The mileage wars continue: The Toyota Camry, which snagged the sales crown among cars in 2008, will get an EPA-estimated 33 mpg for the 2010 model year. The vaunted highway figure is something GM’s midsize triplets — the Chevy Malibu, Saturn Aura and Pontiac G6 — have dangled in Toyota’s face for the better part of a year.
Not anymore; with a new four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual or automatic options, the face-lifted 2010 Camry will get 22/33 mpg city/highway with a stick shift and 22/32 mpg with an automatic, Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong said. Though you have to shift your own gears to get the 33 mpg rating — something we suspect few Camry drivers will opt for — you can bet Camry commercials will blare “33 mpg” all year long. (As long as they don’t blare “Saved by Zero,” we won’t argue.) Though GM’s competitors can get 33 mpg with an automatic, the Malibu and G6 require you to get the uplevel six-speed auto to achieve it; only the Aura has the six-speed standard. With the base four-speed auto, highway mileage in the Malibu and G6 drops to 30 mpg.
The Camry’s new figures are up 1 to 2 mpg over the 2009 model, whose smaller four-cylinder and five-speed transmissions returned 21/31 mpg. The 2010 model hits dealerships this spring. Of course, we’d expect another wave of mpg one-upmanship from Ford, as the redesigned 2010 Fusion will peg 23/34 mpg when using a six-speed automatic. Among the major players, it looks like GM and Toyota will have to fight it out for second place: