Monthly Update for February 2018 — 2018 Toyota Camry Long-Term Road Test

2018 Toyota Camry: Monthly Update for February 2018

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

Where Did We Drive It?
We drove our 2018 Toyota Camry just 902 miles in February. Is this new, sportier Camry not resonating with us? Are we not feeling it? Is it the front end? Are the other shiny objects in our garage (Model 3, Colorado ZR2) distracting us?

Maybe some, none, or all of the above. But even after a month of short commuting miles, broken up by a drive to Las Vegas, we’re still right on target with our mileage after five months. Granted, we had some big-mile months early on in the test and around the holidays. And with spring around the corner, the Camry is certain to be a popular car for long drives and weekends out of town. Maybe we’ll even autocross it. I mean, I won’t. But someone will, I’m sure.

What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We added 902 miles to the Camry in February, filling up just three times with a total of 33.4 gallons. That works out to 27 mpg combined, which is not only worse than the Camry’s combined mpg rating (32), but even its city rating (28 mpg). It also dipped our lifetime average below 30 mpg. What’s going on?

February’s 902 miles are a small sample size, so all we can really attribute it to are too many miles stuck in lousy traffic. And when traffic opens up, so does the throttle. Maybe we’re a little too enthusiastic with the pedal. We’ll see as the miles continue to pile on.

Average lifetime mpg: 29.4
EPA mpg rating: 32 combined (28 city/39 highway)
Best fill mpg: 35.2
Best range: 487.7 miles
Current odometer: 8,514 miles

Maintenance and Upkeep
None, but we did receive a recall notice last month. It doesn’t affect our car, but it does affect Camrys with the V6 engine. It’s not an inconsequential matter either; a loose fuel delivery line could make for a very bad day. As the NHTSA recall notice said, "The improperly connected hoses may leak fuel, which, in the presence of an ignition source, can increase the risk of a fire." Read the entire recall notice here.

Logbook Highlights

Cargo Space
"As luck would have it, I was invited to help some friends set up a booth at this January’s Consumer Electronic Show. Taking the Camry out to the desert worked out perfectly. As you can see in photos, I had to move a fair amount of cargo at times. You’ll notice the big red suitcase is … big. Even the smaller red piece of luggage was rather hefty. The trunk swallowed both and a few other medium-size bags with nary a complaint. All of this while carrying five adults.

"Ground-breaking stuff? No. But it’s a classic example of what family sedans are supposed to do: Have enough room for a bunch of people and all the things they bring along. The Camry did an admirable job, as you’d expect." — Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor

"Mixed report on the Camry’s trunk. For groceries and luggage, I’ve found the bumper’s low liftover height and wide trunk opening help with loading and unloading. The trunklid also opens fully when you press the release button, which is a nice touch. But the Camry’s trunk capacity is 15.1 cubic feet, a bit smaller than the typical midsize sedan’s trunk. Also, the interior trunk hinges aren’t covered, which means you might inadvertently smash some items in a full trunk when closing the lid, and there’s no grab handle to help with closing the lid." — Brent Romans, senior automotive editor

Technology-Audio
"Clearly my phone has paired with the Camry, yet when I took this photo the music was playing through my phone and not through the Camry’s meager speakers. I had this car for an entire weekend and not once could this thing properly pair with my phone." — Kurt Niebuhr, photo editor

"This morning the Camry’s infotainment screen said that Entune needed a software update. I pressed the ‘Remind Me Later’ button and drove to work. On the way, Bluetooth cut out three times. Each time lasted only a few seconds and it automatically re-established the connection. I don’t know if this was related to the Entune update." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor

"The Camry’s forward collision warning system doesn’t stop beeping when you start braking. It only stops beeping when you are braking hard enough to come to a complete stop before hitting whatever obstacle it’s detected. This means that when the car ahead starts making a right turn, and you decide you won’t have to come to a complete stop because it’ll be out of your way before you get to it, the Camry will beep continuously until the car in front has completed its turn. I am not a fan.

"I’m also pretty sure the forward collision warning system and rear cross-traffic alert system were designed by entirely different teams. See, an orange light turns on in the gauge cluster when forward collision is off, and a green light comes on when cross-traffic is on. Only one of these makes sense to me. After all, I drove around all weekend thinking rear cross-traffic was on while it was actually off, because why would I need to be alerted when a safety feature is working?" — Will Kaufman, associate staff writer

Comfort
"The Camry is surprisingly loud at freeway speeds. Maybe this is a safety feature: If you can’t comfortably listen to a podcast at speeds over 75 mph, you’ll drive slower." — Will Kaufman

Miscellaneous
"If you asked me the color (colour for our Canadian readers) of our long-term Camry, I’d probably respond with blue. Its official color is Blue Streak Metallic, but as a fellow motorist shouted at me, it’s ‘Dodger Blue! Dude, is that custom? Go, Dodgers!’ " — Kurt Niebuhr

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