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Toyota Camry: 2018 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contender

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/17/2017 Motor Trend Staff
2018-Toyota-Camry-LE-Hybrid-front-in-motion.jpg Toyota Camry: 2018 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contender

We Like: Light and rigid chassis, V-6 verve, diamond-quilted seats

We Don't Like: Refinement lapses, unsubstantiated sport pretensions

Most editors agree: This is one giant leap for the Camry. The TNGA platform underpinnings make this car lighter, stiffer, roomier, and better-handling. It looks better, too. Tom Gale praised the car's overall gesture and improved stance, but he found some details overwrought. Still, in a vacuum—or an underinformed marketplace—it shines and will sell like Patti Cake$.

But side-by-side comparisons with the Accord reveal disappointing lapses in the Camry's refinement. The doors slam with a tinny clang, the idling four-cylinder vibrates the car, and the automatic electric parking brake actuates noisily.

a car parked on the side of a road© Motor Trend Staff

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Angus MacKenzie: "The Camry appears expensive from a distance, but when you look closely, the fit and finish isn't all that great," Christian Seabaugh saw some interior issues. "This infotainment system is quickly lagging behind the competition—you can't even get CarPlay," he said. The new Honda Accord outflanks Camry in all of these areas, and it's bigger inside by a cubic foot or three in the front, rear, and trunk.

Another issue: The XSE V-6 shouts "I'M SPORTY!" but the 2.0-liter 10-speed Accord is quicker to 60 mph, and when you press the hot-rod Camry in the corners, its steering feels pretty numb, the body rolls lazily, and there's no sport transmission logic to speak of. Seabaugh felt the Hybrid model "fit the character of the Camry better than the other two pseudo-sporty models," although the EV mode shut off frustratingly at 25 mph. In the end it was the Accord's superiority that barred Camry from the finals.

2018 Toyota Camry XSE front three quarter in motion 00© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Toyota Camry XSE front three quarter in motion 00
2018 Toyota Camry LE Hybrid2018 Toyota Camry XLE2018 Toyota Camry XSE (V6)
BASE PRICE $28,695$29,345$35,845
PRICE AS TESTED $31,600$33,865$38,230
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedanFront-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedanFront-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE 2.5L/176-hp/163-lb-ft plus 118-hp/149-lb-ft front electric motor; 208 hp combined2.5L/203-hp/184-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-43.5L/301-hp/267-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION Cont variable auto8-speed automatic8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,584 lb (57/43%)3,492 lb (59/41%)3,665 lb (60/40%)
WHEELBASE 111.2 in111.2 in111.2 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 192.1 x 72.4 x 56.9 in192.1 x 72.4 x 56.9 in192.7 x 72.4 x 56.9 in
0-60 MPH 7.4 sec7.6 sec5.8 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.6 sec @ 92.6 mph15.9 sec @ 90.2 mph14.3 sec @ 99.6 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 125 ft122 ft123 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.75 g (avg)0.81 g (avg)0.82 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.8 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)27.3 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)26.7 sec @ 0.66 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 51/53/52 mpg28/39/32 mpg22/32/26 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 66/64 kW-hrs/100 miles120/86 kW-hrs/100 miles153/105 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.37 lb/mile0.60 lb/mile0.76 lb/mile

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