Week 4: This time we constrict the Camry to the city, and it keeps on impressing, even if it does so only in the background…
The Abu Dhabi runs are out of the way – praises be! And that means for the past week or so our long-term 2018 Toyota Camry has largely been used for city driving. Now, here’s the thing. Every person who got into the car with me was quite impressed with the interior for a bit and then the Camry just receded into the background.
Of course, this is no Lamborghini, but despite the improved driving dynamics and exterior styling, the Camry still does fall into the mental blind-spot quite quickly. In my view, that’s the legacy of the badge. Separate it from the Camry nameplate and enthusiasts would definitely do a double take. OK, let me be really blunt: it drives way better than any comparable Kia or Hyundai. The 2019 Mazda 6, which I drove a while ago, gives it stiff competition, but this time the Camry does not roll-over and play dead when it comes to performance and handling. The new Mazda 6 does have a better engine, but the Camry feels plusher when it comes to the quality of materials used. Especially when it comes to the centre console and the infotainment system. But then, the Mazda has more tech and kit. It’s a stalemate until we test the two back-to-back.
That said, our long-term tester in its V6 Sport Grande guise costs AED122,500, which is a fair amount of money for a front-wheel drive family saloon. The Chevrolet Impala with more horsepower costs nearly 20 grand less.
Living with the Camry is extremely unremarkable. And you could see this as a good thing or bad. It does not throw tantrums, shock you with its fuel consumption or anything that would make you stand up and take notice. It recedes into the background, serving faithfully, without a whimper.
Now, you decide if that’s the car for you.
2018 Toyota Camry — Long-term review
Average fuel economy: 8.0 litres/100km
Lows: It’s not a car that you’d fall in love with…
Highs: … But, it is a car you can depend and rely on blindly
Costs this week: Fuel