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2021 Toyota Camry: Choosing the Right Trim


The Toyota Camry continues to be one of the most popular and most recommendable sedans on the market today. Buying a used 2021 Toyota Camry doesn’t diminish any of those accolades either. No other brand even comes close to offering the range of trims, drivetrains, and engine choices provided by the 2021 Toyota Camry. Including the hybrid models, there are no less than 12 different Camry variations ranging from simple transport to V6-powered performance sedans to high-fuel economy hybrids.

All-wheel drive is available on most trims, although the hybrid models are limited to front-drive only.

The 2021 Toyota Camry offers solid safety, reliability, strong resale, and longevity. Toyota’s commitment to keeping the Camry affordable when new should translate into reasonable prices for a used model.

Here is a list of the variety of trims you can choose from when choosing a 2021 Toyota Camry.

2021 Toyota Camry LE and LE Hybrid (Original starting price for Camry LE when new: $24,970) (Original price for Camry LE Hybrid: $32,720)

See today’s prices on 2021 Camry LE models for sale near you

2021 Toyota Camry LE Profile in Black
The 2021 Toyota Camry LE starts at $24,970.

For 2021, Toyota dropped the base level Camry L. The new entry point to the Camry line is the LE, and you can have it in hybrid or traditional gasoline form. The Camry LE comes standard with a 203-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional on the gasoline version. The hybrid LE is not available in all-wheel drive. The Camry LE Hybrid uses the same engine with an electric motor setup for a combined 208 hp.

Standard safety equipment includes Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) system, new for this model year. TSS 2.5+ collects pre-collision warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection, emergency steering assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning with steering assist, road-sign assistance, and automatic high-beam headlights.

The Camry LE also comes with 10 airbags, electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, and Smart Stop technology that brings the vehicle to an immediate stop if unintended acceleration is detected. A tire pressure monitor, anti-theft alarm, and Hill Assist Control are also part of the LE’s standard safety systems.

The LE comes with bi-LED headlights with an auto on-off feature, 17-inch alloy wheels, intermittent wipers, color-keyed door handles and mirror caps, remote keyless entry, and an acoustic noise-reducing windshield.

Inside, you’ll find a cloth interior with an 8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, manual air conditioning, auto up/down power windows, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and a 4.2-inch multi-information display.

Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity comes standard with a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and SiriusXM capability. The system also includes six speakers, a rearview monitor, two USB charge ports, advanced voice recognition, and access to Toyota Connected Services, including an available Wi-Fi hotspot.

The LE Hybrid adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a Smart Key proximity keyless entry system with push-button start, and a 4-mode switch for EV, Eco, Normal, and Sport.

Optional equipment and packages for the LE include an upgrade to the dual-zone automatic climate control, backup camera, wireless charger, multi-stage heated front seats, the Smart Key proximity key with push-button start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual sun visors with sliding extensions, rear LED reading lights, and Homelink.

Who is this trim level for? The 2021 Toyota Camry LE is for buyers who still want some style, safety, convenience, and space for the money. It’s also a good choice for buyers who want a reliable vehicle that offers all-wheel drive or a hybrid powertrain.

2021 Toyota Camry LE includes:

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto– Allows seamless smartphone integration with the car’s infotainment system, granting access to music, apps, messages, and more.

Automatic high-beam headlights– Automatically turn on when it gets dark but will dim when sensing oncoming traffic.

Lane departure warning– Alerts the driver if veering out of a marked lane and will even help nudge the vehicle back into its lane.

Tilt/telescopic steering wheel– Allows drivers of all sizes to find a comfortable position regardless of seat position.

2021 Toyota Camry SE and SE Hybrid (Original Starting price when new: $26,485) (Original starting price for SE Hybrid when new: $28,785)

See today’s prices on 2021 Camry SE models for sale near you

2021 Toyota Camry se hybrid
The 2021 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid starts at $28,785.

The 2021 Toyota Camry SE adds about $1,500 to the LE’s price, but we think it’s worth the extra few dollars for those looking for more style.

On top of the LE’s standard features, the SE brings a sportier appearance, with blacked-out grille and mesh inserts, 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension, and chrome exhaust tips. You can opt for all-wheel drive in the SE, although, like in the other trims, the Hybrid is not available with all-wheel drive.

