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2018 Toyota Camry: Which Spec is best?

 

Which new and imported Toyota Camry variant offers the best buy based on features, performance and value?

The new fully-imported Toyota Camry  takes off where the Aussie-built models left off as Australia’s best-selling medium car, but is far better equipped, with active safety features including automatic emergency braking included as standard. Built on an all-new chassis it offers more interior space and better ride and handling than the previous model.

 

CAMRY RANGE OVERVIEW

 

There are four Camry spec levels, Ascent, Ascent Sport, SX and SL, which are all sedans.

The range is further stretched by a choice of three different powertrains including a 133kW/331Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and 224kW/362Nm 3.5-litre V6, and a 160Nm/423Nm hybrid set-up which uses the 2.5-litre engine linked with an electric motor for additional power and torque.

Toyota Camry front

All Camrys have automatic gearboxes, with the two petrol engines linked to a six-speed automatic transmission, and the hybrid a CVT.

The range starts with the Camry Ascent, which comes standard with the 2.5-litre engine. It has a generous features list for the price, which includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, LED daytime running lights, auto-dimming headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels front and active safety including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.

Spending an extra $2300 (AUD) gets an Ascent Hybrid, brings the more powerful and fuel efficient battery assisted powertrain and a couple of extras over the standard Ascent including keyless entry and dual-zone air-conditioning.

Toyota Camry interior

The Ascent Sport also has everything you get in Ascent including the 2.5-litre engine, but with a bigger 8.0-inch touchscreen, 7.0-inch multi-function display, power adjusted driver’s seat. As its name suggests it also adds sporty features including a premium steering wheel and gear shifter, stainless steel scuff plates, and sports body kit with more aggressively styled front and rear bumpers and grille. There is also an Ascent Sport Hybrid.

The 2.5-litre Camry SX and Camry SX V6 add partial leather sports seats with driver power adjustments, LED headlamps and rear lights, and a wireless phone charger for compatible mobile phones. Sporty touches include paddle shifters on the steering wheel, firmer suspension, high-gloss sports grille, rear boot-lid spoiler and bigger and bigger 19-inch wheels. 

The Camry SL shuns the SX’s sporty touches and instead ramps up the luxury features. The wheels revert to 18-inches for a slightly softer ride, and both part-leather front seats are power-adjustable and ventilated, with the driver’s seat equipped with memory settings. The steering wheel adjustment is also electric. The SL also has a 10-inch head-up display, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, auto-dimming mirror, ambient cabin lighting and sunroof. The SL is available with all-three powertrains, with the Camry SL V6 topping the range at $43,990 (AUD).

Toyota Camry side

2018 Toyota Camry manufacturer’s list pricing (AUD):

  • Camry Ascent - $27,690
  • Camry Ascent Hybrid - $29,990
  • Camry Ascent Sport - $29,990
  • Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid - $31,990
  • Camry SX - $22,390
  • Camry SX V6 - $37,290
  • Camry SL - $39,990
  • Camry SL Hybrid - $40,990
  • Camry SL V6 - $43,990

 

OUR PICK

The Ascent Hybrid offers great value for just under $30,000 (AUD), with a decent blend of safety, comfort and a modern hybrid powertrain that offers city savings and open-road usability. The only issue is the almost impractical 400kg towing capacity, which is just a third of what the petrol versions can pull. If towing is an issue, have a look at the Ascent Sport, which is the same price and comes with a few extra features.

 


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