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Experts predict the 2021 Toyota Camry to remain one of the best-selling cars in America. While there are some other worthy midsize sedans to consider, the Camry’s outstanding reliability and great passenger comfort make it hard to beat. Performance is also better than ever. With the availability of an AWD option, more drivers in the Snowbelt can now hop on the Camry bandwagon. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the new Camry such a great choice.
What’s New for 2021?
For 2021, Toyota updated the Camry’s front-end styling. Meanwhile, drivers will especially appreciate the sedan’s updated list of standard safety features. A new tablet-like touchscreen has arrived as well.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Toyota Camry – The Pros
1. Very Fuel-Efficient Standard Powertrain
The Camry’s standard powertrain is perfect for buyers who value fuel efficiency over sheer muscle. According to the latest EPA ratings, drivers can expect to get up to 28 mpg town/39 mpg freeway. This means the Camry is just as frugal as a smaller compact car. Its four-cylinder engine also develops 202 horsepower, which enables drivers to enjoy good acceleration around town. When passing and merging onto the highway, the Camry’s eight-speed automatic transmission quickly shifts down to the appropriate gear.
2. Optional V6 Engine Brings the Muscle
Unlike many of the other cars in the class, the Camry continues to offer a traditional V6 engine as opposed to a turbo four-cylinder engine. This 3.5-liter engine definitely packs a big punch. Toyota rates it to squeeze out 301 horsepower. Many drivers rave about the engine’s velvety smooth performance. When accelerating from a stop, the V6-powered Camry can hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Only the new Honda Accord is quicker.
3. TRD Model Brings the Fun
Drivers seeking the most fun should check out the performance-focused 2021 Toyota Camry TRD. Although this model doesn’t pack any extra muscle under the hood, it does handle like a true sports sedan. When cornering, a track-inspired suspension helps keep the Camry TRD under control. Toyota also equips the TRD model with a performance exhaust, which sounds amazing at full throttle. Other performance goodies include larger brakes, more aggressive tires, and extra bracing.
4. Ranks Among Boldest-Looking Sedans
Once considered to be a Plain Jane, the 2021 Toyota Camry is now one of the boldest-looking cars in the class. This is especially true for the sportier trim levels. They have a more menacing front fascia. An available Midnight Black Metallic roof gives the Camry an even cooler look. To set apart the racy TRD model, Toyota equips it with a special rear spoiler and performance wheels. Some vibrant exterior colors are also on the list of options, including Ice Edge and Supersonic Red.
5. Practical, Comfortable Family Hauler
The 2021 Toyota Camry is the definition of a practical family car. While most Camry owners commute on a daily basis, this car is also excellent for taking road trips. It provides a great deal of comfort. Even rear passengers will have ample knee room. This year, a power-adjustable driver’s seat now comes standard. Upper trim levels offer upgraded amenities, like heated/ventilated seats and dual-zone temperature control. Although the Camry’s 15.1-cubic-foot trunk may not be the biggest in the class, there’s enough space for luggage and groceries.
6. Highly Sought-After Features Come Standard
The base LE model is the lineup’s money saver. Prices start at less than $25,000, which is only slightly more expensive than some other base models. Fortunately, it’s loaded with highly sought-after features. Parents and children can take advantage of the standard Wi-Fi hotspot. Meanwhile, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make it easier for drivers to access their smartphone’s functions. Other standard equipment includes satellite radio, an anti-alarm system, and LED headlights.
7. Updated Entune Multimedia System
In regard to ease of use, Toyota’s Entune multimedia system already scored well. However, an updated touchscreen arrives for 2021. The display is now mounted higher on the dash, thus helping drivers to keep their eyes on the street. Many drivers will love the look of this tablet-style display. Aside from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, users also benefit from Amazon Alexa. While a 7.0-inch unit is standard, buyers can opt for a larger 9.0-inch display with navigation.