Inside, the SE touts SofTex faux-leather trimmed front seats with fabric inserts, single-zone automatic climate control, leather wrap for the steering wheel and shift knob, plus a tire-pressure monitor with individual readouts for all four tires.

A special Nightshade Edition built off the SE that brings a more sinister look with blacked-out wheels, black grilled mesh insert, black mirror caps and window molding, but no increase in horsepower.

Option packages for the SE are the same as for the LE, but the SE Hybrid comes identically equipped as its gasoline counterpart.

Who is this trim level for? The 2021 Toyota Camry SE is for buyers who want more bells and whistles and a more refined look for their Camry. This trim is a good buy for those looking for the biggest bang for their buck.

2021 Toyota Camry SE includes:

Automatic climate control– No more fiddling with knobs. Just set the desired temperature, and the Camry’s automatic climate control maintains it.

SofTex upholstery– Looks and feels like leather, but this synthetic fabric holds up better. It’s also easier to clean than the standard cloth seats.

Blackout treatment– Gives the SE’s exterior a sportier look.

2021 Toyota Camry XLE and XLE Hybrid (Original Starting price when new: $29,870) (Original price for V6 version:  $34,995) (Original starting price for XLE Hybrid when new: $32,170)

See today’s prices on 2021 Camry XLE models for sale near you

2021 Toyota Camry XLE front left in blue
The 2021 Toyota Camry XLE starts at $29,870.

The XLE is the trim for those who like more creature comforts, better tech, and more powertrain options. The XLE offers a choice between the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, a hybrid engine, or a 3.5-liter V6. Sadly, all-wheel drive is unavailable with either the V6 or hybrid engine.

The XLE is one of the most popular Camry trims, building off the LE trim and adding full LED headlights with daytime running lights and auto on/off feature, color-keyed heated exterior mirrors with turn signal and blind-spot warning indicators, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Additional features include a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, dual-zone automatic climate control, integrated grid lines for the rearview monitor, a wireless charge pad, a 9-inch infotainment touch screen, and a 7-inch multi-information display.

The Smart Key keyless proximity entry system is also standard, as are leather-trimmed seats and an 8-way power-adjustable passenger seat. The front seats are heated, and there’s a 3-mode switch on the console for Eco, Normal, or Sport.

The XLE V6 adds the 3.5-liter V6 engine, a panoramic glass moonroof, a JBL audio upgrade, 10-inch color head-up display, sliding sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, and an overhead console.

Options for the XLE include navigation, a panoramic glass moonroof, JBL audio, a 360-degree bird’s-eye view monitor, ventilated front seats, reverse automatic braking, and, on AWD models, a heated steering wheel.

Who is this trim level for? The 2021 Toyota Camry XLE is for buyers who want even more refinement from their Camry. This popular trim tends to have relatively high resale values for low-mileage vehicles.

2021 Toyota Camry XLE includes:

Smart Key keyless entry– With the key fob in your possession, you only need to approach the car to unlock the doors and start the engine.

Dual-zone automatic climate control– With individual temperature settings for the front seat passenger and driver, they’ll never again be an argument over who gets to choose the cabin temperature.

Full-speed range adaptive cruise control– An upgrade to the standard adaptive cruise control, this system can slow the vehicle and maintain a low-speed follow until traffic resumes. Once traffic begins to flow, the adaptive cruise control automatically resumes speed.

Heated exterior mirrors– Activate with the defroster, heating elements helping keep ice and snow from blocking the mirror’s surface.

2021 Toyota Camry XSE (Original starting price when new: $30,420.) (Original starting price for V6 option: $35,545.) (Original starting price for hybrid version: $32,720)

See today’s prices on 2021 Camry XSE models for sale near you

2021 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid
The 2021 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid starts at $32,720.

The XSE builds off the XLE and SE, with more sport and an optional V6 engine. The XSE represents the highest trim you can opt for in the 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid, though you cannot get it in all-wheel drive.

The XSE includes all the XLE features plus a sport suspension, gloss black exterior accents, a color-keyed rear spoiler, 19-inch gloss black wheels, and chrome tip dual exhaust.

The XSE also gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters and metal interior trim.

Options for the XSE are the same as for the XLE, except for a two-tone paint treatment and black roof.

Who is this trim level for? The 2021 Toyota Camry XSE is for buyers who want all the bells and whistles for their Camry. This trim tends to be a bit rarer because of its price, so finding a used XSE with low mileage could prove tricky.

