer suspension. It adds 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, foglights, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control and an eight-way power driver seat.
The XLE V6 models add HD and satellite radio, Entune, a navigation system, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a four-way power front-passenger seat and heated front seats.
The XLE trim is also powerful. Its 3.5-liter V6 generates 268 horsepower and that propels the high-end model from 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds.
The 2014 Toyota Camry comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control and 10 airbags. The optional Safety Connect telematics system for the XLE includes roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location and automatic collision notification.
The Camry’s top-of the-line audio system also features a suite of smartphone-connected services that include the Bing search engine, Pandora streaming radio and real-time sports and stock information.
Driving the Camry adds several more fodder to the car’s enduring popularity. The interior is comfortable and spacious. There’s heavy-duty stitching on the door panels and the dash and the all-around visibility is good and absent of any blind spots.
Trunk space is adequate and the 60/40-split rear seat folds down, expanding the cargo area.
Toyota Camry models are not available with manual transmissions, but the V6 accelerates steadily and smoothly as is impressive enough for most drivers’ varying circumstances.
Option for strong V6 engine.
Could use a little styling pizzazz.
Manual transmission not available.
Facts & Figures: 2014 Toyota Camry
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 6.6 seconds.
Fuel economy: 21 mpg (city), 25 mpg (highway), 25 mpg (combined), six-speed automatic transmission.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $30,465.00
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.toyota.com.
Price As tested: $34,120.00
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited mileage; Roadside Assistance, 3 years/36,000 miles.
What Others Say:
“In keeping with tradition, the 2014 Camry rides smoothly and quietly, and fuel economy is better than ever, touching 35 miles per gallon in standard trim and up to 43 mpg in the Hybrid. Yet the latest Camry also handles pretty well, especially with the SE model’s sport-tuned suspension, and its technology offerings have gone from lagging to leading, highlighted by standard touch-screen infotainment and USB/Bluetooth across the lineup.” — AutoTrader.
“Given its well-rounded nature and long-standing history of dependability, the 2014 Toyota Camry is a solid choice in the highly competitive midsize sedan segment.” — Edmunds.
“Certainly not the most thrilling subject, the cold, hard truth is that a primary appeal of the Camry is its long-term value, as typified by its proven record of reliability and its legendary resale numbers. It’s that long-term value that keeps the Camry at the top of the sales charts.” — Kelley Blue Book.
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“Why is the Toyota Camry the country’s top-selling sedan? In two words, reliability and value — and only annually for the past three decades or so.”