2018 Toyota Camry Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby
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Our travel mugs filled with hot apple cider, a trio of my friends and I took off in the fully redesigned 2018 Toyota Camry on a misty autumn morning. Our destination was the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to admire the vibrant fall foliage, which had become our annual fall tradition.

With me in the driver’s seat, I chose to take a detour off the beaten path to avoid traffic and get us there in roughly two hours from downtown Washington DC. 

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The midsize Camry sedan felt agile and handled the twisty terrain with expert precision, even as the path of our ascent became narrower. That precision was largely due to the Camry’s much improved driving dynamics, which include accurate steering, stronger brakes, and impressive composure around corners. I felt like a boss behind the wheel.

While the entry level Camry comes standard with 16-inch wheels, my high-trim tester, the XSE, was equipped with 19-inch black alloy wheels coupled with performance-tuned shock absorbers, springs and stabilizer bars. They all worked in perfect unison to help keep the Camry from bouncing all over the place, minimize body roll when the road became uneven, and made our ride and drive much smoother overall.

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Meanwhile, the base L trim level Camry comes with a satisfying checklist of standard equipment. You’ll get forward-collision warning, automatic braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and LED headlights. Those advanced safety features are particularly noteworthy because most competitors offer them as options. The seven-inch touchscreen is loaded with Toyota’s Entune 3, which I found it much easier to use than previous versions.

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Move up to the highest grade, XSE  and you’ll add even more fantastic features. The enviable list includes leather upholstery, a proximity key, remote trunk release, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start,  wireless smartphone charging, enhanced adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear cross traffic braking.

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My front seat passenger and I were also loving the heated front seats during that chilly morning drive. While my two friends in the back felt quite content since they had plenty of head and leg room to stretch out. On those occasions when you’re not ferrying around backseat passengers, the pass-through rear seat sure comes in handy for hauling longer items. Three driving modes --Eco, Normal and Sport round out the XSE’s features.

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All trims are available with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 203 horsepower. In addition, all models are front-wheel drive and have an eight-speed automatic transmission. The XSE returned about 38 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg in the city.

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Starting price for the 2018 Toyota Camry is $23,645.

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