By on May 10, 2018

2018 Toyota Camry

2018 Toyota Camry XLE

2.5-liter four-cylinder (203 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm; 184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic, front-wheel drive

28 city / 39 highway / 32 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

8.5 city, 6.1 highway, 7.4 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $28,450 (U.S) / $35,090 (Canada)

As Tested: $34,388 (U.S.) / $36,962 (Canada)

Prices include $895 destination charge in the United States and $1,845 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Complete the last part of the phrase in the headline up there. Yeah, it’s “master of none.” Thing is, that doesn’t apply to the 2018 Toyota Camry – it really is a jack of all trades, and it even masters at least some.

Fight it we might, but most automotive journalists, or at least most of us who grew up as enthusiasts, have biases. One of mine has been to rag on the Camry, dismissing it like so many others as a boring and beige (figuratively, not literally) commuter sleigh.

Toyota was listening, and every generation got a bit better, even if the driving dynamics part of the equation was still lacking compared to some of the competition.

Well, now that part is finally on par.

I spent more time with my Camry tester than I do with most – it was my ride to Detroit and back earlier this year for the auto show. So I got a lot of seat time, most of it spent on the freeway.

In years past, I’d have had mixed feelings about that – the old Camry was fine for freeway cruising but not really engaging in most other respects. That’s changed.

The keys handed to me belonged to an XLE-trim car with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That “power” gets to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

I put “power” in quotes because 184 lb-ft doesn’t sound like a lot of torque, especially not in comparison to the 267 provided by the available V6. But it got the job done both around town and while merging on the freeway.

2018 Toyota Camry

Toyota engineers have finally figured out how to dial sportiness into the steering and suspension. Gone is the float of yore. Gone is steering that feels like it’s not even in the same area code as the tires. The steering is direct and has a nice heft. Meanwhile, Toyota hasn’t confused sporty with stiff – the Camry’s ride is far from soft, but it’s compliant enough to make a freeway slog comfortable.

All of this is done without sacrificing the elements that have kept Toyota cranking out Camrys in huge numbers over the years. It’s more fun to drive, but not only does it keep the ride on just the right side of comfy, it also continues to offer a spacious cabin, trunk space aplenty, plus fuel efficiency.

So, the Camry finally drives well enough that enthusiasts won’t shun it. It finally drives well enough to put it in the same conversation with the also all-new Honda Accord, the Mazda 6, and the soon-to-depart Ford Fusion when it comes to fun-to-drive factor. Huzzah! Great! There must be some flaws somewhere, though, right? Nothing in life is perfect, after all.

2018 Toyota Camry

Yeah, there are flaws. None fatal, but I found plenty to be annoyed by. That’s not to pick on Toyota – it’s literally part of my job.

Let’s start with the styling. I don’t find it ugly, but Toyota’s attempt to make the Camry look as sporty as it now feels means the car is a mish-mash of design cues. I like the wing-shaped logo/grille element, but the large and gaping maw that makes up the lower front grille gets uglier the more you look at it, and the weird lines on the front hood mar what could be a clean look.

Speaking of clean, the rear of the car is better looking because Toyota kept it simpler out back. If that same philosophy existed up front, the Camry could look even sleeker than it does.

Also annoying – a snowstorm completely flummoxed most of the various driver-assistance systems. Not surprising, perhaps, and likely not unique to the Camry – but it tells me our autonomous future isn’t quite here yet.

2018 Toyota Camry

What bugged me the most, however, is the feature-to-cost ratio. The XLE is the second-highest trim available for non-hybrid models, and the window sticker is as notable for what isn’t there, as what is. Not only are the aforementioned driver’s aids optional as part of a package, but so too is the premium audio system. Furthermore, if you want factory nav, you need to get a V6 – with the four-cylinder, you get navigation via an app.

That would be all well and good if the price were lower. Sure, the average new-car transaction price is $33K and all that, so maybe this is me being the old man yelling at a cloud, but a $28,450 base and a $34K sticker for the driver’s aids, premium audio, panoramic roof/moonroof, and a few other accoutrements still strikes me as dear. Especially since a base XLE V6 is just a tick more (yes, I know – that gap will widen with options).

