Sunday, July 15, 2018

2018 Toyota Camry XSE: Finally A Standout Because Of Styling

Highlight: This is the first Camry to be available with a heads up display system, which projects the speed and other items on the windshield for the driver.

Test Vehicles MSRP: $39,253 (Base MSRP: $24,565)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a vehicle stability system; a traction control system; a pre-collision braking system with pedestrian protection; a radar activated cruise control system; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 17-inch alloy wheels; smoked LED taillights; power tilt moonroof; rear seat armrest with built-in cupholders; a push button ignition starter system; a keyless remote entry system; an auto dimming rearview mirror; a sliding front center armrest; a dual zone automatic climate control system; heated front seats; leather seats; and power front seats

Standard Equipment (XSE): 19-inch wheels; 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder engine; sport tuned shock absorbers and springs; color-keyed sport side rocket panels; a color-keyed rear spoiler; color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with turn signal and blind spot warning indicators; color-keyed outside door handles with a touch-sensor lock/unlock feature; LED running lights with auto on/off feature; dual exhaust pipes with chrome tips; panoramic glass roof with a power moonroof; 60/40 split fold down rear seat with a center armrest and cupholders; dual zone automatic climate control; integrated rear camera with dynamic guidelines; leather seats; heated power front seats; rear adjustable headrests; a full speed radar activated cruise control system; three driving modes: economy, normal and sport; a keyless entry system; a keyless starter system; an auto dimming rearview mirror with compass; a leather tilt/telescopic manually operated steering system; a wireless phone charging system; a heads up display system; a navigation system; and an upgraded audio system

Options: driver assist package; a navigation package; a two tone body color; illuminated door sill enhancements; paint protection film; and carpet trunk mat set

Other Trim Level:

XSE (4-cylinder)

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker AM/FM/CD with SiriusXM satellite radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder turbo/203-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 40-city/39-hwy

What’s New: The Camry, which is America’s bestselling family sedan, has been reworked inside out, giving the vehicle a fresh and sportier profile, depending upon the trim.

Why: For years, many of the Japanese brand critics have been begging Toyota to design a midsize car that screamed excitement. The automaker has finally addressed the concerns. While many automakers in this segment have literally walked away from the six-cylinder engine, powering their vehicles with four-cylinders and four-cylinder turbos, Toyota decided to offer a mix of powertrains. That mix includes a peppier four-cylinder, a six-cylinder and a hybrid powertrain.

Moreover, for the first time, the Camry is available with such features as
vibrant red seats, a heads up display system, a two tone exterior paint treatment, a variety of driving modes, an oversize sunroof, a brake hold system and electric parking brakes.

The Camry we reviewed was also outfitted with such driving aids as a full speed radar-activated cruise control system to an electronic blind spot system to a lane keep assist system.

Lastly, the new Camry, depending upon the trim is also available with a stiffer more performance-oriented suspension.

But: The vehicle’s driving dynamics isn’t as engaging as the athletic looking exterior design. Also the interior door panels and instrument panel was outfitted with an excessive amount of hard plastic. The interior designers should improve those touch points. Moreover, Toyota needs to follow the Mazda6, offering an iPad like standalone infotainment screen.

Now, while the vehicle we reviewed offered a variety of driving modes such eco, normal and sport, it was difficult to distinguish any noticeable change, as we switched from normal to sport.

Also it wouldn’t hurt if the all-new Camry would have been outfitted with a heated steering wheel and a USB outlet for rear seat occupants to charge up and/or plug in their device.

Lastly, with the price tag of the Camry approaching $40,000, it left us gasping. In a segment, where cars are struggling and several automakers could possibly be backing out, we believe the Japanese automaker needs to reconsider its pricing strategy for the top trim, especially, when consumers can toward luxury imports or pre-owned vehicles.

Verdict: Until now, never before has the words sporty and stylish been associated with the Camry. This five-passenger family sedan, which has firmly planted itself as the segment sales leader, offers a variety of powertrains and trims to appeal to a variety of generations.

In terms of styling, this is the best Camry yet and one of the best looking vehicles currently in the segment. While the Chrysler 200 and the Ford Fusion will soon be history, the Camry is firmly planted to be the segment leader in terms of sales, as consumers and some automakers shift their production toward crossovers, SUVs and trucks. Added to that, this is one of a handful of vehicles in the segment that offers consumers the option to purchase a six-cylinder engine.

Competition: 2018 Chevy Malibu; 2018 Ford Fusion; 2018 Honda Accord; 2018 Hyundai Sonata; 2018 Kia Optima; 2018 Nissan Altima; 2018 Mazda6; and 2018 Subaru Legacy

1 comment:

Adrian Crisostomo said...

Been a Toyota user for years now and i'm looking for a nice back up for my toyota fortuner. When speaking about sedan, the vios is the first thing that comes to mind here in our country. The Camry didn't sell a lot in its first introduction here. But, this new release and upgrade of the camry is so exciting. I agree that when you talk about the Camry, you don't associate it with being sporty or something. I was trying to reserve a unit because they will bring it here next year but all the slots for the base variant is full. I'm still speculating about buying the top of the line variant. Nice review!