BEHIND THE WHEEL: The redesigned 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid is ahead of its class
It has been redesigned for 2018 – and the Toyota Camry Hybrid might just have outdone itself. With a number of upgrades the competition is the Ford Fusion Hybrid Sedan, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Sedan and the Honda Accord Hybrid Sedan. Of course, the Toyota moniker still means great quality, endurance and now a comfort and style that just about can’t be beat. And, for 2018 the new look and feel is certainly what is expected from Toyota in the midsize car market.
Also take note of the roomy rear seats and even a bigger shout out to the larger trunk. For hybrid car junkies you know the larger trunk is a big deal in the hybrid styling world and the high-end materials used in the interior are also all new and impressive.
Trim level options
Found in the midsize car range category the 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid offers three trim levels; LE, SE and the XLE.
The LE comes with 16-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats, rearview camera, forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning and the Entune Audio interface. The audio features are a seven-inch touchscreen display and you will also find a USB port, Bluetooth and six speakers with CD player and an audio jack.
On the sportier SE you get 18-inch alloy wheels, a sportier style, rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift paddles.
On the XLE trim you get the LE goodies, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat and for technology additions a wireless smartphone charger and a head-up driver display. This trim comes with several USB ports and heated exterior mirrors.
Optional additions include the Entune Audio Plus, an eight-inch touchscreen, a smartphone-based navigation app, 4G LTE connection with Wi-Fi hotspot and Toyota Safety Connect and a sunroof. For extra safety on the LE and SE you can add blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert. The XLE added options are high-beam headlights and a top-down parking camera.
Under the hood
The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine alongside an electric motor. Overall you get 208 horsepower with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The LE trim has a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack while the SE and XLE hybrids have the nickel-metal hydride (Ni-mh) battery.
The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid safety features include a variety of air bags driver, passenger, front head, rear head, front side and rear side air bags, 4-wheel ABS, 4-wheel disc brakes, brake assist, electronic stability control, daytime running lights, child safety locks, traction control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and cross-traffic alert. You also get a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, and the Toyota Safety Sense suite with a forward collision warning and pedestrian detection.
Interior and exterior highlight
First of all, let’s talk about the Entune infotainment system. It’s easy and that makes it pleasant to use. The ease comes first with the fact that there are not only repeat controls in some cases, but it’s just an intuitive system overall. While you are enjoying the entertainment system you also get a nice-looking cabin inside with high end materials at your fingertips.
When it comes to hauling you have 15.1 cubic feet just as on the non-hybrid Camry version. Take note too, the battery was moved for space sake to the rear seat and is no longer in the trunk.
Inside the Camry hybrid you will find plenty of space for passengers – we packed three adults in the back seat and all seemed well.
The 2018 redesign of the Camry Hybrid sees a new look and so far, it has been a crowd pleaser. After all, who can ask for more than a roomy, earth conscious, luxurious way to get around town?
One more standout feature on this Toyota Hybrid is the three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, the five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and the eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for hybrid components.
Along for the ride
Handling well with the standard front-wheel drive, expect to barely feel the potholes and rough roads underneath the tires. The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid takes the curves with a positive attitude and there is plenty of acceleration when needed to either get out of the way or get up and go. It’s still the same happy, go lucky Camry as always just refreshed and ready for 2018 with a touch of class and a styling that will most certainly turns heads.
Should you need to know
The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid with its electric and fuel based engine is one of the most powerful hybrid sedans you will find.
The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE Sedan I drove saw 44 miles per gallon in the city and 47 miles per gallon on the highway.
The price of the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE I drove came in at $33,290.
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