2018 Toyota Camry: Monthly Update for November 2017
by Cameron Rogers, Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
We continued to pack miles onto our 2018 Toyota Camry in November, but it didn't come close to matching the roughly 3,000 miles we reported in October. Last month, the Camry mostly stuck to commuting and weekend tours of Los Angeles County, and we added just more than 900 miles, well below our 1,700-mile monthly goal.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Our overall average fell more than 1 mpg, which isn't surprising since the Camry spent most of its time cruising around town. It's also a relatively new car in our fleet, so any subpar fills will have a noticeable effect on the average. We averaged 27.2 mpg over 912 miles in November, which dropped our overall fuel economy from 30.4 mpg to 29.2 mpg.
Average lifetime mpg: 29.2
EPA mpg rating: 32 combined (28 city/39 highway)
Best-fill mpg: 35.2
Best range: 487.7 miles
Current odometer: 3,725 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"The Camry's control knobs on the center console don't feel logically placed. The volume knob is up too high and far away from the passenger. The tuning knob is on the wrong side (left of the screen), and where my hand would naturally gravitate to for a volume adjustment, I find the climate control knob instead." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"'Go home, Camry. You're drunk.' There seems to be a ghost in the machine when it comes to the Google Pixel and a vehicle's infotainment system. Senior Writer Carlos Lago has documented it, Photo Editor Kurt Niebuhr has also talked about it, and now I'm going into it. There are three of us on staff who like what the Pixel offers; either that or we just like rebelling against the iSheep. Either way, having a phone with the most up-to-date Android OS poses problems.
"In our new 2018 Toyota Camry, entertainment seems to be a deterrent for the head unit in relation to usage of the phone. While it works just fine with phone calls, Google's Play Music has issues. The central touchscreen reads 'Audio player connected,' and then a couple of seconds later 'Audio player disconnected.' This happened for about five minutes straight. That's when I got frustrated and decided that SiriusXM was the way to go or else I was going to punch the head unit square in its proverbial jaw. After further discussions with Carlos, we surmised that there are two culprits involved: the latest-and-greatest OS Music app and Toyota's head unit firmware. We came to this conclusion after we found our Pixels worked seamlessly on every other vehicle in our fleet! We'll keep you updated on this matter." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle testing technician
"Last year, I was astounded by how many power points our 2016 Kia Optima offered. Our LX 1.6T tester had two 12-volt outlets and a USB port in the front, one charge-only port under the armrest, and one charge port and one outlet behind the console for those in the rear. Arguing about who gets to charge their phone first would be a thing of the past.
"The Camry isn't so generous. On our SE model, there's only one USB port and a single 12-volt outlet, and they're both in front. If I'm listening to music via USB stick and my fiancé needs to charge her phone, we're about to listen to Sirius. Two additional charge-only USB ports are added in the XSE trim, and they output more power than the standard port (2.1 amps vs. 1.5). The additional ports are not available for the SE.
"There's also a Qi pad up front, but you'll need a phone or case that supports wireless charging. I've experienced mixed results, as mild g-forces cause my phone to fly from the pad and charging is slower than a direct USB connection." — Cameron Rogers, staff writer
"I've driven the Camry for a total of two weeks since we bought it in mid-September, and I'm still finding little surprises. There's a small storage cubby below the Qi charging pad just in front of the shifter. The pocket is pretty small, but if you need to hide small items, or just use it as a phone holder if you don't use the charging pad, it does the trick." — Cameron Rogers
"My first real car was a 1991 Toyota Camry that my uncle gave me in 1999. When he handed me the keys to his no longer needed four-cylinder, manual transmission, DX model, it had well north of 200,000 miles.
"It had manual seats, hand-crank windows, and old-timey sideview mirrors that were adjusted with a little plastic crank lever. There was no factory air conditioning, and someone had stolen the radio. This car was all business, no frills, and I totally dug it. The fewer the gadgets, the fewer things to break was my opinion.
"Our new 2018 Camry? I love every ounce of it. Nearly twice the horsepower and still gets better gas mileage. A spacious, comfortable interior. The ride is far more interesting; it handles better than my old car, but it's softer and more forgiving at the same time.
"And in my eyes at least, this thing is gorgeous! But I wonder: Will it live as long as the '91 I once adored? All of the creature comforts in the new iteration are not only welcome, but necessary in today's car market. And that's not a bad thing. But when you buy a new Camry, the belief that the vehicle will last as long as a mountain is part of the deal.
"If my beloved 1991 Camry pulled up alongside me on I-405 tomorrow, I wouldn't be surprised. Vehicles of that vintage felt like they were made to be immortal. I'm just not sold that these new vehicles, with all the tech, will be quite as hassle-free for owners over two decades as their predecessors were." — Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor