2020 Toyota Camry vs 2021 Lexus IS

2020 Toyota Camry
2020 Toyota Camry
$24,425MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 Lexus IS
2021 Lexus IS
$39,050MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Toyota Camry
$24,425MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Lexus IS
$39,050MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Toyota Camry was 7.5 out of 10, while the 2021 Lexus IS scored 7.3 out of 10. Despite the Lexus IS's sportier drive and luxurious design, the Toyota Camry edges ahead with its superior cargo capacity, comprehensive safety ratings, and better fuel economy. For a well-rounded sedan that offers value, reliability, and practicality, the 2020 Toyota Camry emerges as the better choice.

Choose the 2021 Lexus IS if:

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7.3of 10overall
  • You seek a sportier drive: The Lexus IS offers performance-focused engineering and a range of powerful engine options.
  • You value luxurious interior design: With premium materials and a tasteful, retro hi-fi-inspired dashboard, the IS stands out aesthetically.
  • You appreciate advanced tech offerings: The IS's array of connected services and optional high-end Mark Levinson audio system cater to tech-savvy drivers.

Choose the 2020 Toyota Camry if:

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7.5of 10overall
  • You prioritize value and a higher cargo capacity: The Camry offers 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, sharply contrasting the Lexus IS's 10.8 cubic feet.
  • You prefer better fuel economy options: The four-cylinder Camry models achieve impressive fuel economy figures.
  • You want established safety ratings: With a five-star NHTSA rating and a Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS, the Camry boasts proven safety.
Overview

MSRP

$24,425

MSRP

$39,050

Average price

$22,299

Average price

$35,630

Listings

1464

Listings

407
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

7.5 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10
Pros
  • Great safety ratings
  • Premium interior materials
  • Standard advanced safety features
Cons
  • Cramped back seat
  • Not much cargo space
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Great handling
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Irritating transmission
  • Outdated technology

2020 Toyota Camry Reviews Summary

If you can't beat them, join them. That seems to be Toyota's philosophy in updating the eighth generation of the Camry for the 2020 model year. This latest version of the perennial best seller debuted in 2017 as a 2018 model—and promptly lost its sales crown to Toyota's own RAV4 crossover SUV. As buyers continue to defect from cars, Toyota hopes to entice more shoppers to stick with its midsize sedan by offering all-wheel drive on the Camry for the first time since 1991. Also new for 2020 is the Camry TRD, a sportier version with a 301-horsepower V6 engine that makes its case to a buyer who might never have considered a Camry.

2021 Lexus IS Reviews Summary

The Lexus IS enters its fourth generation of production, embodying lessons learned from the LC and RC. The 2021 IS targets enthusiast drivers and luxury buyers who might be thinking German first, and it seeks to recalibrate expectations of what a compact luxury sports sedan can be.
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

2.5L 203 hp I4

Engine

2.0L 241 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

RWD

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

Horsepower

241 hp @ 5800 rpm

MPG City

29

MPG City

21

MPG Highway

41

MPG Highway

31
2020 Toyota Camry
2020 Toyota Camry
$24,425MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Lexus IS
2021 Lexus IS
$39,050MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Toyota Camry
$24,425MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Lexus IS
$39,050MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Toyota Camry was 7.5 out of 10, while the 2021 Lexus IS scored 7.3 out of 10. Despite the Lexus IS's sportier drive and luxurious design, the Toyota Camry edges ahead with its superior cargo capacity, comprehensive safety ratings, and better fuel economy. For a well-rounded sedan that offers value, reliability, and practicality, the 2020 Toyota Camry emerges as the better choice.

Choose the 2021 Lexus IS if:

Shop Now
7.3of 10overall
  • You seek a sportier drive: The Lexus IS offers performance-focused engineering and a range of powerful engine options.
  • You value luxurious interior design: With premium materials and a tasteful, retro hi-fi-inspired dashboard, the IS stands out aesthetically.
  • You appreciate advanced tech offerings: The IS's array of connected services and optional high-end Mark Levinson audio system cater to tech-savvy drivers.

