2022 Toyota Camry Review | Something for everyone (but get the hybrid)
The 2022 Toyota Camry stays the course as an all-around excellent family sedan. Few changes have been made for this model year, but there didn't need to be many. It remains distinctive looking, offers a plethora of powertrain and trim options and is comfortable without being dull to drive.
Overall, we think the 2022 Camry Hybrid is the best bet of the bunch, as it not only returns exceptional fuel economy, but it offers benefits to handling and is more powerful than the base four-cylinder. Still, if you're on a tighter budget or want all-wheel drive, the four-cylinder is affordable and still punchy enough to be pleasant. We especially like that Toyota uses a traditional automatic transmission rather than the CVTs found in most competitors. The Camry also stands out by still offering a V6, a jewel of an engine with excellent power and refinement. It gets even better in the sporty TRD variant. Basically, there's a Toyota Camry for just about everyone, and they're all very good.
Interior & Technology | Passenger & Cargo Space | Performance & Fuel Economy
What it's like to drive | Pricing & Features | Crash Ratings & Safety Features
What's new for 2022?
The Toyota Camry gets very minor styling and equipment changes for 2022. The regular LE and XLE models as well as the sportier looking SE and XSE models get revised grilles. Otherwise, they look the same as last year. The XLE gets a different standard interior upholstery with a herringbone pattern. The SE Hybrid is also now available with the Nightshade package, which adds black-painted window trim, door handles, wheels, badging and mirrors. Visual changes aside, all Camrys now get standard dual-zone automatic climate control, as well as heated side mirrors. The one exception to the climate control upgrade is the TRD, which continues to feature just a single-zone automatic climate system. The TRD does get some additional standard features in blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning.
What are the Camry interior and in-car technology like?
The Camry interior is perhaps a little over-styled, but you can't call it boring, and we like that Toyota shies away from large swaths of tacked-on fake wood or metal to carry the look. Quality is also above average, as there really isn't much of drop-off in look, feel and general ambiance from a fancy XLE to the more entry-level LE. We also like the abundance of storage space in the doors, under the center armrest and in a voluminous two-tier smartphone bin.
After last year's updates, the infotainment screen grows out from the dash rather than being embedded within it. It’s not as clean looking as the previous version, but it does bring the screen closer to the driver’s line of vision, so it’s easier to check while driving. Both the standard 7-inch screen and available 9-inch unit share a common user interface, so you're really only getting extra inches rather than different functionality. As such, what's on either is a love-it-or-hate-it affair. Some will appreciate its simple layout, especially for the audio controls. Others find it a bit slow and aesthetically behind the times. The infotainment systems in the Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima and Honda Accord (in that order) are superior.
How big is the Camry?
If it weren't for the colossal Honda Accord, the Toyota Camry would stand out for its interior space. The lowered roof of the latest generation may make some folks feel like they're oddly close to the ceiling (especially with a sunroof), but headroom's still OK, and legroom is abundant. Someone 6-foot-3 can even sit behind another without knees grazing the seatback. We also like that the latest Camry has a lower driver seating position than before, making it feel like you're sitting in the car rather than on it. It's just one of the many things done to this generation to make it feel more immersive and driver-focused.
The trunk offers 15.1 cubic-feet of space, which is less than an Accord, a Sonata or VW Passat. In comparison to the Accord in particular, the trunk is a bit narrower and not as deep. However, that says more about those other sedans than the Camry. The trunk's still really big, with enough room for four roller bags and plenty left over. We can get a better feel for how much stuff the trunk can hold in our Camry luggage test cargo review.
It should also be noted that the all-wheel-drive and hybrid Camry models have the same trunk space as the regular front-drive versions, but the hybrid’s back seat is a smidgen higher since the battery resides underneath. This difference is unlikely to be noticed, however.
What are the Camry fuel economy and performance specs?
The 2022 Camry is available with the widest variety of powertrain options in the midsize sedan segment.
Things start with the 2.5-liter inline-four that produces 203 horsepower (best in class) and 184 pound-feet of torque when paired with front-wheel drive (206 hp and 186 lb-ft in the XSE). The optional all-wheel-drive system (AWD) reduces output by a tiny amount. An eight-speed automatic is standard.
Fuel economy with this engine varies depending on trim level and drivetrain. The volume-selling LE and SE with front-wheel drive achieve an excellent 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined. The XLE and XSE take a minor hit at 31 mpg combined. All-wheel drive takes a further dive, especially on the highway, to 25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined in the LE and SE (25/34/28 for the XLE and XSE AWD).
The optional 3.5-liter V6 is paired exclusively with front-wheel drive and the eight-speed automatic. It produces a whopping 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Unlike some turbocharged engines that require premium fuel to achieve max performance, the Camry's V6 runs on regular. Fuel economy is still strong at 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined for the XLE. The XSE gets 22/32/26, and the TRD trim brings up the rear at 22/31/25.
