The Camry is a front-wheel drive, five-passenger, four-door sedan featuring four trims: CE, LE, SE, and XLE. A 158-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission is standard; a five-speed automatic transmission is optional. Optional for LE, SE, and XLE models is a 268-hp, 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting. ABS brakes, driver and front-passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and side curtain airbags are standard. Stability control and traction control are optional.
The benchmark Toyota Camry sedan continues its reputation of safety, reliability, and quality while offering fuel efficiency, space, and power. As one of the best-selling vehicles over the past 20 years, the Toyota Camry has been a comforting constant in its own right. Buyers are frequently working on their third or fourth Camry because of their prior positive experiences. The 2009 version of this Toyota stalwart continues to offer what most folks are looking for in a mainstream midsize family sedan: a roomy cabin, a comfortable ride, an easy-to-drive demeanor and a reputation for reliability and low maintenance costs.
The 2009 Camry remains the perennial best-seller among midsize sedans. The Camry trim levels, in ascending price, are the base Camry, the LE, the sporty SE and the premium XLE. The Camry Hybrid, detailed in a separate report in the Cars.com Research section, falls somewhere between the SE and XLE in terms of standard equipment.
The Toyota Camry is at $20,145 and for this you’ll have a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox which produces a respectable 169HP @6,000 RPM. But unlike its counterpart, the Camry scores a little bit better in the fuel economy department with a slightly higher average of 26 miles to the gallon.
The LE, SE and LXE all come with the 2.4-Liter engine or you can upgrade to the 3.5-Liter DOHC 24-vlave Dual VVT-i engine, increasing horsepower to an impressive 268 at 6200 rpm and torque to 248 lb-ft at 4700 rpm. This engine takes 2.5 seconds off the 0 to 60 test and manages a respectable 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
The 2.4L engine comes with a choice of a 5 speed manual transmission or 5 speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) while the 3.5L engine comes standard with the brawnier 6 speed ECT-i transmission.
Ride and handling is solid and secure but not sporty while the overall crash ratings and avoidance protection are classed as ‘good’ across the board.
The base Camry comes standard with tilt and telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, fabric seats and door trim with multi-adjustable front bucket seats with driver’s height adjust and lumbar support. The 60/40 split rear seat folds flat to increase trunk space and the CD AM/FM, MP3/WMA playback with nine speakers and auxiliary jack give this base model a versatility and mild luxury rarely seen for the price tag.
The LE builds on the base model with increased comfort in power adjustable seats and multi-function remote keyless entry.
In the SE and XLE, choose from the optional heated seats and the JBL Synthesis AM/FM 6-dis in dash CD changer with MP3/WMA playback and satellite enable, auxiliary jack and hands free phone via Bluetooth. Speakers are upgraded to twelve units and a subwoofer. Or, choose the same as well as an integrated DVD navigation system.
In the XLE model, standard high end features such as the wood-grain interior trim with chrome accents and defroster-linked CFC-free dual zone auto climate control with dust and pollen filter, Plasmaclusterâ„¢ ionizer, steering wheel-mounted controls and rear-seat vents. Other options for these high-end models include Smart Key System with Push Button Start and remote illuminated entry with puddle lamps.
The Camry’s steering wheel both tilts and telescopes. XLE standard fabric is treated by the Fraichir process, which gives it a natural moisturizing component. The SE trim level gets its own sport-trimmed interior in darker colors with amber gauges and a three-spoke steering wheel.
The CE and LE trims have split, folding backseats. The XLE backrests recline 8 degrees, but they don’t fold forward to extend cargo space into the cabin. Likewise, the Camry SE’s seats don’t fold due to a V-shaped brace intended to stiffen the car’s structure and improve handling. There’s 101.4 cubic feet for passengers to stretch out — putting the sedan in the middle of the pack in terms of space. Same thing goes for its 15-cubic-foot trunk.
- Available cloth, Fraichir cloth and leather upholstery
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard cruise control, plus power windows and locks
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter (SE and XLE)
- Optional heated front seats (SE and XLE)
- Optional eight-speaker JBL stereo with satellite radio (not on base Camry)
- Optional Bluetooth (not on base Camry)
- Optional navigation system (SE and XLE)
Under the Hood
A four-cylinder engine is available on all models, while the optional V-6 is available on all but the base Camry. The SE has firmer springs, shock absorbers, stabilizer bars and bushings to improve handling and limit body roll compared to other trim levels.
- Standard 158-horsepower four-cylinder engine with 161 pounds-feet of torque
- Optional 268-hp V-6 with 248 pounds-feet of torque
- Standard five-speed manual (four-cylinder)
- Optional five-speed automatic (four-cylinder)
- Optional six-speed automatic (V-6)
- Optional push-button start (XLE)
The Camry’s comfortable ride, moderate price and unequalled reliability have kept it a consumer favorite for a quarter of the century and with the way Toyota is leading the pack, the Camry should stay on top for the next quarter century.
The current-generation Camry’s nose is blunter and the overall profile is sportier than its predecessor. The tail recalls the full-size Avalon sedan, and the fenders have shoulders that give the trunklid a hump.
The grilles distinguish one trim level from another. The SE also has rocker-panel and front-end extensions and larger wheels. Exterior length is 189.2 inches and width comes in at 71.7 inches, putting the Camry on the small side of the midsize market.
- Available 16- or 17-inch wheels
- Standard automatic headlamps
- Standard power mirrors
- Optional moonroof (not available on base Camry)
- Heated mirrors (standard on XLE, optional on SE)
- Dual chrome exhaust tips (with V-6 only)
- Fog lamps (SE and XLE)
Safety features include:
- Standard side-impact airbags
- Standard side curtain airbags
- Standard driver’s knee airbag
- Standard antilock braking system with brake assist
- Standard daytime running lamps
- Optional electronic stability system
- Standard engine immobilizer in case of ignition tampering
Toyota Camrys are produced at Georgetown, Kentucky, USA, Aichi, Japan, Melbourne, Australia, St. Petersburg, Russia, and in China (for the Chinese market only). The Chinese Camry shares its front and rear design with the Australian 6-cylinder Aurion. On April 20, 2007, Camry manufacturing began at Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana USA, with an intended annual production of ~100,000 units. Camrys manufactured in Japan are denoted with a VIN starting with “J”; US-made models are denoted with a VIN starting with “4″.