Reviews

2021 Toyota Camry SE Nightshade Edition: Belong to the night

The tale of the tape

The Toyota Camry SE Nightshade Edition is a special variant of the Camry SE, itself a step up from the base Camry LE. Base MSRP is $27,185, $28,844 as tested during the week it was with me.

Should you opt for the Nightshade Edition over the base SE or SE Hybrid, darkness shall descend upon your driveway. For starters, three paint options are available to fit the monochrome theme, Celestial Silver Metallic among them. From there, anything that could be chrome is blacked-out, from the badging and interior trim, to the full set of 18-inch black alloys wrapped in Hankook Kinergy GTs. The above example came equipped with optional all-wheel drive ($1,400), plus a carpet floor/trunk set ($259).

Power to move the front or all corners comes from a 2.5-liter inline-four, one of three engines available to the overall Camry line, and one of two for Camry SE; the SE Hybrid pairs the aforementioned with an electric hybrid system. In the SE Nightshade Edition with all-wheel drive, output is 202 hrsprs and 182 lb-ft of trqs, which funnel through an eight-speed automatic with paddles for those preferring a more (sequential) manual approach. Opt to keep it all up front via the order book, though, and you’ll get 203 horses and 184 lb-ft of twist.

Regarding interior options, the Camry SE Nightshade Edition offers but one: Black SofTex. In between the driver and front passenger resides a 7-inch touchscreen with Toyota Entune, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ includes a handful key driving aides, like automatic high beams, lane departure, and pedestrian pre-collision detection; blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is a $1,280 option, a standard feature on the XLE and above.

Also: remember keys? The Camry SE (and LE) in all variants brings you back to the days before pushing down the brake, then pushing a start button; you’ll have to step up to the XLE and above to leave the past behind. Just push the small metal nub at the front of the fob, and the key blade pops out for you to slide into the ignition on the steering column.

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