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2018 Toyota Camry XLE Hybrid Maybe the best Camry ever and, finally, a very good family sedan, period

2018 Toyota Camry XLE Hybrid

The Toyota Camry is such a well-known commodity that each new generation wreaks with it the expectation of, well, more Camry-ness. More of the stubbornly consistent formula that has established it completely innocuous and also the best-selling gondola( pickups eliminated) in the United States for 15 times straight: a roommate hut, a floaty ride, solid gasoline economy, reliability that would stimulate the Maytag repairman resentful, and driving character so bland it imparts vanilla a bad name.

But with this all-new eighth-generation prototype that is hitting the market now, Camry-ness takes a significant turn. Credit Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, who has decreed that everything of the company's new products be infused with a modicum of stylistic passion and driving verve--far be it from us to argue--so the Camry has received a major modernise, including a new platform, most aggressive styling, and vastly improved driving dynamics.

What hasn't changed is that there are still two branches on the Camry family tree: the sporty-ish patterns( SE, XSE) and the luxury-oriented limb represented by our top-level XLE hybrid exam gondola. The new XLE is traditional Camry ratcheted action up, to much higher levels of capability and refinement.

2018 Toyota Camry XLE Hybrid

Nice Duds, Man

Inside and out, the new XLE imparts off a premium vibe foreign to Camrys of yore. Constructed on Toyota's New Global Architecture( TNGA ), the 2018 Camry rides on a 2.0 -inch-longer wheelbase and is about an inch and a half longer, an inch lower, and three-quarters of an inch wider. The resulting ratios and elegantly ascent roofline render it a more substantial, upscale watch. Brightwork is finely exerted. But for the XLE's unfortunate grimace of a front end, it almost could be mistaken for the purposes of an entry-luxury sedan.

That impression is fortified when you drop into the driver's seat. Passenger space is virtually unchanged and glass range continues inexhaustible, so the cabin once again impressions roomy, airy, and open. The interior textiles, finishes, and designing details are astonishingly rich. Our dark-brown XLE's standard furnishings included quilted leather benches in a subtle, two-tone sunburn that reminded us of the chairs in more expensive sedans. Soft skin-deeps bristle, and hard plastic adornment sections are well disguised.

Designer strokes unexpected in a mass-market sedan are sown about the cabin. For instance, the fragile interior doorway administers are the gratuities of the satin-aluminum spears adorning the door-trim panels. The eject button for the Cd player in the top Entune 3.0 infotainment plan is incorporated elegantly into a thin circle of luminous trims so it all but vanishes. A airstrip of faux wood flanking the sweeping hub stack refracts illuminated in such a way that induces it shimmer intriguingly.

2018 Toyota Camry XLE Hybrid

A Little Bit of Soul

The pleasant stuns extend to the practice the XLE drives. It has clearly benefitted from the switch to the TNGA underpinnings--the body's torsional stiffness has increased by 30 percent, and the old-fashioned car's backside struts are replaced with a more sophisticated multilink setup. No longer does the Camry bob disconnectedly over ruffled sidewalk as if someone unbolted the stupors and hurled them overboard. It now gallops across the larger grows and mutes out humps swiftly and smoothly, with no aftershake. Tar deprives and other road bruises are muffled thrashes heard more than felt.

The steering, illuminated at low-pitched velocities, actually appears connected to something now, with remarkable heft at route velocities, a strong feel of hub, and crispy answer when you swing the rotate into a bending. The XLE still is not a car that you lunge at apexes--skidpad clutch is a reasonable 0.84 g, although the stability authority rushes in early and often--but it's in the zone now, a thoroughly skilled sedan that exits about its business with an breeze of composure.

The Camry lineup offers three engine options, all of them brand-new for 2018: a basi 203 -hp 2.5 -liter inline-four( 206 hp in the XSE ); a 301 -hp 3.5 -liter V-6; and the 208 -hp( total plan supremacy) composite powering our exam gondola. We met the hybrid powertrain a good is in accordance with the XLE's relaxed driving persona. Acceleration is seamless, and off-the-line accelerator answer in the Normal and Sport modes is far livelier than the hybrid's 7.9 -second zero-to -60 -mph epoch would suggest.

Request anything more than meagre acceleration, though, and the hybrid's CVT-like grouping allows the engine to zing up to moderately high rpm and hang there--a action common to continuously variable automatic transmissions( CVTs) and to hybrid powertrains. While it's not a horrid announce, we'd still preferably there were less of it imbuing the otherwise quiet cabin. Not that Toyota didn't try: It contributed a manual mode that permits the driver to sieve through six pretended gear stairs with the console-mounted shifter, but it had little gist on either the interference arising as a result of underhood or the rate of forward progress.

Toyota has do better when dealing with the squishy brake-pedal experience and incompatible answer that beset many electrified vehicles' regenerative restraint organisations. At any quicken beyond about 5 mph, the XLE hybrid's restraints experience virtually normal; the pedal is firm at the top of its circulate and easy to modulate. The plan does have one abiding behavioral mistake in that, at strolling velocities, the restraints sometimes can be annoyingly grabby.

Those are small negatives relative to the gratification of establishing large-scale figures roll up on the readout in the approximate assemble and on the centre for human rights stack's hybrid-system screen. To do this, you'll want to drive in Eco mode, which lessens throttle answer and continues engine rpm as low-pitched as is practicable. You'll notice almost no regenerative braking when you lift off the accelerator( coasting saves power) and some electric-only acceleration up to 10 or 15 mph if you're light on the accelerator.( EV mode didn't significantly increase the time the car spent driving alone on electricity .)

Toyota has exhaustively reworked the brand-new Camry's hybrid system for additional economy, and it pays off. The LE hybrid( hybrid power is not available on base L or top-of-the-line sporty XSE pares )-- which benefits from smaller tires, less standard equipment, and a lighter lithium-ion battery pack--earns an EPA-rated 51 mpg municipality and 53 mpg route, improvements of 9 and 15 mpg over the outgoing hybrid example. The LE hybrid's 52 -mpg blended rating pairs the Prius Three's and induces it America's most fuel-efficient mid-size hybrid sedan.

The other available Camry composites, the SE and XLE trim levels, apply the older nickel-metal-hydride( NiMH) battery engineering and "re coming for you" at 44/47 mpg municipality/ route, up by 4 mpg and 10 mpg. And those figures are approachable in the real world. With little endeavour, we clocked a series of in-town errands and short trips at 37 to 44 mpg, with one writer interpreting an indicated 45 mpg on his 50 -mile route commute while keeping pace with 80 -mph transaction. On our 200 -mile highway fuel-economy exam, conducted at a steady 75 mph, this XLE hybrid gave 44 mpg, up 2 from the 2017 example. Our observed gasoline economy, which covers virtually the entire epoch we had the car in our control( excluding the instrumented tests and the route exam ), was 40 mpg. While that last amount is well below the EPA rating of 46, it's still 5 mpg better than the Chevrolet Malibu hybridand Honda Accord hybrid frameworks we tested most recently--and it's fully 9 mpg better than the observed figure for the previous-generation Camry hybrid.( Note that we've not yet driven, let alone tested, the new-for -2018 Accord hybrid .)

Source : Caranddriver.com
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