For 19 years the Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in the USA. There’s a reason for that, it’s pretty good at being the exact car you need. It’s not glamorous, it won’t win any races, and no one has ever hung a poster of it on their bedroom wall. It does exactly what you want it to do, take you from point A to point B in safety, comfort, and efficiency.
Here we are in 2022 and the cost of cars, and everything else, is rising faster than a SpaceX rocket. The average price of a new car is now $47,100 and a fully-loaded Toyota Camry, with every single option and accessory, can set you back $42,000.
But what about the base model? The Toyota Camry LE starts at $25,295, is that enough Camry? It is over $16,000 cheaper than the fully-loaded car. Here is what you get on the cheapest Toyota Camry you can buy in 2022.
2022 Toyota Camry LE base spec performance and efficiency
Traditionally, when you considered a base spec car, it was just that, basic. Four wheels, a park bench disguised as a seat and an engine that provided as much power as a light summer’s breeze. Now, car buyers demand more from their vehicles, and manufacturers have responded with a decent amount of equipment from the jump.
The Toyota Camry LE comes with a 203 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. You won’t win many stoplight drag races but you will get an EPA-estimated 39 mpg on the highway. That is pretty good, and the Camry LE also gets a ToyotaCare plan that covers maintenance and gives you roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles.
Exterior, interior, and multimedia
On the outside, you get 17-inch alloy wheels as standard with all-season tires. There are five colors to choose from that have no additional cost, including the excellent Blueprint Blue. LED taillights, Bi-LED headlights, and some dark trim accents also come standard.
Inside, where you will be spending all of your time with a Camry, there is keyless entry, power windows and locks, USB-C charging port, dual-zone climate control, plenty of storage and cloth/fabric seats.
An interesting base spec feature is the inclusion of radar-controlled cruise control. This will maintain your distance from vehicles in front of you without driver input.
On the multimedia front, the Camry LE comes with a seven-inch touchscreen display that has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. That pairs to a six-speaker sound system which may not have the power and fidelity of the high-end JBL option, but will be enough to rock-out to on your morning commute.
The 2022 Toyota Camry LE safety equipment and warranty
One of the best aspects of the Toyota Camry is how safe it is. It has a five-star overall crash test rating from the NHTSA and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Even on the humble, base Camry LE, Toyota doesn’t skimp on the safety tech.
The Camry comes equipped with 10 airbags and child door and window locks. You get a tire pressure monitoring system as standard. The Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ package gives you a pre-collision detection system, lane departure warning, automatic high beam headlights, road sign assist, pedestrian detection, and lane tracing assist. All helpful features to keep you safe on the road.
Vehicle stability and traction control also are standard on the base car.
While we all might expect that buying a Toyota Camry means never having to worry about anything going wrong, the reality is that all cars, regardless of manufacturer, have things break and wear out. When it comes to the warranty, the 2022 Camry LE comes with four. The basic warranty covers 36 months or 36,000 miles. The powertrain and restraint system warranty is good for 60 months and 60,000 miles. The corrosion perforation warranty has you covered for 60 months and unlimited miles.
Is a base spec Toyota Camry LE right for you?
What is right for you depends entirely on your unique set of circumstances. Even in base spec, the Camry LE is far from spartan. A decent amount of standard equipment and technology may make you question the need for the higher spec models.
If you’re looking for a safe, efficient commuter car, it’s hard to look past the Camry LE. However, suppose you want some additional creature comforts, like leather or heated seats, and some technology like navigation or a JBL stereo. In that case, it is worth looking at some of the higher trim levels. Regardless of your choice, the base spec Camry is not a bad option and could save you $16,000 over the fully-loaded car.