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Driving Notes

2018 Toyota Camry XSE V-6

October 20, 2017

by Paul Clinton - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Drivers would rarely use the "S" word, when describing America's top-selling sedan. And while the 2018 Toyota Camry may not be "sporty," it would not be inaccurate to describe its new styling as sportier.

For fleet buyers, this may not register as highly as the more efficient trio of engines and the more cavernous cargo space in the trunk of a mid-size sedan that's hoping to better compete with crossovers and compact SUVs.

Approaching the Camry XSE, you can feel a Lexus deja vu (the L, LE, and XLE have been fitted with a different fascia). The screen-style lower grille just below the nose of the car isn't far off from the IS sedan's hexagonal grille. The new Camry has been lowered, widened, and lengthened.

The headline of this heavy refresh is the more fuel efficient powertrains, which include a 2.5-liter four cylinder (206 hp), 3.5-liter V-6 (301 hp), and Camry Hybrid for even better fuel economy. The gasoline sedans pair an eight-speed transmission with the new power plants.

The fuel economy numbers reflect the updates. The 2.5L car gets an EPA-rated 29 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg combined. The combined mpg is a 26% improvement over the previous model.

The 3.5L car provides an EPA-rated 22/33/26 mpg in city/highway/combined driving. The combined mpg is 8% better than the outgoing car.

Inside the cabin, the Camry reveals perhaps the biggest change with its curving, pleasing dashboard that nicely integrates a 7-inch screen. Rather than adopting Apple CarPlay or Google's Android Auto, Toyota has elected to stay with its quirky Entune multimedia system.

The 2018 Camry retails for at least $23,495 for L-grade models, while the Premium XSE V-6 sells for $34,950. Our test car added the Audio package, Driver Assist package, and a special color, which brought it to $38,230.

Related Photos: Toyota's 2018 Camry

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Amy Winter-Hercher

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Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

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Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

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Paul Clinton

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Paul is the senior web editor for Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Government Fleet, Green Fleet, Vehicle Remarketing, and Work Truck. He has covered police vehicles for Police Magazine.

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Thi Dao

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Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

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