2021 Toyota Camry XLE Redesign – The 2021 Toyota Camry XLE and its distinction for unsullied reliability make it a strong contender in the fading family sedan segment. Its three Powertrain Control options cover a diversified range: there’s a fuel-efficient four-cylinder, a potent V-6, and an environmentally friendly hybrid. Although the Toyota Camry has a compatible ride and skilled handling, it trails the performance of sporting and turbocharged rivals such as the acclaimed Honda Accord or the elegant Mazda 6. There is also ample standard driver assistance technology, including thrust warning, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane exit warning. The Camry may be plagued by small imperfections, but still, it is the best-executed Camry that Toyota has ever produced.
2021 Toyota Camry XLE Redesign
The big change for 2021 Toyota Camry XLE is the performance-oriented Camry equipped with Toyota racing Development (TRD). This racier Camry rides on returned dampers supported by stiffer springs that lower the ride height by 0.6 inches. Beefier Anti-Roll rods, additional chassis bracing, and wider lightweight wheels wrapped in summer rubber prepare the Camry TRD for the Old Country Buffet 500. The front brake rotors increase in diameter by 0.9 inches and are excited by Dual-piston calibers, and there is a TRD-specific exhaust system to sound the part. The exterior is complemented by a unique aerodynamic body kit, and the interior is clad in red to complete the look. Previously unavailable, Android Auto capability is now standard in all Camry models.
The four-cylinder fuel-saving is attractive, but our brains need the stimulation and running of a refrigerator won’t cut it. Our inner Kyle Busch says to try the new Camry TRD, so that’s exactly what we wanted to do. Not only is it the cheapest way to get the 301-HP V-6, it bundles the long list of performance-enhancing options mentioned above. While it forgets the creature comforts such as a leather interior, navigation, and driver-assistance features, it does cut the V-6-powered Camry XSE by nearly $ 4,000.
2021 Toyota Camry XLE Engine, transmission and performance
The standard four-cylinder engine pairs with a silky eight-speed automatic, but its acceleration numbers are disappointing. A less powerful version of this engine works with a battery and two electric motors for the power Camry hybrid, which are no more exciting to drive than the base Powertrain. The real gem of this lineup is the velvety 301-HP V-6 available in the XLE and XSE models.
Finally, a Camry we don’t hate driving. It has a controlled ride and surprisingly responsive handling. The steering is comfortably weighted and feels significant in turns and lights when maneuvering in parking lots. We found Camry’s brake pedal responsive and not too soft, even in hybrid, where it needs to report friction with regenerative braking (where the energy from braking is used to recharge the hybrid battery pack). However, at lower speeds, the hybrid brake pedal is hypersensitive, making parking maneuvers a bit of a herky-Jerky affair.
2021 Toyota Camry XLE Fuel Economy and the Real World MPG
The entire 2021 Toyota Camry XLE lineup performed extremely well in EPA tests, and a four-cylinder model did brilliantly in our real-world Highway tests. The hybrid’s upper trims sacrifice some efficiency at the altar of luxury, however. A four-cylinder Camry SE returned 45 mpg in our Highway test, beating its own EPA rating of 6 MPG – and making it the most economical non-hybrid car we’ve ever tested. It even beat the Camry XLE hybrid we tested for 1 mpg.
2021 Toyota Camry XLE Interior, comfort and cargo
We have driven the Camry in both top-level 2021 Toyota Camry XLE form and in its more plebeian SE trim. Both are spacious and comfortable, and the XLE is downright luxurious. But there is a serious gap in material quality between the entry-level models and the more expensive versions, and the middle of the dashboard left some of us cold with its uninspired design.
The Camry is a large sedan, and there is plenty of cargo space and interior storage in both the trunk and the cabin with the rear seat folded. It is not the best in every storage category, but overall it is thoroughly competitive. Toyota moved the Camry Hybrid battery from the trunk to the rear seats, so hybrid owners don’t have to sacrifice carrying capacity for the extra mpg.
2021 Toyota Camry XLE Infotainment and connectivity
Toyota’s touch-sensitive infotainment system — called Entune 3.0 — is standard across the Camry lineup, with an enhanced version available as an option. Entune has lots of features and responded reasonably well to user input in our tests, but Android Auto is still unavailable – a downturn in a market where it is becoming everyday costly.
2021 Toyota Camry XLE Safety and auxiliary functions for drivers
2021 Toyota Camry XLE earned impressive marks from the nation’s two safety agencies, with a five-star NHTSA rating and IIHS top Safety pick + for 2018. We continue to applaud Toyota’s decision to make driver-assistance technology standard across its lineup.