2018 Toyota Camry

Let’s pause here and note that a top-trim Accord bases under $34K, although there is no more V6 in that car.

Fuel economy is a wallet-pleasing 28 mpg city/39 mpg highway/32 mpg combined, making the Camry a good road trip choice.

2018 Toyota Camry

Which, for me, it was. It swallowed luggage easily, the seats never got uncomfortable, the steering tracked straight, the ride was never harsh, and I needed gas just once on a Chicago-Detroit round trip.

Camrys always sold well, even when they didn’t drive well. Now, in a bit of bad timing, the Camry finally drives well just as the market shifts to crossovers. Still, with the car able to do almost everything well, the Camry presents at least one exhibit in the case for midsize sedans.

[Images © 2108 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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69 Comments on “2018 Toyota Camry XLE – Jack of All Trades...”


  • avatar
    RSF

    Mid 30’s for this?

  • avatar
    slap

    It’s not a bad looking car – until you look at the front.

  • avatar
    FAHRVERGNUGEN

    About that “…gaping maw that makes up the lower front grille…”.

    Thankfully it’s horizontally oriented. If it were vertical, it would look like a baby whale with baleen had risen for a snack of shrimplettes.

    • 0 avatar
      IBx1

      (like the unfortunate new AMG grilles)

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Or it would look like Jenna Jami…Never mind.

      The front would look so much better if all that useless black plastic were mostly bumper with a small “oil cooler” or “intercooler” opening along the bottom.

      As it is it is ugliness for the sake of ugliness. I would not buy any Toyota or Lexus right now because of the styling. I know, I am a shallow man.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Styling sucks for sure but everyone else’s does too for the most part and their drivetrains and technology are not usually in line with T/L.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Eh I’ve seen a few in the wild and I don’t think the styling sucks that much. At least in the correct colors and trim levels. An XSE V6 model in darker colors actually looks like an improvement to me over the previous generation car. YMMV.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    Tim, thanks for testing a car people actually consider buying. Beige as its soul may be, I’d have to seriously consider this car if it were my money in light of its complete absence of turbos, CVTs and other things that break.

    Two quibbles: First, this car’s mission is to be a family sedan. Lowering the car and installing those pleasing but bulkier double wishbones has compromised the back seat pretty seriously.

    Second, I take issue with your comment that each previous generation of Camry had gotten “a little better.” To the contrary, everybody knows this car’s quality peaked with the golden ’92-96 generation and has been ruthlessly cheapened with each subsequent iteration. The emergency refresh in 2015 was the first time in over two decades that a new Camry wasn’t meaningfully worse than its predecessor, excepting add-ons like airbags and the like. This new one is exciting whether it’s exciting or not, simply because it’s actually new and meaningfully improved for once.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Well, that’s subjective, though, right? I hear you, but I felt that Toyota improved incrementally over time. You don’t agree, and that’s fine.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Actually, Tim…no.

        It was widely reported at the time that the Dodge/Plymouth Neon, released in 1993, was a pioneering effort in automotive cost-cutting. It used a variety of techniques to drive production costs down: fewer fasteners of fewer types, and other tactics. Other automakers, including Toyota, were widely reported to have torn down the cars and emulated their techniques. The dollar/yen relationship was punishing the Japanese makers in the mid-’90s, so the 1996 Camry reflected many of these techniques: one exhaust finisher instead of two, a single bar for both map lights, no D-pillar side window, fewer taillight bulbs, a one-piece molding for the front and rear bumpers, and double-sealed doors instead of the previous triple. All this allowed Toyota to slice $2,000 off the price of the car, as reported in the book “Car” (the entertaining tragic history of the ’96 ovoid Taurus) by Mary Walton:

        “In September 1996, a redesigned Camry debuted with conservative styling, fewer niceties, and lower prices than the previous model.”

