MOTOR TREND'S 7-Car Family Sedan Shootout: America's Most Popular Cars Duke It Out!
Once and Future Sedan King?
Nobody wants to like this car. Everybody knows it's an automotive appliance and appliances are not fun. They perform specific tasks without making the blood boil or the endorphins rush. Besides, we come to bury Camry not to praise him-er, it-which should be easy, considering it finished third the last time out, right? Well, not exactly. Like the Fusion, the 2010 Camry gets a powertrain upgrade to 2.5 liters and six transmission ratios, elevating output to 169 horsepower and 167 pound-feet (179 and 171 for SE models) and EPA fuel economy to 22/33 from 21/31 mpg. Other spiffs include a freshened grille and bumpers plus standard BlueTooth connectivity and stability control.
As we don our Ma' n 'Pa Middle America hats and take a walk around this Toyota, we can't help being impressed by the gigantic back-seat, huge trunk opening and breathtakingly simple cockpit ergonomics. The base radio employs two big knobs and six station pre-set buttons, as they all did for most of a century. Three more knobs control the heat and air. We've sampled more heavily optioned Camrys with navigation, and while they're more involved than this, they're also elegantly simple to master. The materials and build quality suggest this could be the priciest in the group, when in fact it's the cheapest.
Twist the key, drive off, and the Camry continues to impress with its supple ride quality and hushed cabin environment, especially at highway speeds. St. Antoine takes up the narrative: "Okay, steering feel and handling prowess are not outstanding, but when you hustle this slice of milque-toast, it shrugs off road imperfections and carves through turns just fine. There's lots of chassis roll but no loss of control. Seemingly excels at nothing, yet it really excels at everything. A driving enthusiast might want a more involving and athletic machine, but for 99 percent of buys shopping this category, the Camry simple nails the mission profile."
As votes were tallied, four editors sheepishly and very grudgingly admitted that the best mid-size sedan here was the Camry. Two more ranked it second and one placed it third, earning the Camry the consensus win.
Taken from MOTOR TREND Magazine: May 2010