2021 Toyota Camry vs 2022 Lexus IS

2021 Toyota Camry
2021 Toyota Camry
$25,045MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Lexus IS
2022 Lexus IS
$39,125MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Toyota Camry
$25,045MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Lexus IS
$39,125MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Toyota Camry was 7.8 out of 10, while the 2022 Lexus IS scored 8.2 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the Lexus IS is more highly recommended. Its superior performance, luxurious interior, and advanced technology features make it a more compelling choice for those seeking a premium and exhilarating driving experience. Meanwhile, the Toyota Camry remains a solid, practical option with an array of powertrains and top-notch safety for everyday use.

Overview

MSRP

$25,045

MSRP

$39,125

Average price

$23,740

Average price

$41,215

Listings

2462

Listings

234
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

7.8 out of 10

Expert reviews

8.2 out of 10
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Spacious
  • TRD trim adds extra performance and style
Cons
  • Outdated technology
  • Underwhelming base engine
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Easy-to-use technology
  • Standard advanced safety features
Cons
  • Not much cargo space
  • Noisy
  • Poor value for money

2021 Toyota Camry Reviews Summary

The Toyota Camry has long been many new-car buyers’ default choice—but not because it’s interesting. Reliability and practicality have traditionally been the Camry’s strengths, not sportiness or style.

Toyota tried to change that for the 2018 model year, when the Camry was last redesigned. The current-generation Camry adopted more extroverted styling, and engineers tried to make the driving experience more exciting, too. While Toyota’s approach has changed, the Camry still competes against the same array of midsize sedans, including the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, and Volkswagen Passat.

Changes for the 2021 model year include subtle styling tweaks, new infotainment displays, an upgrade to the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) package of driver aids, some changes to the dashboard trim, and the discontinuation of the Camry L trim level. That leaves the Camry LE as the new base trim level.

The Camry offers buyers more choices than many rivals, encompassing three powertrains (inline-four, V6, and hybrid), six trim levels (LE, XLE, SE, SE Nightshade Edition, XSE, and TRD), and the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Our test car was an AWD SE Nightshade Edition, positioned close to the middle of the lineup.

2022 Lexus IS Reviews Summary

After a substantial refresh for the 2021 model year, the 2022 Lexus IS lineup returns with a handful of minor updates and a significant improvement in performance. The new 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance also debuts this year, packing a normally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 and laugh-riot driving dynamics. We sampled the new 2022 IS 500 in the suburbs and outskirts of Phoenix, and if you’re among the driving enthusiasts who miss the discontinued Lexus GS F, this is a credible substitute.
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

28

MPG City

21

MPG Highway

39

MPG Highway

31
2021 Toyota Camry
2021 Toyota Camry
$25,045MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Lexus IS
2022 Lexus IS
$39,125MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Toyota Camry
$25,045MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Lexus IS
$39,125MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Toyota Camry was 7.8 out of 10, while the 2022 Lexus IS scored 8.2 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the Lexus IS is more highly recommended. Its superior performance, luxurious interior, and advanced technology features make it a more compelling choice for those seeking a premium and exhilarating driving experience. Meanwhile, the Toyota Camry remains a solid, practical option with an array of powertrains and top-notch safety for everyday use.

Overview
MSRP
$25,045
$39,125
Average price
$23,740
$41,215
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.5
5.0
Expert reviews

7.8 out of 10

Read full review

8.2 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Spacious
  • TRD trim adds extra performance and style
Cons
  • Outdated technology
  • Underwhelming base engine
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Easy-to-use technology
  • Standard advanced safety features
Cons
  • Not much cargo space
  • Noisy
  • Poor value for money
Summary

The Toyota Camry has long been many new-car buyers’ default choice—but not because it’s interesting. Reliability and practicality have traditionally been the Camry’s strengths, not sportiness or style.

Toyota tried to change that for the 2018 model year, when the Camry was last redesigned. The current-generation Camry adopted more extroverted styling, and engineers tried to make the driving experience more exciting, too. While Toyota’s approach has changed, the Camry still competes against the same array of midsize sedans, including the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, and Volkswagen Passat.

