2014 Toyota Camry Review and Prices
The 2014 Toyota Camry is the best car for you if you’re impressed with Toyota’s stewardship of America’s most popular automobile.
The 2014 Toyota Camry isn’t apt to stray from the looks, features, or pricing that helped it achieve double-digit sales gains over the past year, while attracting younger buyers in the process. Camry was redesigned for model-year 2012, and a new exterior color or two and perhaps a minor tweak to equipment or options constitute the extent of 2014 Camry changes. Toyota, however, will be watching closely to see what course corrections might be required to fend off the first full year of competition from a formidable array of redesigned Camry rivals that included the 2013 Honda Accord, 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, 2013 Nissan Altima, and 2013 Ford Fusion.
Should you wait for the 2014 Toyota Camry or buy a 2013 Toyota Camry? Absent the prospect of major change but with the near certainty of annual price increases, buying a 2013 Camry is a safe bet. Plus, the 2014 model would be the last before an expected styling facelift for model-year 2015. So the 2014 Camry’s looks could have a shorter shelf life than the 2013’s.
2014 Toyota Camry Changes back to top
Styling: The 2013 Toyota Camry’s styling should be a virtual carbon copy of that introduced with the model-year 2012 redesign. Styled in service of its core purpose as a roomy, five-passenger sedan, the ’14 Camry will continue between the extroverted Fusion and Hyundai Sonata and the wallflower Malibu and Volkswagen Passat on the midsize-car fashion continuum.
Expect the return of a four-step Camry lineup, plus two versions of the gas-electric Camry Hybrid. Base models should again wear the L label and the roster will likely ascend through volume-selling LE, sporty SE, and top-line XLE models. Expect the Camry Hybrid to return in LE and XLE trim.
Styling differences among 2014 Camry models should remain confined mainly to trim details. SE and XLE models should again be distinguished by alloy wheels, with the XLE retaining an extra splash of chrome and the SE reprising its aero-inspired skirting and body-colored instead of chrome grille surround.
Mechanical: The 2014 Toyota Camry isn’t in line for mechanical changes. It’ll continue with a choice of four- and six-cylinder engines that easily meets routine demands, plus a gas-electric hybrid that’s surprisingly responsive.
The four will again be a 2.5-liter almost certain to repeat at 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. (Think of torque as the force that gets a vehicle moving, horsepower as the energy that sustains momentum.) The V-6 will be a 3.5-liter that should remain at 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Expect the V-6 to again be available only in SE and XLE models in place of the four-cylinder.
Both these engines will again use a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-type gear control via the floor shift lever or, in SEs, with supplemental steering-wheel paddles.
The 2014 Camry Hybrid will continue to combine a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with electric-motor power and should repeat at a net 200 horsepower. It will again be capable of driving on electricity or gasoline or any combination that sensors determine provides the best balance of fuel economy and power.
This is not a plug-in hybrid bit will again have a dashboard button that sets it in EV (electric vehicle) mode. This mode locks in electric propulsion at around-town speeds, battery charge permitting. The 2014 Camry Hybrid will again use a continuous variable transmission. A CVT performs the function of an automatic transmission but without individual gear ratios.
Camry deliberately favors ride comfort over sporty handling, though the SE model will reprise sportier suspension and steering calibrations for slightly sharper responses and better grip in turns. Wheel diameter should remain 16 inches on L and LE models, 17 on XLE versions and on four-cylinder SE models, and 18 on V-6 SEs.
Features: The 2014 Camry probably won’t make earthshaking additions to its available features, but Toyota could spread popular ones to more models. Overall, the 2014 Camry should again offer virtually every infotainment gizmo buyers in this class anticipate, though you’ll probably still need to pop for an SE or XLE model to get a navigation system.
Every Camry model will again come standard with air conditioning, cruise control, outside temperature gauge, and power windows, locks, and mirrors. Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity will be included, as will a USB iPod interface. For model-year 2013, all but the L model came with steering-wheel buttons for Bluetooth and audio control and that’s likely to hold true for the 2014 Camry.
Toyota probably also will continue a slightly confusing array of audio and infotainment choices, starting with its Display Audio system that incorporates a 6.1-inch dashboard touchscreen and is standard on all Camrys.
Available as standard or optional, as you climb the model ladder will be an upgrade that includes Toyota’s Entunes system. Entunes works with smartphones to deliver such Web-based services as Pandora Internet radio and text messaging. This upgrade will retain the 6.1-inch touchscreen but integrate a basic navigation system; it’s likely to remain standard on V-6 SE and XLE Camrys and optional on four-cylinder SE and XLE models. A further upgrade adds a 10-speaker JBL audio system.
Figure Toyota to again reserve Camry’s most complete infotainment option for V-6 XLE models. This one includes all the features listed above but has a 7-inch touchscreen of greater clarity than the 6.1-inch screen. Toyota could liberalize availability of this setup, but more important would be wider access to the carmaker’s Safety Connect system, which provides emergency assistance, automatic collision notification, and stolen vehicle location assistance. On the 2013 Camry, this safety adjunct was confined to the XLE model. Similarly, only SEs and XLEs were available with blind-spot detection, which warns of unseen vehicles in adjacent lanes.
Remote keyless entry would be a worthwhile addition to the L-model’s standard-equipment list (it’ll be on all other 2014 Camrys), but don’t expect Toyota to make the L available with any extra-cost features. It will return a fairly extensive options list for the other models.
