2018 Toyota Camry: Everything you need to know

Based on 2017 sales, Toyota Camry still the leader in dwindling car segment

With our continued obsession with SUVs, crossovers, and trucks, the best-selling car in America has to be special. Toyota’s Camry has slotted in at that top rank for the past 15 years, coming in just ahead of the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic in 2016. In this first year of the Camry’s eighth generation, the 2018 Toyota Camry bumps up the horsepower, fuel economy, and technology compared to previous generations.

The new Camry is produced at a Georgetown, Kentucky plant. Cars.com named the Camry the “Most American Made” car. The Camry is also the first American-built Toyota to use the global conglomerate’s Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). The basic concept of TNGA is to use common platforms (the parts you don’t see) with several models, which in theory allows greater engineering emphasis on the each model’s unique features (the parts you do see). For example, the 2018 Camry, Avalon, and Highlander are all built on Toyota’s D platform.

Camry has a redesigned exteriors for 2018 that attempt to move away from the vanilla 4-door sedan look common to many car lines. The “sporty” Camry models — the SE and XSE — have mesh grilles and what appear to be large air scoops on each side at the front bumper line. Toyota describes the look as “catamaran-inspired.” The front end on L model Camrys — the L, LE, and XLE — have horizontal trim pieces for a more refined, sophisticated look.

News and updates

Based on U.S. 2017 calendar year sales, which includes multiple model years, the Toyota Camry was the best selling car of the year, followed by the Honda Civic and Honda Accord in the second and third spots. During 2017 387,081 Camrys, 377,286 Civics, and 322,655 Accords sold, according to unit sales numbers from the manufacturers.

The Camry’s sales numbers were down 1,537 from 2016, when the mid-size sedan was also the top-selling car. The consumer buying shift in favor of crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks resulted in almost 10 percent fewer cars sold among the 12 best selling models, year over year. Crossover and SUV sales for the top 12 models increased by 8.22 percent overall and the top 11 trucks gained almost 5 percent in 2017 sales numbers compared to 2016.

2018 Toyota Camry Engines and Transmissions

Camrys have all new engines and a new transmission for 2018. L, LE, XLE, SE, and XSE Camrys have a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder twin-cam, 16-valve aluminum alloy engine. In L, LE, XLE, and SE trims, this engine produces 203 hp and 184-pound-feet of torque. The XSE gets a small boost to 206 hp and 186 lb-ft with the same engine. The XLE V6 and XSE V6 have a new 3.5-liter twin-cam, 24-valve six-cylinder that makes 301 hp and 267 lb-ft.

The three Camry Hybrid models — the Hybrid LE, Hybrid SE, and Hybrid XLE — have an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECV/T) paired with a hybrid 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The gas engine produces 176 hp and 163 lb-ft. The electric motor produces 118 hp and 149 lb-ft. When both motors are used the net is 208 hp.

The non-hybrid models all use Toyota’s new Direct Shift 8-Speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. All conventional and hybrid 2018 Camrys except the conventionally powered L, LE, and SE have multiple efficiency modes. Push a button to select Sport mode for greater accelerator response, ECO mode for throttle input moderation for better fuel efficiency, and Normal mode for a balance of performance and economy.

2018 Toyota Camry Tech

All 2018 Camrys have Toyota’s Safety Sense P (TSS-P) driver assist bundle which includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Optional assistance features include Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, Intelligent Clearance Sonar, and a customizable 10-inch color Head-Up Display that shows selected data on the lower part of the windshield. Assist feature availability varies by model.

All Camrys have a multi-function display in the driver’s dashboard, ranging from 4.2 to 7 inches diagonal measure depending on model or option packages. All cars also have 7-inch or 8-inch multimedia touchscreen displays with navigation and an app suite.

Toyota’s optional Remote Connect smartphone app system can help you find your car, monitor guest drivers (“guest” meaning anyone other than the person who controls the app), or adjust the interior temperature when you’re not in the car.

Which Toyota Camry is best for you?

Because Toyota offers so many Camry models, picking the right car could seem daunting, but the first steps are easy. First, decide if you want gas or hybrid gas/electric power. With that decision made, next choose whether you prefer the S models for the sportier look or the L models for their more elegant look. Once you’ve made those two decisions you can jump into one of the three groupings below to differentiate further based on comfort, convenience, and style choices.

