2018 Toyota Camry First Look

Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photos by Adrenaline Lifestyles

As a Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) member I was invited to celebrate the all-new 2018 Toyota Camry at River Farm in Alexandria, Virginia. The beautiful venue had a alluring landscape and overlooked the Potomac river. The event was complete with Camry demos, lunch, product demonstration and a Ride and Drive session that covered some of most picturesque views that the Washington DC area has to offer. The Camry has kept a great reputation as being one of the most reliable cars on the market, so I was excited to get the chance to experience the new redesigned model.

I have seen the Camry change so much over years, since it was known as the Celica Camry, but for 2018 this is most sporty design to date. Upon first look I was impressed by Toyota’s midsize sedan. The Camry is lower and wider than the outgoing model, with about a 2-inch-longer wheelbase. This move has made the Camry a bit smaller on the inside, losing rear legroom and shoulder room. It was still a comfortable ride and fit for me. The driving position is roomy and I had plenty of headroom.

The country setting, river view and winding roads, were the perfect elements for me to enjoy the seat time with the Camry. The Camry’s newly-developed 3.5-liter V-6 is equipped with the highly-advanced D-4S direct injection system that kicks out around 301 horsepower at 6,600 rpm with a torque rating of 267 ft.-lb. at 4,700 rpm. This surely attributed to the sharp steering and crisp cornering of the Camry on the route. Going in and out of the corners, I felt the balance was good and the ride was comfortable. Toyota has improved the steering and the braking to the ride and handling of the Camry. There is a “Sport” button on XLE, XSE, and V6 models as well as an S shifter gate next to the D position on the shifters. Paddle shifters come on the SE, XSE, XSE V6 and SE Hybrid models. On a more detailed review from an extended ride, I will be able to tap into how the Camry reacts and handles when the throttle is wide open.

I was impressed by the standard 7-inch touch screen, even though it comes with an option to upgrade to an 8-inch version. Each of the Camry models come with Toyota’s Entune 3.0 infotainment system. There is built-in navigation as well as the ability to tap into the users’ phone thru Toyota’s app suite. Unfortunately, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not supported. The controls were user friendly with great touch response. JBL hasn’t let me down yet and the 800-watt, nine-speaker JBL sound system in the Camry maintained its’ reputation. The bass pounding 10.1-inch subwoofer in the rear hit hard, sending pleasant vibrations throughout the ride. Road and wind noise seemed quiet inside the Camry cabin.

The Camry comes equipped with ten airbags and the Toyota Safety Sense P system, that is standard on all models. This includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure assist, hill-start assist, auto high-beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning come standard on the top XSE and XLE trims but are optional on all other models, except the base L. Drive Start Control prevents the car from jumping forward or backward if the shifter is moved while the accelerator is accidentally depressed. I am confident in stating that Toyota has covered all bases in the safety department.

The 2018 Toyota Camry has an EPA-estimated rating of 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway/26 mpg combined with a base price on various models between $24,380 – $35,835. 2018 is going to be strong for Toyota with the C-HR, Prius and the upcoming Avalon. With the Camry, Toyota is really sitting on the throne as the king of the midsized sedan. Enjoy the photo gallery and stay tuned for a more detailed review later after my extended drive.


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