Behold a confidant box: 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE

Toyota’s Camry developed from a brisk compress into a tasteless midsize car. Last year, when Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda introduced a all-new 2018 Camry, he admitted it sexy.

He was right: America’s renouned family sedan dazzles. Built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture, it is lower, longer and wider. It wears a Kabuki-like face apparently wrenched from a Pacific Life logo, a humpback whale with ventral grooves or pleats. The XLE hybrid promises careful operation, reduced tailpipe emissions and superb confines. Motivation: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, hybrid electric engine and 1.6-kWh nickel-metal hydride battery. Total hybrid horsepower: 208.

While a new Camry isn’t slow, a engine and engine with invariably non-static delivery blubber like a Milwaukee County Zoo pachyderm. Thrust is ample: zero-to-60 mph in 7.9 seconds. But a acceleration isn’t linear due to a engine’s on/off motorized helper. Regardless, this automobile is desirable; a engine restart is as well-spoken as burrata cheese. Likewise, crude it is startling since it isn’t surprising. The delayed pedal relates predicted appetite recuperation and attrition binders.

The vehicle’s revoke position imparts a aloft clarity of road-going control. Leather-clad buckets, correct pedals and tractable steering mainstay entice drivers. Instrumentation lacks daytime punch. In contrast, during night a arrangement projects information atop a hood.

Toyota tastefully eschews faux-wood trim. Like a Milwaukee Bucks arena’s zinc cladding, there’s a sculptured tiger’s eye, quartz-style insert above a glovebox. A core console, surfaced by a leatherette-clad pad, blocks seat-heat dials and a shift-lever foot obscures a rigging indicator. This console rises asymmetrically, with a twist, insincere toward a driver. There’s a cordless phone charging cubby. Toyota requires we to download a smartphone app for navigation.


Luxury perks: open interior doorway panels, resisting tack work with leatherette next a stalk that separates a door’s midsection from a sill. This stalk extends into a doorway levers. Buttons flanking a all-day-visible, 7-inch infotainment shade relate that motif.

Dash-pad graining apes sanded leather. Sun visors extend laterally though don’t totally strengthen from a sun. Front-seat headrest indents elicit a selected Peugeot 504’s comfy chairs. Rear passengers get face vents. Since a hybrid batteries reside underneath a abaft seat, backrests conceal to extend load room.

Operating a steering wheel’s azure-illuminated switchgear requires organisation stabs. Haptic feedback, furthermore, is weak. You can inadvertently set a journey control to an outrageously high speed since radar regulates quickness for you; a outing computer’s mph pictograph is tiny.

Toyota’s driver-assist apartment (Safety Sense) works. You can name “late” line keeping. That reduces direction-finder wrestling. Toyota’s camera-based park support could forestall we from inadvertently bashing into a garage. Auto reason clamps a brakes after you’ve stopped while in drive. They release, when we daub a “gas” pedal.


Belt it

You contingency belt yourself in sequence to capacitate automobile reason or an alternative-to-normal expostulate mode (sport) after we start a car. That’s irritating if we don’t have a garage doorway opener. Chicagoland cabbies overpower Toyota’s reserve reminders by sitting on their buckled belts. 

Toyota doesn’t set a electronic parking stop should we open a driver’s door, while in reverse. The automobile beeps, though; a change push is required (PRNDL). Why door-open backing? Some directly perspective their sourroundings (especially with high rear-deck cars) rather than depending on mirrors and a backup camera with predictive parking overlay. Other carmakers, furthermore, revoke cacophony including tune-player volume low while reversing. Toyota includes behind cross-traffic alert.

This Camry’s organisation float is not resilient. Hustling it on a cloverleaf or on behind roads reveals wrinkles. On a highway, a steering centers good and has good off-center effort. But ask it to dance, and a 18-inch Bridgestone tires don’t bite. Instead, a automobile runs wide, bobs and pushes. The fortitude module reins in misadventures.


Snowy Sidebar

The Camry ambled by a sirocco that sent others pirouetting on Milwaukee County’s turnpike system. Grille-slat sensors, however, iced over, causing a dashboard polite invulnerability drill. Ice also encased a left wiper. You can partially spin off a fortitude program, when rising on sleazy pavement.

Observed miles per gallon: 34. That’s good though distant from a EPA’s numbers: 44 city, 47 highway and 46 mpg combined. Cold weather, that requires a engine to run when “idling” producing interior heat, cuts cold-weather mileage by 15 percent according to Toyota’s rep. 

MSRP: $37,139 including $1,050 (driver-assistance container with bird’s eye perspective camera), $845 (moonroof), $1,800 (JBL/Entune audio system) and $299 (illuminated door-sills). 

The 2018 Camry hybrid is essential transportation. With a alluring, upscale interior, it promises to invite a owners for years to come.


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