The 2018 Toyota Camry comes with 8 significant strengths… and a notable weakness

The Toyota Camry has long been a top seller among family sedans, and there is a method to its enduring popularity. The Camry’s success has been rooted in its ability to give shoppers in this segment exactly what they want.

And what exactly do car buyers in this lucrative category want? Well, if you’re a busy mom or dad with the kind of hectic daily routine that requires a master’s degree in multitasking, the thing you probably crave most from family transportation is comfort. And this is what the Camry has historically delivered, from its pleasant ride quality to its blissfully accommodating cabin.

The Camry was redesigned for 2018, and rather than rest on past glories, the new sedan seeks to ramp up the nameplate’s game and broaden its constituency.

Below are eight great traits of the 2018 Toyota Camry… along with a flaw that may or may not be a deal-breaker for some.

The 2018 Toyota Camry comes with 8 significant strengths... and a notable weakness

Unlike past Camrys, the current model boasts sheet metal that is neither bland nor forgettable.

(David Dewhurst Photography)

Safety is an attribute at the top of the list for most people who are shopping for family sedans. Driver-assistive technology can go a long way toward creating a safer driving experience for you and your family. In many cases, though, the best of these features are offered as expensive options on a model’s priciest trim levels.

Not so with the Camry. Base models come standard with a pretty deep assortment of active safety features. The list includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, lane departure alert with steering assist, and automatic high beams. All models come with a rearview camera. These features provide the assistance you need to protect your family on the road.

The 2018 Toyota Camry comes with 8 significant strengths... and a notable weakness

The Camry gets a perfect five stars from J.D. Power for the reliability of its interior, body, powertrain, and more.

(David Dewhurst)

Sure, relatively low gas prices have made strong fuel economy less of a draw than it once was. Many car buyers have short memories when it comes to fuel costs, and the current vice grip that crossovers have on the market is proof.

But there will always be car shoppers who are looking to purchase transportation that provides savings at the gas pump. In this respect, the Camry admirably delivers. The gas-only model gets up to 29/41 mpg city/highway.

For an even bigger fuel-economy advantage, choose the Camry Hybrid, and enjoy mileage of up to 51/53 mpg city/highway. Keep in mind, though, that the Camry Hybrid LE comes with a $3,800 price premium relative to the gas-only LE.

For many years, the Camry was the definition of bland anonymity, the automotive equivalent of Dockers and a beige button-down shirt. But Toyota’s sedan has found some spice in its later years, and the new Camry boasts brash sheet metal that dares to be a little bit polarizing.

It’s easy to see why this call was made. Crossovers have been challenging sedans on the sales charts. One reason for this has to do with their utility, but another has to do with the fact that for many, crossovers are simply a cooler-looking alternative than the typical sedan. We’re no armchair psychologists, but we’re guessing that somewhere deep inside, the Camry wants to be one of the cool kids. At the very least, it simply wants to look the part.

Does the current Camry look cool? We’ll let you be the judge. But with its Darth Vader-style front fascia and purposeful stance, it certainly looks assertive. And it’s a whole lot less anonymous than its predecessor.

 

The 2018 Toyota Camry comes with 8 significant strengths... and a notable weakness

The Camry’s available rear cross-traffic braking facilitates safer rearward maneuvers.

(David Dewhurst Photography)

A reliable car gets the job done with little to no time spent in the shop.

The 2018 Toyota Camry is an all-new model, but past models can certainly give you an idea of what to expect when it comes to reliability. This Toyota has a stellar history on that front.

J.D Power conducts yearly surveys designed to help quantify which vehicles offer the most consistently dependable service. In the most recent survey, the Toyota Camry surpassed all rivals in the midsize sedan segment by a notable margin, earning a perfect five stars across the board for the dependability of its powertrain, body, interior, features, and accessories. If reliability is a key concern, the Camry is easily your top choice among midsize sedans.

 

The 2018 Toyota Camry comes with 8 significant strengths... and a notable weakness

Like V6 power? The Camry is one of only a handful of midsize sedans that still offers it.

(David Dewhurst Photography)

Rearview cameras are quite popular, and they’ve been around longer than many other driver-assistive safety features. These cameras are meant to prevent accidents that happen when a vehicle is in reverse. They’ve had some impact, but overall, they haven’t been as successful at preventing accidents as many would have hoped.

According to information published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in recent years, rearview cameras doubled from 32 percent to 68 percent on all new cars sold. Despite this, injuries caused by cars moving in reverse dropped by just 8 percent.

Rear cross-traffic braking offers a solution. This feature improves the safety of rearward maneuvers by automatically hitting the brakes if sensors detect an object in your path while your vehicle is in reverse. It provides a foolproof approach to backing up your car, and it’s available on the 2018 Toyota Camry.

 

The 2018 Toyota Camry comes with 8 significant strengths... and a notable weakness

Yes, you heard us right: This Camry is genuinely fun to drive.

(David Dewhurst Photography)

For better or for worse, V6 engines are going the way of the Tyrannosaurus rex in the family sedan segment. They’re no longer available on midsize sedans from brands like Buick, Hyundai, and Mazda, and even Honda is bidding the V6 farewell with its redesigned 2018 Accord.

But with gas being so inexpensive, there’s a strong case for investing in the thrilling power and might of a V6 engine. The 2018 Camry helpfully obliges car shoppers with a craving for something a bit more substantial than your standard 4-cylinder engine, and the sedan is available with a 3.5-liter V6 good for a hearty 301 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is offered on XLE and XSE trims.

The 2018 Toyota Camry comes with 8 significant strengths... and a notable weakness

From its frugal hybrid to its sporty V6, the Camry has a flavor to suit your taste.

(David Dewhurst Photography)

The Camrys of old were task-oriented appliances that gave little thought to inspiring feelings of pleasure behind the wheel. But the engineers at Toyota have discovered the value of emotion, and they’ve worked to make the 2018 Camry a memorable and evocative companion on the road.

With the new Camry, buyers get a car that’s truly fun to drive. With the paddle shifters and available V6 in play, the Camry has the goods to put a grin on your face every time you fire up the engine.

Not all infotainment systems are created equal. If your car’s system is slow or counterintuitive, it will serve as an endless source of frustration.

The Camry’s Entune infotainment system gets an upgrade for 2018, and the new interface impresses in all the right ways. It’s quick, responsive to inputs, and simple to navigate and use.

Smartphone integration is a must-have for many modern car shoppers. This feature allows you to seamlessly connect your smartphone to your vehicle, making it easier for you to stay connected while on the road.

Many car manufacturers offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard or optional equipment, and this technology allows you to connect your Apple or Android device to your vehicle. Unfortunately, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration isn’t available on the 2018 Camry. The company cites privacy concerns for its reluctance to dabble in this technology.

Overall, the Camry presents an appealing package, and the lineup offers choices that will please a variety of family car shoppers.

If you’re looking for the most affordable option, you can select a base model. Those looking for something sportier can opt for the V6-equipped XLE or XSE. Eco-conscious consumers can pick the hybrid.

With crossover sales on the rise, family sedans can’t afford to remain complacent. And with its raft of improvements, the 2018 Camry has shown it will keep diligently raising the bar to maintain and grow sales.

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