Home Tech & Toys Gear Lust – The 2018 Toyota Camry

Gear Lust – The 2018 Toyota Camry

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Safety features


The Camry has 10 airbags and the Safety Sense P system standard on all models. The latter brings features like pre-collision braking (with pedestrian detection), auto high-beams, and dynamic radar cruise control to every Camry.

Trim levels starting with an X come with rear cross-traffic braking, auto-hold brakes, sonar parking assist, blind-spot monitoring, and an electric parking brake. Drive Start Control prevents the Camry from jumping forward or backward if the shifter is moved while the accelerator is accidentally depressed.

Not everything is peachy

We’re not a fan of the eight-speed version’s calibration. It’s smooth when driving smoothly, but there’s a Sport button on XLE, XSE, and V6 models, and an S shifter gate next to the D position on the shifters.

These features should sense aggressive driving and hold lower gears through high-g corners and downshift while braking for a curve, but they don’t.

Hit the gas to pass on a two-lane road with either engine, and there’s a split-second delay before shifting and a somewhat late optimal gear.

The hybrid SE “gears” are bizarre as well. Upshifting during wide-open throttle runs minimal effect. Hitting the (-) paddle for a downshift convincingly increases engine noise but without much slowdown or regenerative braking.

Handling

This might be the best-handling Toyota Camry yet, thanks to various tweaks like its lower body, broader rear track, and 1.9-inch wheelbase stretch.

Cornering is smooth and stable, with good neutral balance. Careful steering into turns show no plowing understeer.

The electric steering assist removes any traces of road grip levels, but effort levels are appropriate, and the ratio feels natural. It doesn’t speed up or slow down unexpectedly as you turn the wheel.

As before, the Toyota Camry has endless sheets of sound-dampening material that makes conversations pleasantly audible at highway speeds.

Verdict

We can’t help but be impressed with the Toyota Camry. It gives the 10th-generation Honda Accord – its clear rival – a serious run for its money. With this forward-looking effort, Toyota is seriously strengthening its position as the leader of the mid-sized sedan.