1. Car Buying Advice / Differences Explained: Toyota Camry vs. Toyota Corolla

Toyota has sold so many millions of Corolla and Camrys over the past several decades that they've become part of the scenery during commutes or neighborhood walks. It's fine to let them blur into the background while you're running an errand, but if you're in the market for a new Corolla or Camry, you need to pay attention to their major characteristics and differences. We've detailed some of them in this handy guide to make your shopping process at an AutoNation Toyota dealership easier.

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Body Styles

The Camry may have the Corolla beat when it comes to sheer passenger space, but the Corolla has something its bigger sibling doesn't. If you want something a little funkier than the Corolla in its standard form, you can get it as a hatchback. That not only makes it more distinctive, it also increases the Corolla's cargo space from 13.1 to a maximum of 23 cubic feet.

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Powertrain Options and Fuel Economy

One tradeoff to the Corolla Hatchback is that it's only available with one engine: Toyota's Dynamic Force 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 168 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. On the bright side, it's available with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) or six-speed manual gearbox.

The Hatchback's sedan sibling offers a wider range of engine choices. The base power plant is a 1.8-liter I4 that delivers 139 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque. The next level up is the 2.0. There's also a hybrid power plant that pairs the 1.8-liter engine with a 53-kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack to produce a total of 121 horsepower. 
Both of the gas engines are capable of returning up to 30 city, 38 highway, and 33 combined mpg. The Hatchback with the 2.0 can hit numbers as high as 32, 42, and 36, respectively. The Corolla Hybrid tops those with respective figures of 53, 52, and 52.

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The Camry starts off with a larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic. Output depends on how the engine transfers its power to the road. Front-wheel drive Camrys get 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Those with all-wheel drive aren't far behind with respective figures of 202 and 182. Front- and all-wheel-drive XSE models produce marginally higher numbers. 

Toyota also offers the Camry with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. The catch is that it only routes its power through the front wheels and an eight-speed automatic. 

Opting for the four-cylinder engine pays off in terms of fuel economy, which can go as high as 28 city, 39 highway, and 32 combined mpg. The V6 is thirstier, but still manages to deliver up to 26 combined and 33 highway mpg.
A combination of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, an 88-kW electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack provides the Camry Hybrid with 208 net horsepower - and a combined fuel economy figure as high as 52 mpg.

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With the exception of the sedan in its entry-level trim, which includes a seven-inch center display, all Corolla four-doors and Hatchbacks come with an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen that's compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. Certain grades can be optioned with navigation and a JBL audio system. 
The Camry and Camry Hybrid have the same baseline of a seven-inch display with the same compatibilities, but their larger displays measure nine inches diagonally. Like the Corolla, the Camry is available with navigation and JBL audio, which we've always found to be satisfyingly clear.

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Safety and Driver Assistance Features

No matter which type of Corolla or Camry you pick, it'll have the Star Safety System, a suite of features that includes stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, Smart Stop Technology to automatically apply the brakes if both pedals are pushed at the same time, and more. 

One notable difference between the two models is which level of Toyota Safety Sense bundle they come with. Corollas are equipped with TSS 2.0, which adds features such as automatic high beams, Pre-Collison System with Pedestrian Detection, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist to all trim levels; other features depend on which grade you select. 

The Camry has the slightly different 2.5 version of TSS, which makes Lane Tracing Assist standard across the board of regular and Hybrid models. Most gas-only Camry variants benefit from Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, but all of the Camry Hybrid's trim levels come with it at no additional charge.

Both the Corolla and Camry did well in NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) testing, earning five-star Overall Safety Ratings, the highest score possible.

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Performance Models

Toyota offers a wide range of Corolla and Camry variants that are great at commuting and saving gas. It didn't forget about enthusiasts, though. The Corolla Apex Edition rocks a black and bronze body kit and a set of lightweight black 18-inch wheels that can be paired with summer performance tires. Not only does it look different from other Corollas, it also sounds different, thanks to its sport-tuned exhaust.

To make the ultimate Camry, Toyota worked with its crew at the Toyota Racing Development. Their appropriately named creation, the Camry TRD, brings aggressive style to the midsize sedan segment with its red-striped body kit and eye-catching rear spoiler. It has the hardware to back up those looks, too. TRD lowered the Camry by 0.6 inches on a set of special coil springs, installed underbody braces to increase rigidity, and swapped out the standard shocks for TRD-spec replacements. Nineteen-inch alloys and P235/40 tires connect the most athletic Camry yet to the road.

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Derek Shiekhi  | Aug 17, 2021

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