When we took the 2018 Camry for a first drive review during the media launch, we left incredibly impressed by how Toyota re-engineered America’s top-selling sedan. Every aspect of the car was improved compared to the previous generation.
We had the opportunity to sample the volume-selling LE trim on our own turf, and still thought that Toyota hit a home-run with this sedan. The new architecture really improves everything from rigidity to roominess, and the standard safety tech automatically puts the 2018 Camry ahead of its class.
The new 2.5L four-cylinder powertrain produces a pleasing 206 HP and routes it through an 8-speed automatic. Acceleration is smooth, adequate, and relatively quiet. With a totally revised suspension, handling and ride comfort are superb. There’s a feeling of serenity and confidence, which makes taking twisty back roads a lot of fun.
Inside, the contrasting stitching on the asymmetrical dash and uniquely designed seats are pretty to look at and very comfortable. A modern-looking simulated wood stretches across the dash in front of the passenger; it’s unique and adds a splash of warmth.
The base Entune system on the LE trim is good, but the resolution could use an increase. We really do like Toyota’s retention of buttons and knobs, and especially the positioning of the volume and tuning knobs on the left side closer to the driver.
A color LCD between the speedo and tach provides an array of useful information that can be scrolled through via the steering wheel controls.
On the right side of the wheel are buttons for the standard Toyota Safety Sense radar cruise, following distance, and lane departure warning with assist. The radar cruise works perfectly on the highway. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert was on our tester as part of the Convenience Package and worked well for backing out of parking spots.
To the left of the wheel on the dash is the automatic high beam switch, and the fuel door and trunk release buttons which are now electronic instead of tension cables and finally moved up from the footwell area. No more dirty fingers in the winter!
Outside, LED headlights are now standard across all Camrys. They are bright, increase safety, and the automatic high beams work beautifully. 17-inch alloys are now standard on LE models too.
|Summary Scorecard (1-10)|
|Ride and Handling||9|
|Powertrain and Fuel Economy||10|
|Interior Fit and Finish||10|
|Gauges and Controls||10|
Trim Level: LE
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
Options: Convenience Pkg
Base Price: $24,150
As-Tested Price: $26,295