For years, the Toyota Camry was a fine but rather milquetoast vehicle that shared many common traits with a kitchen appliance. It was competent and reliable, but it was never as enjoyable to drive as models like the Honda Accord or Mazda 6. It was simply a means of transportation, but that was enough to make it the best-selling car in the US year after year. Things seemed to have changed with the 2018 model.
Our test car is the top-tier XSE trim, the sporty sister model to the Camry XLE we drove last year. The XSE trades some luxury features for a bit of flavor, giving the Camry far more life than it’s had in years. The sharp front fascia, the two-tone paint and bright red interior all give this car a bit of extra jazz. Add in the 301 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and you get a surprisingly quick and enjoyable five-seat family hauler
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The 2018 Toyota Camry and the 2018 Honda Accord are neck-and-neck for best in segment. Both are excellent. I enjoyed my night in the Camry for several reasons, but the power, design and interior caught my attention the most. It’s an impressive car that excels in all areas.
Toyota is aggressively taking risks with the Camry’s styling. It’s clearly a sedan that’s meant to stand out. I like the looks of the Accord a little more — it’s subtler while the Camry comes out a bit more severe — but they’re sharp in their own ways. This Camry is done up with 19-inch black wheels and smoked LED lights, which add to the attitude.
I’d recommend the Camry. Benchmark it against an Accord and see which one you like the most and you won’t be wrong. Mazda, Chevy and Ford all have strong entries in this segment, but I’d pick the Honda or the Toyota ahead of them.
Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: The Toyota Camry isn’t the sexiest or most exciting car, but that’s not really what this segment is about. Still, I found this model to be quite fetching, especially in white with black accents. The inside of the car is also sleek and attractive. Our tester had a red interior, which really makes the leather stand out and draw your attention away from the black plastic on top of the dash.
It’s also comfortable to drive. It’s quiet, and its suspension soaks up bumps in the road. It also has a decent amount of scoot. When I took it out of Eco mode and put it into Sport, I found the Camry eager to chase traffic down the highway. I made good use of adaptive cruise control in my morning commute, though.