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Discussion Starter #1
I got to test drive a new XLE with the V6 engine. Some observations:
- The 300+ hp engine is smooth and very quiet. The car almost sounded like a hybrid
- The panoramic roof is very nice
- The seats are more comfortable than those in my 2015 XLE but feel a bit narrow. I
could feel the side bolsters under my legs.They may flatten out a bit over time but
that's not certain.
- The HUD is nice but a bit weird. It appears to be suspended in space several feet away
from the windshield.
- The electronics are a vast improvement over my 2015's. I've read that Toyota finally
dumped Fujitsu and now has Pioneer making its head units. It shows, especially in
regard to the handling of USB flash drives with MP3s. I have a 32GB drive with
over 4000 tracks on it. If the drive is pulled and reinserted, when my Camry starts, it
take up to 10 minutes for the system to index the drive and become fully
functional. With drive already in it takes maybe 2 minutes to re-index. The 2018
took less than 3 minutes to index the drive the first time and less than a minute with
drive already in. As far as the sound quality goes, on the premium JBL system, the new
Camry is vastly superior to the 2015 model. The sound is fuller and the
bass is considerably better and more solid. Speaker placement is also better
with the rears now in the doors behind the front seats and in front of the rear
seats. This, no doubt, contributes to the better sound presence. The navigation
system appears to be improved with a better looking display and the ability to
zoom in and out with finger pinching. If the real time updates work as advertised,
this is also a major improvement. I didn't get to use voice commands that much
but the system appears to be more accurate than the Gen7's systems.

I was pretty impressed with then new XLE but will do some more test drives to confirm my initial thoughts. If you're considering it and can actually find the V6 version at a dealer, give it a look and test it out
 

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Truly an excellent car. Testing it about a week. :)
In many things, like quietness, it's very close to my 2009 Lexus ES350.
Few small luxury are missing. Few more advanced features present.
Much recommended. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There were a couple of minor disappointments:
- Still no memory settings for the driver's seat (this is now included with many car makers top of the line models)
- No motorized side view mirror fold in (very handy when pulling into a two car garage)
- Side view mirrors are not anti-glare

One other thing that I need to test more. When using the USB flash drive with MP3s in my Gen7, I can say "play the album Rock" (a large collection of various songs and artists) and that album will open with all of the tracks available. With the new Camry, the same voice command will tell you that it has found xx number of artists in that album and which one do you want to play. I think that there may another way to do this however. The head unit now gives you a browse Folder option. The next time I test the car out I'll say "Open the folder Rock" and see if that calls up all of the tracks in that folder. If that works then there's no problem.
 

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BeerSteakTxas
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10,416 Posts
- The electronics are a vast improvement over my 2015's. I've read that Toyota finally
dumped Fujitsu and now has Pioneer making its head units. It shows, especially in
regard to the handling of USB flash drives with MP3s. I have a 32GB drive with
over 4000 tracks on it. If the drive is pulled and reinserted, when my Camry starts, it
take up to 10 minutes for the system to index the drive and become fully
functional. With drive already in it takes maybe 2 minutes to re-index. The 2018
took less than 3 minutes to index the drive the first time and less than a minute with
drive already in.
I was pretty impressed with then new XLE but will do some more test drives to confirm my initial thoughts. If you're considering it and can actually find the V6 version at a dealer, give it a look and test it out
Pioneer has been making stereos for Toyota since yearly 2000's , maybe even before that. I had a few gen 7 Camry with Fujitsu and Pioneer units and all of them were handling my 32GB usb and 100GB SSD pretty much instantly.
Check you tagging.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pioneer has been making stereos for Toyota since yearly 2000's , maybe even before that. I had a few gen 7 Camry with Fujitsu and Pioneer units and all of them were handling my 32GB usb and 100GB SSD pretty much instantly.
Check you tagging.
The 2015 JBL "Premium" systems had the Fujitsus in them and their handling of large flash drives was pretty wonky. My ID3 tags are generally very accurate and consistent. There were a lot of complaints about it on various web sites. I got used to the weird idiosyncrasies of my system and added a small Kicker powered sub-woofer (8"/150 watts) which significantly improved the lower frequencies. The new 2018 system has some kind of sub-woofer which sounds pretty good but can be a bit uneven depending on the source materials. MP3s are always a challenge because of varying quality and bit rates. I got some more time in a 2018 XLE V6 and while the audio system is definitely an improvement over mine, there are still some oddities,
 

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Toyota dealers that have the Toyota Rent-A-Car service are now making the 2018 Camry's available for rent. I rented a 4 cyl SE yesturday and can confirm the highway wind and road noise levels, bump absorption and body vibration levels are very close to the latest Lexus ES350's. The front seats are a bit more comfortable than the 7th generation Camry's though still not padded deep enough for maximum comfort on long trips. I was really impressed at how supple and comfortable the 2018 SE's suspension was despite it's shallow 18" sidewall tires. So SE buyers no longer need to greatly sacrifice ride comfort for sharp handing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I got another look at an '18 XLE V6 today. Some more observations:
- The HUD is nice bit very hard to see with polarized sunglasses even at full brightness
- Fading the sound to the back by two ticks and increasing the volume creates a nice sense of presence . It's not quite surround sound but it's much better than the front loaded 2015 JBL system.
- There are some drawbacks to the new head unit. Every time you bring up an album or folder, the system doesn't retain the shuffle setting and you have to set it again
- Aside from the volume and next or last track functions on USB drives, there are no other controls on the steering wheel anymore. If the voice commands don't cover a control or are wonky, there is too much interface with the touch screen which can be distracting.
- Still, despite trying every command I could, I couldn't bring up and album or folder via voice recognition without the system screwing it up. Looks like that will have to done via the touch screen also.

I still haven't made a decision but one dealer gave me a price of $34007 for a fully loaded XLE/V6 so it's tempting since the car is a pleasure to drive.
 
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