2018 Toyota Camry

2018 Toyota Camry

Episode 3748
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Specifications

  • 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…

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Long Term Updates

Date: June 2024


7 years ago, Volkswagen introduced the three-row Atlas utility designed specifically for the North American market. Clearly VW knows we Americans like our options because then they built a sportier two-row version called the Atlas Cross Sport. We briefly sampled the refreshed 2024 Atlas Cross Sport last year and now this one is here for an extended test. So, let’s dive into the details.

Let’s start with styling. Coming to us in Pure Gray paint, the 2024 Cross Sport’s front bumper gets a more aggressive look while all grades above base SE recieve a lightbar connecting the headlights…This Cross Sport comes in SE With Technology grade so it sits just above base and just below SEL. All grades get new wheels, but ours shares these 20-inchers with the aforementioned SEL. The rear sees a larger spoiler and another LED light ring.

As for the power that has also been upgraded, ditching the 3.6 liter V6, all Atlas models now come with a newly tuned 2.0 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder, sending 269 HP with 273 lb-ft of torque through an 8-speed automatic to all four wheels, or in our case, just the front wheels. At 23 MPG combined, not only is this engine more efficient than the VR6, it’s nearly a second quicker to 60.

Inside, the recent Atlas refresh added more premium materials on the seats and door trims – Leatherette here. Two-zone climate control now comes standard along with a redesigned center console, a 12-inch display screen, 4 USB-C ports and wireless charging. The driver gets a 10.25 fully configurable gauge screen and 10-way power seat.

With the technology package, our tester receives a hands free tailgate remote start and a second row 115V AC outlet.

All told, this 2024 Atlas Cross Sport stickers for $42,400 after destination.

Once we put a couple miles on the odometer we will give an official update, until then if you have any questions about our Atlas Cross Sport, reach out to us on our social sites at MotorWeek.

2024 Volkswagen Tiguan

2024 Volkswagen Tiguan

Episode 4322
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Long Term Updates

Date: January 2024

Date: February 2024


It’s hard to keep us out of the driver’s seat of our Integra, but our latest addition will try to do just that… this 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan.

This “larger than compact” SUV arrived in range-topping SEL R-Line, offering a cozy commuter experience with leather seating, a Fender sound system, and a 10-and-a-quarter-inch digital gauge panel. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbo-four, making 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. Although all-wheel drive is optional on most trims, it’s standard on our SEL R-Line.

We’ve gotten over the fact that R-Line trim doesn’t add any performance to the Tiguan because it’s already good as-is. The engine is torquey and even though the steering is relatively light, it still feels quick and accurate. So, there’s really no need to mess with a good thing.

Tiguan styling is tidy and business like, making it a great choice for those who like to express their practicality. We’ll see how much attention it grabs over its month long stay with us.

Date: March 2024Mileage: 2,500


“Easy come, not so easy to let go.” That’s one way to summarize our month-long stint with this 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan. We know that’s way shorter than normal for a long-term tester; but we really made the most of our four weeks behind the wheel, including a trip down south for our winter track testing in Savannah, Georgia.

That contributed about 1,300 miles to our 2,500-mile total. And in one month of testing, we managed an average of 24.3 miles-per-gallon of regular– on par with combined ratings for an SEL R-Line with 4Motion all-wheel drive; and the eight-speed automatic makes great use of all 184-horsepower combusted by the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four.

Going beyond efficiency, this Tiguan proved very easy to live with thanks to a practical form factor and comfortable ride.

This Tiguan was only with us for a short time, but considering it maintained just about everything we’ve loved about it over the years, we quickly got used to having it around. Despite this third generation’s age, the ride is still as good, if not better than many of its newer competitors. So, it’s safe to say the Volkswagen MQB platform has aged well.

Some would argue that the touch-sensitive controls have not aged well, but we quickly got the hang of them. And all the convenience features they control are worth the effort. The Tiguan’s cabin, combined with the ride quality, made it a favorite for hauls long and short, and one we will miss!