Toyota Camry XSE — Loaded and looking good

By David Finkelstein

Toyota is reaching out to a wider customer base with the introduction of the sporty Camry XSE model for 2018. The XSE trim level is loaded with welcomed and numerous factory extras that help to raise the bar with both the car's curb appeal, its performance and connection to drivers wanting a glitzy four-door automobile.

The XSE includes a spirited 3.5-liter V-6 engine that's rated just slightly over 300-horsepower. The duel overhead cam, 24-valve engine reflects 267- lb-ft of torque as it's matched with an electronically controlled 8-speed automatic transmission. Passing acceleration is adequate, and during the road test we found the automatic transmission seamlessly shifted through all gears.

The Georgetown, K.Y., assembled Camry XSE has a base MSRP pricing structure of $34,950. Shipping and destination charges come out to be an additional $895. This model has an exterior design of which is a welcomed departure from the standard Camry sedan. It starts with the car's attractive 19-inch, black machine finished alloy wheels mounted with low profile performance type all season tires. The alluring front LED headlights come with a smoke-tint lenses which also include daytime running lights and automatic on/off lighting feature.

The design of the front grille assembly is with a gloss black finish and includes unique appearing mesh inserts. Additionally, this special trim level also comes with a panoramic glass roof for increasing the car's green house effect. The assembly itself also has a power operated overhead moon-roof incorporated within its design. A color keyed rear trunk deck spoiler and duel exhaust with quad tipped outlets also help set the XSE model apart from the standard Camry.

The XSE also included they're sport tuned suspension and Toyota's Safety Sense-P feature as well. Safety Sense-P includes pre collision and predestine detection enhancements, dynamic radar guided cruise control, lane departure alert with automatic steering assist and self-regulating high beams. Traction control, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, ABS brakes, automatic breaking assist, anti theft system with alarm and 10-airbags also help make up the safety blanket governing the Camry XSE.

The interior is quite comfortable with seating for up to five adults. Also included under the heading of no cost extras — a 10-inch color heads up drivers information display, Entune 3.0 JBL audio system with a touch screen and 9-speakers, navigation mapping, Bluetooth, AUX and USB ports, leather trimmed heated front bucket seats with 8-way power control settings, tire pressure monitor and a leather wrapped steering wheel that also includes controls for the audio system.

Also standard are their back up camera that also incorporates dynamic guide lines, wireless iPhone charging, smart key entry with push-button start and dual zone automatic climate control.

I did discover that some of the dash readouts and icons are a bit of a challenge to fully read with their tiny font, coupled with the radio setting can prove to somewhat head scratching when setting up your favorite stations .Fuel consumption figures include 22-mpg city/32-mpg highway and as an average posting, this 2018 Camry sports sedan gets 26-mpg combined. Its designed to operate on regular grade fuel as well.

After a few options such as; factory floor mats, illuminated lower entry door sills, special pearl red ruby paint and their birds eye view security camera feature, the total MSRP during the drive showed $37,813.

The new vehicle's basic limited warranty is designed to cover most components for a period of 3-years/36,000 miles. Major powertrain component coverage is for 5-years/60,000 miles. Also included is scheduled recommended maintenance and roadside assistance for a two year period, from the time the vehicle is purchased.