Toyota Camry review

The longtime family favorite has a mid-life crisis

Toyota Camry XSE

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Toyota taps JBL for the branded premium audio system in the Camry. The JBL GreenEdge sound system consists of eight channels powering 10 speakers – kind of. The claim of 10 speakers includes a pair of 3.25-inch coaxial speakers in the dash with an integrated 0.75-inch tweeter, 6 x 9-inch woofers in the front doors, 3.25-inch mid-range speakers in the rear deck and a 6 x 9-inch subwoofer, also in the rear deck.

Toyota Camry

In reality, it's eight total speakers with 10 drivers. An external amplifier sends up to 576 watts of power to the entire system. The JBL GreenEdge system focuses on delivering an improved audio experience with less weight and power consumption.

As much as I enjoy listening to most Harman audio systems, I did not enjoy the JBL GreenEdge at all. The sound signature resembles that of Bose systems, which is a muddy mess with no depth or warmth when it comes to the low bass notes. The mids and highs are unremarkable, too.

Driver assists

The Camry I spent time with features the advanced technology package, which includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning (LDW) and adaptive cruise control (ACC), in addition to the separate blind spot monitor (BSM) option. Toyota names its AEB technology the Pre-Collision System, which uses the radar from the ACC to detect the distance of the car ahead. If the car senses a collision is imminent, it can apply the brakes to prevent an accident.

Toyota Camry

Toyota stealthily hides the radar sensor in the badge

AEB isn't a feature I can safely test on the road, but I assume it works as advertised. Toyota does let you adjust the sensitivity of AEB through a simple button – there's no need to navigate submenus in the gauge cluster LCD or infotainment system.

Toyota's LDW is a passive system that sounds off audible and visual alerts if you drift out of the lane. There's no setting to adjust the sensitivity of the LDW, unfortunately. One welcome feature within the Camry's LDW is that it displays a message on the gauge cluster LCD that tells you it only works at speeds above 32 miles per hour (mph), in case you forget.

Toyota Camry

ACC in the Camry is disappointing. It only functions at speeds above 25 mph, like the Volkswagen Passat. That's great for cruising along the highway, but doesn't help if you're stuck in stop and go traffic.

Toyota doesn't include the blind-spot monitor with cross path detection in the advanced technology package, but offers it separately. The Camry's blind-spot detection features an indicator integrated into the side mirrors that flashes, in addition to a warning sound to alert of a car in your blind spot. It works well enough, and you can easily turn it off with a button if you don't want to use it.