Finally, the Camry Hybrid uses a pair of electric motors in conjunction with a four-cylinder engine. Together, they produce a combined 208 hp. By comparison, a Prius produces a mere 121 hp, yet the Camry achieves nearly the same fuel economy. The Camry Hybrid LE trim level returns 51 mpg city, 53 mpg highway and 52 mpg combined. The other trims are 44/47/46, a difference that isn't as significant as the mpg figures make it seem.
What's the Camry like to drive?
Forget all your pre-conceived notions of the Toyota Camry. It is a far more involving car than ever before with sharper, more composed handling and pleasantly responsive steering. Everything gets a bit tighter in the SE and XSE trims, but choosing them isn't an absolute must any more for folks who like to drive. True, the Honda Accord remains a superior drivers' car, but the Camry isn't so far off.
In fact, the Camry TRD was seemingly made to make that very point, as it's outfitted with track-tuned chassis components, a strengthened structure and enhanced steering to deliver handling that approaches sport sedan territory, at the expense of a less-forgiving ride.
The TRD comes standard with the muscular V6 engine that's optional on other Camrys. No matter the trim, though, this is a strong, smooth engine that only gets better when you realize it matches the fuel economy of its turbocharged four-cylinder competitors. Of course, few people get the V6 (only 6%). The majority go for the base four-cylinder that offers best-in-class power, but when it's compared to turbocharged engines, you'll likely notice that it has less low-end grunt and sounds a bit winded when pushed. It's certainly not Toyota's most refined effort, although at least it has a capable partner in the smart eight-speed automatic that's greatly superior to the CVTs found in most competitors. All of that pretty much carries over to the new Camry AWD, which we dig into deeper here.
Finally, there's the Camry Hybrid, which we think is the pick of the litter. Its electric motor adds the low-end pull the base four-cylinder lacks, while also smoothing things out considerably. Furthermore, the battery's placement under the back seat lowers the car's center of gravity and lessens the front weight bias, making for improved dynamics around corners. A heavy right foot still results in a fair bit of droning from the powertrain (something you don't get in the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid), but it is better than past Toyota hybrid efforts, as is the brake-pedal modulation. That you can now get it in the sportiest, more luxurious XSE guise is icing on the cake.
What other Toyota Camry reviews can I read?
2020 Toyota Camry AWD First Drive
Our first drive of the all-wheel-drive Camry, including information about its engineering. You see, all-wheel drive wasn't meant to be in the new Camry. Then things changed.
2020 Toyota Camry TRD First Drive
And now for something completely different ... We take a spin around Texas Motor Speedway in the unlikeliest Camry, a high-performance one tuned by Toyota's TRD wing. We later got a chance to drive it back at Autoblog HQ in Michigan.
Toyota Camry Luggage Test | How much fits in the trunk?
We put the 15.1-cubic-foot Camry trunk to the real-world test by seeing how much luggage (and other stuff) we can fit in its trunk.
2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid vs Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid | How they compare on paper
Although not as complete as the above comparison test, we take a look at the specs of each hybrid family sedan.
How much is the 2022 Camry price and what features are available?
The Camry line starts with the LE trim level. Base price is $26,420, including the $1,025 destination charge. It comes with LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-way power driver's seat and a six-way manual adjustable passenger seat and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Honestly, there's more than enough here that you don't really need anything more.
The LE's sportier counterpart is the SE, which adds different styling and chassis tuning optimized for handling. Above them are the XLE and XSE, which are similar to their non-X versions, but with additional features and the option of the V6 engine. The TRD variant is the cheapest V6 Camry, in part because it lacks some of the comfort features of the XLE and XSE, but it gets exclusive suspension tuning, chassis braces and body work to make it more exciting to look at and to drive.
The Hybrid versions of each trim are basically the same except for the engine, and the Nightshade packages are basically just options that add black trim to each respective model. You can find more about features and local pricing here on Autoblog, and the MSRPs with destination are listed for each main trim below.
LE (I4 standard, hybrid available): $26,420
SE (I4 standard, hybrid available): $27,960
XLE (I4 standard, V6 and hybrid available): $31,170
XSE (I4 standard, V6 and hybrid available): $31,720
TRD (V6-only): $33,485
What are the Camry safety ratings and driver assistance features?
The Camry has earned very high crash test scores. It's an IIHS Top Safety Pick + having earned the highest marks in all crash tests, for its collision prevention system and even LATCH child seat anchor access (we can confirm in our own testing that they're very easy to use). Its headlights perform decently, too, with most of versions receiving the second-highest "Acceptable" rating, and XLE Hybrid's adaptive headlights getting the top "Good" rating. NHTSA ranks the Camry highly, too, with an overall five-star rating. It also got five-star ratings for each individual crash test.
The Camry comes well-equipped with many standard safety and driver assist features. Although Toyota advertises its own specific terms of these features, they are generically known as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beam headlights and rear-seat reminder warning and adaptive cruise control with lane-centering steering assist. TRD, XLE and XSE models also receive blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, which are also available on some LE and SE models.
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