8. Top Marks In Passenger Safety
When it comes to impact protection, the 2021 Toyota Camry is in the upper echelon of family cars. It received a perfect rating in every NHTSA crash test. Families can travel with an elevated sense of security. For 2021, all trims benefit for an updated Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ package. Toyota’s forward collision warning system has been designed to better to detect pedestrians and cyclists. Other standard safety gear includes active lane keeping, dynamic radar cruise control, and forward collision braking.
9. All-Wheel Drive
Four-cylinder versions of the 2021 Toyota Camry can be equipped with all-wheel drive. This will be a needed feature for drivers who expect to encounter snowy road conditions. The extra traction will help prevent them from getting stuck. At highway speeds, the system can disengage all-wheel drive to conserve fuel.
10. Dependable Commuter Car
For years, drivers have praised the Camry for its dependability. This fact remains true for the latest generation. Because the Camry is such a well-engineered automobile, resale value tends to be high. Owners also won’t have to spend a lot of money on unexpected mechanical repairs.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Toyota Camry – The Cons
1. Some Downsides to Adding All-Wheel Drive
The Camry’s optional AWD system does a good job of improving traction on slippery streets. However, fuel economy does dip. Owners can expect to average about 25 mpg in town and 34 mpg on the open road. Furthermore, Toyota does not offer V6-powered models with an AWD option.
2. Not As Quiet On the Inside
Most people won’t have any issues with the quietness of the 2021 Toyota Camry. However, it’s important to note that some of its key competitors have a more hushed cabin. The Honda Accord allows less wind and road noise to enter. Drivers will also find the Camry’s four-cylinder engine to be a tad louder.
3. Some Rivals Have a Lower MSRP
Toyota lists the 2021 Camry with a starting MSRP of just below $25,000. While the Camry is deemed to be affordable, other sedans in the class are priced lower. For instances, the new Chevrolet Malibu starts at around $22,140. This could be a factor for drivers who are concerned about saving the most money.
4. Exterior Styling Too Edgy for Some Drivers
Most people love the Camry’s more upbeat styling. Its front fascia really stands out. However, others may desire a car with a more ordinary look. The 2021 Volkswagen Passat and the 2021 Subaru Legacy won’t attract as much attention on the road.
5. No Manual Transmission Offered
Like the majority of cars in this segment, the 2021 Toyota Camry does not offer a traditional manual transmission. This feature could make the racy TRD model even more entertaining to drive. Folks who love using a stick-shift transmission should consider the less powerful Toyota Corolla. Its six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission is quite fun.
How It Stacks Up Against the Competition
2021 Toyota Camry vs 2021 Honda Accord
As expected, the 2021 Honda Accord remains the Toyota Camry’s biggest challenger. It’s quick and engaging to drive. Higher Accord trim levels also feel extremely luxurious for a family sedan. While the Accord is a great pick, it fails to offer an AWD system. Meanwhile, some car shoppers will favor the Camry’s exterior styling. A couple of exclusive safety technologies are also offered on the Camry, including rear automatic braking and cyclist detection.
2021 Toyota Camry vs 2021 Nissan Altima
There are many upsides to the 2021 Nissan Altima. Like the Camry, it now offers all-wheel drive. Many automotive reviewers also rank the Altima’s Zero Gravity seats among the best in the class. However, the Altima lacks the overall fun of the new Camry. Most people will find the Camry TRD to be a lot more engaging.
2021 Toyota Camry vs 2021 Kia K5
The Kia K5, which takes the place of the previous Kia Optima, is one of the newest sedans to hit the market. Many drivers will love the K5’s lively performance and beautiful styling. A 100,000-mile powertrain warranty also helps make the K5 a great buy. However, there’s less headroom in the K5’s rear seat.
It comes as no surprise that the 2021 Toyota Camry is expected to remain a top-selling car. It has all the ingredients that drivers seek in a family car, including excellent passenger room and top-notch crash protection. Driving enthusiasts who crave the performance of a sports sedan should check out the racy TRD model. Available all-wheel drive is yet another plus for the Camry. While the Camry doesn’t have many big weaknesses, some buyers may not like its edgy exterior design.
• Why buy a 2020 Toyota Camry? w/ pros vs cons