Toyota isn’t messing around with their 2018 Toyota Camry. With more power, better all-around performance and sculpted body panels – you would think Toyota is trying to make a statement. This 2018 Camry is new from the ground up and has the makings for an award-winning design.
Wonderful things happened in the engine compartment. There is a 203 horsepower at 6,600 rpm, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder that makes 184 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. Opt for the dual exhaust on the 4-cylinder XSE and you’ll bump up to 206 at 6,600 rpm and 186 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. Power is excellent and, discounting the small bump in power, the quad exhaust sounds pretty beefy.
The 3.5-liter V6 makes 301 hp at 6,600 rpm and 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. This is a wonderfully powerful engine that feels eager, almost like it’s tugging at the leash. Unfortunately, the traction control does a hell of a job keeping you from destroying the rubber.
Both engines are hooked up to a 8-speed automatic transmission, the only transmission offered. The upcoming Honda Accord will have a manual option (along with a 10-speed automatic). It’s a shame that none of these engines allow for an enthusiast’s edition that came with a stick; especially when you feel how sporty of a ride the 2018 Toyota Camry can be.
There’s more good news to the engine story: the new EPA estimated fuel mileage are impressive. 29 city, 41 highway and 34 combined (L) and 28 city, 39 highway and 32 combined (LE, SE, XLE and XSE). The 3.5-liter V6 gets 22 city, 33 highway and 26 combined in the V6 XLE and 22 city, 32 highway and 26 combined in the XSE.
While we already went through some of the components in our “Top 5 Surprising Facts” post and video, it’s worth it to touch on one of the 2018 Toyota Camry’s surprising facts: its double wishbone rear suspension. Nothing wakes a car’s performance up like a well sorted suspension. While it doesn’t exactly hunker down around corners, it stays planted and resolute. Grip is excellent and, even at full boil in a tight bend, the 2018 Toyota Camry feels solid.
Squeezing the power out of a corner makes both the I4 and V6 happy; however, the four-banger seems to be a bit happier on the twisties as their is less weight to lug around.
Unfortunately, the electrically assisted power steering felt a bit artificial. There was little communication to the ground and, when pushed to the point of screeching rubber in a bend, the steering felt the same as if you were commuting to work. Steering weight is a bit light for my tastes too. With that being said, most commuters will find the steering light and easy to modulate.
The interior is quite nice, though it lags behind some competitors like the Mazda-6, still, if you opt for the red leather interior (no kidding) it wakes up your surroundings. Honestly, I was surprised Toyota went with this option, but it makes sense for others and it is only available with a few exterior color combos.
On certain colors, you can have a two-tone paintjob with a black roof.
Speaking of the exterior. Come on Toyota, what happened to my cookie-cutter exterior? Now we have swoops, fat fenders and a turned-up rear end. Where did this “sporty” design ethos spring from? The lines are very nice, but I am still on the fence with some of the grill combinations. There are a few too many shingles on the grill for my liking, but it’s definitely more aggressive.
Prices start at $23,495 for the base L-model and go up to $34,950 for a well equipped XSE model.
In this video, we tell you about how the 2018 Toyota Camry drives!