        In subsequent developmental cycles, history repeated itself as the ’96 chassis was recycled with progressive cheapenings (prices dropping when adjusted for inflation), climaxed by the 2012 edition. To quote the road test from the eminent automotive website TheTruthAboutCars.com:

        “Toyota has cut prices for every trim level save the loss-leader L, in one case by $2,000. Standard content reductions will likely offset much of the reductions… In the end, while the new interior is a definite improvement, efforts to improve fuel economy and handling, and perhaps to also cut costs, have robbed the Camry of a key distinguishing strength… The new car isn’t coarse, but it’s no longer the segment benchmark for refinement.”

        The result was a car so unappealing it needed ever-increasing infusions of cash on the hood to maintain its sales title, an outcome predicted in that same 2012 thread by this writer. An emergency mid-cycle refresh was a stopgap that brought improved interior quality and more welds to solidify the soggy body, barely holding the fort until the arrival of this much-overdue overhaul. Today’s new Camry reverses 20 nearly continuous years of documented cheapening and product decline, and that is not “subjective.” It is an engineering and historical fact.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Nice post tonycd.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Well written comment Tony, thanks for that.

          For me the degradation in quality starting from peak 92-’96 cars (and even within that gen they cut some things in ’95-’96):

          92-96>>>>97-01>>>>02-06>>>>>>>>>15-17>>>>>07-11>>12-14

          There was a massive drop when they came out with the XV40 body in ’07, good lord the interior panels in that thing are horrid. But at the very least the seat materials were still nice velour on the cloth models. We’ve now lost even that. The XV20 gets slagged because it followed the peak “fat” 92-96 but compared to every other generation afterwards the ’97-’01 are closer to that fat gen than they are to the ’02-’06 to say nothing of the ’07-’11 or ’12+ cars.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        ” I felt that Toyota improved incrementally over time”

        We have owned in the immediate family, by someone, every generation of Camry from XV10 up to XV50.

        Your impression is opposite of what I observed. The XV10 was solid, the XV20 was fine but you can tell the cheapening when body trim starts falling apart, the Xv30 sat a little taller but lots of plastic and lots of creaks, and the subsequent ones just got worse and worse.

        You sort of have to go into a Lexus today to feel what a Camry was like in 1996.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      KBB tells me that I can buy a loaded Accord for $32k and change. It even comes with a charging pad for my iPhone X.

      My mother was addicted to Toyota Camrys, may she rest in peace, and some of them were actually really good appliances.

      Last time I took my Civic in for service, I drove the top trim Accord. That was a darn good bargain for the money without veering over to the “luxury” dealers. Since I gave one kid my Lexus to drive to college and gave the other my Accord, well, that’s why my name is Civic – the Accord is just too big for me and if I really needed the space, I’d take my LX back from my son and send him off with the Civic, but I never do. It has as much rear-seat space as the older Accord my daughter is driving, and when a buddy or 2 decide that we need to make a gambling run, it’s freaking unreal that we get like 43 MPG – I guess I’m just trying to do my small part by reducing my carbon footprint. Actually, it’s more fun to drive than the Lexus.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I still putt-putt around in my 1989 Japan-built Camry V6 that I bought used and I have no inkling to replace it anytime soon. It’s still that good.

      OTOH, many Lexington-built Camry have already been recycled long ago.

      The conclusion I draw is that they don’t make them like they used to in Japan for 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990….

      When they started building them in the US that left a lot of previous owners to jump ship, leave the fold, vote with their feet, vote with their wallet.

      But the Camry remains an excellent value for the money for many people, even though “ruthlessly cheapened with each subsequent iteration.”

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        hdc the stalwart bulletproof 92-96 was (in part) built in the US. As were the 90 and up Accords. Honda actually built Accord coupes here and sent them back to Japan.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          sporty, I remember.

          But I do think there is merit in the complaint that former Toyota Camry owners have expressed that the NA-made Toyota products have been cheapened over the years.

