The 2011 Toyota Camry is in the fifth and last year of its model life, but it continues to be a top-selling mid-size sedan, as it has been for years. A very minor facelift for 2010 will carry it through until it is replaced for 2012, though for green buyers, it will be the Camry Hybrid model that’s of most interest.
The Camry sedan is such a frequent part of the automotive landscape that it’s almost beyond styling; it’s so anonymous that it simply is. Styling is somewhere between conservative and understated inside and out, though by this point, the interior—while serviceable and easy to understand—is drab and behind the times.
The 2011 Camry offers two gasoline engines and the Hybrid model, with a total of seven models and trim levels altogether. At the bottom of the range is the stark CE model with a 169-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. That’s rated at 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined.
On the other end of the scale is the luxurious XLE, with its 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic. With competitors like Hyundai dumping the V-6 option entirely for mid-size sedans, if you want a Camry V-6, get it while you can. The gas mileage there falls to 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined.
Then there’s the Camry Hybrid, which pairs a 2.4-liter four with the Hybrid Synergy Drive system also used in the Prius and other Toyota hybrids. The engine and two motor-generators together put out 187 horsepower, earning EPA ratings of 31 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined. This is an improvement over the standard car, but far from the numbers earned by either the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid (39 mpg combined) or the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (37 mpg combined).
All Camry models have a roomy interior, space for five, and lots of rear-seat legroom. The soft front seats aren’t particularly supportive, but the rear seats are larger than many competitors and are a fine place to spend time on long trips. The ride is quiet and comfortable, and the engines are smooth, but even the SE sport model is hardly a handling champ.
Options for the 2011 Camry are numerous, including audio system upgrades, some with Bluetooth, MP3 and streaming music capability, and a USB port. Various trim levels add keyless entry, heated mirrors, dual-zone climate control, and a built-in garage-door opener. Moving further up the scale, you can include navigation, leather upholstery and heated seats, smart-key entry, and push-button start, though that may well take up to or over $30,000.
For more details, see the full review of the 2011 Toyota Camry lineup on our sister site, TheCarConnection.