2018 Toyota Camry

2018 Toyota Camry

Episode 3748
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"


  • Horsepower: 206
  • Trim: XSE

Long Term Updates


Built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture it shares with the Prius, we chose to stick with standard 4-cylinder power, prioritizing fuel economy over the V6’s grunt. 

The I4 rates 28-City, 39-Highway, and 32-Combined; yet so far we’re averaging just 28.6. But we do expect that to climb, as we’ve only burned through a few tanks of Regular at this point, at just 920-miles. 

So we’ll see over the next year, if its 206-horsepower is enough to satisfy our power-hungry staff. 

206 is actually three more than the base Camry, thanks to our XSE’s dual exhaust system. The XSE is the sportiest Camry yet; with very aggressive bodywork, smoke tinted lenses, and gloss trim. And, it’s quickly becoming a very popular item at Toyota dealerships. Hmmmmm… maybe Camry buyers aren’t just appliance shopping after all. 

Mileage: 5,000

Toyota has been trying to change the Camry’s narrative for a while now; infusing more and more luxury and excitement into their family staple with each new generation.

Two months with our long term 2018 Camry and we have to say they’ve made significant progress.

GREG CARLOSS: “Our XSE uses the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and we think most Camry prospects will be pleased with the power. The new 8-speed automatic transmission can be slow to downshift for passing. But, the smooth upshifts, and light steering make it a breeze to drive around town.”

GREG CARLOSS: We’re already closing in on 5,000 mostly highway miles, and our mileage has jumped way up to 35.3 miles-per-gallon. Every one of them has been pleasurable and increasingly entertaining. 

Mileage: 7,500

The Toyota Camry is not immune to the well-documented decline in sedan sales in the U.S. Yet, it remains the #1 selling car in America, as it has for about 16-years now. 

And we’re finding out why, having accrued almost 7,500-miles in just 3-months’ with our 2018 XSE. With its 206-horsepower 2.5-liter I4 and 8-speed automatic transmission; we’re enjoying those miles more than we have in any Camry before.

In fact, the fun only stops when we stop for fuel, at which time we’ve been dealing with a sticky fuel door that doesn’t like to open right away. But after a bit of metal massaging, it seems to be working much better. 

Fortunately for us, those stops are few and far between; with a 35.4 miles-per-gallon average so far.

Mileage: 9,000

As for another one of our family transporters, the 2018 Toyota Camry may not have the space of a minivan; but long distance comfort for four, and five in a pinch, is in ample supply.

We test so many crossovers these days, it’s easy to forget how useful sedans can be. This Camry has really reminded us why Toyota has sold so many of these over the years. It has space, it has comfort, it has great fuel economy. Now, some on our staff have admitted to missing the more commanding ride height of a crossover, but that’s just a matter of preference.

Yes, despite what you may have heard, there are still plenty of families that make do with a 4-door sedan; at least for one of the cars in their driveway.

We’re just over 9,000-miles, from these last four months of driving this 2.5-liter 4-cylinder XSE; and the 34.7 miles-per-gallon fuel mileage continues to impress, as does the overall driving experience. 

Mileage: 12,500

Saying goodbye to one of our long-terms is never easy, but that’s what we must do this week with our 2018 Toyota Camry mid-size family sedan.

“It’s been a relatively short run in this Camry XSE, but a good one for us. We love the styling and the  sporty-er suspension really backs up the look. Quicker transmission shifts would be a nice upgrade, but as far as a daily driver, the Camry is as solid as it gets, and it’s pretty entertaining too.”

Just routine maintenance was all that was required during the Camry’s 7-month stay with us. And, over 12,500-miles, the 206-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder delivered a very good 33.4 miles-per-gallon. 

Best part of all, the improved ride-and-handling came without losing any of the comfort and practicality we’ve come to expect in Camry. We’ll miss it for sure…

2023 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

2023 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Long Term Updates

Date: February 2023Mileage: 3,500

Our long-term fleet just got a whole lot more exciting thanks to this 2023 Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

This sportiest of Jettas now comes in fully-loaded Autobahn trim only, which means for about the price of an entry-level crossover, you get a legit sports sedan with sunroof, 18-inch wheels, leather seats, and 10-inch Digital Cockpit display.

Not to mention abundant power from a 228-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 and ultimate engagement with a 6-speed manual transmission.

No all-wheel-drive, but the GLI does have VW’s XDS Differential System, which uses selective braking to largely negate understeer and boost handling above and beyond the front-drive Jetta’s already notable abilities.

Put in the context of the absurd power some sport sedans are putting out these days, the GLI’s 228 horsepower rating sounds rather tame, but I can assure you it’s anything but. Although more precisely, it’s the torque that excites here. It comes in very early on with just a hint of turbo lag; although to be honest, for me that just kind of adds to the whole sporty experience, especially when you’re swiftly working the clutch and shifter.

With us for just a month, we’ve already racked up 3,500-miles, averaging a great 31.2 miles-per-gallon. And we’re looking forward and to an end of winter weather so we can get our spring fling on in earnest.


Date: March 2023Mileage: 4,500

This 2023 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has been significantly upgraded over the ‘21 GLI that we had in our fleet a while back, but sliding behind the wheel has been just like getting reacquainted with an old friend.

Just like in the last GLI we had, we’re rowing our own gears and loving every second of it and that’s not necessarily a given these days with how good automatic transmissions have gotten. But this setup is well-suited for daily driving. The shifter precisely glides into its gates and the light clutch pedal keeps our left legs from getting tired in stop and go traffic. But just to keep from getting too fatigued, we tend to stick to the back roads in this thing.

