What Is It?
The 2016 Toyota Camry is a midsize family sedan that got a major overhaul for the 2015 model year.
What's New About This Model?
The 2016 Toyota Camry is unchanged a year after undergoing a substantial overhaul, but does gain a new Special Edition trim. Starting from the basis of the popular SE trim, the Special Edition adds distinctive styling elements. The wheels grow to 18 inches and have gloss black accents, while the cabin gets an ample dose of blue in its gauges, contrast stitching and patterned cloth upholstery. The latter is a bit reminiscent of the 1980s and pairs with leather bolsters. Available colors are Blizzard Pearl (white) and a new Blue Streak Metallic.
Features that are otherwise optional on the SE or only available on the higher XSE trim also come standard on the Special Edition, including a sunroof, push-button start, the upgraded Entune Audio Plus system (adds HD and satellite radio, and live-traffic updates) and Qi wireless smartphone charging.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Toyota will only produce 12,000 Special Edition Camrys between August 2015 and January 2016. Look for it at dealers during those months.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official pricing has been released yet, but expect it to be between the 2015 SE's $23,840 and XSE's $26,150.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
The Special Edition is only available with the Camry's standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard.
What Standard and Optional Equipment Is Available?
Beyond the Special Edition-specific items mentioned above, like the SE, it comes standard with retuned suspension and steering versus the Camry LE trim, plus automatic headlights, a rearview camera, an eight-way power driver seat, a mix of sport fabric and leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 6.1-inch Entune touchscreen interface and a USB/iPod interface.
Like every Camry it comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, front knee airbags and a rearview camera.
What Models Can It Be Compared To?
Ford Fusion: If you're interested in the sharper styling and driving dynamics now offered by the Toyota Camry Special, then the Ford Fusion should also be of interest. Finicky electronics controls and less visibility are downsides, but the Fusion is definitely worth a drive.
Honda Accord: The Accord may not be much of a looker and there is no synonymous model to the Camry Special Edition, but it's a great all-around family sedan. It might not be the best of everything, but it has few faults and excellent reliability.
Mazda 6: Virtually the same argument can be made for the Mazda 6 as for the Ford Fusion, and it goes a step farther with sharp, class-leading handling and excellent fuel economy. Definitely worth a long look.
Should You Wait for It?
If the more expressive styling provided by the 2015 Toyota Camry SE trim just isn't expressive enough, or if you want a Camry that's a little more exclusive, then the 2016 Camry Special Edition could be worth the wait.