The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in America for a number of years, and the Japanese automaker didn’t see any reason to mess with that track record for the 2009 model, leaving it largely the same. The current generation Camry was introduced in 2007 and, like a fine wine, it is only getting better with age.
All of the standard Camry models are powered by Toyota’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 158 horsepower and 161 lb-ft of torque, while also delivering a 21 mpg city/ 31 highway fuel economy rating. For those who want a little more pep, the higher trim levels have the option of a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which produces 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. The tuning of the V6 engine delivers this extra power without incurring too much of a fuel economy penalty, coming in a 19 mpg city/ 28 highway. The Camry Hybrid model is equipped with the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder that has been toned back to 147 horsepower and mated to a 40 horsepower electric motor. The Hybrid has a 33 mpg city/ 34 highway rating.
The ride of the 2009 Camry is nothing surprising, either in the sense of change from the 2008 model or in the sense of excitement. People don’t buy Camrys for their incredibly handling characteristics and Toyota doesn’t add in expensive suspension and chassis components that will raise the price tag. The ride is comfortable and the cabin is spacious, which is what you’d expect from the car. Luxury options are modest, consisting of a moonroof, a better sound system, leather seats, and a navigation system, among others.
It is hard to write about the Camry because everything has been said before. For any criticism leveled at the car, you can simply respond, “It’s a comfortable sedan that starts below $20,000. What more do you want?” For those that need a reliable, practical vehicle that can comfortably seat five people and has decent trunk space, the Camry is the best on the market. A bit boring? Maybe, but that’s not always a bad thing.