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Toyota’s all-new 2018 Camry tries (and may succeed) to excite

Jonathan M. Gitlin



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The all-new eighth-generation Toyota Camry.
Jennifer Hahn

DETROIT—Several things come to mind when I think of the Toyota Camry. It's reliable, competent, ubiquitous even; the Camry has topped sales charts for a decade and a half now. But it's not the most exciting thing on four wheels; it's a car that is sometimes referred to as a driving appliance. Toyota has evidently decided to do something about that perception. At the launch of the eighth-generation Camry at this year's North American International Auto Show, the company announced the new car has gained "emotionally charged design and performance experience."
In other words, it's supposed to be fun to drive and has gained some needed visual flair.  According to the car's Chief Engineer, Masato Katsumata, "In order to create something that stirs people’s soul, we’ve laid out the concept of a new sedan that provides fun and excitement behind the wheel." The new Camry uses the same Toyota New Global Architecture platform as last year's Prius, and it's now lower, wider, and more sleek than the outgoing car.
The wheelbase is two inches (5.1cm) longer. The roof is 1.6 inches (4.1cm) lower. The driver and passengers now sit closer to ground, as in fact does the Camry's center of gravity. And, it's true, the new car does look sportier and more exciting than what may well have been the last taxi you rode in.
The cabin's ergonomics will seem very familiar to anyone who's spent seat time in the seventh-gen car. But as you'll see in the video above, the stylists have made more of an effort, with some intersecting panels to break up any monotony. And despite that lower roofline, it's at least as spacious as ever, including the back seats. That's good news for those of you who use ridesharing services, given how likely you'll be to find yourself in a Camry in the coming years.
Toyota says three engines will be available, including a 3.5L V6, a 2.5L inline-four, and the all-important hybrid. The last of these won't be a plug-in, but its batteries have been relocated to beneath the rear seats to aid handling. For now, no one would go into specifics about power output or fuel economy beyond telling us that the hybrid should be "class-leading."
Listing image by Jonathan Gitlin
Toyota’s all-new 2018 Camry tries (and may succeed) to excite Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 9:25 PM Rating: 5

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