Choose the 2020 Toyota Camry if:

Shop Now
7.5of 10overall
  • You prioritize value and a higher cargo capacity: The Camry offers 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, sharply contrasting the Lexus IS's 10.8 cubic feet.
  • You prefer better fuel economy options: The four-cylinder Camry models achieve impressive fuel economy figures.
  • You want established safety ratings: With a five-star NHTSA rating and a Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS, the Camry boasts proven safety.
Overview
MSRP
$24,425
$39,050
Average price
$22,299
$35,630
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.8
4.5
Expert reviews

7.5 out of 10

Read full review

7.3 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Great safety ratings
  • Premium interior materials
  • Standard advanced safety features
Cons
  • Cramped back seat
  • Not much cargo space
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Great handling
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Irritating transmission
  • Outdated technology
Summary
If you can't beat them, join them. That seems to be Toyota's philosophy in updating the eighth generation of the Camry for the 2020 model year. This latest version of the perennial best seller debuted in 2017 as a 2018 model—and promptly lost its sales crown to Toyota's own RAV4 crossover SUV. As buyers continue to defect from cars, Toyota hopes to entice more shoppers to stick with its midsize sedan by offering all-wheel drive on the Camry for the first time since 1991. Also new for 2020 is the Camry TRD, a sportier version with a 301-horsepower V6 engine that makes its case to a buyer who might never have considered a Camry.
The Lexus IS enters its fourth generation of production, embodying lessons learned from the LC and RC. The 2021 IS targets enthusiast drivers and luxury buyers who might be thinking German first, and it seeks to recalibrate expectations of what a compact luxury sports sedan can be.
Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
2.5L 203 hp I4
2.0L 241 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
RWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
241 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG City
29
21
MPG Highway
41
31
Look and feel
2020 Toyota Camry
7/10
2021 Lexus IS
8/10
When the 2020 Toyota Camry burst onto the scene, it managed to reconnect with its legacy of quality, reliability, and value while also integrating an expressive new style unprecedented in its history. The design of the Camry was audacious, marked by a pronounced front fascia and sharply defined lines, which gave it a sporty character. While not all trims boasted the TRD model's dramatic wing and aerodynamic kit, every Camry model shared bold aesthetic cues reminiscent of a BMW, such as the distinctive character line bisecting the door handles and the dynamically shaped C-pillar. Offered in 14 different exterior colors, including options for a black roof, the Camry aimed to redefine what it meant to be fashionable in its segment. Inside, Toyota utilized luxurious materials and an elegant, sweeping dashboard design that lent even the base trims a sophisticated atmosphere. Special touches in the TRD model, like red trimming and vivid red seatbelts, echoed the aesthetic found in high-performance cars like Porsches and Ferraris. The interior's leather and wood elements, particularly in the higher trims, highlighted that a top-tier Camry could almost rival entry-level Lexus models in luxury. Turning to the 2021 Lexus IS, it made several statements about its driver by its very presence. The IS displayed athletic proportions and an impressive stance that suggested motion even when stationary. Its design achieved elegance through the long distance between the front axle and the dashboard, while the fast roofline straddled the line between a stylish coupe and a sporty fastback. The rear passenger door featured an upward kick that visually compressed the cabin, enhancing the car's sporty look. The iconic spindle grille, dressed in a diamond mesh pattern, alongside narrow, assertive headlights, gave the IS a formidable presence. Lexus’s refinement in paint, chrome, and panel gaps maintained the high standards expected of the brand. Inside, the IS sported a tastefully simple dashboard that evoked a retro hi-fi look, characterized by a collection of well-integrated, cool components. While the analog clock once signified luxury, it appeared somewhat old-fashioned against the interior's otherwise bold, modern lines. Overall, the Lexus IS's interior design communicated a seamless blend of authentic quality and aesthetic sophistication.
Performance
2020 Toyota Camry
7/10
2021 Lexus IS
7/10
