2018 Toyota Camry SE essentials: Some hits and some misses

What is it: The 2018 Toyota Camry is a clean-sheet redesign charity both a competition and oppulance tuned mid-size sedan in an bid to greatfully everyone. Although trucks and crossovers are carbuyers’ new sweethearts, a Camry stays one of a best-selling vehicles in a United States, and this latest pattern attempts to keep a movement going.

Base Price: $26,095   As-Tested: $28,220

Key Competitors: Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion

Highlights: The Camry is all new for 2018 and facilities possibly a 2.5-liter, 203-hp I4 or a 301-hp, 3.5-liter V6. Both get an eight-speed automatic. S-branded trims tumble on a sportier side in looks and performance; L-branded cars land on a lush side. It rides on a company’s new-ish TNGA height that also underpins a 2018 Corolla and recently introduced Avalon.

2018 Toyota Camry interior

The L, LE and some-more installed XLE are directed during a normal (i.e., older) Camry buyer. They’re softer, some-more luxurious, comfortable, still and coddling. The SE and XSE are directed during a younger buyer.

Our Opinion: The Toyota Camry’s been subjected to some cooperative tantalizing over a years simply for being what it’s always been: A well-built, economical, fit midsize sedan appealing to a extended swath of car-buying America. Self-identified automobile enthusiasts might scoff, though a Camry has traditionally been all many folks wish or need in a car.

Having spent 5 true days in a 2018 Camry SE, I’m not prepared to contend that’s going to sojourn a case. There are adequate eccentricities in this car’s powertrain to give even Camry loyalists pause.

Some records first: we gathering a SE like a Camry owner while we had it — normal commuting, schlepping kids, 5-over-the-speed-limit, that arrange of thing. It’s a quiet, easily embellished sedan with an upscale lurch pattern and good back legroom. The steering has good weight and decent feedback; no complaints on a brakes, and a cessation seems tuned toward comfort though with a bit of feel dialed in. Fine, right? It’s even a plain value during only over $28K. 

But afterwards there’s a transmission, that needs an exorcism. 

Remember, this is a SE trim — a sporty indication — and a painful delivery programming suggests a LE will be roughly undrivable. In D, a automobile seems to upshift to fourth by 20 mph, and any try to accelerate is met with a boredom and mixed downshifts. It’s like piloting a steamship; we have to call down to a engine room for some-more power, afterwards wait for a boilers to respond. S mode binds gears slightly longer and behaves some-more like a unchanging transmission, though afterwards it seems to stop upshifting during 4th rigging unless a motorist uses a change paddles (a truly diverting appendage on this car) to set a tip gear. The result: Neither mode is adequate as-programmed for unchanging around-town driving.

2018 Camry Review The double whammy Camry aims during dual buyersCamry XSE

More unnerving was a occasional tremble and, on dual occasions, clunks as a delivery was pried from a potency slumber; normal or not, these are a kinds of driveability issues that’ll send normal Camry buyers angry to their dealers…and to ‘a heading consumer publication’ knocking trustworthiness numbers down.

Oh, and a accelerator pedal creates a moving “thwang” sound each time we let off and it smacks opposite a stop. It sounds like one of those stretch doorway stops if we (or your kid) has ever flicked one. How did no one in peculiarity control hear that?

It’s disappointing, and to that finish we wish to make it ideally transparent that I’m not hating on a Camry for sport, like some fan media have been famous to do. we was looking brazen to a ideally chill weekend pushing a well-executed sedan that wouldn’t need a lot of thought; that a Toyota freakin’ Camry unsuccessful during that goal surprises me as most as it does you.

I’m only one reviewer, though: Go expostulate a 2018 Camry for yourself and see what we think. You might not even notice what I’m vituperation about. But, BUT, we owe it to yourself to go expostulate some of a improved competitors — a outstanding new Honda Accord, lush Kia Optima, and even a Chevrolet Malibu burst immediately to mind — before presumption that since it’s a Camry, it’s a default best choice. 

–Andrew Stoy, digital editor

Andrew Stoy

Andrew Stoy

– Digital editor Andrew Stoy has spent a past 20 years slashing on and essay about cars. He’s worked everywhere from play use bays to a domicile of a world’s largest automakers.

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On Sale: Now

Base Price: $26,095

As Tested Price: $28,220

Powertrain: 2.5-liter DOHC I4, FWD, eight-speed automatic

Output: 203 hp @ 6,600 rpm; 184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,340 lb

Fuel Economy: 28/39/32 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)

Options: Moonroof ($900); preference package ($625); blind-spot monitoring with back cross-traffic warning ($600)

Pros: Quiet, gentle cabin; easily designed interior

Cons: Sluggish delivery saps all pushing pleasure and creates disconcerting noises

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