The Toyota Camry of years past has never been criticized for being a bad car. The few criticisms it did receive were often directed at the cars anonymous styling. The 2015 redesign changed that, with the Camry getting much bolder front and rear styling. The side of the car features additional character lines to make it more interesting, while the whole car cuts a sportier stance.
The interior features soft-touch materials throughout, so even the base model feels relatively luxurious. Toyota claims that this Camry has the quietest interior yet, while the dashboard puts more of an emphasis on high-tech amenities. The overall look both inside and outside is definitely more exciting than in years past.
Powering the Camry is a choice of one of two engines, a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine making 178 horsepower or a 3.5L V6 making 268 horsepower. Both engines are mated to advanced 6-speed automatic transmissions, and with either choice, the Camry is rated at above 30 mpg on the highway. While the 4-cylinder engine provides plenty of power for most applications, the V6 actually packs decent punch, with impressive acceleration to match.
For fuel misers, the Camry is offered with a hybrid drivetrain as well. The hybrid drivetrain provides up to 200 horsepower, utilizing both a 2.5L 4-cylinder and an electric motor. Acceleration numbers fall somewhere between the four and 6-cylinder engines, however fuel economy is far better than either non-hybrid model: The Camry Hybrid is rated at 43 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. Both are excellent numbers for a car this big.
The non-hybrid Camry is offered in four basic trim levels, LE, SE, XSE and XLE any of which can be had with either engine. Hybrid models are offered in LE, SE and XLE trims only. There is also a Special Edition trim for 2016.
The Camry is a mid-sized car and in this segment, even the base model offers plenty of features and amenities. The LE-trimmed Camry is equipped with a backup camera, automatic headlights, an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, a 6.1 inch touchscreen controlled audio system, keyless entry, Bluetooth hands-free controls, as well as air conditioning and power windows.
SE models are a little bit sportier and come standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a more aggressive looking front grill, a rear spoiler, a multi-function information display and sport-tuned suspension.
The XSE trim builds on the sporty SE model, adding 18-inch machined-face alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, LED daytime running lights and seating surfaces trimmed in Toyota's "Ultrasuede" material.
The XLE trim is the most luxurious trim level. It features 17-inch alloy wheels, leather trimmed seats, a power moonroof, as well as daytime running lights and dual-zone climate control.
Options available on the Camry line include a premium Entune audio system, a navigation system, a smart key system with push button start and illuminated entry, a blind spot monitoring system, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink integration.
All Camry models come standard with 10 airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control.
Glittery, bright red paint in what Toyota calls Ruby Flare Pearl and with more contour lines than WTF moments in "Game of Thrones," the 2018 Camry Hybrid stunned me with its visual presence. From the belt-line dip at the cab to the odd little C-pillar crease, Toyota's designers express a lot of feeling in this new Camry.
I almost expected a Lexus badge up front, rather than the upended-oval-and-steer-horns Toyota emblem.
And beyond style, the new Camry looks big, not terribly surprising as it gains a couple of inches in wheelbase and about 1 inch in overall length versus the. Although wider by a half-inch, it also drops an inch in height, which likely explains the nearly 3-cubic-foot drop in passenger volume. That said, the interior felt roomy in both front and rear seats.
The Good The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid manages mid-40s fuel economy, yet still feels powerful on the pedal. Premium looks inside and out, along with comfortably solid driving characteristics make it a very livable car. Toyota includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection standard.
The Bad The all new Entune 3.0 system in the Camry Hybrid lacks support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The engine sounds rough when accelerating, and adaptive cruise control doesn't work under 32 mph.
The Bottom Line The 2018 Toyota Camry sets a new standard for midsize sedans in style and driving feel, capping it all off with standard advanced safety technology and incredible fuel economy, but its Entune 3.0 infotainment system suffers from deficiencies compared to the competition.
Step into a Highlander Hybrid for $39,320.
If you want a four-door sedan with Toyota reliability but are turned off by more-mainstream Camrys, check out the TRD model. Thanks to chassis and appearance enhancements it looks and feels like a different car entirely.
Toyota's Camry is known for unbeatable quality, reliability and efficiency, but it's also infamous for being a bit of a snooze. In a bid to spice things up, the automaker has introduced a TRD model, which benefits from improvements made to its chassis, body, interior and elsewhere.
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