With bold looks and a naturally aspirated and powerful V6 engine, the 2019 Toyota Camry XSE is most impressive. Not only will it seat five adults in leather-clad comfort, but it’s also quite exhilarating to drive, which is something I’d never thought I say about a Camry. And while some might find the looks to be a bit polarizing, I’m simply loving the fact the Toyota had the confidence to injected their mid-sized sedan with a much-needed shot of aggression, and a fun factor that many will enjoy.
2019 Toyota Camry XSE Exterior
Ten years ago the last thing anyone would have called a Toyota Camry, would’ve been exciting. Times have changed though, and with that, so has this mild-mannered family sedan. The Toyota brass knew that if they didn’t do something to spice up the looks and performance of one of the best selling mid-size cars in the US, consumers would simply head to the competition. That’s why when a redesigned Camry appeared in 2018, the family-car world stopped and took notice. No longer saddled with mundane looks, the newly restyled version instead brought forth high style and aggression, which was anything but ordinary. That front fascia, for instance, is a visual assault on the senses.
Between the black honeycomb-grille, the massive callouts, a stylized lower splitter, and the steeply raked headlamps, it seems as though the designers weren’t given any constraints at all.
Out back the fun continues with a quad-tipped dual exhaust system, a small decklid spoiler, and believe it or not, more callouts located on the top of the rear bumper. 19-inch alloys fit nicely under the wheel wells and wear 235/40-series Michelin rubber. Our test car was finished in Blue Streak Metallic with a two-tone midnight black roof. It’s a $500 option, and one I think is worth it, as it gives the Camry a unique look and feel.
2019 Toyota Camry XSE Interior
While the exterior of the 2019 Camry XSE may be a bit much for some, it’s nice to know that the interior brings everything back down to earth. This is not some cobbled together cabin, but instead, a well thought out and ergonomically pleasant place to be for extended periods of time. Taller drivers — like myself — can rejoice in the fact that they’re treated to abundant amounts of legroom and a center console that won’t crush their right knee.
The gauge cluster is a nice combination of large analog gauges, an inset LCD information screen, along with an absolutely wonderful Heads Up Display, which helps to keep the drivers’ eyes on the road. Toyota’s Entune 3.0 Infotainment system is housed in the 8-inch touchscreen that resides in the center of the dash. The interface is intuitive and thankfully, far better than previous versions. The dual climate control HVAC system resides directly beneath, while the controls for the heated leather-covered seats are located at the rear of the center console.
The front seats are a combination of two-tone soft leather with electronic adjustability and white stitching. Not only are they comfortable, but they also offered more lateral and lumbar support than we expected. Rear seating room is ample enough to accommodate three adults, with storage space coming in at 15.1 cubic-feet. At speed, the Camry also treats occupants to great outward visibility and a quiet cabin.
2019 Toyota Camry XSE Performance
This XSE version is somewhat of a hot rod. With 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque coming from a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter DOHC V6, the Camry will sprint to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and then onto a limited top speed of over 135 mph. It will also pull 0.87 g on the skidpad, and get an EPA-rated 22 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg during combined driving.
Thanks to a large 16-gallon fuel tank, that means a potential cruising range of well over 400 miles. Stomp the gas pedal and you will squeal the front tires and launch with authority. Thankfully Toyota has seen fit to equip the Camry with an 8-speed automatic transmission instead of a crappy CVT unit, and honestly, it’s wonderful.
Steering inputs are light with the brakes providing confident stopping power, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call this a sport sedan. Instead, the Camry feels a bit old school in the way it handles and performs (not a bad thing). There is some feedback through the steering wheel, but not much, and if you push it too hard through a corner, the front tires will protest. As a daily driver though, the Camry is brilliant, as it offers fabulous driving manners, a great ride and decent fuel economy for a family sedan with a curb weight of 3,665 pounds.
2019 Toyota Camry XSE Safety
With Standard Toyota Safety Sense, the 2019 Camry XSE offers some impressive features. With items like pre-collision with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, airbags throughout the cabin, antilock brakes, radar cruise control, and much more, as well as being a 2019 Top Safety Pick + from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Toyota has made sure that the 2019 Camry will keep all occupants safe and sound during their journey.
Additional safety features can be seen over at Toyota.com.
2019 Toyota Camry XSE Overall
With a base price of just $24,295 for a base L model, to an “as tested” price of $38,874 for this well-appointed XSE, the 2019 Toyota Camry is one of the best mid-size sedans on the market today. Not only does it offer comfort and performance but with twelve different models to choose from, Toyota has made sure there’s a Camry for just about everyone.
Drop by your local AutoNation Toyota dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $38,874.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.