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2018 Toyota Camry reboots a ubiquitous sedan Featured

Mar 02, 2018 Hit: 216 Written by 
The 2018 version of the Toyota Camry gets a fresh new look.
The 2018 version of the Toyota Camry gets a fresh new look. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

If you look down any street in America, you’ll probably see a Toyota Camry … or two, or three. That’s because it’s been among the top-selling vehicles in this country for a decade plus, and they last, so people hang on to them.

Still, everything needs to change, and as it faces challenges from other sedans and some small SUVs, the Camry has been redesigned for 2018, inside and out. I recently spent some time in on and I’m back with a full report.

LOOKS

The new look of the Camry starts up front, with a grille full of bright metallic horizontal strips that some will like, and others not so much. The new Camry is also lower to the ground, and I was a fan of the headlamp and taillight designs. 18-inch chrome alloy wheels were also featured.

On the inside, a redesign on the gauges and center console is somewhat improved, but still trails competitors in terms of design. Inside, the vehicle is definitely a quality offering, but it’s far from a luxury feel, featuring some prominent hard plastic. Also, the back seat felt a bit tight for taller people. (You can seat 2 up front and 3 in the rear).
Cargo room is pretty limited too.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle:: 2018 Toyota Camry
  • Price as tested:: $37,808 (starting price is $23,495)
  • Best feature:: Reliability, safety features
  • Rating:: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?:: Sedan buyers seeking an established name with a fresh new look

HOW’S THE RIDE?

The Camry I tested featured a 3.5-liter V6 that offers 301 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque, and an 8-speed automatic transmission is featured.

You can also go for the more fuel-mileage friendly 2.5-liter four cylinder engine, which features 203 horsepower; and there is also a hybrid version available.

The Camry is a front-wheel drive vehicle.

In terms of the quality of the driving experience, I will say the Camry is definitely among the more powerful vehicles in its segment, and you can definitely enjoy the ride, depending on the setting you choose (Eco vs. Normal vs. Sport mode). It’s quite responsive to driver input.

Just keep your expectations in check; this is a Camry, not a hot rod.
In terms of noise in the vehicle, the engine can be a bit whiny at times, but it’s not overly loud at the same time and most road noise is kept out.

TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

When it comes to tech and safety features, Toyota tends to be hit and miss.

On the hit side, the optional driver assist package features a birds eye view camera that’s very helpful. And the Navigation package comes with an app suite (including Pandora, IHeartRadio, Slacker, Yelp).

On the miss side, Toyota took a new approach to the infotainment system, but it’s not much of an improvement and still tricky to use. The Camry is also not compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for smartphone mirroring, putting it behind the competition.

Voice commands work well in the 2018 Camry but the physical controls are still a bit convoluted compared to other automakers' setups. The look could also use an update. It’s better than it was on previous models but Toyota still has a way to go in the infotainment area.

Bluetooth connection is included for phone calls and music, along with USB and AUX connections. Qi wireless phone charging is offered, as is an impressive 10-inch wide head-up display to help keep your eyes on the road.

What’s excellent for your safety is the standard inclusion of Toyota Safety Sense, a package including: Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, and lane departure warning with steering assist.

Blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert is an optional feature, and ten airbags are included.

MPG
The listed fuel mileage numbers in the Camry are: 22 city. 33 highway and 26 combined....i averaged 22.9, right in the thick of things. The four-cylinder engine will do better here of course (29/34/41). The mode in which you drive (Eco vs. Normal vs. Sport mode) will influence your final numbers, of course.


PRICE

The base version of the Camry with the four-cylinder engine starts at just over $23K. My tester was a V6 that was $37,808 after options. When you get to this higher end, in my mind that’s a bit rich for a non-luxury sedan (you can get a quality SUV for that price), so it’s probably best to stick to lower to mid trim levels on the Camry.

BOTTOM LINE

The Toyota Camry has always sold well and will continue to do so with the 2018 model. It's reliable, drives great and buyers are loyal. It’s still got some work to do to be the best vehicle in its segment (I'm not in love with the exterior redesign, and the infotainment system still needs to be improved), but the future remains bright for this very popular vehicle.

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

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Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

Website: www.autotechreviews.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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