2018 Toyota Camry

2018 Toyota Camry Review

With an enviable blend of space and efficiency, the Camry is a best-seller for a reason.
7.6 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Jason Kavanagh
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The Camry is the archetypal midsize family sedan. Though it has grown larger over many generations, the latest, redesigned 2018 model checks in at roughly the same exterior dimensions as its predecessor. That's fine — it's plenty big enough already, thanks. The 2018 Camry's styling is a big departure from the norm, however.

You can sense the difference from 10 paces away. The uninspiring styling we've come to expect on the Toyota Camry has been replaced with a lower and sleeker look. But sleeker doesn't mean reduced headroom and reduced visibility because the seats, hood and side glass have dropped a similar amount. In fact, we figure that interior space has been enhanced.

Much of the credit goes to the stiffer platform and its double-wishbone rear suspension, the key element that makes this Camry different from any produced in the last 30-plus years. Past Camrys relied on a rear strut suspension because of its low cost. But rear struts are bulky and compete for space with the back seat and trunk. The more sophisticated rear suspension was recently used on the Toyota Prius, and the positive effects on that car's ride comfort, road noise, handling and even steering feel were substantial.

As before, there will be three powertrain choices, all of which are either new or significantly revised. The all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine makes 203 horsepower, while the optional 3.5-liter V6 now cranks out a stout 301 hp. Both come paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission that further helps improve fuel economy. The fuel-sipping Camry Hybrid (reviewed separately) is new as well.

On the safety front, you'll find a common array of features including 10 standard airbags and a rearview camera. But the most impressive safety feature on this new Camry has to be the standard inclusion of the Toyota Safety Sense-P, which means that even the cheapest 2018 Camry will have traffic-adapting cruise control, automatic emergency braking in case of an imminent forward collision, lane departure warning and mitigation, and auto-dimming LED headlights.

While we appreciate the Camry's newfound attention to style, safety and handling precision, Toyota's Entune infotainment and smartphone integration won't please many people. It just isn't as easy to use as rival systems. It's the most glaring shortcoming of this otherwise well-rounded family sedan. If you're in the market, the Camry is going to be one of your best choices for 2018.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Toyota Camry as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize Sedans for this year.



What's new for 2018

The 2018 Toyota Camry has been fully redesigned. Key differences from the outgoing Camry include a longer wheelbase, sleeker styling and a revised rear suspension geometry, along with two distinct styling themes depending on trim level.

We recommend

Go for the SE trim for its more satisfying driving dynamics and more buttoned-down demeanor. Its ride quality is still quite agreeable, too. As for options, it's largely about your budget, but we recommend springing for the Audio package and the Convenience package. The former has a larger touchscreen, connectivity enhancements, dual-zone climate control and rear vents, while the latter's keyless ignition and auto-dimming rearview mirror live up to the package's billing. We also suggest sticking with the four-cylinder engine since it's fuel-efficient and respectably powerful.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Camry is available in five distinct trim levels: L, LE, SE, XSE and XLE. The differences among them chiefly boil down to features, with the exception of the SE and the XSE that also include a sportier suspension calibration. All trims are available with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 203 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque (add 3 hp and 2 lb-ft for XSE models), and a 3.5-liter V6 (301 hp, 267 lb-ft) is optional on XLE and XSE models.

All Camrys are equipped with Toyota Safety Sense, which is a suite of driver assistance features including adaptive cruise control, a frontal pre-collision system, lane departure alert with steering assistance, and automatic high beams.

The base L sets the floor for the base price but won't be commonplace due to its relative paucity of equipment. This Camry comes with 16-inch steel wheels, automatic LED headlights, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a rearview camera, keyless entry, a 7-inch touchscreen interface, one USB port, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system.

LE models add a few key items that most drivers will want: an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with two-way power lumbar adjustment), 17-inch alloy wheels, a 60/40-split folding back seat and a car alarm.