          As a humorous aside, two old couples from my church chose to buy a Japan-made RAV4 from the local dealership to replace the vintage Camry they had been driving for many, many years.

          They paid too much at the local dealership. Waaaay too much, with the padded siliconed sun-protection for the paint, the extended warranty purchase, the etched VIN on the glass all around.

          But they are happy, and for some people convenience is a more important than money, especially since they had the money and had a great ownership experience with their Camry.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            hdc the ’92-’96 Camry absolutely buries the previous gen in overall quality, Kentucky built or not. Your generation outside of the sun belt had left the roads generally a decade ago, they are horrible rusters. The ’92-’96 cars are only now starting to get noticeable rear fender rot, and even then underneath the subframes and such stay looking crazy clean. You have to spend some time wrenching on older cars in the salt belt and bad roads to appreciate just how freakishly overbuilt that ’92-’96 generation of Camry was (and by extension the ’97-01 cars as far as the basic underpinnings go).

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            That ’89 Japan-built Camry V6 I bought used is MY first experience with a Camry but the guy I bought it from, and several others have told me that they have chosen to steer clear of later model Camry for a variety of reasons.

            I converted to Toyota with the purchase of a Japan-built 2008 Highlander Limited 4×4. Before that I drove American, mostly Olds, Chevrolet and Ford.

            If I ever buy another car or truck it will be a Toyota, probably another Sequoia and/or Tundra.

            My brother in Manhattan, NYC, NY, owns a ’96 Camry that his wife uses, but neither of them wants to buy another Camry. More likely an RX350L.

            No doubt the lack of rust in the desert promotes longevity for all cars. And we have a huge number of oldies still putt-putting on our roads.

      • 0 avatar
        bufguy

        The quality of Toyota’s are not dependent on whether they are built here or in Japan. It is more due to design cost cutting…The factories, machinery and labor are as good if not better in the United States.
        As to the quality of your generation Camry, none exist in the northeast anymore as the tinworm has destroyed them

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Build quality is only one aspect of a car’s design. For 99% of the buying public a car lasting 20+ years is not a serious purchasing factor. All the Camrys that followed were “good enough” in build quality for the intended market, which is not meant as a slight or insult.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        sportyaccordy,

        Don’t you dare say that to a Tesla owner. They consider panel gaps to be a “beta model’ (Tesla uses the term on the configuration webpage “early production”), and they’re fine with it.

        I swear in my life I’ve never been given the option to purchase an “early production” model in all of the cars I have bought – I couldn’t imagine the conversation while I’m sitting in the salesperson’s office to close the deal:

        “Now John, remember I can only put this deal on the table if you are willing to take an early production model”, at which point I leave because I don’t know what in the heck he’s trying to tell me.

        I guess those owners expect the gaps to be fixed OTA. Couldn’t help myself, sometimes the jokes write themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      ..To the contrary, everybody knows this car’s quality peaked with the golden ’92-96 generation and has been ruthlessly cheapened with each subsequent iteration…

      That is true. Japan, Inc, flush with cash at the time built that generation of Camry to a standard that was exceptional. Just looking at the condition of used ones today shows how well they’ve held up. But Toyota was worried about exchange rates and the competition and designed the 97 models as if a GM beancounter was in the room. Kind of anyway. The difference was notable when new and even more noticeable now.

      I disagree completely that this slide in quality is because of where the car was made. Toyota made a business decision to cut the quality and milk it’s reputation for short term gain. Maytag did the same thing. Where the assembly of that cheapened design and cheapened parts were assembled is irrelevant. At least Toyota kept the reliability in check, something that GM never managed to do.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    I just rented a 2018 Camry LE. I have to agree the for the first time ever, the Camry actually seems to have decent handling. The 2.5 continues to be as smooth as it’s always been. The 8 speed transmission was schizophrenic the first day I had the car but seemed to adjust to my driving style. Toyota’s Entune system, however, is an absolute abomination: needlessly complicated, and there are inexplicable annoying things about the car like the “eco” sign flashing on the dash as if the world is about to end.There was another light that kept coming on, which seemed to pertain to my phone battery…

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      I rented a 2018 Camry LE as well, with the 4-cyl motor, and I was not a fan at all. Yes, the car handled well but it was pretty under-powered with the 4-cylinder engine. It downshifted constantly in varying terrain to try and keep speed, mooed all the way up hills, and sounded like a chainsaw with a broken muffler when pushed. I dont know how people get the impression that the engine is smooth. For my money, there is no way I would buy the 4 cylinder version.

