With our continued obsession with SUVs, crossovers, and trucks, the best-selling car in America has to be special. Toyota’s Camry has slotted in at that top rank for the past 15 years, coming in just ahead of the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic in 2016. In this first year of the Camry’s eighth generation, the 2018 Toyota Camry bumps up the horsepower, fuel economy, and technology compared to previous generations.
The new Camry is produced at a Georgetown, Kentucky plant. Most American Made” car. The Camry is also the first American-built Toyota to use the global conglomerate’s Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). The basic concept of TNGA is to use common platforms (the parts you don’t see) with several models, which in theory allows greater engineering emphasis on the each model’s unique features (the parts you do see). For example, the 2018 Camry, Avalon, and Highlander are all built on Toyota’s D platform.named the Camry the “
Camry has a redesigned exteriors for 2018 that attempt to move away from the vanilla 4-door sedan look common to many car lines. The “sporty” Camry models — the SE and XSE — have mesh grilles and what appear to be large air scoops on each side at the front bumper line. Toyota describes the look as “catamaran-inspired.” The front end on L model Camrys — the L, LE, and XLE — have horizontal trim pieces for a more refined, sophisticated look.
2018 TOYOTA CAMRY ENGINES AND TRANSMISSIONS
Camrys have all new engines and a new transmission for 2018. L, LE, XLE, SE, and XSE Camrys have a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder twin-cam, 16-valve aluminum alloy engine. In L, LE, XLE, and SE trims, this engine produces 203 hp and 184-pound-feet of torque. The XSE gets a small boost to 206 hp and 186 lb-ft with the same engine. The XLE V6 and XSE V6 have a new 3.5-liter twin-cam, 24-valve six-cylinder that makes 301 hp and 267 lb-ft.
The three Camry Hybrid models — the Hybrid LE, Hybrid SE, and Hybrid XLE — have an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission(ECV/T) paired with a hybrid 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The gas engine produces 176 hp and 163 lb-ft. The electric motor produces 118 hp and 149 lb-ft. When both motors are used the net is 208 hp.
The non-hybrid models all use Toyota’s new Direct Shift 8-Speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. All conventional and hybrid 2018 Camrys except the conventionally powered L, LE, and SE have multiple efficiency modes. Push a button to select Sport mode for greater accelerator response, ECO mode for throttle input moderation for better fuel efficiency, and Normal mode for a balance of performance and economy.
2018 TOYOTA CAMRY TECH
All 2018 Camrys have Toyota’s Safety Sense P (TSS-P) driver assist bundle which includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
Optional assistance features include Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, Intelligent Clearance Sonar, and a customizable 10-inch color Head-Up Display that shows selected data on the lower part of the windshield. Assist feature availability varies by model.
All Camrys have a multi-function display in the driver’s dashboard, ranging from 4.2 to 7 inches diagonal measure depending on model or option packages. All cars also have 7-inch or 8-inch multimedia touchscreen displays with navigation and an app suite.
Toyota’s optional Remote Connect smartphone app system can help you find your car, monitor guest drivers (“guest” meaning anyone other than the person who controls the app), or adjust the interior temperature when you’re not in the car.
WHICH TOYOTA CAMRY IS BEST FOR YOU?
Because Toyota offers so many Camry models, picking the right car could seem daunting, but the first steps are easy. First, decide if you want gas or hybrid gas/electric power. With that decision made, next choose whether you prefer the S models for the sportier look or the L models for their more elegant look. Once you’ve made those two decisions you can jump into one of the three groupings below to differentiate further based on comfort, convenience, and style choices.
2018 Camry L, LE, XLE, XLE V6
The L’s are Toyota’s non-sporty-looking Camry models. Realizing that the sportiness of the S models is mostly in appearance with slight more in-your-face design touches, the Camry L models have a more restrained look that may appeal to you more. The four L models are the Camry L (starting price $23,495), LE ($24,000), XLE ($28,450), and XLE V6 ($34,400). If you choose the XLE V6 version, the difference doesn’t end with the larger engine. The V6 model includes more comfort and convenience features in the base price than the 4-cylinder powered XLE.
The 2018 Camry L is the least expensive model in the full Camry lineup, but don’t think for a second the L is a stripped down car. Bi-LED headlights with auto on/off, LED daytime running lights and taillights, and solar energy absorbing glass and a noise-reducing windshield are all standard. AC, an integrated backup camera with projected path, 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display, and the Toyota Safety Sense-P are also included. Power windows and door locks, rear window defogger, and an LED illuminated glove compartment all to come with the base price. The Camry L is the only model with a 14.5-gallon fuel tank.
The Camry L also has the Entune 3.0 audio with navigation and an app suite including a 7-inch touchscreen, AM/FM, MP3/WMA, Siri Eyes Free and Google Voice controls and more. When you start counting the included safety systems, with everything from whiplash lessening seats to smart stop technology, the base package is pretty impressive. There are no factory option packages for the Camry L.
The 2018 Camry LE adds 17-inch alloy wheels and larger tires, a power driver’s seat, 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, an overhead console with map lights, sunglasses storage, and an anti-theft alarm system. The LE also opens the door for a power moonroof, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, and upgraded convenience and audio packages.
Moving up a step in luxury from the LE, the 2018 Camry XLE brings it on big time. In addition to the L and LE features, the XLE includes 18-inch chrome alloy wheels and larger tires, LED headlights, dual-zone automatic AC, a backup camera with dynamic grid lines, and a 7-inch multi-information display. The XLE also includes leather seats, full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, a 10-inch HUD, a smart key system for doors, trunk, with push button start, wood interior trim, and even more factory options including a panoramic glass roof.
For more power and standard cool features, the 2018 Camry XLE V6 tops this portion of the model lineup. The Camry XLE V6 includes as standard the panoramic glass roof with power tilt/slide moonroof, Qi wireless smartphone charging, Homelink universal transceiver, and textured metal interior trim. The standard audio system for the XLE V6 mode (and the XSE V6) is upgraded with an 8-inch touch screen and a long list of music and information services including standard Wi-Fi to support up to five devices in the car.