Jesse’s Reviews – December 2018
There’s a reason the Camry has become a popular choice for drivers: Toyota is known for dependable, reliable transportation. I have a soft spot for the Camry, thanks to the handful of them I’ve had throughout the years. I have also observed their reliability during my years in auto repair, with most of the Camrys I’ve owned going well beyond the 100,000-mile mark. I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days with the 2018 Toyota Camry XSE, getting familiar with the updates and upgrades, and I must say, this isn’t your average Camry.
The first notable difference in this Camry is the striking exterior. The Camry was redesigned for 2018, and it’s nothing short of beautiful. From the first impression, the car highlights a much more aggressive look than we’ve ever seen, flaunting clean lines from front to back. The prominent front grille has a sports car appeal, which extends through the rest of the body and around to the rear of the car. What really sets this particular model apart is the two-tone paint job and the black and alloy wheels, offering a sporty and sexy look. (Yes, the Camry is sexy.) Toyota has produced a much-needed upgrade that looks just as good in the bold blue color scheme I drove or the more laid back and conservative colors offered.
Looking good is important, but most of our time is spent inside the car, not looking at the outside of it. Comfort, function and entertainment are crucial when it comes to a daily driver, and the Camry has always been fair at both. Fair wasn’t good enough, so Toyota stepped up to the plate. The 2018 Camry XSE comes with a sleek, contoured interior that isn’t overwhelming, presenting easy controls over all of its functions and features. The XSE is the sportiest trim package Toyota offers for the Camry, and it comes with a bevy of unique highlights. The interior comes with inductive phone charging, a panoramic sunroof, a 10-inch color head-up display, dual-zone automatic climate control and leather seat covers.
Always reliable, always trustworthy, the Camry continues that legacy with this model. The 2018 XSE is powered by a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that generates 301hp, much stronger from engine options in the past. The DOHC V-6 is paired with a silky smooth, eight-speed automatic with a manual shifting mode, providing a fun element to the driving experience. Toyota has also outfitted the Camry with a host of active-safety features, such as lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking. This particular model is rated for fuel mileage of 22mpg in the city and 32 highway, offering decent mileage, although not as good as the four-cylinder versions.
This version of the Camry is a lot different than the Camrys you and I are used to. I was awestruck by the attention to detail inside and out, while the exterior redesign is impeccable. This car looks as good cruising the streets as it does picking up groceries—and yes, I did both.