2018 Camry L, LE, XLE, XLE V6

The L’s are Toyota’s non-sporty-looking Camry models. Realizing that the sportiness of the S models is mostly in appearance with slight more in-your-face design touches, the Camry L models have a more restrained look that may appeal to you more. The four L models are the Camry L (starting price $23,495), LE ($24,000), XLE ($28,450), and XLE V6 ($34,400). If you choose the XLE V6 version, the difference doesn’t end with the larger engine. The V6 model includes more comfort and convenience features in the base price than the 4-cylinder powered XLE.

The 2018 Camry L is the least expensive model in the full Camry lineup, but don’t think for a second the L is a stripped down car. Bi-LED headlights with auto on/off, LED daytime running lights and taillights, and solar energy absorbing glass and a noise-reducing windshield are all standard. AC, an integrated backup camera with projected path, 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display, and the Toyota Safety Sense-P are also included. Power windows and door locks, rear window defogger, and an LED illuminated glove compartment all to come with the base price. The Camry L is the only model with a 14.5-gallon fuel tank.

The Camry L also has the Entune 3.0 audio with navigation and an app suite including a 7-inch touchscreen, AM/FM, MP3/WMA, Siri Eyes Free and Google Voice controls and more. When you start counting the included safety systems, with everything from whiplash lessening seats to smart stop technology, the base package is pretty impressive. There are no factory option packages for the Camry L.

The 2018 Camry LE adds 17-inch alloy wheels and larger tires, a power driver’s seat, 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, an overhead console with map lights, sunglasses storage, and an anti-theft alarm system.  The LE also opens the door for a power moonroof, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, and upgraded convenience and audio packages.

Moving up a step in luxury from the LE, the 2018 Camry XLE brings it on big time. In addition to the L and LE features, the XLE includes 18-inch chrome alloy wheels and larger tires, LED headlights, dual-zone automatic AC, a backup camera with dynamic grid lines, and a 7-inch multi-information display. The XLE also includes leather seats, full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, a 10-inch HUD, a smart key system for doors, trunk, with push button start, wood interior trim, and even more factory options including a panoramic glass roof.

For more power and standard cool features, the 2018 Camry XLE V6 tops this portion of the model lineup. The Camry XLE V6 includes as standard the panoramic glass roof with power tilt/slide moonroof, Qi wireless smartphone charging, Homelink universal transceiver, and textured metal interior trim. The standard audio system for the XLE V6 mode (and the XSE V6) is upgraded with an 8-inch touch screen and a long list of music and information services including standard Wi-Fi to support up to five devices in the car.

Trim 2018 Camry L 2018 Camry LE 2018 Camry XLE 2018 Camry XLE V6
Base price $23,495 $24,000 $28,450 $34,400
Drive wheels Front Front Front Front
Base engine 2.5L 4-cylinder 2.5L 4-cylinder 2.5L 4-cylinder 3.5L V6
Base horsepower 203 203 203 301
Base torque 184@5,000 RPM 184@5,000 RPM 184@5,000 RPM 267@4,700 RPM
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Fuel Regular gas Regular gas Regular gas Regular gas
Fuel capacity (gallons) 14.5 16 16 16
Fuel economy 29/41/34 28/39/32 28/39/32 22/32/36
Base wheels 16-inch steel 17-inch alloy 18-inch chrome alloy 18-inch chrome alloy
Body style 4-door sedan 4-door sedan 4-door sedan 4-door sedan
Seat upholstery Cloth Cloth Leather Leather

2018 Toyota Camry SE, XSE, XSE V6

If you prefer a sporty looking vehicle, even if the performance doesn’t match the appearance, the Camry S models have the more distinctive design elements in the Camry lineup. With increasing levels of comfort and convenience features, the 2018 Toyota Camry S lineup includes the SE ($25,200 starting price), XSE ($29,000), and XSE V6 ($34,950). Note that, unlike the L models, there is no Camry S — the least equipped sportier Camry is the SE. As with the XLE V6, if you choose the XSE V6 version, the difference doesn’t end with the larger engine. The V6 model includes more comfort and convenience features in the base price than the 4-cylinder powered XSE.

The 2018 Camry SE has the same functional, comfort, and convenience features as the LE, but adds a black grille with a mesh insert, color-keyed side rocker panels and rear spoiler, a single exhaust with dual chrome tips, and 18-inch black alloy wheels with wider 45 series tires. The SE has Toyota’s Sport SofTex material on the front seats and embossed mesh interior trim.

