While most car shoppers in Canada are busy tripping all over themselves to buy SUVs and crossover-like vehicles, there is a small – but determined – group which still prefers an old-school four-door sedan as their preferred way in which to ferry the brood. That’s why, even as manufacturers such as Ford exit the car business, some companies still see opportunity in this once booming segment.
Perpetually at or near the top of sales charts for this type of rig is the Toyota Camry. This is a nameplate that’s had so much success that it is not disingenuous to suggest nearly everyone reading this article has either owned a Camry or known someone who did (or does). For 2022, the car comes in no fewer than 10 different trims – proving that Toyota is doing anything but letting this thing wither and die on the vine.
Setting the opening bet this year is a Camry LE, priced at $27,750 and equipped with a 2.5-litre four-banger making a hair over 200 horsepower and connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available and a hybrid powertrain – which makes roughly the same horsepower as the base engine but offers much better fuel economy – is offered in an array of trims. The range topping V6 makes over 300 ponies, a sum your author will note far eclipses the output of the Mustang GT your author coveted as a young lad. Times change.
There’s no shortage of features in a base Camry, with economies of scale making the likes of power windows and a tilt/telescope wheel simple table stakes these days. Toyota also retains the handy folding rear seats, though those cloth chairs in the front row are stripped of heat and power adjusters compared to other Camry models. Still, the exterior mirrors are heated and fore/aft LED lights are shared with more expensive trims. Annoyingly, the only two colours available on this end of the food chain are black and white.
Infotainment shows up for duty in the form of a 7-inch display screen feeding tunes to six speakers. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are baked into the software, a definite plus since Toyota tends to make some odd UX choices when designing the displays in their infotainment software. Safety aids like dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, and a pre-collision braking system are included even in this base car.
What We'd Choose
Rather confusingly, Toyota chooses to offer an LE package on the LE, a group which adds items like heated front seats and 17-inch alloy wheels for $1,540. Spending a further $2,260 on an LE Upgrade package brings the aforementioned items plus dual-zone climate control, a larger infotainment touchscreen, and handy wireless charging tray.
Spending more on a Camry doesn’t net a shopper any extra space, so the choices come down to feature count and powertrain selection. While the LE-on-an-LE package is a decent spend of cash, anything beyond that pushes the price in territory occupied by the SE trim shod with all-wheel drive. Since the base car is hardly a penalty box, keep options to a minimum to get the best value out of a Camry.