What Is It?
The 2018 Toyota Camry is not just any car — even though the Camry makes up a fair proportion of vehicles we see on every commute. It’s the eighth generation of Toyota’s best-selling mainstream midsize sedan and makes its world debut at the 2017 Detroit show.
That’s the paradox about the Camry. There are millions on the road. We take them for granted. But to be that successful takes a certain kind of talent. One talent that’s never usually associated with this car, though, is driving fun. Toyota is setting out to change this state of affairs.
“New-found sporty performance and style… captivating… stirring… fun behind the wheel… a true driver’s car.” These are just some of the ways Toyota describes the new Camry. Naturally, the buying public will be the ultimate judge of those claims, but they don’t seem too crazy on closer inspection.
The car is designed to be lower and wider, with the driver sitting nearer the center of gravity — all positive aspects for driving dynamics. On a safety note, Toyota also says the A-pillars have been repositioned for better outward vision, as front-three-quarter vision is often hindered by the seventh-generation’s A-pillars. Everyone will have their own reaction to the car’s styling, but at least it’s trying to not be bland.
Some of the new features available include a head-up display, a 10-inch touchscreen, wireless map updates (in models with navigation), a JBL audio system, and Wi-Fi with 4G LTE. Several advanced driver aids, like dynamic cruise control and pre-collision assistance with pedestrian detection, are part of the standard safety setup.
Engine choices sound familiar but have also been updated. The entry level is a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder unit, or there’s a new 3.5-liter V6. Both connect to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Toyota has yet to provide any output or consumption figures but promises more power and better mileage over the outgoing versions. Once again, there’s also a hybrid version, and the company anticipates best-in-class fuel economy.
Trim levels also follow the usual lines: LE, XLE, SE and XSE.
To be announced. The 2017 model starts at around $23,070, so expect something in that ballpark.
When Can You Get It?
The 2018 Toyota Camry goes on sale late summer 2017.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
Among mainstream sedans, this is more than a major player — it’s a landmark. It’s affordable to buy and maintain and gives years of uncomplaining duty. This new generation seems like it could be the best yet.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Honda Accord — The other big name in this class. This generation debuted for 2013, so it’s hardly cutting-edge. But still a solid and dependable buy.
2017 Ford Fusion — Updated for this model year. One of the more involving contenders from a driver’s point of view. Yet still comfortable, roomy and efficient.
2017 Hyundai Sonata — A tempting array of standard equipment accompanies space and quality.
2017 Kia Optima — A new generation debuts for 2017. The previous version evolved into a serious contender.
2017 Mazda6 — Superb in every way.
Used Toyota Avalon — The current-generation Avalon is well-rounded but specializes in comfort and serenity. It has all those things Camry owners hold dear, like passenger and cargo space, safety and reliability. It’s also quite luxurious — almost Lexus-like.