Toyota has revamped their lineup and the 2013 Camry XLE was not what I was expecting. Everyone is familiar with the car, as they are the top selling mid-size sedan in America and you see one on the road everyday. Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt and auto journalists can begin to form a preconceived idea before they even test drive a car. For me that was the case with this Camry tester. I had an idea of what the car was going to be like before it even arrived.
Although not an exciting subject, Camry’s appeal has been its long-term value and high resale numbers and reliability. Those are good things when it comes to buying a four-door sedan. But not the most exciting things to write about. But this car was a pleasant surprise and has much to be praised for other than the bottom line.
What’s new for 2013:
Toyota completely redesigned Camry for the 2012 model year and there’s not much new for 2013 except for some additional tech upgrades like standard Bluetooth, and Blind Spot Monitor that adds a rear cross traffic alert function is available now on more models.
Inside, the Camry XLE ($30,465) offers more luxury than the other four available models. XLE is the top of the line model and is priced at $30,465. I could tell this Camry was the luxury model and was going to be a comfortable ride. It starts with heated leather seats, a rearview camera, power seats, wood style interior trim and a power sunroof.
This XLE tester also came loaded with technology that makes the Camry more upscale than the standard model. It features touch-screen navigation; SiriusXM and HD radio; Toyota Entune, which encompasses a range of mobile applications and data services. Outside, it gets upgraded with heated mirrors and sportier 17-inch alloy wheels.
It also came with the Navigation package ($1,620) that includes a JBL upgraded audio system that includes Entune, a suite of smartphone-connected services that includes features like the Bing search engine, Pandora streaming radio, real-time traffic, sports, stock information fuel prices, and it even has the ability to reserve movie tickets or a table at a restaurant on the go.
The 2013 Toyota Camry also came with Blind Spot Monitor ($500) and Safety Connect ($515) that includes stolen vehicle locator, roadside assistance, and automatic collision notification. The Blind Spot Monitor was a life saver in the parking lot. As I pulled out from a parking spot, I couldn’t see the small compact car zipping through at highway speeds. The system let me know, and I put on the brakes to avoid a collision. This is well worth the $500 and would highly recommend the add on cost.
Around town, the Camry XLE is comfortable and has a soft ride. This is the model to get if you want a quiet and relaxing ride. The combination of leather, upgraded sound system and technology make for a luxury car feel. Instruments are in 3D and are easy to read. The controls are within easy reach and the cabin is well laid out for a no-hassle experience. Storage spaces are well thought-out, and there is ample room in back for three adults.
Underway, this 3.5-liter V6 tester had plenty of power motoring up I-70 west of Denver at latitude. Toyota also offers a standard 2.5-liter four cylinder engine that produces 178 horsepower. The V6 option produces 268 horsepower. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated City/Highway 25/35 mpg with the four-cylinder, 21/30 mpg with the V6. The more powerful V6 had good power for all driving situations. The difference is mileage is fairly substantial, and for most, the smaller four would be adequate.
Overall, I was surprised with the 2013 Camry’s overall demeanor. The 2013 Toyota Camry is a superb midsize sedan, with the latest chassis engineering and sleek styling. Camry powertrains are so different you should consider your needs or drive them all before you choose. The six-speed automatic transmission is smooth. The suspension is comfortable and the interior clean and convenient. The top level XLE with infotainment options move the Camry upscale. Camry V6 is responsive and still gets good fuel-mileage.