A power moonroof should again be available for LEs and SEs and remain standard on XLEs. Among other popular features, a Convenience Package with proximity unlocking, pushbutton ignition, and a rearview backup camera is likely to remain optional on 2014 Camry SE and four-cylinder XLEs and standard on V-6 XLEs.
Expect leather upholstery and heated front seats to again be optional on the four-cylinder XLE and standard on V-6 XLEs. And leather seats trimmed in imitation-suede should again be and SE option.
2014 Toyota Camry Prices back to top
Pricing for the 2014 Toyota Camry was not announced in time for this review but expect a base price range of around $23,200-$31,600. (Estimated base prices in this review include the manufacturer’s mandatory destination fee. For 2013 Toyota cars, that fee was $795. Toyotas sold in Southeastern and Gulf states may carry a different fee.)
Expect a base price of around $23,200 for the 2014 Camry L model and $23,800 for the 2014 Toyota Camry LE. The 2014 LE should again add to the L such standard features as variable intermittent windshield wipers and the steering-wheel Bluetooth and audio controls.
Estimated base price of the 2014 Camry SE is $24,500 with the four-cylinder engine and $28,300 with the V-6. The 2014 SEs will again come with their own exterior spiffs, plus sport-calibrated steering and suspension and front bucket seats with special side bolstering for support during fast turns. Expect a power driver’s seat to remain standard on the V-6 SE and optional on four-cylinder SEs.
Estimated starting price for the 2014 Camry XLE is $26,900 with the four-cylinder engine and $31,400 with the V-6. Dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, unique fabric trim, and a power moonroof should again be among standard XLE upgrades. Look for leather upholstery and heated front seats to again be standard on V-6 XLEs and optional on four-cylinder XLEs
Estimated base price for the 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid is around $27,200 for the LE model and around $28,900 for the XLE version. Except for powertrains and the special hybrid-data instrumentation, the 2014 Camry Hybrids will be similarly equipped to their gas-only LE and XLE counterparts, with leather upholstery and the moonroof options probably remaining exclusive to the XLE.
2014 Toyota Camry Fuel Economy back to top
EPA fuel-economy ratings for the 2014 Toyota Camry were not released in time for this review but don’t expect them to vary greatly from the 2013 numbers.
In general, four-cylinder Camrys should stay among the higher-mileage midsize sedans. V-6 Camrys, though, would remain somewhat less fuel-efficient than the turbocharged four-cylinder engines some rivals use in place of six-cylinders.
Anticipate fuel-economy ratings of 25/35/28 mpg city/highway/combined for 2014 Camrys with the four-cylinder engine.
Look for ratings of 21/30/25mpg city/highway/combined for 2014 Camrys equipped with the V-6.
The 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE should repeat at 43/39/41 mpg city/highway/combined, the slightly heavier Hybrid XLE model at 41/38/40 mpg.
2014 Toyota Camry Release Date back to top
The 2014 Toyota Camry should be in showrooms by autumn 2013.
What's next for the 2014 Toyota Camry back to top
Even though the 2013 Malibu and 2013 Fusion followed the example of the Hyundai Sonata and transitioned to an all-four-cylinder-engine lineup, Toyota will maintain a traditional choice of four- and six-cylinder engines in the Camry.
Part of the rationale is that the Camry platform is shared with a host of other Toyota-family products, from the Toyota Venza crossover to the Lexus ES350 premium sedan, and those vehicles need a V-6 to compete in their classes.
However, Toyota recognizes a need to catch up in the four-cylinder-technology race. Rivals are ahead in the use of direct fuel injection and turbocharging to provide six-cylinder power with four-cylinder fuel economy. That sort of efficiency is vital in the face of ever-tightening federal gas-mileage regulations.
Turbocharging probably isn’t in Toyota’s comfort zone for the Camry. But the advantage of direct fuel injection almost certainly is. Expect a revised four-cylinder with the fuel-saving, power-boosting injection to be part of Camry’s midcycle freshening, likely due for model-year 2015. Subtle styling updates and cabin-trim revisions would also come with the freshening.
Toyota probably will continue to juggle Camry’s features strategy as it maneuvers for competitive parity with key rivals. But don’t look for the next fully redesigned Camry before model-year 2016 or 2017.
2014 Toyota Camry Competition back to top
Honda Accord: Redesigned for 2013, Accord should return little-changed for 2014. It’ll remain a formidable Camry rival, beating the Toyota for road manners and fuel economy, if not for overall comfort and quietness. The 2014 Accord will return sedan and coupe body styles, both offering four-cylinder and V-6 power. And it’ll add a plug-in hybrid model.
Nissan Altima: The model-year 2013 redesign of this popular sedan brought evolutionary styling and retained a sporty driving feel but delivered fuel economy ratings that contended for best in class. No major changes are expected for the 2014 Altima sedan, though the coupe will join the sedan with the latest engineering following a one-year delay. Altima will return a four-cylinder, a V-6, and very competitive pricing.
Ford Fusion: Ford tapped its European operation’s expertise in suspension tuning and cribbed front-end styling from Aston Martin to fashion the all-new 2013 Fusion. The 2014 version will add a plug-in hybrid to go along with a conventional hybrid and its trio of gasoline four-cylinder engines, two of which are turbocharged. That’s the segment’s broadest engine lineup. Fusion also offers all-wheel drive in addition to the front-wheel drive that’s the rule in this competitive set. Shortcomings include the tightest rear-seat room in this grouping, and the fault-prone MyFord Touch telematics system.