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  • The Toyota Camry XSE is over $10,000 cheaper than the base Lexus ES
  • The Lexus ES comes standard with all-wheel drive
  • The fully-loaded 2024 Camry XSE is still over $4,000 less than the base Lexus ES

At $31,720, the 2024 Toyota Camry XSE is one of the most value-packed mainstream midsize sedans. Meanwhile, the base Lexus ES carries a luxury price tag without much else. Overall, that makes even the most expensive new Camry a better value than its cheapest Lexus sibling. Simply put: the cheapest Lexus ES just isn’t worth it.

The Toyota Camry is an underrated luxury car value

The 2023 Toyota Camry XSE, which is a better value than the Lexus ES, is shown parked at the top level of a parking garage
2023 Toyota Camry XSE | Toyota

It feels strange to put the words ‘luxury car’ and Toyota Camry in the same sentence. But that’s exactly what you get with the most popular sedan of 2023. The Camry XSE bests the base Lexus ES with standard features including wireless phone charging, premium JBL audio, and ambient interior lighting.

The Lexus ES claws back some supremacy with a 10-way power-adjustable seat. But the Camry’s eight-way adjustable chairs are more than respectable. Both front seats can be heated and ventilated without coming close to the price of the Lexus.

Even the textures are quality in the Camry XSE. The patterned metal is stylish and modern, or you can move one step down to the XLE for the wood-grain look of the Lexus ES. Overall, the Camry is proving itself the better luxury value over the luxury-branded Lexus. And we’re not done yet.

2024 Toyota Camry XSE vs 2024 Lexus ES 250 fast facts

Toyota Camry XSELexus ES 250
Engine2.5-liter four-cylinder2.5-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower/Torque203 hp/184 lb.ft.203 hp/184 lb.ft.
Cargo Space15.1 cubic feet13.9 cubic feet
Front legroom42.1 in42.4 in
Front head room37.5 in37.5 in
Rear legroom38.0 in39.2 in
Rear headroom38.0 in37.8 in

A fully-loaded Camry XSE is still cheaper than the Lexus ES 250

A blue Lexus ES shows off its luxury car styling on a desert road.
Lexus ES | Toyota

Pre-optioned values are one thing, but what happens when you go for a fully-loaded 2024 Toyota Camry XSE? It still proves that the Camry is a better value than the Lexus ES. Starting with the base Camry XSE at $31,720, you can add all-wheel drive for $1,400. From there, it’s time for optional packages.

The Navigation Upgrade Package with Options adds everything except two-tone paint for $4,700. That brings the total price of the Camry XSE to $38,915, still over $4,000 less than the Lexus ES.

At that point, you’ll have a Camry with heated and ventilated seats, a heads-up display, built-in navigation, and a panoramic sliding roof. The $43,000 Lexus ES doesn’t have any of those. And to get the Lexus with those same features, you’ll have to add another $4,300 to the sticker price. That brings it to nearly $45,400, and it still won’t have the premium audio of the Camry XSE.

And if you want more punch, you can start with the Camry XSE V6 instead. At 301 horsepower, it certainly isn’t shy. And it provides the type of pop you expect from a midsize luxury sedan, fully-loaded for just $39,960.

Don’t sleep on the Camry as a luxury car option

2024 Toyota Camry interior
2024 Toyota Camry | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Much like our comparison of the Honda Accord and Acura TLX, comparing the Toyota Camry to the Lexus ES shows a narrowing exclusivity gap between mainstream and luxury brands. That you can get a Toyota Camry with more luxury features than a Lexus ES with enough cash for a weekend in Breckenridge isn’t just a surprise. It means that the Camry is a serious luxury car contender, even with a Toyota badge.

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