No matter your opinion of the 2016 Toyota Camry, you certainly see plenty of them on the road. That’s because it’s America’s best-selling sedan and has sold more than 4.4 million in the past 10 years alone.
Refreshed in 2015, the 2016 Toyota Camry is largely unchanged this year — with the exception of the sporty Special Edition model I recently tested. Can you find five good reasons to drive the Camry? Absolutely. In fact, it’s easy. Let’s dive into the details.
Reason #1: The 2016 Toyota Camary is a Family Sedan for Nearly Everyone
Sedans are a big deal to American drivers and car companies compete strongly to ensure they have a competitive model in the mix. If you prize a sporty driving experience, you’ll want to look closely at the Mazda6 or Ford Fusion. Want a bunch of features for less money? Then eye the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima or even the Chrysler 200.
If you want a car that will satisfy nearly every driver, focus first on the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Both sedans offer plenty of features, excellent reliability and safety ratings and they battle for best-seller supremacy every year.
The Camry is comfortable, easy to live with and checks all the boxes that matter most to drivers. And with five available trims, it’s easy to find a model that meets your needs and budget.
Reason #2: Excellent Tech Features
I recently retired an old iPhone that drained a battery faster than Miami Dolphins players drown their thirst with Gatorade during summer football practices. My solution to keep the phone charged and available? The white charging cable that connects to the USB port in most vehicles. It’s an easy enough solution, but a little junky given my preferred taste for a clutter-free interior.
Toyota offers a solution for neat freaks who demand a clean and elegant charging solution. It’s called the Qi wireless charging system and it does just that: charge your phone wirelessly. You simply lay your phone flat on the charging station and if the phone (or the phone case) includes the appropriate technology, it will automatically rejuvenate your phone’s battery. That’s nice, but perhaps one of the best features of the system is that it ensures you drive with the phone out of your hands and away from intrusive text messages that can quickly distract drivers.
I also like the Camry’s infotainment system. A 6.1-inch touchscreen is standard, but I prefer the 7-inch high-resolution screen that does a nice job displaying music and other information. Spend a few minutes to learn the system and it performs quickly and accurately for its tasks. Not all infotainment systems are as easy to use and master.
Toyota’s Entune infotainment system also provides one-touch access to integrated apps like Pandora, Yelp, Facebook and more. It’s easier to use than the original Entune system and though it’s not essential, it’s a useful luxury.
Reason #3: The 2016 Toyota Camry Looks Better Than Ever
I’ve owned a few Toyota Camry vehicles in my life and this latest model is far more stylish than any of the prior models. I didn’t choose those Camrys for their style. They ended up in my garage because I wanted a reliable used car that required virtually no babysitting and maintained its value over time. The Camrys served their purpose well, but I never recommended them to buyers whose primary criteria was the looks of their sedan.
This latest model features an attractive, even eye-catching design that is aggressive enough to attract new buyers but also conservative enough to ensure that longtime Camry buyers stay in the fold. It should age well. In fact, this is the first time I’ve tested a Camry in quite a few years when I’ve had friends comment about the style in an overwhelmingly positive way. That’s good news for Toyota and Camry buyers. And if you want to increase the style quotient of your Camry, the Special Edition and XSE models offer a bit more bling than you’ll find in the entry-level models.
Reason #4: Power for What Moves You
All 2016 Toyota Camry models start with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 178 horsepower and is paired to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. In daily driving, that powertrain combo should prove adequate for all but the performance-inspired drivers who will likely elect the upgraded 3.5-liter V6 that increases horsepower to 286 and adds 248 pound-feet of torque to increase responsiveness when starting from a dead stop.
More power is typically more fun and that’s the powertrain I tested without complaint. Yet, the smaller engine improves fuel economy and should average 25 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg on the highway. Choose the V6 and economy drops to 21 mpg around town and 31 on the highway. If that all sounds a little too low for your tastes, then you’ll want to explore the Toyota Camry Hybrid that averages 43 mpg in the city and 39 mpg in freeway driving.
Something I noticed as I tested the Camry during a week when Utah experienced two good snowstorms is that the Camry is only available with front-wheel drive. If you seek all-wheel drive, like I wished for on a particularly slippery morning, you’ll want to consider the Chrysler 200, Subaru Legacy and Ford Fusion that all offer all-wheel-drive powertrains.
Reason #5: Comfortable with Excellent Safety and Reliability Ratings
Given its sheer ubiquity, the Camry isn’t the top choice of hipsters. Then again, sedans aren’t the first car hipsters would choose, either. It’s the excellent reliability and safety ratings, coupled with the comfortable and quiet cabin, that ensures Camry buyers line up year after year to park this car in their garage.
No matter which Camry you choose, you’ll find 10 airbags, plus standard safety features such as a backup camera, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control. Suggested upgrades include the blind-spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, a pre-collision system, lane departure alert and adaptive cruise control.
The 2016 Toyota Camry earned a “Top Safety Pick+” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s not absolute best in class — the Honda Accord and Subaru Legacy best those ratings if you look closely at the details, but it’s awfully close.
Reliability ratings are excellent, too. Consumer Reports expects the 2016 Toyota Camry to prove much better than average than most cars in its class.
Inside the Camry, you’ll find a cabin that is comfortable and quiet with decent rear-seat legroom and headroom. In short, there’s a lot to like in the 2016 Camry.
Good at So Many Things
The 2016 Toyota Camry remains so good at so many things it’s difficult to find faults or resist its charms. With a starting price just under $24,000, it’s relatively affordable. If you want more luxury, you can upgrade to the Camry XLE or XSE model with a base price below $31,000. You can certainly find a sportier sedan in the Honda Accord or Mazda 6. You can find a sedan with more aggressive design in the Kia Optima or Ford Fusion. But when it comes to the best all-around sedans and perennial top-selling cars, the Toyota Camry will remain on that list for that foreseeable future.