Mostly commuting duty these last few weeks, means only about 1,000-miles added to our total, which now sits at 4,500-miles in just 2-months’ time. With 228-horsepower on tap, and that tight 6-speed manual transmission to manage it; the GLI is fun from the moment you hit the start button, with a great 30.8 miles-per-gallon average along for the ride.

There’s a raspy exhaust note too, which sounds great running through the gears, but can get tiresome when steady cruising for extended periods of time.

Date: April 2023Mileage: 6,000

We like driving here at MotorWeek. That explains how we’ve been able to accumulate 6,000-miles in this 2023 Volkswagen Jetta GLI in a bit less than 3-months.

It’s a true joy managing all of its 228-horsepower with the smooth and steady 6-speed manual transmission. And we even managed to improve our MPGs this go-around, bumping our average up to 31.9 miles-per-gallon.

The fuel economy we’re seeing in this GLI is due in-part, of course, to the engine, but I would argue it’s also because of things that have nothing to do with how much gasoline we’re using. Things like the suspension and seat comfort. My point being, is that this car is such a great cruiser that we’re taking it on longer highway trips, which is boosting our fuel economy despite our less eco-minded back road escapades. Regardless, it’s a real “have your cake and eat it too” scenario.

While not overly flashy, the interior of this latest Jetta is well laid out, controls are logically placed, and the infotainment system is easy to use. All things that help you focus on driving, which is something we plan on doing as much as possible with our remaining time with the GLI.

2022 Kia EV6

2022 Kia EV6

Episode 4213
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"


  • Battery: : 77.4-kWh
  • EPA Range: : 274 miles
  • Horsepower: : 320
  • Torque: : 446 lb-ft

Long Term Updates

Mileage: n/a

We’re just getting into the holiday season, but we’ve already unwrapped our first present, this 2022 Kia EV6.  It’s the personal prize of one of our associates, who is allowing us to share in a year-long ownership experience.

While not Kia’s first EV, it is their first one based on a dedicated EV platform, and easily their best looking.

Wind trim means 19-inch wheels, gloss black trim, vegan-friendly artificial leather seats, and a host of safety and active driving features.  An optional tech package adds surround view monitor and remote parking assist.

With dual-motor all-wheel-drive, output is 320-horsepower with 274-miles of range.

The two-motor setup knocks off a few miles of range, but the extra power it returns more than makes up for it. Switching the drive mode to “sport” sharpens the throttle and adds a little extra oomph when accelerating, but there is no adaptive suspension, so the handling characteristics remain the same regardless of drive mode. Fortunately, it handles just fine as-is.

We’re just getting to know this little crossover; but so far, ride is solid, with no squeaks or rattles; and the interior is both lovely to look at and highly functional.


Date: February 2023Mileage: 4,000

We’ve spent much of the new year cruising in our 2022 Kia EV6, now resting with another 4,000 miles on the odometer after two months of use.

As expected, the 320 horsepower dual-motor all-wheel drive system is more than ample for daily use, but what’s more noteworthy is how it’s delivered.

The thing that gets people excited about EVs is the instant torque under hard acceleration, but the fact is on a daily basis that doesn’t matter a whole lot. Living with this EV6 we’re impressed by how smooth it accelerates, whether it’s from a stop or while rolling.

And then deceleration is equally as impressive. We really like being able to control how much regenerative braking we’re getting with the steering wheel paddles, and then when we do lift off the accelerator there’s no jarring grabbiness. It’s a well-tuned system.

Not only does it ease some of the pain of city gridlock, it makes longer hauls more bearable too. Same can be said for the seats, especially the reclining rears.

Speaking of longer trips, we can attest to the 274 miles of range. We’ve found the battery estimates to be pretty dead-on, only shrinking with the occasional bout in Sport mode.

Now, the EV6 isn’t flawless. The aero door handles look cool, but can be awkward to use since they don’t automatically pop out like they do on the GT Line trim. On the flipside, We turned off our auto-opening rear hatch since it kept popping up when we didn’t want it to. And the auto park feature is finicky to activate. Still, these small quirks haven’t deterred us from spending more time behind the wheel.


Date: March 2023Mileage: 6,100

It’s been a minute since we gave you an update on our long term 2022 Kia EV6; but believe me, we’ve been racking up the miles.

In fact, our digital odometer now rests at a solid 6,100 miles, reflecting the 2,000-or-so additional miles of pavement we’ve seen in the last two months. We’re happy to report no changes in our total range, still enjoying the full extent of 274 miles on a 100-percent charge.

It may not be as rowdy as the souped-up GT, but our Wind e-All-Wheel-Drive is still good for a few thrills. It switches between rear- and all-wheel drive depending on our needs, be it to save a little juice or kick performance up a notch.

One of our drivers wondered if it could use some stickier tires. Not that the stock rubber is awful by any means, but they figured a grippier compound would elevate the EV6 even more. That’s something you can change if you really want to– but more importantly, the things you can’t easily change about the EV6 are not only solid, but downright impressive.

For 20 years, automakers have been blurring the line between cars and SUVs. And now with this EV6 I’m not sure there’s much line left to blur. And honestly, that’s ok because now more than ever we really do get the best of both worlds. This EV6 can cruise with a family of four just as well as it can carve up a back road. And that’s really a side-effect of the all-electric platform which creates a low center of gravity and limited intrusion into the cabin.

Beyond that, our EV6 continues to swoon us with its handsome body and paint job. Though, over time we’ve become a little annoyed by the charging door light that shines outwards instead of on the port itself, which would make low-light plug-ins a little easier. But this is a small complaint; one we certainly aren’t getting worked up over, especially with the soothing sounds of nature playing from the stereo.