      Yes, Entune was lousy and still is. Toyota should take a page from the FCA UConnect system. And the ECO light is ridiculous, that just needs to go away and never come back. If I wanted Eco cred, Id get a Prius.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I likewise just returned an ’18 LE to Avis yesterday, and have rented an ’18 SE previously.

        The transmission in this LE with 7k miles seemed better behaved around town, never caught flat footed. On the highway though I will echo what SSJeep is saying as far as some annoying gear hunting, and a bit of a drone from the DI motor that I’ve never experienced with my wife’s less powerful ’12 SE with a 6speed auto and port injected version of the 2.5L. The new DI motor also has the typical DI clatter at idle with the windows down, and an unpleasant gruffness at lower RPMS with the engine under load with the torque coverter locked up (same as every newer DI car Iv’e driven). Finally, the throttle response seems really slow and lethargic compared to the more intuitive throttle mapping on my wife’s 2012.

        Where my LE really shined was ride and handling balance and absolutely minimal road or wind noise. It is an absolute isolation chamber and totally throws a velvet sheet over bad pavement. The loudest thing driving at 70mph was the gum I was chewing and the faintest bit of wind noise from around the mirror. I guess my rental SE was sharper handling but honestly the LE’s superior ride is worth it, you can’t call the LE a sloppy handling car at all IMO.

        I’ll finish with a few more complaints: just beyond typical touch points are some VERY cheap plastics, like the back part of the steering wheel that you occasionally touch. The interface between the door card and the dash is horrid as well IMO. The covers on the 12V and USB outlets are very chitzy as well. Finally, I thought the knobs and buttons for the climate control were small and kind of cheap looking. They made the dash top and other sections extra squishy because apparently car reviewers are obsessed with that, but they missed the point IMO. It’s like they were checking a box “soft dash, check” without considering the overall feel of the interior and what is noticed as sub par or cheap. I did like the small sliver of fake wood on the right side of the dash, but wish it extended to the driver’s side as well. I’m also upset with Toyota for taking my beloved cruise control nub/stalk away (in its place is radar cruise control which was easy to use, but still).

        I’m a dyed in the wool Toyota guy but of all of the current midsizers that I’ve driven, the Passat remains my favorite for overall driving feel and interior ergonomics and design. It just feels and looks more expensive to me, like an ES350 competitor. The Camry definitely feels and drives closer to a new Malibu or Optima/Sonata/etc.

  • avatar
    tallguy130

    I checked these out at the local auto show and was genuinely impressed by the interior (LE excluded). It really felt like a cut above the competition in terms of quality and materials. But that face…Toyota design staff needs to lay off the anime.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… call me when you drive the V6.

  • avatar
    make_light

    Look, I was rooting for the Camry. I love a comeback story. I can appreciate what the Camry (theoretically) offers to buyers. But after having one as a rental, I was dismayed. It drove fine, as the review states, steering wasn’t bad at all and the ride acceptable. But the cheapness was worse than I could have imagined. Thin, hollow plastics on the console. On a rainy day, the noise of splashing against the undercarriage was unbelievably loud (worse than 2 Subarus I’ve had). Seats were hard and oddly lumpy. Screen looked cheap and washed out in any sunlight whatsoever.
    I wanted nothing but to be impressed by the Camry, but was beyond happy when I got to return it.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      We actually still have a 2001 Camry as a backup car/run-about. I know it’s not one of the fabled 96 XLE with the gold package, but it drives like a Lexus compared to the 2017 I drove as a rental last year. Yes it’s slower but the 2.2 is very smooth and the 4 speed auto makes my Ford’s 4R70W feel agricultural.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    The Accord handles better and has better interiors – according to virtually every review.