Changes for the 2021 model year include subtle styling tweaks, new infotainment displays, an upgrade to the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) package of driver aids, some changes to the dashboard trim, and the discontinuation of the Camry L trim level. That leaves the Camry LE as the new base trim level.

The Camry offers buyers more choices than many rivals, encompassing three powertrains (inline-four, V6, and hybrid), six trim levels (LE, XLE, SE, SE Nightshade Edition, XSE, and TRD), and the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Our test car was an AWD SE Nightshade Edition, positioned close to the middle of the lineup.

After a substantial refresh for the 2021 model year, the 2022 Lexus IS lineup returns with a handful of minor updates and a significant improvement in performance. The new 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance also debuts this year, packing a normally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 and laugh-riot driving dynamics. We sampled the new 2022 IS 500 in the suburbs and outskirts of Phoenix, and if you’re among the driving enthusiasts who miss the discontinued Lexus GS F, this is a credible substitute.
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
28
21
MPG Highway
39
31
Look and feel
2021 Toyota Camry
6/10
2022 Lexus IS
9/10
The 2021 Toyota Camry had a design that significantly distanced itself from the more mundane aesthetic often associated with its predecessors. Its designers aimed to inject excitement by incorporating numerous styling details. Some elements like the flared wheel arches and thin headlights and taillights effectively broadened the car visually. However, the SE, XSE, and TRD trim levels added fake vents, creating a cluttered appearance. The LE and XLE trims featured a slightly cleaner grille, though it was still massive. All models were built on the TNGA-K platform, shared with other Toyota vehicles such as the Avalon sedan and RAV4 SUV. For 2021, Toyota modified the front-fascia styling, albeit without dramatic changes. The TRD performance model had unique styling cues, including a larger rear spoiler. The Nightshade Edition, based on the SE trim, carried over with its blacked-out exterior trim and wheels. Alloy wheels started at 17 inches for the base LE trim, with 18-inch and 19-inch wheels available for other models. Inside, the Camry continued the chaotic feel with a dashboard that appeared to be pieced together from multiple vehicles. It featured a mix of contrast stitching, piano-black plastic, and plastic trim resembling carbon fiber. Higher trims like the XLE and XSE offered leather upholstery, though the materials still felt somewhat low-quality. The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance built on the legacy of the original 2008 Lexus IS F with a notable blend of power and sophistication. The new model retained the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine, now producing 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque, channeling power through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base price of this version in 2022 was steep, starting at $56,500 plus destination charges. Remembered fondly for its predecessors' performance, the new IS 500 F Sport Performance again captivated drivers with thrilling sessions on winding roads. Despite the modest mechanical enhancements, the car provided an emotional and exhilarating experience while maintaining everyday comfort, quality, and dependability. Our test model, priced at $62,575, scaled the luxury ladder with the inclusion of Premium trim. This package added triple-beam headlights, a navigation system, a surround-view monitoring system, an impressive 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, and a power rear window shade. The IS 500 remained subtly styled yet included exclusive lighter-weight 19-inch wheels and minor trim modifications for a refined look. The interior mirrored the IS 350 F Sport, complete with an intimately sized yet comfortable setup for four and high-quality materials, enhanced by a user-friendly wide touchscreen display.
Performance
2021 Toyota Camry
9/10
2022 Lexus IS
9/10
The 2021 Toyota Camry offered a variety of powertrains to suit different driving preferences. The base engine was a 2.5-liter four-cylinder known as the Dynamic Force, producing 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque with FWD, slightly reduced to 202 hp and 182 lb-ft with AWD. The XSE trim’s dual-exhaust system slightly boosted these figures. A 3.5-liter V6, delivering 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, was available, though exclusive to FWD. Additionally, the Camry Hybrid combined a 2.5-liter engine with electric assist, achieving a total system output of 208 hp. Our SE Nightshade Edition test vehicle featured the base four-cylinder engine with AWD. This setup was surprisingly sprightly, with the Dynamic Force engine bringing an energetic, rev-hungry demeanor usually reserved for sports cars. The suspension balanced well between handling and ride comfort, offering decent fun in corners while maintaining a comfortable ride. Although not as sharp as rivals like the Honda Accord or Mazda 6, the Camry provided a rewarding drive experience. The