Best looking Camry ever offers many trims
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Never underestimate Toyota and certainly never doubt the Camry. That’s been a safe statement for more than 30 years and, since it has been a best-selling midsize sedan for more than 15 years, there’s little reason to assume change.
Yet, Toyota delivers an all-new Camry that is without doubt the best-looking design it has ever offered for the sedan. The Japanese automaker says the Camry is full of new innovations from its entertainment interface to the award-winning safety features.
There’s been one reason to buy a Camry that seemed to top any other – the reliability ratings that set the bar for everyone else, to start. The Toyota brand, and Camry, are notably durable and have few issues over decades of development.
Toyota offers 10 variations of the Camry in 2018. Look for three distinct powertrains, two transmissions and starting prices that range from the base L at $24,380 up to $35,835 for the XSE V6.
The options are not limited to the gas-powered versions of the Camry, there are three hybrid trim levels: HV LE at $28,685, HV SE at $30,385, and HV XLE at $33,235.
The 2018 Camry maintains its reputation for interior craftsmanship, fit and finish quality. The cabin ranges from standard cloth to posh leather options. This is a very comfortable seating position and my tester provided power adjustments.
While there was some noticeable engine noise penetrating the interior spaces, it was easily covered with the outstanding audio system. It never reached a level that was annoying. Outstanding seat support makes it easy to take the Camry on a long-distance trip. The back seats have plenty of head and knee room, and the center-rear position, despite a hard cushion and floor hump, can still handle an adult.
Dash treatment for the Camry is attractive and contemporary, with distinct nighttime back lighting that assists with discerning important gauges.
Toyota’s Safety Sense is standard and includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, brake hold, hill start assist, and automatic headlight high beams. Other safety equipment, such as blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert with automatic braking, is standard on more expensive trim levels.
There are four trim levels with hybrid, 4-cylinder and V6 powertrains. The Camry’s most popular engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that kicks out 203 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is very capable of moving the 3,296-lb sedan around town or down the highway with great confidence.
Impressive numbers are associated with Camry, especially given its size. Look for city/highway/combined fuel consumption at 28/39/32 mpg. For customers who demand a bit more ‘lively’ performance, Toyota has a Camry S version, which offers a stiffer suspension, tighter steering and a more aggressive transmission.
All gas-engine models get front-wheel pull through an 8-speed automatic transmission, which can be manually shifted, with steering wheel paddles on S models. Hybrids use a smooth gear-driven continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
The steering is precise, with a good on-center feel. Along with the Camry’s new double wishbone independent rear suspension system, it contributes to capable handling on twisting roads.
The LE trim, which pushed the base price up an additional $3,800, is well worth the price of admission as audio, interface and navigation options make the jump easily a value in my book. Top-line V6 power is a noticeable luxury at $35,800-plus, but this is a big sedan that can always use some extra ponies under the hood and if you can afford the jump, you will enjoy the extra push.