You know I think Toyota may have started to take all those ‘grounded to the ground’ jokes a little personally, because the all new 2018 Camry is faster, more powerful, more fuel efficient and, for some reason, it looks like it’s ready for combat sports.
We know that your typical Jalopnik reader won’t get jazzed up about a new Camry. But I also know that there are a good number of you who secretly drive Camrys and also read this fine website. I’m not here to judge. So if you happen to be ready to upgrade your current Camry to another Camry, because that is how this purchase typically goes, here is what you need to know about the 2018 model.
All trims of 2018 Camry will cost more than last year’s models. However, with extra cost comes some not so modest improvements in fuel efficiency, power and technology.
While the industry is largely trending towards turbos, Toyota is sticking with naturally aspirated four and six cylinder motors. The newly developed 2.5 liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 are now mated to eight-speed automatic transmissions.
The all new 2.5 liter Dynamic Force Engine, now pumps out 206 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, a healthy jump over the previous motor that managed 176 hp and 163 lb-ft. The base engine will also get an EPA estimated 29 MPG in the city and 41 MPG on the highway. Toyota says that is a 26 percent improvement in efficiency over the outgoing car.
There was a time when if you wanted a mighty 200 horsepower in your Camry you had to step up to the V6. Now that power is available on the base model, and the new V6 cranks out a whopping 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. The previous V6 had only 268 hp.
Of course, Toyota will also offer a hybrid version that combines a gas and electric motors with a total output of 208 horsepower. If maximum miles-per-gallon are your thing be aware that the LE hybrid is the most efficient, with a combined rating of 52 MPG due to its lithium ion batteries and other fuel saving technology. The SE and XLE hybrids have a combined rating of 46 MPG, which is a 21 percent improvement.
Pricing for the four-cylinder starts at $24,380 for the very basic L model, $24,885 for the LE, $26,085 for the SE, $29,335 for the XLE and $29,885 for the XSE.
The V6 cars get the biggest jump in price with the XLE V6 version going for $35,285 and the top range XSE V6 at $35,836.
The hybrid cars are priced at $28,685 for the LE Hybrid, $30,385 for the SE Hybrid and $33,135 for the XLE Hybrid.
The safety suite comes with blind spot detection, collision mitigation, and automatic braking standard. But the Camry’s draw isn’t about cold technology, at least, according to the automaker. Toyota says the new Camry was designed to “Create a soul-stirring sedan possessing enhanced, praise-worthy driving dynamics.” We will have to see about that when we get behind the wheel, but some of us have a theory that Toyota wants to see how ugly they can make their cars while still selling a billion of them. With the crossover takeover currently in progress, it will be interesting to see how this styling risk plays out.