If there's one car that defines everything a family sedan has come to mean to the average American automobile shopper, it's the Toyota Camry. The Camry has been the best-selling family sedan in America for eight of the past nine years, despite the fact it's come under some intense competition from just about every major foreign and domestic manufacturer.
The 2009 Camry is carried over from the 2008 model. This generation Camry is now bigger and more powerful, with an exterior styling upgrade that's anything but radical for a car that has been satisfying repeat buyers for over 20 years.
There are four trim levels available. The base level is the CE, Then comes the LE, SE, and the XLE. Standard and optional features are plentiful. The Camry that we drove is an SE with the more powerful 3.5-liter V6 that makes 268 horsepower and 248 pound feet of torque. A 158 horsepower 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine is also available. Transmission choices are either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic on the 4-cylinder Camry, while the V6 can only be had with a six-speed automatic with a sport shifter. The 3.5 V6 is a potent power plant and can get the Camry from 0-60 mph in just 6.5 seconds.
Mileage estimates from the EPA for the V6 are 19 miles per gallon city and 28 highway. Mileage for the inline-4 is 21 miles per gallon city, 31 miles per gallon highway.
Our test car came with a sunroof, leather interior with power-heated seats, a tilt-telescopic steering column, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Your choice of trim level will determine just how much you'll get in terms of standard equipment. However, if you must have a navigation system in your new Camry, you'll have to step up to the XLE model.
All Camry's are fitted with no less than seven airbags: dual stage front, front seat side, and full-length side curtain airbags, plus a driver's knee airbag. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist are standard on all trim levels, while stability control is optional across the board.
As you might expect, the driving environment and overall demeanor of the 2009 Camry is solid and reassuring. Interior room and the spacious feel of the cabin all combine to make long trips comfortable and serene. The 15 cubic-foot trunk capacity is ample for most purposes and easy to load.
Base MSRP for the 2009 Toyota Camry is $18,720. A fully loaded V6 XLE model will cost upwards of $30,000. The Camry is backed by a 5-year, 60,000-mile power train warranty.
The Toyota Camry has as an outstanding tradition of quality and reliability it's enjoyed since day one. The 2009 Toyota Camry promises to continue that tradition in style.