2017 Toyota Camry: Which spec is best?

By David Bonnici, 29 May 2017 Car Advice

2017 Toyota Camry: Which spec is best?

Which variant of the Australian-built Toyota Camry offers the best buy in terms of features, performance and value?

The Australian-built Toyota Camry is by far the country’s best-selling mid-sized car, with a huge gap between it and its nearest competitors in sales figures.

With a starting price in the realm of smaller hatchbacks, the Camry offers plenty of value for money with ample space, while a 2.5-litre four cylinder engine provides plenty of grunt on its own or as part of a hybrid powertrain.

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Variants

The Toyota Camry range has four model grades, three of which come with a hybrid version. All conventionally powered variants come with a six-speed automatic gearbox, while the hybrids are linked to a CVT auto.

The entry level Camry Altise starts at $26,490 for the standard powertrain with the hybrid version costing an extra $4000. The Altise comes with a 6.1-inch touchscreen with reversing camera, LED daytime running lights and 16-inch alloy wheels as standard.

The Atara S starts at $29,490 with a $3000 premium on the hybrid version. For the extra coin you get in-built satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, five-way powered adjustment for the driver’s seat and 17-inch alloys with sportier low-profile tyres.    

The Atara SX is the sportiest of the bunch and shuns the hybrid option. It adds leather trim to its seats, sleek headlamp design, a powered rear window blind and athletic design touches such as alloy pedals and a body kit. It also gets firmer suspension, for more stable cornering, and bigger, 18-inch tyres that are slightly wider and with an even lower profile.

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The range-topping Atara SL has an emphasis on luxury, with power-adjustable leather trimmed front seats, automatic windscreen wipers, auto dipping headlights, 10-speaker sound system and wireless phone charger. It’s also the only Camry to come with active safety features including active cruise control, auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and rear-cross traffic alert. Like the Atara S, opting for the hybrid will cost you an extra $3000.

Our pick – Toyota Camry Atara S hybrid or Atara SX

It’s hard to go past the Atara S Hybrid, which offers affordable hybrid technology and a good blend of economical city driving and open-road usability. That said if you plan to do some towing take note of the hybrid’s low 300kg braked towing limit.

If you prefer a more engaging drive on open roads, the Atara SX performs nicely with low running costs.  There is also a limited edition, petrol-only, sporty version of the entry-level Altise called the RZ that was available at the time of publication from $29,910. It offers many of the SX features without the leather trim and if still available presents better value than the SX.

Available options

  • Premium paint - $469
  • Satellite navigation (Altise) - $719
  • Front parking sensors (Altise) – contact dealer
  • Rear parking sensors (Altise) – contact dealer