SE variants mark a personality shift toward keener driving dynamics courtesy of a sport-tuned suspension and a revised steering calibration. They also receive 18-inch wheels and simulated leather upholstery (SofTex) seats and paddle shifters.

You can think of the XLE and XSE trim levels as versions of the LE and SE, respectively, with a variety of additional comfort and convenience items. Highlights include larger wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a head-up display, blind-spot monitoring, keyless ignition, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, extra USB ports, a bigger 8-inch touchscreen, a premium JBL sound system and Qi wireless smartphone charging.

Many of the features found on the upper trim levels can be added to the lower trim levels as options. Other notable options include a sunroof and a top-down parking camera system.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2018 Toyota Camry XLE (2.5L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | FWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.6 / 10

Driving

7.5 / 10

Acceleration7.0 / 10
Braking7.5 / 10
Steering7.5 / 10
Handling7.5 / 10
Drivability8.5 / 10

Comfort

7.5 / 10

Seat comfort7.5 / 10
Ride comfort7.5 / 10
Noise & vibration6.0 / 10
Climate control7.5 / 10

Interior

8.0 / 10

Ease of use8.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out8.0 / 10
Driving position8.0 / 10
Roominess8.5 / 10
Visibility8.5 / 10
Quality8.0 / 10

Utility

8.5 / 10

Small-item storage7.0 / 10
Cargo space9.0 / 10

Technology

6.5 / 10

Audio & navigation5.0 / 10
Smartphone integration6.0 / 10
Driver aids7.0 / 10
Voice control7.5 / 10

Driving7.5

The 2018 Camry has more spirit than its predecessor, which is most apparent in its more substantial steering and handling abilities. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder gives adequate shove in most conditions, and its new eight-speed automatic transmission is well-mannered.

Acceleration7.0

The four-cylinder engine's strong power in the upper rev range gives it satisfactory oomph when you need to accelerate up to highway speeds. But it's less impressive around town when the revs are low. In our tests, the Camry needed 7.9 seconds to reach 60 mph, which is an average time.

Braking7.5

It's easy to modulate these brakes, and the pedal effort is nicely judged, neither firm nor mushy. Even panic stops are easy to manage. In our testing, the Camry stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is a bit longer than expected for a midsize sedan.

Steering7.5

Steering is suitably direct and well-weighted, with good on-center feel. It's not exactly sporty in terms of feeling the grip at the front tires, but certainly keener than previous Camrys. Sport mode makes the steering unnecessarily heavy.

Handling7.5

Well-mannered within its modest limits. Feels tidy for a car of its size in this class. Body roll isn't excessive, though it bobs vertically on bumpy, twisting roads more than we'd like. The SE or XSE should be more controlled. Tire grip is modest.

Drivability8.5

The eight-speed automatic transmission kicks down willingly most of the time and doesn't hunt among gears. It picks up cleanly from a standstill with no lurchiness or pregnant pauses. A pleasant, innocuous driving experience.

Comfort7.5

The big and comfortable seats, well-executed ride and powerful climate control mean the Camry will suit drivers of most sizes well even on long trips. With that said, it's on the noisy side, with a prominent engine buzz when accelerating and noticeable wind and road noise at freeway speeds.

Seat comfort7.5

At first sit, the front seats feel overstuffed, flat and wide. But this impression dissolves quickly because long-trip comfort proves excellent. The seats combine modest bolsters and medium-firm padding with stiff leather. The back seat is upright, with a flat bottom and modestly contoured seatback.

Ride comfort7.5

Compared to previous Camrys, this car feels more buttoned-down. Not a hint of harshness, though. Typical pavement bumps, whether large or small, are damped well overall. The ride is never wallowy or floaty, but it does exhibit some excessive vertical ride motions on bumpy roads.

Noise & vibration6.0

This isn't a serenely quiet car. The engine is buzzy during acceleration but fades into the background when cruising. There's noticeable wind and road noise, too. This might be the trade-off for the new Camry's somewhat sharper dynamics.

