2007 Toyota Camry

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Key Specs

of the 2007 Toyota Camry. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    26-29 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    158-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • More-interesting styling
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Standard ABS
  • Sporty SE much improved
  • Hybrid refinement

The Bad

  • Folding backseat on CE and LE only
  • Trunk pass-thru on SE, XLE and Hybrid
  • Stability system is optional
  • No manual transmission with V-6

Notable Features of the 2007 Toyota Camry

  • Redesigned for 2007
  • Larger V-6 engine
  • Improved four-cylinder
  • Standard side-impact and side-curtain airbags
  • Reclining backseat (XLE)

2007 Toyota Camry Road Test

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Joe Wiesenfelder

A new 2007 Camry has begun to arrive at dealerships with reworked exterior styling, upgraded drivetrains and other refinements. The trim levels, in ascending value, are CE, LE, sporty SE and premium XLE. Roughly three months from now, a hybrid version built right here in the U.S. will hit the streets.

Unfortunately, the Camry Hybrid follows the usual formula: It's a hybrid equivalent of the Camry's top, XLE, trim level. So first you have to pony up the cash for the most expensive Camry version, then pay whatever premium is on top of that for the hybrid aspect. Someday hybrid technology will be a drivetrain option on any trim level, but not until costs come down dramatically.

 

Exterior
When Toyota redesigned the current Camry midsize sedan for the 2002 model year, its TV commercials took an oooooh, aaaaaah, styling-that-moves-you approach. After a while they stopped that. It turned out U.S. consumers weren't particularly moved by the styling. It was different, yes, but still conservative — some would say bland, boring. This didn't stop the Camry from being the best-selling car in the country for the intervening years. But there's tough competition in the field, and it's now clear that bold styling sells. Bland may now be riskier than taking a chance on a strong design statement. Finally, Toyota has heard the call.

The Toyota Camry redesign isn't a complete, bumper-to-bumper reengineering job, but it's substantial. The wheelbase ...

A new 2007 Camry has begun to arrive at dealerships with reworked exterior styling, upgraded drivetrains and other refinements. The trim levels, in ascending value, are CE, LE, sporty SE and premium XLE. Roughly three months from now, a hybrid version built right here in the U.S. will hit the streets.

Unfortunately, the Camry Hybrid follows the usual formula: It's a hybrid equivalent of the Camry's top, XLE, trim level. So first you have to pony up the cash for the most expensive Camry version, then pay whatever premium is on top of that for the hybrid aspect. Someday hybrid technology will be a drivetrain option on any trim level, but not until costs come down dramatically.

 

Exterior
When Toyota redesigned the current Camry midsize sedan for the 2002 model year, its TV commercials took an oooooh, aaaaaah, styling-that-moves-you approach. After a while they stopped that. It turned out U.S. consumers weren't particularly moved by the styling. It was different, yes, but still conservative — some would say bland, boring. This didn't stop the Camry from being the best-selling car in the country for the intervening years. But there's tough competition in the field, and it's now clear that bold styling sells. Bland may now be riskier than taking a chance on a strong design statement. Finally, Toyota has heard the call.

The Toyota Camry redesign isn't a complete, bumper-to-bumper reengineering job, but it's substantial. The wheelbase has gained about 2 inches, though Toyota says the turning diameter is now 36.1 feet — a decrease from 36.7 feet in V-6 models but an increase from the earlier four-cylinder's 34.8 feet. The car's nose is blunter and sportier, and it trades the 2006 model's organic shapes for more sculpted, angular forms. The tail recalls the Avalon full-size sedan, and the fenders have shoulders that give the trunk lid a hump — a style introduced on recent BMWs but stolen and executed better by other manufacturers, including Lexus on the GS 300/430 sedan.

Standard wheels now measure 16 rather than 15 inches, and the Toyota Camry SE has 17-inch aluminum wheels, an exclusive black honeycomb grille, ground effects and tinted headlight lenses.

Ride & Handling
Suspension changes abound in the 2007 model, especially in the SE, which in the past has ridden firmer than the other trims but has not been much of a performer. On the street and even on a racetrack, I found steering the SE to be much more poised than the previous version, with better body roll control. The car handles with more grace when pushed to the limits, but I can't attribute all of this to the suspension. My test SE was equipped with summer performance tires: Toyo Proxes J33 models rated P215/55R17. Unless you live in a region with mild winters — or you don't mind buying an additional set of tires — go with the all-season tires, a no-cost option.

Behind the change are firmer springs, shock absorbers, stabilizer bars and bushings. To my calibrated buttocks, the SE still rides more comfortably than the Honda Accord. Toyota says the other Camry trim levels also boast revised suspension tuning, but they're still more compliant than that of the SE.

Going & Stopping
Compared to the 2006, the 2007 model's base, four-cylinder engine is the same size at 2.4 liters. Toyota says it is significantly improved, though it's not evident in terms of the output specifications. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. The optional 3.5-liter V-6, already in service in the Avalon, is an upsized version of the 2006 Toyota Camry's 3.3-liter. Paired with a new six-speed-automatic transmission, it's claimed to provide a 40 percent increase in acceleration over the 2006 Camry V6. The transmission has a gear train with a Ravigneaux-type compound planetary gear for reduced size, weight and friction. What does that mean? I have no idea, but how could a car with this be boring? Both automatics now include a clutchless-manual mode.

