It doesn’t use exotic, lightweight materials. It doesn’t have a crafty electric powertrain. But the Toyota Camry is positively one of the many critical cars we’ll ever review, if only since Toyota sells so damn many of them.
The Camry is now in its eighth generation, and Toyota says this one is sportier and some-more upscale than Camrys of old. However, after a week with one—the $32,250 V6 XSE—I’m left with one conclusion: there are evidently an awful lot of automobile buyers out there who just don’t caring much about their cars.
These days, platforms are out, and architectures—which are some-more non-static and reduction prescriptive—are the hotness. The Kentucky-built Camry is no exception, using Toyota’s New Global Architecture, which also creates up the skeleton of the many new Prius. The complement specifies how opposite components are positioned; a specific tallness chair dictates where the steering circle and pedals and shifter all go. But it also creates for a lighter and stiffer Camry than before, one with a reduce core of sobriety that ought to be some-more beguiling to drive.
As mentioned, the test Camry was a top-of-the-line model. It’s one of the cars under care for World Car of the Year (for which we am now a juror), and Toyota evidently felt that the top-spec automobile would make the best impression. The engine is a new 3.5L naturally aspirated V6, with non-static valve timing and approach injection, and it has the ability to run under the Atkinson cycle for better efficiency. It packs a decent punch—301hp (224kW) and 267ft-lbs (362Nm) and is some-more fit the prior V6 Camry, with an EPA rating of 26mpg total (22mpg city, 33mpg highway). However, both the 2.5L inline four-cylinder (which starts at $23,495) and the hybrid (from $27,800) are both extremely some-more careful to run in that regard. All Camrys send their energy to the front wheels around an eight-speed involuntary gearbox designed in-house by Toyota.
We’ve determined in copiousness of prior automobile reviews that my pushing character in city is not gainful to good fuel economy, and in this case, the automobile didn’t wish to give me an easy-to-read mpg figure. Suffice it to contend that we doubt we managed to compare the EPA’s 22mpg pushing in town.
Not everybody will adore the way it looks
We first saw the new Camry just over a year ago in Detroit, at which time we wrote that it “does demeanour sportier and some-more sparkling than what may good have been the last cab you rode in.” While we still mount by that statement, we can’t contend I’m a big fan of the styling—particularly the XSE version, which gets an assertive front fender and a back with a (fake) diffuser, and rocker row extensions and a back spoiler on the case lid. Perhaps it’s a color-sensitive thing? The white automobile in Toyota’s images looks much reduction disgusting to me than the china automobile we spent my week with.
There’s something about the Camry’s styling that calls to mind the cars of the early jet age, cars from the late 1950s with wings and vents on them. Then again, the Camry’s deadliest rival right now is the new Honda Accord, and that automobile looks like it left the bureau with a outrageous piece blank from the front bumper, so one’s mileage may vary.
On the inside, things substantially weren’t helped by the Camry’s splendid red leather interior. It looks like the bureau of what Terry Pratchett memorably called a lady of debatable affection. Again, my opinion here is a cause of the press automobile since things demeanour a lot reduction disgusting when a some-more calm palette is employed. Ignoring the carmine hide, all else is utterly good. The ergonomics are sound, with the many widely used controls close at hand, and there’s copiousness of storage space in the doors and several other cubbies in the core console. The cabin is splendid and airy, quite interjection to the test car’s twin sunroofs.
The inside is also very roomy, both in the front and back (although the driver’s chair is rather tough and doesn’t offer much in the way of parallel support). And the case is voluminous, at 15.1 cubic feet (427.5L).
It’s a MY2018 car, so it has copiousness of technology
Toyota has packaged copiousness of modernized motorist assists and reserve systems into the new Camry, and I’m happy to report that many of the facilities are enclosed as customary equipment, rather than being sealed up in thousand-dollar option packages. Toyota’s system—called “Safety Sense”—comprises brazen collision warning with walking detection, involuntary high-beam headlights, adaptive journey control, and lane-departure warning with steering assist.
Additionally, the XLE and XSE cars get some additional features: blind mark monitors, back cross-traffic alert, and intelligent clearway sonar, which uses the car’s ultrasonic sensors to detect probable obstructions when moving at low speeds.
Most of these work well, with the difference of the “steering assist” partial of the line depart system. Although it would advise me if we drifted out of my lane, we never felt any steering support assisting me out. After the third or fourth try at vouchsafing the Camry try to drive itself for a couple of seconds finished with me intervening, we gave up trying to test the complement or figure out if it used the industry-standard interlude of 15 seconds before whinging you.
The infotainment complement is Toyota’s latest, called Entune 3.0. It’s built on Automotive Grade Linux; Toyota is a big (and long-time) fan of open-source software. In V6 models, you also get some combined facilities like Siri and Google voice controls (but no Android Auto or CarPlay), energetic navigation (which updates the map frequently over-the-air with POIs and recently combined roads), HD and Sirius XM radio, and 4G LTE with WiFi. Everything is tranquil from an eight-inch touchscreen (seven inches for lower-spec cars). You also get Qi wireless charging in the V6 as standard.
While I’m certain the underlying code in Entune 3.0 is fine, the UI can be treacherous at times (even after a week, we had no suspicion how to cancel a navigation route), and the way it renders the map on the infotainment screen can be a little tough to review at times. There’s also a remote bond duty for checking your car’s status, guest motorist monitoring, and even remote starting, the suspicion of which we am certain is environment some readers’ hair alight.
The UI of the 4.2-inch display on the categorical instrument cluster is also reduction than ideal, with some treacherous layouts that (for instance) make it very formidable to tell how much fuel you’re actually using. Instead of a constantly moving bar graph, how about just giving me a numerical value?
Sorry, still a bit boring to drive
Despite Toyota’s press materials claiming this is the sportiest and best-driving Camry to date, and despite the far-reaching stance, assertive bumpers, and that diffuser at the rear, there’s no getting divided from the fact that it’s still a Camry. That means it’s been designed to be as appealing as probable to the many series of people; the outcome is a safe-if-unexciting time behind the wheel. The float is good and isolates you from bad highway surfaces, but it’s not a automobile that encourages you to squeeze it by the scruff of the neck or demands to be taken out for an early morning drive on a twisty road.
Then again, if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re not going to shop for a Camry. But the sales numbers don’t lie. Last year, some-more than 387,000 Americans bought a new Camry, and there’s every reason to trust that in 2018 it’s going to be the best-selling automobile (as against to truck) nonetheless again.
Listing picture by Toyota