$19,623 - $29,913

2018 Toyota Camry Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 9.1

When it comes to acceleration and handling, the 2018 Toyota Camry has undergone quite a transformation. Its new four-cylinder base engine is enthusiastic; it’s also one of the most fuel-efficient in the class. Steering and suspension are also more dynamic, while still offering a smooth, relaxing ride when you’re feeling more laid-back.

  • "Let's be clear, this is no sports sedan, but it's no wallowing beast either. We hustled it harder than probably 99 percent of Camry owners ever will and it almost never felt out of its element. The electric steering firms up quickly into turns, the brakes … bite down adequately when called upon." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Regardless of which engine you choose, though, the 2018 Camry is better to drive. Actually, that applies regardless of trim level, too. You see, the LE and SE trim lines carry over for 2018, giving customers a choice of more comfort- and sport-oriented variations, respectively. However, although the two continue to provide clear distinctions visually, the line between them dynamically has been blurred. It can honestly be tough to tell them apart and it's for the better. Both get improved steering that is communicative and impressively consistent in its effort (though admittedly less-so with the V6), along with a suspension that remains impressively composed through corners. The ride remains comfortable in both, but the LE is now more controlled over bigger bumps and undulations." -- Autotrader
  • "With either engine, the Camry driving experience has been elevated. … The chassis is remarkably stoic and gamely resists body roll. In gentler driving, there's a newfound poise that replaces the somnambulant motions of the previous car. The steering has real weight that builds nicely as you turn the wheel. Even in its sportiest iteration, the new Camry may not goad you into screaming around corners or whipping through a series of switchbacks, but should you take the initiative yourself, the Camry steels its gaze and plays along." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The 2018 Camry comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. This 203-horsepower engine has a pleasant amount of punch and is very fuel-efficient. Its rating of 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway is one of the highest in the class. On the top trim levels, a 3.5-liter V6 engine is available. Its higher 301-horsepower rating means you can accelerate faster and have one of the most powerful midsize sedans on the block. With the V6 engine, fuel economy drops to 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway.

Both engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and some models have paddle shifters on the steering wheel for extra enjoyment. For the most part, the transmission is smooth and has well-timed shifts, though it occasionally takes a moment to downshift.

  • "The mechanical changes mean that the transformation from behind the wheel is more evident than you might expect. The mainstay four-cylinder is now the most powerful naturally aspirated four in the segment, and its additional output is evident. We found it to be energetic and well mannered with its eight-speed automatic partner." -- Car and Driver
  • "Finally, it is worth drawing distinction between the 4-cylinder engine and the far more powerful V6 engine. Based on the driving performed in Portland, I actually prefer the 4-cylinder. It puts less weight over the front tires, giving the car sharper bite in tight turns. It is also significantly more fuel-efficient. And while it certainly is slower, as far as 4-cylinder engines go, it provides lively and refined response when the driver steps on the accelerator pedal." -- New York Daily News
  • "Our biggest powertrain complaint is with the eight-speed's calibration. … Mash the gas to pass on a two-lane road with either engine, and there's a split-second of contemplation then a swap to an intermediate gear and finally a tardy arrival in the optimal gear." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

The front-wheel-drive Camry feels smooth and composed on the highway and is much nimbler than before. The steering has also been improved; it’s precise and appropriately weighted. Additionally, the brakes are strong.

  • "The steering wheel adjusts more than previous Camrys and felt more even than competitors. The ride is quiet but not isolated, and a little application of spirited driving -- switching to sport mode and using the paddle shifters -- breathes life into it. Downshifting with the paddles into corners brings it out more." -- Autoweek
  • "A smooth and comfortable ride has always been a Camry strength, and this remains true even with the car's improved agility. The suspension of the LE model we rented from Toyota soaked up bumps easily, even when the going got rough, delivering a smooth and refined ride." -- Consumer Reports
  • "Camrys have been known for comfortable rides, but nimble handling typically has been way down the engineers' kaizen wish list. Yet it's the eighth-gen Camry's biggest improvement. This might be the best-riding and -handling Camry to date." -- Motor Trend

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