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2018 Toyota Camry XLE V6 review

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The Good

Really, take every notion you have about the last generations of Camry out of your mind. This isn’t your father’s Camry. Toyota says they’ve redone the 2018 Camry from the ground up. Evidence of that is everywhere. From the outside, in the XLE trim, the 2018 Toyota Camry is an attractive car. Not stunning, but it catches your eye. There are definite hints of Lexus in the styling, which this reviewer is a fan of. Buy the XSE, and you’re treated to even more aggressive styling. But, styling is only skin deep. It’s what’s under the hood that counts.

Here, you’ll find a 301 HP 3.5L V6 powering the front wheels through an eight-speed transmission. This is the most powerful stock Camry to date. This is more power than Toyota gives the Sienna or Tacoma; vehicles that weigh over 1,000 pounds more. The result is a very responsive car. Engage sport mode, and the 2018 Toyota Camry rewards you with hood raising performance. While Toyota doesn’t post any times officially, Motor Trend rates the V6 at 5.5 seconds to 60mph (100 km/h). Wowzers! Road handling is excellent. Suspension maintains controlled composure during aggressive cornering and acceleration. With sport mode engaged, one might forget they’re in a 2018 Toyota Camry.

Toyota borrowed many bits from the Lexus parts bin for the interior. Build quality is excellent, and finish is to typically excellent Toyota standard. What isn’t here, however, is uninspiring styling. From the inside, the 2018 Toyota Camry is downright good. Great even. Interior styling cues combine functional placement with eye pleasing aesthetics. XLE and XSE models are treated with ventilated leather sport seating, highlighted by cross stitching. The dashboard is an example of what modern clusters should look like. Attractive analogue dials are complimented by a simplistically informative driver information center. Driver controls are where you expect them to be. A linear gear selector is simple, easy to use, and ergonomically comfortable.

The 2018 Toyota Camry is bigger than outgoing models, but the interior feels tighter. Not to be held against it, however. Three full sized children seats will fit into the back seat, with a mere inch to spare. There is great trunk space for luggage, and more than enough front seat flexibility for even the tallest folks. Seats all around are very comfortable, firmly supporting passengers without a hard or harsh feeling.

Improved in this 2018 Toyota Camry is the audio system. Powered by Gracenote, and piped through speakers made by JBL, balance is much better than other Toyota models. For a mid-sized, everyday car, there is a good amount of technology packed in. New for 2018 is Toyota’s sensory package, which includes lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. While bit behind others, it was worth the wait. The adaptive cruise is one of the best we’ve tested, even handling start stop traffic with ease.

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Written by Dan Croutch

Dan is a freelance automotive writer and YouTuber (DanDrives). He enjoys all things pickup trucks, classic cars and minivans (really). Fascinated by technology and cars. EV hopeful, but slightly skeptic. He blogs at http://dan.croutch.ca occasionally, tweets @dcroutch obsessively.

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