Climate control7.5

Two knobs for temperature and buttons for other controls make for a clean, simple and effective layout. The digital display doesn't wash out. It cools powerfully even in triple-digit heat and operates very quietly, making it even better. The back seat gets two vents as part of an option package.

Interior8.0

The Camry's cabin won't wow you with its opulence, but it nails the fundamentals across the board. It will satisfy a truly broad range of sizes and shapes. It's appropriately spacious, easy to decipher its various knobs and buttons, and is a cinch to live with on a daily basis.

Ease of use8.0

The Camry presents itself well, with no mysteries. Clear, large gauges and simple, well-labeled buttons make it intuitive for anyone to operate. Radio volume and tuning knobs are easy for the driver to reach but are a stretch for the passenger.

Getting in/getting out8.0

Typical of Toyotas, the Camry is easy to get into and out of. It has very light doors, a narrow sill and a sizable opening. It's lower than the outgoing car, so there's a smidge more of a drop into the seat.

Driving position8.0

Taller drivers will be pleased with the additional reach of the telescoping wheel, though more would be preferred. A generously sized driver footwell and good relationship of the steering wheel to the pedals and seat make it a very natural drive.

Roominess8.5

Ample head- and legroom for 6-plus-footers. The cabin feels airy. The back seat has ample legroom for 6-footers, though their heads brush the headliner of our panoramic sunroof-equipped test car.

Visibility8.5

A lowish beltline and slim pillars aid the view forward and out the front side windows. Average visibility over your shoulder and out the back window. Optional bird's-eye view camera on our test car provides a clear and comprehensive depiction of the surroundings.

Quality8.0

A step up from the old Camry in design and materials. Soft-touch surfaces abound, and they look and feel good. Its design and variety of textures won't be mistaken for those of a luxury car, but they're attractive without sacrificing functionality. Our preproduction test car had a couple of creaks.

Utility8.5

As midsize sedans go, the Camry's stuff-hauling credentials are pretty solid. The cargo area is large and opens wide, plus the back seat is easy to fold down to fit longer items. There are enough cabin storage options to make most people happy. Loading a car seat is straightforward, too.

Small-item storage7.0

Good but not stellar cabin storage. The forward center console bin is great for concealing items but has a hard, slippery floor so items slide around noisily. The console bin at your elbow is a decent size. The modest door pockets in the front and rear are good for small water bottles only.

Cargo space9.0

The large trunk and the 60/40-split folding back seat with trunk-mounted release handles make it easy to expand the space. The trunk is dimensionally similar to the outgoing Camry's trunk, but it seems easier to live with, perhaps due to its wide opening and nicely low liftover height.

Technology6.5

While all Camrys have a suite of driver assistance features as standard, many are too sensitive and/or cannot be turned off completely. Its smartphone integration is subpar, built-in navigation is not available, and it stymies attempts to use phone apps as a workaround.

Audio & navigation5.0

The audio system layout is simple and effective, with chunky, well-labeled buttons and a clear display even in direct sun. However, built-in navigation is unavailable and it mutes your phone when plugged in, making it impossible to follow a navigation app's audio alerts. Slow to start up.

Smartphone integration6.0

Smartphone users will be disappointed. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available. Phone pairing via Bluetooth is straightforward but failed on the first attempt. The user must pair Bluetooth and connect a cord running Entune 3.0 to get access to most features.

Driver aids7.0

Its many standard driver aids are a nice touch. However, the lane departure warnings are overly sensitive and cannot be turned off, which some drivers will find infuriating. The pre-collision system is too sensitive during routine parking maneuvers and certain acceleration instances.

Voice control7.5

Voice commands are on the clunky side, but at least Siri Eyes Free and Google Voice are available by pressing and holding the voice button. This is a pretty good alternative, and you don't have to run the Entune app to make it work.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.