2021 Toyota Camry XSE includes:

Gloss black grille, color-keyed rear spoiler, and chromed dual exhaust tips: This gives the XSE a meaner look on the street

Patterned metal interior trim: For those who want a bit more bling in the cabin.

2021 Toyota Camry TRD (Original price when new: $32,185)

See today’s prices on 2021 Camry TRD models for sale near you

2021 Toyota Camry TRD
The 2021 Toyota Camry TRD starts at $32,185.

The Camry TRD is a V6 version of the 2021 Toyota Camry with meaner looks. While it doesn’t make any more horsepower than the V6 XSE or XLE, it gets a more aggressive look package. There is no hybrid version of the Camry TRD.

Starting with the Camry SE as its base, the TRD adds the 3.5-liter V6 engine, black headlight housings, gloss black grille with mesh insert, black mirror caps, 19-inch TRD matte-black alloy wheels, gloss black rear spoiler, gloss black ground effects, and TRD cat-back exhaust.

The TRD features a unique TRD instrument cluster with red accents and TRD start-up animation and sport front seats in SofTex with red stitching, red inserts, and red seat belts. Also included are steering wheel paddle shifters, TRD embossed shift knob, and aluminum sport pedals.

The TRD comes with the Smart Key keyless entry-and-start system and a TRD sport suspension.

Options for the TRD include two-tone paint, summer tires, and the TRD package with JBL Audio Plus.

Who is this trim level for? The 2021 Toyota Camry TRD is for buyers who want a meaner-looking Camry with just a little more performance.

2021 Toyota Camry TRD includes:

5-liter V6– This big motor delivers impressive power and smoothness, as well as decent highway fuel economy.

TRD sport suspension– Specially designed springs and shocks give the TRD better handling and cornering ability.

TRD cat-back exhaust– From the catalytic converter back, this unique exhaust provides the Camry with a bit more of a growl.

Gloss-black exterior styling treatment– Really helps the TRD stand out not just from other Camry trims but other cars. Plus, there’s a TRD-only color combination: Ice Edge with Midnight Black Metallic Roof.

Related: 

FAQ

What is the best 2021 Toyota Camry?

We’d recommend opting for the XLE or higher for the 2021 Toyota Camry for its price to value ratio. At this trim level, you can also opt for the more powerful V6 engine as well as the hybrid option. 

 

How many mpg does the 2021 Toyota Camry get?

4 cyl Models:

LE/SE 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic – City mpg 28, Highway mpg 39, Combined mpg 32

LE/SE AWD 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic – City mpg 25, Highway mpg 34, Combined mpg 29

XLE/XSE 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic – City mpg 27, Highway mpg 38, Combined mpg 31

XLE/XSE AWD 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic – City mpg 25, Highway mpg 34, Combined mpg 28

 

6 cyl Models:

XLE 6 cyl, 3.5 L, Automatic – City mpg 22, Highway mpg 33, Combined mpg 26

XSE 6 cyl, 3.5 L, Automatic – City mpg 22, Highway mpg 32, Combined mpg 26

TRD 6 cyl, 3.5 L, Automatic – City mpg 22, Highway mpg 31, Combined mpg 25

 

Hybrid Models:

Hybrid LE 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic – City mpg 51, Highway mpg 53, Combined mpg 52

Hybrid SE/XLE/XSE 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic – City mpg 44, Highway mpg 47, Combined mpg 46

Which 2021 Toyota Camry level offers the most safety?

Toyota outfits the entire line of the Toyota Camry with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ which is the upgraded safety tech that the company makes. We’d recommend the XLE or higher to get all the best safety equipment.

The 2021 Toyota Camry is highly rated by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). NHTSA gave the 2021 Toyota Camry a 5-star crash rating and the IIHS made the 2021 Toyota Camry one of its Top Safety Pick+ vehicles for 2021.

 

Abigail Bassett
Abigail Bassett
Abigail Bassett is a freelance journalist based in L.A. and she's covered automotive topics for a variety of well-known outlets including Fortune, Forbes, CNN and Motor Trend. She's also a television and video host and regularly covers breaking news, social justice, technology, health and wellness, and science in addition to her car coverage. When she's not working on her next project she's... Read More about Abigail Bassett

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