The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry is a sleek and sporty looking 4-door sedan that grabs attention with an aggressive grille that looks ready to suck up twisting tarmac. Thanks in part to its new Direct Shift-8AT eight-speed transmission, new double-wishbone rear suspension design, and precise steering control, is a surprisingly pleasurable ride on par with premium luxury vehicles.
The 8th generation Camry was quite an undertaking for the folks at Toyota. How do you fix what’s not broken? When you have the best-selling passenger vehicle in America for the past 15 years, it’s difficult to mess with winning formula. But with marching orders to design and create vehicles that are fun to drive from the top, everyone at Toyota knows there is room for improvements, even for the Camry.
The 2018 model year is certainly the edgiest Camry from Toyota, it’s sharp character lines merging with its new front end adorned by the expressive grille, complemented by a pair of Bi-LED headlamps, and LED daytime running lights. At the back is the new Camry logo straddled by LED lighting. It also feels as aerodynamic as it looks, while it utilizes the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform which enhances its rigidity, driving quality and comfort.
Primarily front-wheel drive, the eight-generation sedan is yours with a choice of three engines under the hood. A 2.5-liter, 4-cyclinder with 203 hp and 185 ft-lb of torque, which we estimate can do 0-60 in just under 8 seconds. It had an EPA rating of 29 mpg/city, 41/highway, and 34/combined. For those who want more power, there is a 3.5-liter V6 offered. That has 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. We tested 0-60 just shy of 7 seconds, which also comes at a price of lower EPA rating of 22/33/26. Finally, there’s a torquey hybrid that produces 208 net horsepower with a very impressive fuel economy of 51/city, 53/highway, and 52/combined. All three engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The spacious cabin is calming and comfortable, with a well thought-out stylish design and offered materials. The cockpit features a driver-centric design which sits in front of an attractive gauge cluster and instrument panel. Forward visibility is excellent thanks to a repositioning of the A-pillars and side mirrors. An elegant flowing character line that bisects the center console adds a premium feel. More considerate contents come in the form of reengineered front seats to improve ergonomics and offer more comfort.
Toyota has really upped their game in the technological department too. Standard on all trim levels is a whole heap of safety features such as Pre-Collison System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Dynamic Radar Cruise control. Plus, avoid those dents and scratches with Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Crosst Traffic Braking and backup camera. There’s also plenty to keep both driver and passengers occupied with Entune 3.0 Audio with Connected Navigation and App Suite, a 7-inch touch screen, 6 speakers, Siri Eyes Free, Google voice controls, and Bluetooth and music streaming.
The Camry comes with a choice of ten exterior colors and four inside schemes. The top trim level is offered in two-tone Midnight Black metallic roof and rear spoiler option mated to your choice of Celestial Silver, Wind Chil Pearl, or Blue Streak Metallic body colors. A stunning cabin which boasts a brilliant red on a black base is also up for grabs at this level.
Pricing for the 2018 Toyota Camry begins at $23,495 for the L grade 4-cylinder and goes up to $34,950 for the premium XSE V6. The hybrid counterpart starts at $27,800 for the LE to $32,350 for the XLE.