2007 Camry Engines
  2.4-Liter 4-Cylinder 3.5-Liter V-6 Hybrid Synergy Drive 3.0-Liter V-6
(2006)
Transmissions 5-speed manual; 5-speed automatic 6-speed automatic integrated power-split device 5-speed automatic
Horsepower 158 @ 6,000
rpm*
268 @ 6,200 rpm 187 (net)** 190 @ 5,800 rpm
Torque (lbs.-ft.) 161 @ 4,000
rpm*
248 @ 4,700 rpm n/a 197 @ 4,400 rpm
EPA-Estimated Gas Mileage (city/highway, mpg) 24/34 (manual);
24/33 (automatic)
22/31 40/38** 20/28
*For model sold nationally; PZEV variant, 155 hp and 158 pounds-feet
**Revised in May 2006; originally reported as 192 hp and 43/37 mpg
n/a = not available
Source: Manufacturer data

 

The news here is that the Toyota Camry V6 is now more powerful and quicker without hurting the gas mileage. The car accelerates with authority and with the smoothness of the previous V-6. I drove only V-6 and hybrid versions.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid's version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive is similar to that of the more affordable Prius hybrid in that it uses a four-cylinder, not a V-6, along with an electric motor. Toyota says the car accelerates to 60 mph in less than 9 seconds. I think they're selling it short by at least a full second. Electric motors have lots of torque starting from 0 rpm, so in actual use, the Camry Hybrid leaves little to be desired where you use it most — at low speeds and in stop-and-go driving. The only aspect I'd like to see improved is the same I've found on all other hybrids with Toyota's type of drivetrain, which includes all Toyota, Lexus, Ford and Mercury hybrids: The car reacts reasonably quickly to the accelerator pedal, but it often takes longer than a conventional transmission to build up speed. This is a characteristic of the "power-split device," which is what the drivetrain uses in place of a conventional transmission or CVT.

Rather than make the Camry Hybrid quicker at the expense of gas mileage, Toyota has chosen a happy medium. The Honda Accord Hybrid proves that a hybrid can be quick — more so than the Accord's V-6 version — but the resulting fuel economy gains are modest at best.

The Camry Hybrid comes with an additional eight-year/100,000-mile warranty that covers all hybrid components, including the high-voltage battery. There's still much concern about the longevity of hybrid systems and their batteries. Doomsayers abound. For what it's worth, we've been waiting for the other shoe to drop for years now, and there's still no shoe.

 

Safety
All trim levels have four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution. Standard airbags include dual-stage frontal bags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side curtain-type airbags and a driver's knee airbag, the latter intended to keep the occupant from sliding down and forward (submarining) in a collision. The seats are designed to mitigate whiplash injuries. Traction control and an electronic stability system are a single option. That it's available on any trim level is a plus. That the Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Passat include it standard is a minus for the Camry and other midsize sedans.

The 2006 Toyota Camry equipped with side-impact airbags scored Good in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal and side-impact crash tests. The 2007 model also rates Good in the frontal crash but hasn't been tested for side impact as of this writing.

Cargo & Towing
By the numbers, cargo and towing are what took a hit in the 2007 redesign. The trunk volume has decreased from 16.7 cubic feet to a maximum of 15 cubic feet in the CE and LE. The higher trim levels measure 14.5 cubic feet. Ultimately, shoppers must make their own decisions, but I think it's a major step backward to replace folding backseats in the SE and XLE with small pass-thru openings. Though it's also relatively small, the Hybrid's pass-thru beats the Accord Hybrid, which offers none at all.

The Camry's towing capacity, which was 2,000 pounds in the previous generation, is now 1,000 pounds across the board. Given the popularity of towing with midsize sedans, this sacrifice seems minor compared to the changes in cargo accommodations.

Camry in the Market
There have been models whose success or failure has baffled me; I can't claim mastery of the American consumer's fleeting desires. I've learned that the market sometimes does lie — but it never lies for long. When a model remains a top seller year after year, it deserves it. When a name lasts 23 years, it's because it represents something consistently good. Almost from the beginning, the Toyota Camry name has stood for quality, reliability, refinement, fuel economy, crashworthiness and resale value. A strong showing in each of these characteristics is what makes the Camry a consistent cars.com Best Bet.

The Achilles heel of the Toyota Camry — as well as the Honda Accord and many other models of this body type from both Japanese automakers — has been exterior styling. Considering their products' other strengths, I've long said that if these two companies ever learned to design really sharp-looking vehicles, the competition could just go home. The 2007 Toyota Camry isn't a jaw-dropper, but it's a step forward.

Send Joe an email  

 


2007 Camry Video

Watch MotorWeek on PBS. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Latest 2007 Camry Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(4.1)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

High Reliability

by A Lexus owner from Weddington on August 7, 2018

After driving several cars, the CAMRY LE was by far the best value for my money. The ride is like a Lexus, because the CAMRY is the baby from Totyota. It's just the right size and has very comfortable ... Read full review

(5.0)

Camry last forever

by Cars Fan from Rutherford, NJ on August 6, 2018

Toyota Camry is a great car. It is very reliable and economic. You get more from that car for what you pay for and any mechanic can work on it easily. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2007 Toyota Camry currently has 10 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2007 Toyota Camry CE

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
marginal
Overall Rear
marginal
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Camry received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker