Your mom may not want one either.
A little background first: My mom has been a Camry fan since she bought her first 1996 LE model in late 1995. I was devastated because she traded in the car I learned to drive, a 1981 Buick Century wagon. Also traded-in was the last vehicle purchase my dad made, a 1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager. The van was near death (disheartening since it hadn’t even ticked over 100K mile mark yet) and the Buick was just parked in the driveway as I had moved to Las Vegas and had no need for it. It was her first solo car purchase without my dearly departed dad doing months of research before making our typical 10-year commitment on a set of wheels. She drove that ’96 about 140,000 miles before she decided it was time to upgrade to a showroom new 2005 LE model which she still drives currently with 132,000 miles. I gave very little input to either purchase because she just needs something reliable and Camry’s have had a great reputation for years.
She’s been pondering a replacement since 2012. She was on a Venza kick for a while (now discontinued), has driven a RAV4 before, likes her friends loaded Avalon, and most recently has shown interest in the Highlander.
I have a new job at a “Major rental car company” and asked if she wanted me to road trip down for a visit (330 miles one-way) so she could scope out the new 2018 that we had with 550 miles on it. She was excited about riding in a potential purchase without going to a dealer and getting haggled, as most people would!
The SE trimmed Camry is fairly basic on the exterior much like her LE version was in 2005. The 17″ alloy wheels are the most noticeable difference compared to her current version with 16″ hubcaps. I personally think the new trend of tail lights coming half-way up the quarter panel is ridiculous, but apparently I’m in the minority.
When I arrived at her house, the first thing she noticed was how striking it was compared to her 2005. Side by side, it was obvious that Toyota is aiming for a younger demographic now with the ’18 model’s aggressive front styling, larger wheels, and overall sporty appearance. I understand sporty is a relative term when talking cars, but c’mon, it’s a CAMRY! It’d be hard to argue against Camry styling being nearly sterile for decades.
The interior is very well laid out with the buttons well labeled and placed. Exactly what Camry buyers have expected since inception. The 2018 is no exception. Automatic climate control should be standard, but isn’t.
The aggressive front end could be considered polarizing to some, but well done. It’s easy to see the new 2018 Corolla similarities and a little Lexus waterfall grille influence. Who ever dreamed there would be 4 design creases on a Camry hood? Whether or not Toyota has a real winner on their hands remains to be seen, but the first impression is promising.
The 2018 Camry isn’t flashy, fast, or luxurious and that seems to work with Toyota’s repeat buyers. It’s comfortable, quiet, and efficient with a new small dash of style. I expect to see just as many of these with 200K miles as any other previous variation on the roads in 10+ years.
Toyota has sold these by the truck, train, and boatloads every year since the mid-80’s. After much debate, mom decided against a new 2018 and has now focused on a 2017. Look for a comparison/review soon of a year old Camry soon.
Things of note:
Are Camry customers prepared for no available CD player?
annoying overly cautious adaptive cruise control
42mpg highway – a little higher than what the EPA states
The XV10 (1992-96) models seem light years in the past.
Buy it? Rent it? Avoid it?
I’m always nervous about 1st year all-new models, but this is really sharp and count on Toyota reliability. It’d be very comfortable for 4 adults for any length of trip.
Toyota if you’re listening . . .
A loaded 301HP XSE coupe with an available 6-speed manual. THERE’S your new customer base potential.
On a scale from 1-100: (1-no way, 100-here’s a blank check)
Buy it new – 45
Buy it later at half the sticker price – 70
F.E.D. (Fun, Efficiency & Desirability) – 55
Oooh and ahhh factor – 40
Recommended – 85
TOTAL – 295 / 500