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2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Test Drive

Since its debut 40 years ago, the Toyota Camry has become the quintessential family sedan, and even as many automakers whittle down their car lineups, this mid-size is thriving. Now, reliability is one of the top reasons so many buyers (almost 300,000 in 2022) flock to buy a Camry each year. But the eighth-generation model has found new ways to draw in customers.

Previous generations of the Camry were defined by their safety, affordability, and efficiency. The 2022 Camry builds on these attributes, and adds luxury, technology, and - more importantly--style. The sporty-looking Camry XSE is a perfect example of how bold the current version of this sedan can look and feel--even with a fuel-sipping four-banger under the hood.  

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2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Exterior

2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Test Drive

Slotting in just below the top TRD trim level, the 2022 Camry XSE brings a sport sedan look to the Camry lineup. Despite being one of the oldest models in Toyota's current stable, this Camry still has plenty of visual appeal. The XSE trim level pushes the Camry's styling to the limit with a blacked-out mesh grille, gloss black 19-inch alloy wheels, and quadruple exhaust outlets. What really made this particular tester stand out was its two-tone paint job (a $500 option), which features a black roof, black decklid spoiler, and black mirrors against the eye-catching Supersonic Red body color. 

Without a doubt, the current generation is by far the best design the Camry has ever had, and the 2022 XSE is the pièce de resistance - unless the boy-racer Camry TRD is what you're looking for.

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2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Interior

2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Test Drive

The interior of the 2022 Toyota Camry XSE has a sporty vibe to match the exterior, and while there's an optional two-tone red-and-black seat treatment, this tester featured an all-black cabin. To go along with the black, perforated leather seats, the XSE's interior is adorned with a mix of gloss black and dark metallic trim, as well as a carbon fiber patterned accent piece on the passenger side of the dash. 

The Camry XSE comes standard with a seven-inch, multi-information display screen in the gauge cluster, wireless smartphone charging, and ambient cabin lighting. But this tester was loaded up with all the options. The $1,760 Navigation Package adds a nine-inch touchscreen navigation system with a nine-speaker JBL sound system, and the $1,430 Driver Assist Package brings a 10-inch color head-up display and ventilated front seats. Also included on this tester was the panoramic glass roof ($1,360) and heated steering wheel ($150).

At its roots, the 2022 Toyota Camry is still a typical family sedan, so there's plenty of room for five adult passengers. One of the most significant improvements Toyota made to the cabin of this generation Camry is the adjustable rear headrests for outboard occupants, which brings even more comfort to those seated in the back. With a cavernous trunk that can accommodate 15.1 cubic feet of cargo, even with a full load of passengers, the Camry will still have plenty of room for their gear.

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2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Powertrain

2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Test Drive

Even though you can get the 2022 Toyota Camry with a reasonably peppy 301-horsepower V-6 engine, the only way you can opt for all-wheel drive on this sedan is to stick with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. In the XSE AWD configuration you see here, this engine has an output of 205 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, which is a slight increase over the base output of 203 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque thanks to the XSE's dual exhaust system. All 2022 Camry models (regardless of engine size) perform shifting duties through an eight-speed automatic transmission, which on this XSE AWD tester results in EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway - down from 28 mpg city and 39 mpg highway of the most efficient non-hybrid model.

The Camry XSE might have the aggressive styling of a sporty sedan, but this Camry is still an ideal family hauler. Even with the larger wheels and a slightly different tune for the electric power steering, the XSE has the same smooth and quiet ride quality customers have come to expect from this mid-size sedan. 

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2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Safety

2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Test Drive

The 2022 Toyota Camry earned a 5-Star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and all trim levels are equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ suite of safety technologies. 

This includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist and Automatic High Beams, while the XSE trim (and other higher trim levels) add a full-speed range function to the cruise control and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The aforementioned Driver Assist Package also includes Bird's Eye View Camera and Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross Traffic Braking.

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2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Overall

2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD Test Drive

While buyers continue to flock to SUVs, the 2022 Toyota Camry proves traditional cars can still be relevant, and offers a lineup as diverse as Camry buyers themselves. Sure, you can still get a vanilla white (not the official name of the color, of course) Camry for commuting and family hauling--but you can also stand out from the crowd with a sporty-looking Camry XSE. 

As always, affordability is a key ingredient to the Camry's continual success, and that holds true with the 2022 model, which has a reasonable starting MSRP of $25,845.  With an as-tested price of $38,904, this decked-out 2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD is about as loaded as they come, and still doesn't break the $40,000 barrier.

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Jeffrey N. Ross | January 18, 2023

2022 Toyota Camry XSE AWD




2.5L I4
205 hp, 185 lb-ft
8-speed automatic


25 / 34 mpg
City / Highway

NHTSA Rating

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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