Entry Price: $23,495
Price as Tested: $26,889
This week, we’re driving the eighth-generation Toyota Camry, still America’s best selling midsize sedan. This 2018 Camry is indeed all-new with a wider, lower and longer stance available in five gasoline models and three hybrids.
Unlike the near $40,000 Camry XLE Hybrid we tested at the beginning of the year, this time we’re driving a more affordable Camry, delivered in LE trim with a four-cylinder engine under the hood.
Camry gas powered models start with the entry L at just $23,495, followed by our tester’s LE that begins at just $24,150. The price then moves up to the SE at $25,350; XLE at $28,600, sporty XSE at $29,150, and the ultimate gas powered XLE V6 at $34,450. The Camry hybrids start with the LE at $27,950, then the SE at $29,650 and the top class XLE Hybrid, which we tested in March that starts at $32,400.
With year-end leftover specials now in play at your area Toyota dealers, and the fact that the 2019 Camry is identical to the 2018, now is a good time to snag a great incentive deal on the most popular car Toyota has ever built.
Manufactured in Georgetown, Kentucky, Camry is assembled on a new platform that results in a more aerodynamic exterior, improved suspension and ultra-quiet, tasteful cabin. The new Camry is one inch longer while the wheelbase is two inches longer, making for better rear-seat legroom and an even more comfortable ride.
Although previous Camry generational upgrades were mild at best, this eighth-generation unit breaks that mold and is very appealing to the eye. The new motif starts with a larger dark gray grille attached to a smooth hood arrangement leading to a more assertive windshield slope. The roof flows nicely to a new rear deck featuring LED tail lamps. Taken as a whole and be it hybrid or gas, this new generation Camry is the best looking ever produced. Moreover, even the lower price LE models arrive with a generous portion of Camry amenities, more than this scribe expected in the lower priced model.
Power comes from a 2.5-liter four that develops 203-horses and 184 lb. ft. of torque. Coupled to a new design 8-speed automatic transmission, the fuel mileage is very good at 28 city and 39 highway the EPA estimates. Both are impressive for the non-hybrid midsize class and few competitors produce highway ratings near 40 MPG. Notable is entry model Camry L’s EPA numbers of 29 city and 41 highway, attained thanks to a lighter curb weight.
Camry LE’s cabin is impressive as standard features galore welcome driver and passengers. Included are comfortable cloth seating, Toyota subscription free Entune 3.0 infotainment system with navigation, Bluetooth, SiriusXM with six speakers, 7-inch touchscreen with hand tune radio knobs, climate control air conditioning, tilt and telescopic steering and integrated rearview backup camera with projection path. There’s much more that your Toyota dealer is waiting to explain when you visit.
On the highway, Toyota Camry is a pleasure to drive. We gave the Camry a good run of near 180 miles during our week long test, and were impressed with its handling characteristics and quiet interior. We averaged 32.2 MPG for the entire trip, certainly worthy of note. Tires are of the Toyo Proxes all-season variety mounted on 17-inch spoke alloy wheels.
Options include a $625 convenience package that adds Smart Key push button start, auto dim rear mirror, and Homelink transceiver. Additionally, a $665 rear cross traffic and blind spot safety feature (recommended), $224 carpet and trunk mats, and $395 paint protection film pushed the final tally to $26,889 with $895 delivery included.
The optional blind spot package mentioned above combines nicely with the standard Toyota Safety Sense-P package that is standard on all Camry models. Included are high tech safety features like forward pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with steering assist, enhanced vehicle stability, automatic high beams, and adaptive Smart radar cruise control.
Staying on safety, all Camrys arrive with Toyota’s Star Safety System that compliments the Safety Sense-P equipment. This standard feature includes 10 air bags, all the modern traction controls, hill start assist, four wheel ABS disc brakes, Smart Stop technology, stability control and more.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 111.2 inches, 3,296 lb. curb weight, 15.1 cu. ft. of cargo room, 38 ft. turn circle, 5.7 inch ground clearance and a 16-gallon fuel tank.
Rated as one of the best midsize sedans by Consumer Reports, the 2018 Toyota Camry is all-new and waiting for a test drive. It’s a wonderful vehicle that delivers everything necessary in this competitive, demanding era of modern day transportation.
Likes: Standard safety galore, all-new design inside and out.
Dislikes: Navigation system learning curve, not much else.
— Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and GateHouse Media. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.
Test Drive: 2018 Toyota Camry LE
Entry Price: $23,495