Weidel on Wheels: June 2018
Although a wonderful midsize sedan for more than three decades, the Toyota Camry has always been a relatively average car from an appearance standpoint.
But the Japanese automaker broke the mold with the redesigned 2018 Toyota Camrythat features a new aggressive, athletic look—a big departure from the past 35 years.
The 2018 Camry is longer, wider, and lower to the ground (the hood is two inches lower) and can be described as sleek. It has a new roofline, an aluminum hood with some unique creases, and a large front grille with great eye appeal. The end result is a very cool-looking sedan.
Despite all the changes, the Camry has roughly the same exterior dimensions as previous models and remains a roomy sedan that still has plenty of interior space.
For more than two decades, the Camry was the clear winner, selling more cars than any other midsize family sedan. But some worthy challengers have gradually gained ground on the Camry—including the Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Kia Optima, Ford Fusion, and Nissan Altima—and the domination no longer exists.
• Performance: 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 203 horsepower; 3.5-liter, V6, 301 horsepower
• Mileage estimate:28-41 mpg; 22-32 mpg
• Price estimate:$24,400-$35,600
• Warranty:3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 3 years/unlimited; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited
We’ve always enjoyed the Camry’s overall performance, and the latest incarnation still delivers an impressive ride. There’s two engines, a high-performing four-cylinder and the more powerful V6 that’s simply fun to drive. Both engines have an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder generates 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Although it goes 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds, it seems faster. Gas mileage is a huge plus at 28-41 mpg.
The other engine choice is the 3.5-liter, V6 that delivers 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This version of the Camry can get you there in a huge hurry, clocked at 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds. One literally pays for the speed factor, because the V6 gets much lower gas mileage (22-32 mpg).
The new Camry is not quite in the sporty mode of some luxury sedans. However, thanks to its double-wishbone rear suspension and lower center of gravity, it has some fine driving characteristics. Steering is better than average and the latest edition of the Camry can take corners better than most comparable sedans.
Cabin space is another major plus with the Camry. It’s roomy, comfortable for all five passengers, and will make a road trip far more pleasant than the typical sedan. Taller drivers will enjoy the added reach with the telescoping steering wheel.
There’s nothing fancy about the Camry’s interior design, but it’s very user-friendly. Gauges are large and easy to read, while the overall setup is on the intuitive side. One oversight is Toyota’s refusal to integrate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a feature practically every major automaker offers. Instead, Toyota still goes with the Entune infotainment system.Toyota definitely has a winner in the 2018 Camry. It has a longer wheelbase, bold styling, and an appealing look. Toyota also made sure the Camry kept its great reputation for delivering a well-rounded family sedan.
By Jeffrey Weidel