NEW CAR PREVIEW: Many changes for 2018 Toyota Camry

Michael James

A higher sticker price and appreciably better gas mileage are among several big changes in store for the 2018 Toyota Camry. The top-selling sedan in the United States will make its nationwide debut later this summer.

The eighth generation of the re-engineered Camry LE will be priced at $24,885, including shipping, about $900 more than the 2017 price. The L “value” version of the 2018 Camry, with smaller wheels and fewer convenience features, will be priced at $24,380.

A higher sticker price and more horsepower are among several changes for the 2018 Toyota Camry.
A higher sticker price and more horsepower are among several changes for the 2018 Toyota Camry.

Fuel economy with the new four-cylinder engine is estimated by the EPA at 29 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway and 34 combined. That’s 26 percent better than the current base model’s 24 mpg city/33 highway/27 combined.

The new four-cylinder engine will have 206 horsepower, 28 more horsepower than the 2017 model. The new Camry has an eight-speed automatic transmission, replacing the six-speed automatic.

The SE version of the 2018 Toyota Camry, which has a more aggressive design and unique wheels, starts at $26,085 with shipping. The 2017 edition cost $24,675 .

In XLE trim, the 2018 model starts at $29,335 vs. $27,175 and the XSE’s sticker for 2018 is $29,885 vs. $27,145 in 2017. The top-line XLE trim with the V-6 engine now starts at $35,285 compared with $32,205. The XSE V-6 starts at $35,836 vs. $32,205.

The Camry’s new V-6, also mated to the eight-speed automatic, gets an 8 percent bump in EPA-estimated fuel economy to 22 mpg city/33 highway/26 combined compared with the outgoing model’s 21 mpg city/30 highway/24 combined. But it gets a power boost to a stout 301 hp vs. the outgoing motor’s 268 hp.

The hybrid versions of the new-generation Camry also get a price bump and a fuel-economy surge. The 2018 LE model has a base sticker price of $28,685 vs. $27,625 for the 2017 edition, but EPA numbers now come in at 51 mpg city/53 highway/52 combined for a 30 percent improvement.

The LE hybrid is the only trim to have a lithium ion battery pack and some other efficiency gains vs. the higher SE and XLE trims, which come in at 44 mpg city/47 highway/46 combined for a 21 percent increase over the 2017 hybrid’s 42 mpg city/38 highway/40 combined.

The SE Hybrid now starts at $30,385 vs. $28,830 for the outgoing model, and the 2018 XLE hybrid’s MSRP is $33,135 vs. $30,975.

The hybrid uses a four-cylinder engine with 176 hp and a lithium ion or nickel-metal hydride battery pack for a total net power of 208 hp. That set up is similar in numbers to the outgoing model.

Article Last Updated: June 21, 2017.

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