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Toyota Camry

By Kelly Foss

Toyota Camry | Starting price: $23,500

Toyota’s Camry has enjoyed the position of the topselling midsize sedan for decades. The primary attribute that has created such a loyal following has been reliability. High reliability vehicles make popular used cars so their resale values are also very high. Historically the Camry hasn’t necessarily been the prettiest or most engaging vehicle but it was the smart “logical” choice. So, Toyota is trying a new approach with the 2018 model by making a vehicle that is more emotionally engaging AND ultra-reliable too! They’re adding the “I want to” buy this car element to the historic motivation that “I should” buy this car.

So to make this transition, the car has to look appealing and feel good as well as function properly. The styling of the new Camry is quite fetching. It is a dramatic departure from the past and attempts to get the car noticed in a crowd. The lines of the car make it appear larger and more substantial than before. Some Camry models have a large gaping grille with prominent black trim elements, black lacquer wheels and even two-tone paint jobs thanks to Toyota’s Midnight Black Metallic roof and rear spoiler.

Current models offered are the L, LE, XLE, SE, XSE where the “L” connotes luxury and the “S” is for sport. Powertrain designs remain largely the same but efficiency has improved. Whereas the rival 2018 Honda Accord offers small displacement turbo 4 cylinder engines with CVT and 10-speed automatic transmissions, Toyota has chosen to stick with its base 2.5 liter 4 cylinder and an optional 3.5 liter V6, both un-turbocharged engines and 8 speed direct shift automatic transmissions. The 2.5 engine offers very high fuel economy ratings of 29 city and 41 highway. Toyota’s legendary hybrid model has been upgraded and is now rated at 51 city and 53 highway!

The hybrid batteries have been repositioned below the seats providing more trunk space and giving the Camry a lower center of gravity. All Camry models have not only dramatic new styling but a more responsive and engaging driving dynamic.

The highly styled interior does forfeit some usability in deference to dramatic styling but for many, that’s a fair tradeoff. The cabin space is generous and the seating comfortable. The trunk space is large and usable and for the hybrid models, with the repositioning of the battery, the trunk now has a traditional configuration. The tombstone-shaped seat inserts are novel as is the Cockpit Red interior treatment in the XSE sport model… bold indeed!

A major part of the Camry upgrade is technology and the biggest advancement in that regard is in safety systems. The new Camry comes with virtually all the latest safety gear found on the market today. This includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert with braking, intelligent sonar vehicle clearance, 360-degree birds eye camera, radar cruise control, collision avoidance etc.

The new Camry retains its functionality, durability, has improved styling and driving dynamics. It also retains virtually the same starting price as before… so what’s not to like?

For more information on this car and other vehicles, visit mycardata.com.

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