The Toyota Camry has Always Been More Fun to Drive Than People Admit

OK, we know. The Toyota Camry is practical. It’s like a mini limousine that takes people and things from here to there. You can rely on it to start and get either great gas mileage with a 4-cylinder or good economy with the V6. But no one ever talks about it being fun to drive.

A 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid is on display during the Washington Auto Show
The 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid | Kris Connor/Getty Images

Fun to drive

The Toyota Camry may not be a ridiculously horsepowered supercar sedan like the Dodge Charger, but it can still be fun. In fact, it’s always held true to car and driver connection and people who love it LOVE it. Repeat Camry buys are common. Both new and used Toyota Camrys are a smart buy and there are thousands of drivers each year who get behind the wheel as new owners.

2020 Toyota Camry XSE AWD front
2020 Toyota Camry XSE AWD front | Toyota

And while its practical reputation as a safe and reliable boat is well-earned, there is another side to the Toyota Camry. The side of it where it is a lot more fun to drive than people want to admit. We get it. No one ever sounded cool when they said they love the Toyota Camry. But with the release of the 2020 model that features a TRD trim as well as newly available all-wheel drive, it’s time to just come out and say the Camry might be more fun to drive than people admit. 

Manual transmission Toyota Camry

Up until the new generation released in 2018, the Toyota Camry had something up its sleeve that nearly any automotive enthusiast can appreciate. According to, this trusty midsize sedan came with a manual transmission option all the way up until the end of its seventh generation. That means if you want a used Toyota Camry with a manual transmission you can find them as new as the 2017 model year.

a 2007 Toyota Camry was a great car new, and its still great used. This light blue one is parked on the street in front of some gorgeous trees.
the 2007 Toyota Camry | Toyota

Manual transmission on a Jeep Wrangler? Not surprising. A Subaru WRX? Not shocking in the least. But some may be surprised to find that feature as an option for a limo-like sedan which is generally imagined as marketed to an older more practical demographic.

2019 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
2019 Jeep Wrangler Sahara | Jeep

2020 Toyota Camry

We lose the fun of the manual transmission in the eighth generation of this lovable midsize sedan. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to drive. The 2020 Camry comes with plenty of options, including a sporty new TRD package available. According to US News and World Report, the 2020 Camry is “more fun than you’d think.” The V6 engine makes up to 301 horsepower. A little step up from the previous generation’s 268 horsepower V6.

2019 Toyota Camry
2019 Toyota Camry | Toyota

“The Camry may be a sensible car, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to drive. In addition to its strong engines, this midsize sedan features a smooth ride, direct steering, and fairly sporty handling.”

US News and World Report

Buying the 2017 Toyota Camry is a Wise Choice

Consumer reviews

We get that the Toyota Camry isn’t a drifty sports sedan tuned to win backstreet drag races. But it’s definitely looking and driving better than ever. Even back in the 1980s it boasted a V6. But the Toyota Camry has only gotten better with age. It’s more fun than you’d expect. Even dating back to the 2010 model year we can find consumer reviews saying that the Toyota Camry is fun to drive.