CARS.COM — The Toyota Camry has reigned as the best-selling passenger car in the U.S. for 14 years, but as more buyers shift away from midsize sedans and to SUVs, that distinction is being threatened. With that kind of pressure, the good news for consumers is that Toyota Camry prices are unchanged for 2017, and the Camry returns in the base LE, SE, XSE and top-level XLE trims. For shoppers on a budget, which Camry trim is kindest to their wallet? After evaluating each trim level’s features, we found the Camry SE, with the optional Entune Audio Plus and navigation app link, to be the best value.
The SE is the Toyota Camry’s best-selling trim and accounts for nearly half of its sales.
The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and a 3.5-liter V-6 is available on the XSE and XLE. Both engines team with a six-speed automatic transmission. With the features we value — an automatic transmission, Bluetooth, a power driver’s seat and a backup camera — standard on all models, an SE model with the optional Entune Audio Plus and navigation app link looks to be the best value and a less-expensive alternative to an integrated navigation system (a $1,300 option on the SE).
For shoppers on a tight budget, the LE is $770 lower than an SE and offers all our must-have features, but SE models will be more plentiful at dealers.
The only change of note for 2017 is the XSE and XLE trims get as standard an audio system that includes the Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link app, which integrates phone navigation apps through the 7-inch dashboard screen. This feature is included in Entune Audio Plus, a $775 option on the LE and SE models.
No Toyota Camry model, however, offers Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, which allow integrating smartphones with the audio system. Toyota has bucked the industry trend and gone in a different direction with the Scout GPS Link, which allows using voice-activated navigation from an Android or Apple phone through the car’s audio system.
Here is how the Camry trim levels compare:
The Camry LE model is four-cylinder only, and the base price is $23,935, including the $865 destination charge (included in all prices in this story).
Key standard features include:
- 178-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
- Six-speed automatic transmission
- 16-inch steel wheels
- Heated outside mirrors
- Backup camera
- Manual air conditioning
- Remote locking/unlocking
- Cruise control
- Tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls
- Cloth upholstery
- Power driver’s seat and 60/40-split folding rear seat
- Two 12-volt power outlets
- USB/iPod-compatible audio system with 6.1-inch touch-screen, Bluetooth phone/audio and steering wheel controls
Options available on the LE include 16-inch alloy wheels, a power moonroof and Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link app.
Toyota positions the Camry SE as a mildly sportier and better-equipped model above the LE, with a base price of $24,705. The SE also comes only with the four-cylinder engine. Key additional features are:
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Sport suspension
- Rear spoiler
- SofTex fabric front seats
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters
Entune Audio Plus with a phone navigation app link, a premium audio system with navigation, Qi-compatible wireless phone charging, a power moonroof and a Convenience Package (a smart key with push-button start, Homelink, anti-theft system and auto-dimming mirror) are available on the SE as options.
The Camry XSE, a dressed-up version of the SE, starts at $27,175 (same as the XLE) with the four-standard cylinder engine. Standard features above the SE’s equipment include:
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- LED running lights
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Leather-trimmed and suede upholstery
- Heated front seats and power front passenger seat
- Entune Audio Plus sound system with JBL speakers, Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link app, a 7-inch touch-screen and Qi wireless phone charging
With the optional 3.5-liter V-6, the XSE price rises to $32,235 and it adds as standard:
- 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6
- LED headlights
- Power moonroof
- Noise-reducing windshield
- Dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets
- Auto-dimming mirror with compass
- Homelink transceiver
The Camry XLE is priced at $27,175 (same as the XSE) with the standard four-cylinder engine and differs from the XSE with 17-inch chrome alloy wheels and leather upholstery instead of suede and leather.
With the optional 3.5-liter V-6, the XLE is priced at $32,235 (same as the XSE) and it adds the same standard features as the XSE V-6, plus a smart key with push-button start.
On all XSE and XLE models, options include the JBL audio system with navigation, a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and an Advanced Technology Package that includes precollision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and automatic high beams.
A moonroof and the Convenience Package also are available on four-cylinder XSE and XLE models, and the Safety Connect emergency assistance system is available on XLEs with either engine.
The 2017 Camry is on dealer lots with more than 42,500 in Cars.com’s new-car inventory. Search for one here.