With the refresh for 2021 Camry models, Toyota is introducing the first XSE Hybrid grade, combining the Camry’s most fuel-efficient powertrain with its highest expression of the sport and luxury blend. All 2021 Camry models debut Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, the automaker’s newest version of the groundbreaking driver assist technology suite that includes automatic emergency braking.
2021 Camry XSE Hybrid
All Camry models for 2021 also get an added dose of tech and luxury with a new floating multimedia screen in 7-inch or 9-inch sizes, plus a new herringbone seat pattern on the XLE grade.
This expansion for 2021 follows a year in which Camry added an all-wheel drive option and its first TRD performance model. The “L” grade has been discontinued for 2021. The LE now becomes the point of entry for the model line.
The 2021 Camry offers 17 different choices in the midsize sedan segment, including:
Three V6 grades – XLE, XSE and TRD
Five 4-cyl. FWD grades – LE, XLE, SE, SE Nightshade, XSE
Five 4-cyl. AWD grades – LE, XLE, SE, SE Nightshade, XSE
Four hybrid grades – LE, XLE, SE, XSE (new)
The 2021 Camry offers a choice of three powertrains: 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder; 3.5-liter V-6; and next-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS II). The Dynamic Force 2.5-liter engine is a strong but smooth operator, yielding 203 hp at 6,600 rpm and 184 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 5,000 rpm (206 hp and 186 lb.-ft. for XSE grade, which uses a dual-outlet exhaust). Most AWD grades have 202 hp, while the Camry XSE AWD grade has 205 hp with dual exhaust.
The Camry’s four-cylinder engine uses a very high compression ratio (13:1) and Toyota’s innovative D-4S fuel injection, which employs both direct injection and additional port injectors. The engine features Toyota’s most advanced technologies, including Dual VVT-i with VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing intelligent system by Electric motor) and laser-clad valve seats. A variable cooling system, variable oil pump and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system all contribute to the engine’s high thermal efficiency and outstanding fuel economy.
Toyota Hybrid System. The Camry Hybrid powertrain is the most efficient and powerful offered since the Hybrid debuted for 2007. The Toyota Hybrid System (THS II) combines the output of the 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine and an electric motor (MG1), while using that motor and a second motor (MG2) for hybrid battery charging. In the Hybrid, the gasoline engine employs an even higher 14:1 compression ratio and is tuned to produce 176 hp and 163 lb.-ft. of torque. Paired with the 118 hp electric motor, the total Hybrid system net output is 208 hp.
The hybrid system gives the Camry Hybrid performance similar to the four-cylinder gasoline version. Sequential Shiftmatic technology allows the driver to “shift” the electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (ECVT). It mimics a quick-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission via paddle shifters (on SE and XSE grades) or with the console-mounted shift lever.
The Lithium-ion hybrid battery pack is installed beneath the rear seat and does not reduce passenger room or trunk capacity. The battery’s position also contributes to a lower center of gravity. Along with the traditional Camry Hybrid NORMAL, ECO and EV drive system modes, a SPORT mode allows for an increase in power from the hybrid system for improved acceleration response relative to throttle pedal input.
The Auto Glide Control (AGC) feature helps to enhance fuel efficiency by calculating efficient coasting logic. AGC can be activated only when the vehicle is being operated in the ECO drive mode. When activated, AGC limits the loss of vehicle speed through engine braking, acting more like a neutral gear to allow longer coasting. An AGC indicator light illuminates on the multi-information display when AGC is in operation to alert the driver of reduced engine braking.
Camry All-Wheel Drive. The all-wheel drive option that Camry debuted for 2020 is projected to account for about 15% of Camry’s 2021 sales. The Toyota-developed Dynamic Torque Control AWD system is available as a standalone option for the four-cylinder LE, XLE, SE, SE Nightshade and XSE grades. The Camry AWD is a North America-only model developed in the US and assembled exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky. Camry AWD uses the high-efficiency 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine teamed with an eight-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission.
Dynamic Torque Control AWD provides effective traction for inclement and slippery weather while minimizing AWD’s typical drag on fuel economy. The system can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, in response to acceleration from a start or slippage at the front wheels.
When AWD isn’t needed, the electromagnetic controlled coupling on the rear drive axle can disengage the propeller shaft to prioritize fuel efficiency. The AWD is designed to re-engage in an instant when needed and its operation is transparent to the driver and passengers.
The addition of AWD does not affect passenger space, trunk room, ride comfort, cabin quietness or vehicle agility. Inside, the car has the same rear seat hip point height as the Camry Hybrid.
The transformation to AWD adds just 165 lbs. (LE grade; other grade weights vary) over FWD versions. The suspension tuning, wheels, and tires differentiating the Camry model grades carry over to the AWD versions. That means, for example, the Camry XSE grade features the same sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels in both FWD and AWD versions.
All AWD grades offer an optional Cold-Weather Package, which adds heated seats and mirrors on the LE; heated seats, mirrors and steering wheel on the SE; and heated steering wheel on the XLE and XSE, as heated seats and mirrors are already standard on those grades. All other standard and optional features are shared with the Camry FWD model grades. For 2021, The Cold Weather Package will now be a standalone option for FWD and Hybrid grades as well.