    The Camry is a class below the Accord.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      The Accord is a little better, but not by much, when it comes to handling. I do like the Honda interior a lot better.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      The current Camry has lost most every comparison review compared to the new Accord I can find and even the current 6 was rated higher in a few. Sitting in each car and going over interior quality, features and build quality reinforces that. The Honda feels like a 10K more expensive car inside than the garden variety LE and SE Camry’s which lacked many items that competitors have and generally feel lower budget. And I’m only talking about the mid level Accord Sports and EX models with the 1.5T engine.

  • avatar
    x-defector

    Funny how this stuff is cyclical. Early to mid 80s, American cars were garbage, and Honda and Toyota offered solid choices for more than a decade. Then they got lazy, and the South Koreans started eating their lunch. At some point after that, American cars started getting better. And here we are today, with Toyota having been so lazy for so long they are now struggling to offer competitive products (despite selling a zillion of them). People like my parents, old folks who will ONLY buy Toyota and not even look at anything else – simply because their ’72 Corona was great and their ’94 Cutlass supreme was junk – largely fill Toyota coffers in the States. They are the ‘phone it in’ maker.

    It’s good to hear the Camry now drives decently – my parents ’97 was a horrible steer – but there’s not enough here to make me interested. It’s a sad point that just having average segment handling is a substantial improvement for the Camry. Mazda in particular, and Honda and a few American mfgs, produce a far more compelling product for someone like me who needs a modicum of practicality but isn’t dead yet. Cut-rate interiors and low content for the price doesn’t justify the tag on the haunches. But for every one of me, there are three of my parents….

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “At some point after that, American cars started getting better.”

      Yeah, I believe it was starting with the 2010 model year after the US auto industry had been rattled to its core by the death of GM and Chrysler.

      Ford under Alan Mulally was clearly the sole leader of that, being the ONLY American carmaker left standing.

      The US auto industry (Ford) really had no choice. When you’re at the bottom of the barrel you have no place to go but up.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        The Fusion is an astonishingly good car. I am convinced if Toyota and Honda buyers test drove other brands once in a while the Fusion would not have been killed off.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          Crummy real-world gas mileage compared to the Japanese cars though. That has to have hurt the Fusion.

        • 0 avatar
          johnds

          As a Honda owner, I am horrified by the sound the 4 banger fusion engine makes. My neighbor has a 08 and a 12 Fusion, and they sound like a 90s Cavalier’s sad, overworked engine. not even close to how smooth sounding my 2.4 Accord sounds.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      I’d counter that these fin de siecle mid-size sedans are so capable in general that “average” is usually pretty great. They are all of them markedly better-riding and better-handling than the mass-market CUVs on the lot with which they actually compete.

      The question, as you note, is appeal and value.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Well said and so accurate. 9 out of 10 Camry and Corolla driver’s in my area are between the ages 70-80. After spending countless hours in many rentals dating back to 2002 explains why. They just aren’t a younger person’s car by default and basically took over from previous Buick, Oldsmobile, Mercury and Plymouth driver’s from ages past.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    Toyota added direct injection for the ’18 V6; horsepower is up to 301, not 267.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      He was talking about torque numbers.

      I do miss the days when the torque number was HIGHER than the HP number on most engines.

      It was the only thing that made many malaise engines tolerable was torque.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    May have to try one of these out – I’ve bagged on it based on stuff like door slams, panel gaps, etc.

  • avatar
    EX35

    I may sound like an out of touch old fart, but I’ll say it anyway. $35K for this?

  • avatar
    redgolf

    a young man that i started talking to at the local gas station, who happened to work at the Nissan plant here in Tennessee (he was wearing a Nissan shirt) was showing his brand new Toyota Camry XLE to his female friend, i calmly butted in and said in a joking manner “what are you doing buying a Toyota when you work for Nissan ?” “i know,” he then said ” the bad thing is the car cost almost $40 grand and i was under water on my trade in, so i had to pull a loan for $50 grand!” 50 grand to drive a Toyota Camry!!! amazed, i walked away climbing into my 21 year old Grand Prix grateful that it’s been paid off for 16 years!