Move up to the 2018 Camry XSE and you’ll find smoke-tinted LED headlights and taillights, color-keyed mirrors and door handles, and dual exhaust with quad chrome tips. XSE’s also have 19-inch black allow wheels with 40 series tires, and the same raft of upgraded features in the XLE. The XSE also gets 3 more horsepower from the same 4-cylinder engine shared by the other conventional gas models.

The 2018 Camry XSE V6 is most sporty and luxurious in the lineup. In addition to its 301-hp V6 engine, the XSE V6 includes the panoramic glass roof with power tilt/slide moonroof, Qi wireless charging, and the 10-inch HUD with a wide range of customizable settings for info displayed on the windshield.

Trim 2018 Camry SE 2018 Camry XSE 2018 Camry XSE V6
Base price $25,200 $29,000 $34,950
Drive wheels  Front Front Front
Base engine  2.5L 4-cylinder  2.5L 4-cylinder  3.5L V6
Base horsepower  203 206 301
Base torque (lb-ft)  184@5,000 RPM 186@5,000 RPM  267@4,700 RPM
Transmission  8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Fuel  Regular Gas  Regular Gas Regular Gas
Fuel capacity (gallons) 16 16 16
Fuel economy 28/39/32 28/39/32 22/32/26
Base wheels 18-inch black alloy 19-inch black alloy 19-inch black alloy
Body style  4-door sedan 4-door sedan 4-door sedan
Seat upholstery Sport SofTex Leather Leather

2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE, SE, XLE

The 2018 Camry Hybrids let you choose either LE or SE styling although if you decide to bump up to the top-of-the-hybrid lineup, the single style option is the more elegant or restrained XLE look. The 2018 Camry Hybrids include the Hybrid LE ($27,800 starting price), Hybrid SE ($29,500), and the Hybrid XLE ($32,250). All Camry Hybrids have a 13-gallon fuel tank.

The 2018 Camry Hybrid LE is the lowest priced in the hybrid lineup and also the most fuel efficient with a 52 mpg city/highway combined rating. Unique among the 2018 Camry Hybrids, the LE has a sealed 259-volt lithium-ion battery. The Hybrid LE has 16-inch steel wheels and cloth upholstery. Unlike the conventional LE which comes standard with front air conditioning, all hybrids have dual-zone AC. All hybrids including the LE model also have full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control. Otherwise, the Hybrid LE features are the same as the conventional LE model.

The sportier-looking 2018 Camry Hybrid SE has 18-inch black alloy wheels, sport-tuned shock absorbers, a 244.8-volt sealed nickel-metal hydride traction battery, and SportSofTex upholstery. Combined fuel economy is rated 46 mpg.

The most luxurious in the hybrid lineup, the 2018 Camry Hybrid XLE, has chrome alloy 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, plus the full range of driver assist, comfort, and convenience features in the conventionally-powered Camry XLE.

Trim 2018 Camry Hybrid LE 2018 Camry Hybrid SE 2018 Camry Hybrid XLE
Base price $27,800 $29,500 $32,250
Drive wheels Front Front Front
Base engine  2.5L Hybrid  2.5L Hybrid  2.5L Hybrid
Base horsepower  176  176  176
Base torque (lb-ft) 163@5,200 RPM 163@5,200 RPM> 163@5,200 RPM
Transmission  E-CVT  E-CVT  E-CVT
Fuel  Regular gas Regular gas Regular gas
Fuel capacity (gallons)  13  13  13
Fuel economy 51/53/52 44/47/46 44/47/46
Electric motor power output 118 hp (88 kW) 118 hp (88 kW) 118 hp (88 kW)
Electric motor torque (pound feet) 149@202 Nm 149@202 Nm 149@202 Nm
Electric motor voltage 650 650 650
Hybrid net horsepower 208 208 208
Traction battery type Sealed Lithium-ion Sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride Sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride
Traction battery voltage 259.0 244.8 244.8
Base wheels  16-inch steel 18-inch black alloy 18-inch chrome alloy
Body style  4-door sedan  4-door sedan  4-door sedan
Seat upholstery Cloth Sport SofTex Leather

Updated: Added information on 2017 Camry sales figures, once again out-selling all other car models.