2018 Toyota Camry: Monthly Update for June 2018
by Kurt Niebuhr, Road Test Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
I can't say June was a particularly pleasant month for our 2018 Toyota Camry. Not because it was in an accident or suffered any mechanical failures, but because it endured another month of abuse and vitriol directed at its in-cabin technology and drivability. The former might very well be the culprit behind the Camry's distinct lack of road-trip mileage.
But it wasn't all bad for our blue 'Yota. And while it took a child seat to highlight something positive, at this point I think the Camry will gladly take praise when and where it can get it.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The Camry covered around 1,000 miles in June and did so in the usual mix of Los Angeles surface streets and congested freeways. And while there was a road trip of moderate length thrown in there, the monthly average fuel economy hovered just over 27 mpg, well below its combined rating of 32 mpg.
Average lifetime mpg: 29
EPA mpg rating: 32 combined (28 city/39 highway)
Best fill mpg: 35.2
Best range: 487.7 miles
Current odometer: 13,279 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"All I want to do is listen to the music on my phone and Toyota's Entune nonsensical and faulty Bluetooth system won't let me. It's constantly connecting and disconnecting, all the while music is playing through my phone's speaker. I've given up. How did Toyota get this so wrong?" — Kurt Niebuhr, road test editor
"The wireless charge pad in the Camry is useless unless the car is stationary. Initially it would charge the phone, but as soon as the car moved and shifted the phone, its connection would be interrupted. The charge pad doesn't even have any sort of rubber surface or walls to keep the phone in place.
"While driving to Disneyland, I used the USB port to charge up my iPhone X and my sister tried juicing up her iPhone 8 Plus on the charge pad. I already knew it didn't really work on my phone, but I figured her larger phone would have better luck. But nope. By the time we arrived at Disneyland — a 50-minute drive away — her phone charge increased by just 3 percent. Too bad there wasn't an extra USB port for her to use, but I guess the pad was supposed to take the place of that." — Caroline Pardilla, senior copy editor
"Had the pleasure of driving my sister and 4-year-old niece down to Disneyland for the day. While I was getting adjusted in the driver's seat, my sister was loading up and securing Astrid's forward-facing child seat in the back.
"'Oh yay!' she suddenly said. Turns out the Camry had a conveniently placed tether anchor that was on the rear shelf instead of hard-to-get-to spots such as on the cargo floor or on the back of the seat. She normally drives a BMW SUV and I don't have kids, so neither of us knew that sedans usually locate the anchor up there. Score 1 point for sedans." — Caroline Pardilla
"With the Toyota Camry, it's more about the destination than the journey. The Camry isn't especially fun or easy to drive. And I'm not knocking it because it's a family sedan. As Takahashi said in last month's update, 'It is slow to respond.'
"I'm usually a proactive driver and rarely use cruise control. But while driving our Camry to San Clemente, about 75 miles south of L.A., its lethargic response beat me down and I resigned myself to my fate in the right lane. Whenever I stomped on the accelerator, the engine groaned as if straining to give me what I wanted and then ultimately failed in doing that. This made it a pain to try to pass cars, as it loudly disclosed my intention and then slowly did so. Not my favorite road-trip car." — Caroline Pardilla