2018 Toyota Camry: Monthly Update for October 2017
by Cameron Rogers, Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
Our new 2018 Toyota Camry has only been in the fleet for a month and a half, but we've wasted no time breezing past the engine break-in period of 621 miles. In fact, we've put nearly 3,000 miles on Blue Lightning since we purchased it in mid-September. In that time, the Camry has seen its share of city commuting, highway driving and instrumented performance testing. A few local trips bookended the month — Josh Sadlier took it to Palm Springs in early October, and I drove to Temecula at the end.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Our Camry SE has a fuel economy rating of 32 mpg combined (28 city/39 highway), making it one of the most fuel-efficient midsize sedans with a base engine. In our first six weeks, we've come surprisingly close to the EPA's combined rating with a 30.4 mpg average, though our best-fill tank is a bit shy of the official highway rating.
I don't think we'll have any problem eking out 39 mpg from our Camry, however. I noticed that the trip computer displayed average fuel economy of more than 41 mpg on an 80-mile round-trip jaunt to Universal Studios, and that included about 15 miles in stop-and-go traffic. We just need to take it on a few road trips to gather good fuel data. I even have a trip in mind. The SE's 16-gallon tank should be able to take me from my house to Las Vegas and back with a few gallons to spare. I could use another burger....
Average lifetime mpg: 30.4
EPA mpg rating: 32 combined (28 city/39 highway)
Best-fill mpg: 35.2
Best range: 487.7 miles
Current odometer: 2,810 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Good or bad, here's what I noticed the most after one night in our new Camry.
1: The Camry has a great driving position with excellent outward visibility. It's a very easy car to get comfortable in.
2: Having to download two apps (Scout GPS Link and Toyota's Entune 3.0) to display navigation on the touchscreen is convoluted and annoying.
3: The SE's sport-tuned suspension makes our sedan feel noticeably better than any Camry I've driven before. This model is less floaty on the highway, more composed on high-speed cloverleaf ramps, and less bothered by the occasional patch of rough road.
4: The sound that the driver's door makes when you close it is a little more hollow that I would expect from a Camry." — Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor
"I love how weird the Camry's interior is. It must've been a blast to be on the design team. The dashboard has all sorts of fun angles and slashes and asymmetries, plus that strange metallic insert above the glovebox that's shiny and wavy for no apparent reason. You can use a lot of words to describe the new Camry's cabin, but 'bland' won't be one of them." — Josh Sadlier, senior manager, content strategy
"Count me among the fans of the new Camry's super cool interior. The leatherette-covered dash and silver trim make the cabin look expensive, and the high-resolution touchscreen is a definite step up from the previous model. I'm looking forward to spending more time behind the wheel over the next 12 months." — Laurel Carden, social media manager
"I've already taken our new Camry on a couple of road trips, and I've been surprised each time by the amount of tire roar that makes its way into the cabin. The Camry has traditionally been the quiet one in this class, as opposed to the noisy (or 'sporty') Accord, but I actually think our Camry SE could use some more sound-deadening material. Presumably the regular Camry LE is more pleasant because it's shod in less aggressive tires, but still. To me, a hushed highway ride is part of the Camry's identity, and the redesigned 2018 model doesn't quite deliver on that." — Josh Sadlier
"There's much to like about our Camry. It looks good, handles better than any Camry I've driven, and has a pleasant interior. However, the notable omission of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is an absolute deal-breaker for me. I listen to a ton of podcasts, and those systems give me an easy way to manage the current playlist while offering a far more practical navigation option." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"Bluetooth streaming audio straight up did not work for me. I'm using a Google Pixel running the latest Android operating system (8.0). I can pair Bluetooth and make calls without issue, but I can't find a way to stream music or podcasts through the car's stereo. I went through every menu I could think of, both on my phone and in the car, and haven't found a solution. The audio display occasionally shows the info of the track I'm listening to, but then says something to the effect of, 'Audio Device Disconnected.' I downloaded the new Entune 3.0 app (which currently has a 2.0 star rating out of 5 on the app store), but it doesn't support the apps I use to listen to music or podcasts. Whether the fault of my phone or the car, it's a pretty frustrating thing to experience in 2017." — Carlos Lago, senior writer
"Our new Camry was just delivered. I am not completely sold on the color (it's called Blue Streak), but the styling seems revolutionary considering this is, well, a Camry. I like that it finally has some character." — Mike Schmidt, senior manager, vehicle testing operations
"I already have a lot of opinions about our new Camry, and I'll get to them all eventually, but I want to start with a pretty simple truth: I think the 2018 Hyundai Sonata is better. It's more comfortable, has a better infotainment system and driver aids, and a more usable control layout. If I was planning on commuting in one of these cars for the next three to 10 years, I'd take the Sonata without hesitation." — Will Kaufman, associate staff writer