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Even if I could live without memory seats and other stuff left out of the V6 version of this thing, and even if I could live with the cheapness of the interior as compared to the new Accord, and even if I could somehow tolerate that fugly mug, that damned center stack is a dog’s breakfast!

    Kudos to Toyota for at least keeping one thing that other makers are abandoning in droves: the dark “brow” on top of the windshield! (And inside autodimming mirrors that don’t resemble the expression of a demented clown, though since that rimless Gentex abomination is spreading like a cancer through Toyota’s offerings (as well as the industry in general, save for Ford, GM and HyundKia), my guess is that the mid-cycle refresh will replace this normal, sturdy mirror with that chintzy, effete POS!)

  • avatar
    EX35

    Just checked. $35k buys you a 2016 Lexus GS with less than 10k miles. Why anyone would buy a new v6 Camry is beyond me.

  • avatar
    ernest

    The Auto Journalists and a good number of TTAC posters seem to have come to the consensus that the Camry is inferior to the Accord… by quite a fair amount, it seems.

    The buyers, on the other hand- you know, the people whose opinions actually count because they’re voting with their checkbooks instead of their keyboards- are pushing Camry sales about 50% higher than Accord sales. Now before we discuss the role of fleet sales and discounts into this equation, let me ask a simple question:

    How much profit is generated by a lost sale?

    Answer- ZERO.

    In the past decade, Camry and Accord sales have always been fairly close- a few thousand here, a few thousand there. Not anymore- so something happened. I think it’s accurate at this point, just looking at the numbers, to say Honda is struggling with the new Accord. Looking at the sales decrease in the Accord vs. the sales increase in the Camry, it’s also fair to say Toyota is pulling business from competitive makes.

  • avatar
    ajla

    V6 us, Toyota press fleet.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I had one of these for a week and maybe 1500 miles. I was highly impressed.

    I’ll agree with the comment that the seats are hard (they did start to hurt after 8 hour days), and the transmission does hunt at times.

    However, the car went, stopped, turned, cruised, held speed up grade and was overall excellent. Averaged 40mpg on the trip as well.

    Count me as a skeptic as well on the Honda moves. I’d take the somewhat busy trans in the Camry and non-turbo power (or a V6) any day. Not to mention the back seat has usable headroom, something that is often a problem in sedans right now.

    Haven’t spent any time in the new Accord. Can’t comment.

    But the Camry and the Fusion are definitely my two favorites I have spent time in. But gotta give Camry a slight edge for simple reliability and actual usable rear seat space.

    Sorry, I think Toyota nailed this one if it remains reliable. They know their customer, reliability is king, and they’re making sure they don’t make drastic changes that might compromise that. Then they add actual decent handling and braking and steering, standard safety items, and throw some cash on the hood = winner.

  • avatar
    MyerShift

    For crap’s sake. If you’re going to quote a phrase, do it right. It’s this:
    “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
    So yeah, it IS more advantageous to have multiple talents versus being a one-trick pony.
    That kind of incorrect use drives me nuts.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I will compliment this car on one thing no one else has mentioned. In the era of ever-rising beltlines, I’m glad to see the side glass sort of dips down from the A and C-pillars. It looks a bit odd, but should make the car feel less claustrophobic.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Yep the newest Camry is indeed very reasonable in terms of belt line and dash height rear window is still quite squashed though (better than average for the current class at least).

  • avatar

    So this is the car that basically put Ford and Chrysler out of the passenger car business. Is it really that good?

  • avatar
    Elusivellama

    I could have sworn I read a review of a 2018 Camry SE rental, here on TTAC where it was derided as the second coming of the 2007 Camry. What gives? Did Toyota update the car between when the first article was written, and now?

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