I'm Neal and I am here to assist you. Only accept when you are happy with my assistance. If I can't help I will open your Question to other experts.
Are you entirely against AWD? The Subaru Impreza has 170-horsepower in a 2.5L flat-four, gets 28 mpg and is pretty comparaable size wise to your Camry.
There is just not anything out there as far as cars with 4wd, they are typically AWD and you have to go the the suv or crossover to get 4wd.
I had looked into the Impreza but figured the AWD lowers the gas mileage, can be a problem if a tire is damaged (then you need to buy all four), and I was not excited by the flat-four. I realize that the three items that I want work against each other which is why I figured an expert may be able to help.
What about cars with 4-matic? My boss thinks that a Mercedes would be good but I am not sure if I can afford even a used one.
You might be surprised about the Mercedes, They are actually not to bad. Just make sure you go with a certified one with some kind of warranty, this will ensure you don't get one with issues which is not common by any means but still something to be aware of.
Always get a car fax report also to make sure it has not been in an accident in in the shop repeatedly. All that will show on the report.