For Camry drivers looking for a little more “sporty” in their sedan, Toyota offers the 2011 Camry SE trim. The SE uses a slightly tweaked version of the four-cylinder engine found in the Base and LE trims: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder DOHC 16-valve with dual VVT-i that produces 179 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque (exceeding the numbers for the four-cylinder Base, LE, and XLE). The SE four-cylinder comes with a standard manual six-speed transmission, but the front-wheel-drive vehicle does have an available automatic six-speed at this trim level. Mileage estimates match those of the Base and LE trims, with 22 mpg city and 33 highway for the manual transmission and 22/32 with the automatic. While the Camry has been praised for having a comfortable, if somewhat soft ride, the SE’s sport-tuned suspension has been criticized for failing to compensate completely for lean in the corners, as well as delivering an only slightly firmer suspension than the other soft-riding trims.
The SE’s exterior attempts to add a sporty look to the otherwise bland midsize sedan. The headlamps feature a smoked sport trim and integrated foglamps. Larger, 17-inch, five-spoke machine-finished alloy wheels replace the smaller 16-inch wheels found on the Base and LE trims, and the SE features a standard blackout front sport grille. In addition, heated outside mirrors, a power tilt/slide moonroof, and a rear spoiler are available options for the SE trim.
The 2011 Camry SE shares many standard features with the other trim levels in this year’s model: remote keyless entry, tilt-telescoping adjustable steering wheel with integrated audio controls, standard cruise control, power windows and locks. However, other elements are designed to make the SE stand out as Camry’s sport trim, including a standard three-spoke leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and shift knob, sport fabric-trimmed seats, aluminum details on the door sills and sport pedals, and blue Optitron sport meters on the dash. Unlike the other trim levels, the SE has a fixed rear seat, with only a central pass-through to the trunk, which is slightly smaller than the trunk of the Base or LE trims.
The number of available options for the Camry increases at the SE trim level as well, with available heated leather seats and a power-adjustable front passenger seat. The basic stereo system for the SE matches that of the Base and LE (standard AM/FM CD player, MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, and auxiliary audio jack), but upgrades can add XM radio, a USB port for iPod connectivity, Bluetooth technology, a JBL AM/FM 6-CD changer and eight speakers, and a voice-activated, touch-screen DVD navigation system with integrated backup camera. Other available technology for the SE includes the optional Smart Key System and HomeLink Universal Transceiver (as part of a package).