2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE
Driving this Hybrid around Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York
Written by Marco Carvajal
After 35 years of history, the new Toyota Camry 2018 is the beginning of the 8th generation. This new 8th generation Camry is more sporty and fun than its predecessor.
The Camry has been the best selling sedan in the United States for 15 years. It competes with cars like the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, VW Passat and Nissan Altima among others. It seems that the new 2018 8th Generation Camry will continue the pattern of best selling in the U,S.
All Camry sedans sold in the United States are built in the U.S., at the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Kentucky.
The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling medium sedan in the country for more than 15 years, a success very difficult to achieve and maintain. Why is the Camry so successful? Average car buyers continue to believe is the best sedan on the market, and it keep selling and repeating its success year after year. One of the reasons for the long term success of the Camry is the reliability, quality and resale value of this sedan. It has been proven since its first model until today.
Even with the great success of the Camry, there is still a lot of competition around. Toyota is trying to awaken the market, creating a 2018 renewed Camry that would keep attracting new buyers, giving a new push to the Camry,
The New 2018 Camry
The new Camry has a firm and broad stance, as well as a more sporty and sleeker attractive look. The new model is longer, shorter and wider, giving it a slightly lower and sportier profile, creating a great “Keen look design”. This new Camry is one inch lower, longer and wider. The two-part grille has smoother lines and a larger dyed-blue Toyota logo has been added for the hybrid models.
The new 2018 Camry uses Toyota’s latest generation architecture, the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) modular platform introduced last year in the hybrid Prius. Toyota has created the new Camry with the most expressive style, built in a more sophisticated suspension for better driving and handling. With a more sophisticated suspension, the new mounts are meant to make the Camry safer and more enjoyable to drive.
As I drive the Hybrid XLE model around the northeast of the U.S. I can understand why drivers keep buying and buying the Camry. It is not the most luxury car, it is not the most innovative car, but it is just very good, nice exterior shape, comfortable interior, not too big and not too small, good features. Even if it doesn’t come supercharged with a lot of features, the Camry still has most of what the average driver is looking for. Driving the hybrid is wonderful in terms of fuel economy and also has very quiet engine with almost zero noise. The Camry hybrid saves a lot of money in gas to its drivers and it has great performance.
Like the Prius, the battery pack of the Camry Hybrid is now under the rear seat instead of in the trunk. Therefore the trunk space will be identical between the standard and hybrid models, making the hybrid more attractive.
The 2018 Camry Hybrid provides optimal balance between high power output and exemplary energy efficiency. Driving the Hybrid model around Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York, one can enjoy the outstanding performance and fuel economy. The new hybrid gets the normal feel of the brake pedal while mixing friction and regenerative braking.
In the curves of congested highways and bridges on New York, the Camry delivers great performance, being comfortable and safe to take you anywhere. On fast highways or on small city roads, the Camry hybrid delivers an excellent driving experience, no one would note the difference between the hybrid and the regular gas models.
The ride of the new Camry feels more sporty and is much more fun to drive.
The new Power Control Unit (PCU) of the new hybrid system enhances operational efficiency of this eco-sensitive powertrain and better cooling system efficiency, helps to reduce energy loss and deliver higher performance on the Camry Hybrid.
Toyota’s new Hybrid System (THS II) has been engineered to provide great performance, using the new Sequential Shiftmatic technology that allows the driver to “shift” the continuously-variable transmission (CVT), mimicking a quick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission via paddle shifters (on SE grade) or with the console-mounted shift lever.
Part of the outstanding performance of the Camry Hybrid is due to the balance of two electric motors working together. The new TNGA platform moves the battery pack of the hybrid behind the rear seats area, providing larger trunk space and better gravity.
The 2018 Camry is available in four models, in addition to the Hybrid trims.
- LE, base model
- XLE better equipped
- SE, a sports model
- XSE, luxury
The Hybrid Camry is available in the LE, SE and XLE versions.
The back of the Camry carries much more sculpted and complex shapes. The more sporty SE and XSE models differ not only for their different front and grille, but also for the new rear style, door sill extensions and a small lip spoiler on the trunk lid.
Prices start at only US $ 23,495 for the base model.
|Model||Starting MSRP Price|
|2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE||$28,600|
Engine and Performance
The base engine of the 2018 Camry continues to be a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 16-valve with 206 HP and 186 foot-pounds, now coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission. For the superior models it comes with a bigger engine, V6 of 3.5 liters and 24 valves with 301 HO and 267 lb-ft.
The four-cylinder engine has 25 HP more than its predecessor, and is the strongest in the segment. More power is always appreciated by drivers.
The hybrid version of the new Camry, comes with a 4-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine with 176 horsepower, 163 lb-ft. + 118 HP synchronous engine, 149 lb.-ft., with a combined production, 208 hp, 1, 0 kWh of lithium ions or 1.6-KWh of nickel-metal-hydride and a continuously variable automatic transmission.
A new Sport model in the Hybrid Camry will allow drivers to move through six simulated gears in a continuously variable electronic transmission.
The 4-cylinder engine has a combined EPA rating of 28 city MPG and 39 highway MPG. The V-6 manages 22 MPG in the city and 32 on the highway for the XSE and 22/33 for the XLE.
The Hybrid models have an excellent fuel economy with the EPA fuel consumption of 51 city MPG, 53 highway MPG, for the LE model, and the SE and XLE come with 44/46 MPG.
Driving the Camry is smooth and easy, with a small application of energetic driving, the change to sport mode and the use of paddle changes, breathes life into it. Reducing the change with the palettes in the corners makes it more sober.
The new suspension is very soft and comfortable. The eight-speed transmission is smooth and fast, offering almost imperceptible changes.
The front seats have been completely redesigned, using a mixture of soft touch materials and color blends to convey a more luxurious impression, even in the base models of the new 2018 Camry.
The interior is perfectly comfortable and cozy, with a hip seat point that has been reduced by three-quarters of an inch. The steering wheel adjusts more than the previous Camry and it is more sensitive.
It comes with the newest information and entertainment system of Toyota, the Entune 3.0, with its biggest update may be the navigation system based on standard applications of the company, which works through an Apple or Android phone connected to the application Scout installed to offer real moving maps and step-by-step instructions as well as a car navigation system.
For my wishlist, I would like a standard nivation system, not app based, to be included on the XLE models.
Additional equipment adds a panoramic sunroof, JBL premium audio, wireless device charging, Wi-Fi and an 8.0-inch touchscreen instead of the standard 7.0-inch.
Each Camry is equipped with 10 airbags and the usual suite of standard electronic security systems. Every Camry comes with the Safety Sense-P, which includes collision alerts with pedestrian detection, adapted cruise control, alerts and lane departure correction. Some versions will also include blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.
The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE is a great buy for those who want to buy a nice car with great hybrid performance, with a low price of $28,600. The XLE is not supercharged with features and options, but has most of the main elements you need and it delivers outstanding fuel economy and good driving performance.