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2018 Toyota Camry quick review

By Byron Mathioudakis, 23 Nov 2017 Car Reviews

2018 Toyota Camry quick review

TOYOTA believes its eighth-generation Camry will remain Australia’s bestselling mid-sizer as a result of a massive refocus on refinement, strength, safety, handling, ride and value.

Tell me about this car

A replacement for the Australian-built Camry, and the latest generation of one of the most popular cars in the country. The mid-sizer sedan market may be contracting but Toyota is undeterred, pulling out all stops to make the new Camry the best-ever. Still holding on to its renowned reliability, affordability and durability virtues, this eighth iteration adopts an all-new architecture that is designed to lift driveability, efficiency, refinement and comfort up to European levels.

Strengths

  • Adopting the Toyota New Generation Architecture technology, the 2018 Camry sits on a longer, wider and lower platform, boosting packaging and space. Slimmer pillars, a lower bonnet line and deeper glasshouse provides better vision.
  • Livelier acceleration, coupled with rousing mid-range muscle (aided by a CVT auto revamp), more seamless operation and less-grabby braking makes the 160kW-combined Hybrid (from a tenner under $30K) a likeably capable Euro-diesel alternative. With a claimed 4.2L/100km average, the series-parallel greenie even out-sips earlier Priuses. Impressive.
  • Both four-pot Camrys revel in the altogether higher-quality chassis, boasting newfound steering linearity with no kickback, more balanced handling, stable cornering at speed and – best of all – a more supple ride.

Weaknesses

  • Ascent’s clammy plastic steering wheel is jarring, and the fixed rear-seat headrests seem like a weird 1970s Corona throwback.
  • In the flagship SL, the helm is oddly muted, the nose a tad heavier and the ride a little harder (and louder) than we’d like. And although the sizeable outputs suggest otherwise (224kW/362Nm), the anticipated performance wallop doesn’t eventuate. Overall, Camry V6 is no Holden VF Calais grand tourer delight.

Other rivals I should consider?

Volkswagen Passat, Mazda 6Skoda Octavia, Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Ford Mondeo, Hyundai Sonata, Holden Commodore, Subaru Liberty