2021 Toyota Camry adds XSE Hybrid trim, better infotainment and safety tech

Zac Palmer
·3 mins read


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The 2021 Toyota Camry gains both visual and technology improvements in the new model year. It’s not a full-fledged mid-cycle update, but the changes are welcome nonetheless.

Toyota added an XSE grade to the Hybrid trim to start. This brings the sportier suspension tuning and aggressive appearance package to the greenest of models. It’s pictured in gray here, and if not for the blue Toyota logo and Hybrid badge, we’d never assume this model was the eco-focused one. It looks just like the XSE grade for the standard Camry, which gets an even bolder honeycomb style grille this year. If boring, hybrid-car looks were keeping you from going Camry Hybrid, Toyota appears to have a solution for that now.

Both the LE and XLE grades get a revised front fascia for 2021, too. The entire front bumper is essentially all grille now. It’s been amplified and made even more dramatic this year, and it’s starting to become a bit much to take in. New wheel designs also make their debut on LE and XLE models this year. On the inside, Toyota is debuting a new Herringbone seat pattern on the XLE. Plus, all grades get a revised set of interior trim appointments. If it’s a model aiming at comfort, you’ll get a dark wood look. If it’s a sporty trim, Toyota has added a patterned metal package.

In addition to the new styling, Toyota upgraded the infotainment systems options in the 2021 Camry. The new base infotainment setup uses a newly-integrated seven-inch touchscreen. You can upgrade to a nine-inch version of the display. Both run Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa as standard. Toyota just pulled the displays out of the RAV4 and dumped them in here.

The last notable tech update for 2021 is improved driver assistance and safety equipment. Toyota upgraded the Camry to its Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 systems, bringing enhanced auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, full-speed adaptive cruise control (can bring vehicle to stop and start again on its own), lane-tracing assist (keeps car centered in lane), auto high-beams, road sign assist and Toyota’s rear seat reminder.

Pricing for the Hybrid actually goes down for 2021. It starts at $28,265, which is $1,160 less than 2020’s base price. The new Hybrid XSE trim is much more expensive with a starting price sitting at $33,715 — it’s the most expensive Hybrid now. Most non-hybrid trims see modest increases of a few hundred dollars in price, but the base LE trim doesn’t go up from its $25,965 sticker. One notable increase is a $1,015 increase for the TRD trim (adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, heated exterior mirrors and new Ice Edge paint option for 2021), which now starts at $33,180. It’s still the cheapest way to get the V6 engine, but the value proposition isn’t as good as it was last year. 

2021 Camry lineup is set to hit dealerships in October this year.

 

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