The 2020 Toyota Camry offered diverse powertrain options, starting with the robust 3.5-liter V6 engine, delivering 301 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination made the Camry feel capable, especially in the XLE trim, where it aspired to touch luxury-car territory. However, its performance in the TRD model felt subdued despite enhancements like a dual exhaust system. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine was the Camry's other noteworthy option, producing 203 horsepower (206 in XSE trim). Paired with the same eight-speed automatic, this engine made for a lighter, more agile vehicle. The reduced weight, particularly evident in the 150-175 pound difference compared to V6 models, translated to a noticeable improvement in steering responsiveness. A recent addition to the Camry lineup was an all-wheel-drive version that utilized technology borrowed from the RAV4. This system could send up to 50% of torque to the rear wheels during slippery conditions while disengaging when not needed, minimizing fuel consumption impacts. Front-drive models boasted a combined fuel economy of 31 miles per gallon in the XLE and XSE trims, dropping slightly to 28 mpg with all-wheel drive. As for the 2021 Lexus IS, it epitomized the brand’s commitment to a sport-luxury driving experience. The IS offered several powertrains, starting with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder turbo engine in the IS 300 RWD, producing 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The IS 300 AWD featured a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine generating 260 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The top-performing IS 350 models (both RWD and AWD) were equipped with a tuned version of the same V6, cranking up to 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Both RWD variants came with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while AWD models were paired with a six-speed automatic. Boasting a reported top speed of 143 mph, the IS impressed with 0-60 mph times ranging from 6.9 seconds for the IS 300 RWD to a swift 5.6 seconds for the IS 350 RWD. In terms of fuel efficiency, the IS varied by powertrain, with the IS 300 RWD offering an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined and the AWD models slightly lower at 22 mpg combined. The more powerful IS 350 RWD achieved 23 mpg combined, and the IS 350 AWD matched the IS 300 AWD at 22 mpg.
Form and function
2020 Toyota Camry
7/10
2021 Lexus IS
7/10
Ergonomics in the 2020 Toyota Camry were intuitive, with accessible controls and well-arranged features. The front seats offered increased legroom and hip room, making for a roomy driving experience despite the tighter rear legroom compared to previous models. Though rear legroom had declined, making it less spacious than its competitors like the Honda Accord, it maintained practicality. The all-wheel-drive addition necessitated modifications without compromising interior space or trunk capacity. However, its trunk held 15.1 cubic feet, smaller than several competitors. The 2021 Lexus IS catered to a driver-focused experience with adjustable seating positions and supportive sport seats, especially the perforated NuLuxe fabric seats in the IS 350 models. Storage was ample, with several compartments and pockets. However, the rear seat was cramped compared to others in its class, providing comfort for two but squeezing three. The trunk offered 10.8 cubic feet, which, although deep, fell short of the Camry’s cargo space.
Technology
2020 Toyota Camry
7/10
2021 Lexus IS
7/10
The 2020 Toyota Camry had made strides by adding both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, standardizing compatibility for more users. This addition, along with Amazon Alexa and SiriusXM satellite radio trials, complemented the functional but somewhat dated Toyota infotainment interface. The 7-inch screen on lower trims could upgrade to an 8-inch variant, and higher trims enjoyed a larger multi-information display and optional head-up display. The Camry also featured a three-month WiFi Connect trial and remote services through its smartphone app. In contrast, the 2021 Lexus IS introduced a touchscreen infotainment system supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, moving away from the touchpad-centric interface. The range of Lexus Enform services came with various complimentary trial periods, while a subscription model was integrated into some features like Dynamic Navigation. The Mark Levinson premium audio system stood out as a touchpoint for audiophiles, offering superb sound quality.
Safety
2020 Toyota Camry
9/10
2021 Lexus IS
7/10
The 2021 Lexus IS featured the comprehensive Lexus Safety System+ 2.5, with advanced pre-collision and pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert, road-sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control. The suite included blind-spot monitoring and a backup camera with dynamic gridlines. Although not yet crash-rated for 2021, the IS’s predecessor's strong safety credentials suggested a similar level of trust.
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By: CarGurus + AI

This car comparison has been created with using generative AI. It is based entirely on CarGurus expert review content, ratings and data, and leverages our extensive library of hands-on product tests to create thousands of unique comparisons to help shoppers choose the right car.