Toyota Camry XSEGET IT
For more than 30 years the Toyota Camry has been synonymous with reliable. But on a recent Saturday we drove the 2019 Toyota Camry XSE 120 miles to Montauk Lighthouse, and right away we knew this wasn’t a typical commuting car.
The top-of-the-line XSE has an aggressively styled front end, rear hood spoiler, multi-spoke wheels with low-pro tires, and four stainless steel-tipped exhausts. “This is one bad-ass Camry,” my wife remarked.
Acceleration in Sport mode was impressive. At speed, the independent Macpherson struts and multi-link rear suspension made for secure, tight handling in turns. The radar cruise control was incredibly responsive, automatically adjusting our pace and even slowing rapidly to 45mph when we entered a construction zone.
The natural light from the panoramic glass roof really made the journey as good as the destination. As someone with longer legs, I loved the power seats’ up-and-down functionality.
On the down side, my wife and I were frustrated by multiple attempts to input our destination into the navigation system. In the end we relied on our phones and Google Maps. But we had plenty of USB charging points to choose from: one on the dash and two in the center console. The XSE also offers wireless device charging, and that worked without a hitch.
Unfortunately, rain prompted us to cut short our beach excursion, so we headed to the North Shore and ended our trip at a local restaurant, but we couldn’t wait to get back on the road. —Ambrose Martos, Research Chief
[From $29,725; toyota.com]
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