TRD model, though not tested, further enhanced performance with its sport-tuned V6 and chassis upgrades. The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance roared into the sports sedan market with a powerful 5.0-liter V8 engine, echoing the glory days of its predecessors. The engine churned out 472 hp at 7,100 rpm and 395 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm, all channeled through an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission from the RC F model. Despite weighing 143 pounds more than the IS 350 F Sport due to the larger engine, the IS 500 boasted a 56:44 weight distribution. Featuring adaptive variable suspension and a Yamaha rear performance damper, the IS 500 provided excellent comfort and stability. The suspension expertly blended bump isolation and responsiveness, making it a joy to drive on various terrains. With driving modes like Eco, Normal, Sport S, and Sport+ available, the car could adapt to the driver's needs. Accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, the car promised excitement, especially in the Sport driving modes. The IS 500’s thrilling on-road performance, combined with its stirring engine note, made for a compelling package. However, it wasn’t without quirks; fuel efficiency was a weak point, averaging only 17.7 mpg during evaluation, below the EPA-rated 20 mpg in combined driving conditions.
Form and function
2021 Toyota Camry
8/10
2022 Lexus IS
7/10
The 2021 Toyota Camry offered ample rear headroom and legroom, distinguishing it from other midsize sedans but compromising slightly on front headroom and legroom. Despite this, the adjustable and supportive front seats ensured comfort, and outward visibility was commendable. Cargo space in the Camry was 15.1 cubic feet, average for this segment though less than the Honda Accord’s 16.7 cubic feet. In-cabin storage was limited. Small cupholders and door bottle holders, along with crevice-prone storage bins, presented practical challenges. In comparison, the 2022 Lexus IS 500 excelled in comfort, especially with its efficient climate control system. Despite the snug but comfortable front seats meant to cradle the body, the rear seats only provided adequate space for average-height adults. Rear air conditioning vents were included, but the absence of rear smartphone charging highlighted a minor inconvenience. The center console housed a touchpad controller, which was redundant given the new touchscreen system. Trunk space was notably small at 10.8 cubic feet, even less than typical compact cars, further accentuating the need for additional storage solutions. Overall, the Toyota Camry offered more rear passenger and cargo space than the Lexus IS 500, making it a more practical choice for families or those needing extra room.
Technology
2021 Toyota Camry
7/10
2022 Lexus IS
10/10
The 2021 Toyota Camry’s infotainment system included a standard 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Higher trims upgraded to a 9-inch touchscreen with added features like WiFi, navigation, and a nine-speaker JBL audio system. A 10-inch head-up display was also available on select trims. The interface was functional but unremarkable, with straightforward menus set against plain graphics. Lexus improved the IS 500’s technology setup with a new touchscreen infotainment display, solving previous ergonomic issues. Standard features included an 8-inch touchscreen system supporting Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and SiriusXM. With connected services and an outstanding dynamic voice command system, the IS 500 ensured a smooth and intuitive user experience. The Premium trim added a larger 10.3-inch touchscreen, navigation, and an impressive 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, delivering exceptional sound quality. The IS 500’s technology setup was not only better equipped but also provided a more luxurious and satisfying experience than the Camry.
Safety
2021 Toyota Camry
9/10
2022 Lexus IS
8/10
The 2021 Toyota Camry received top safety ratings, earning a “Top Safety Pick+” from the IIHS and a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA. The standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ package included adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, automatic high beams, and traffic-sign recognition. Enhancements for the 2021 model included improved adaptive cruise and forward-collision warning capabilities, as well as a new Rear Seat Reminder to prevent leaving children or pets unattended. The 2022 Lexus IS came standard with Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 (LSS+ 2.5), a comprehensive set of driving aids and collision prevention technologies. Lane-departure warning with subtle steering wheel vibrations and adaptive cruise control with lane-centering functions worked efficiently, especially on Phoenix freeways. However, the low-speed automatic braking system could be overzealous in city traffic. The IS also achieved top safety ratings, with IIHS awarding it a “Top Safety Pick+” and NHTSA giving it an overall five-star rating. Despite some minor quibbles, both vehicles excelled in delivering advanced and effective safety features.
CarGurus logo

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.