With the Camry’s 2021 model year, Toyota is celebrating the nameplate’s largest and most diverse lineup ever, which will now feature a new XSE Hybrid grade.
The other big novelty is that all 2021 Camry models will now feature Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.5+ as standard, the carmaker’s latest driver-assistance technology suite that includes functions like automatic emergency braking, but more on that later.
There’s also a new floating multimedia screen in either 7-inch or 9-inch sizes, plus a new herringbone seat pattern on the XLE grade. Meanwhile, restyled front fascias bring greater distinction between different Camry grades.
You can easily tell the comfort-oriented LE and XLE variants apart from the sport-oriented SE and XSE models thanks to their new front fascias. The former feature a more defined lower intake area, with the gasoline version of the LE grade also debuting a new 17-inch alloy wheel design – the XLE gets redesigned 18-inch wheels.
The SE and XSE grades feature a bolder redesigned lower fascia shape, featuring a honeycomb-style grille and side vent inserts, as well as new side vent accents. Other revisions include a new Blueprint color replacing Blue Streak Metallic, while a new exclusive color for the Camry TRD (Ice Edge) is now available with a two-tone Midnight Black Metallic roof. XSE grades also offer a two-tone Supersonic Red with Midnight Black Metallic roof combo.
Speaking of the performance-tuned Camry TRD, the model keeps its aero-enhanced design and now comes standard with Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (standalone options on LE, SE, and SE Nightshade), plus heated exterior mirrors.
The Camry TRD is equipped exclusively with a 301 HP 3.5-liter V6 engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with sport mode and paddle shifters. Inside, there are SofTex-trimmed front seats with red accents and red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching and even red seat belts.
Other features include the embossed TRD logo on the shift knob, TRD floor and trunk mats and a unique TRD gauge meter.
Interior novelties throughout the range include the previously-mentioned 7- and 9-inch infotainment systems with Amazon Alexa, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, a revised dash and center console design and an upgraded infotainment cluster.
Safety is key
Toyota’s new Safety Sense 2.5+ system is making its debut on the 2021 Camry, featuring a number of enhanced functions – such as the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection which can now detect not only the vehicle ahead but also a preceding bicyclist in the daytime, or even a preceding pedestrian in low light conditions.
The system can also detect oncoming vehicles or pedestrians when performing a left-hand turn at an intersection, and may provide audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions. Additional functions include emergency steering assist, full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, road sign assist, rear cross-traffic alert, a blindspot monitor, and Toyota’s rear seat reminder function, now standard on all 2021 Camrys.
Three powertrain options
If you’re looking to buy a 2021 Camry, you can choose between a 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit, a 3.5-liter V6 and a hybrid option. The 2.5-liter engine features 203 HP and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque (206 HP and 186 lb-ft on XSE, which uses a dual-outlet exhaust), while the V6 offers an output of 301 HP and 267 lb-ft (362 Nm) of torque. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The hybrid system meanwhile combines the output of the 2.5-liter four-pot with that of an electric motor, while using that motor as well as a secondary one for hybrid battery charging. Total system output is 208 HP, channeled to the road via an ECVT transmission.
Also, if you go for an AWD grade, all of them are available with an optional Cold Weather Package, which adds heated seats and mirrors on the LE, heated seats, mirrors and steering wheel on the SE, and a heated steering wheel on the XLE and XSE. This package can also be had as a standalone option for FWD and hybrid grades.