The eighth generation 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid seems to be moving away from mid-size sedans in America towards crossovers. So the role of the four-door American family car has been changing lately. And that's evident with a 2018 Camry because the Camry is now more stylish, more sporty than it ever has been. Before for 2018, this is an all-new model which is also unusual for Toyota, because they prefer evolution rather than revolution. For 2018 the Camry gets an all new look up front and goes to all new looks. But you should know that the front end changes also apply to the 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid model.
2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid Changes
So you can get the hybrid in SE trim as well, also new for 2018 all Camry models get full LED headlamps. And that includes the base L trim now the lights do change as you go from one trim level to the other. But they're always going to be full LEDs for the high beam and the low beam. Behind the massive Toyota, logo hides a radar sensor. Because all Camry models now come standard with Toyota's latest safety systems.
The radar adaptive cruise control in those base models is not a full speed range system. So it won't take you to a complete stop. However, if you get the top-end trim, then it does become a full speed range system, and we also get things like blind spot information, there's also a brand new large heads-up display.
If you get the V6 Camry at 192.7 inches long the Camry has become a little bit longer for 2018. But the biggest change is the wheelbase, and that's the distance between the front tires and the back tires. That's increased by a whopping 2 inches which are a pretty big move. And that's because the Camry is now riding on an entirely different platform than it has before.
So when people say that this car is a different platform than the old Camry all it means. As I've said before, mid-size sedans tend to fall into two distinct categories cars that are more family focused like the Accord and the Camry. Now you can tell because we have this larger rear window. And a roof line that stays a little bit higher towards the rear, that gives rear passengers more room. And then we have very stylized cars in this segment like the Mazda 6 or the Ford Fusion. Which appears to prioritize style over rear seat comfort.
The 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid now has brake feel that is very comparable to what we see in the Accord. The Accord hybrid system does give us better fuel economy especially in our tests. However, we were averaging over 50 miles per gallon. The last few times we drove the Accord Hybrid and this time in the Camry Hybrid.
In the 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid SE trim, we were getting around 42 to 43 miles per gallon. Next up we have the Chevy Malibu Hybrid uses a variant of the hybrid drive system that we see in the Chevy Volt.
In the Camry, the hybrid system that we find in the Chevy Malibu also had troubles living up to its lofty numbers they're adding 46 miles per gallon combined which are about the same as the Camry. However, it averaged us about 41 miles per gallon which is below.
The 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid ends up being a better combination value than the Malibu. And that did surprise me a little bit because generally. Chevy has been one of the better entries in this segment when it comes to value. The 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid inclusion of their latest active safety systems. And all the standard feature content we find even in the base model of their hybrid Camry is what has tipped the balance.
2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid MSRP
you may find a bigger discount over MSRP over at the Chevy dealer than at the Toyota dealer. but actually when you factor in the standard safety equipment we find on the 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid, you'd have to get about $2,000 off of that Malibu in order to have it equal the value that we see in the Toyota.
The new Ford Fusion Hybrid is one of the older hybrids in the segment. And it also has had trouble achieving its fuel economy scores at 42 miles per gallon. It has one of the lowest combined EPA scores in this segment.
On the other hand, the Kia Optima has been one of favorite midsize hybrid sedans. As a brand, Kia has known for giving us excellent value. But here is another area where the Camry excels, although the Optima has a lower starting price.
We don't find the same kind of feature content on that base Optima Hybrid as we do in the Camry Hybrid, most notably those active safety systems. If you want those on Optima Hybrid, you do have to pay a decent amount more regarding overall value.
In the top-end trim, the Optima overall has a more traditional feel to it than the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid. And that's thanks to the 6-speed transmission that is more of a traditional design than what we find out of the Toyota hybrid system.
In our tests fuel economy out of the Optima Hybrid and the related Sonata Hybrid were just about what we see in the 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid. However, the Camry hybrid handles better and it goes from 0 to 60 faster than the Optima.
2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid Interior
The Optima fights back with a few extra features that we don't see in the Toyota. In particular for taking a look at the top end trims where we find ventilated seats, standard apple car play and android auto, rear window shades, four-way adjustable lumbar support.
The interior is a little bit more comfortable in the Optima in the front seats and a little bit less comfortable in the back seats. Ultimately for me, the Optima Hybrid does fall behind the 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid. However, Kia does have one additional trick up their the plug-in Optima. And that has been one of my favorite mid-size sedans periods because the plug-in Optima has a plug and you can charge that battery and operate in every the only mode. It does qualify for a federal tax rebate, and if you are entitled to that, it could drop that top end price down to $36,000 which would make it a decent discount over the Camry Hybrid. Of course, the trunk does shrink even further because the bigger battery has to live in the trunk.
And of course, it's bigger than the regular Optima. But in California, it will allow you to access the carpool lane. And oddly enough the fuel economy improves in that model in real-world driving. Even though according to its EPA score it should be getting lower fuel economy than the standard Optima Hybrid.
In our week of mixed driving in that vehicle not charging it, we averaged about 50 miles per gallon. Therefore our top two picks in the hybrid midsize sedan category have to be the Toyota Camry and the Kia Optima plug-in hybrid. Of course, if you're looking for a traditional hybrid, not a plug-in hybrid, then the absolute winner is the 2018 Toyota Camry hybrid.
My bottom line for the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid is that this is the first no compromises mid-size hybrid sedan that we've ever seen in America. It also is by far the most fun the Camry has ever. Thanks are taking the time to check out this review again. Be sure and stay tuned for a full review on the non-hybrid Camry coming up on 2018releasedate2017.com. Read more 2018 Toyota Camry XSE Price, Specs, Interior, Release Date