2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Camry Hybrid Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 187 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 33/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid

  • The 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid is a dynamic duo, combining the superior fuel economy of a gasoline-electric powertrain with the mainstream attributes of America's favorite midsize family sedan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy cabin, efficient hybrid powertrain, stronger acceleration than many regular four-cylinder family sedans, excellent crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Small trunk, some below-average interior materials.

  • What's New for 2008

    The Camry Hybrid's base price has been lowered this year to bring it closer to otherwise similarly equipped Camry models. The Hybrid also gets revised options packages this year.

Full 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review

What's New for 2008

The Camry Hybrid's base price has been lowered this year to bring it closer to otherwise similarly equipped Camry models. The Hybrid also gets revised options packages this year.


Other than better fuel economy, people buy hybrids for a number of reasons. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is one, and reducing America's dependence on imported oil is another. A third (and less valid) one is that morally superior feeling one gets from owning a car with a hybrid badge. But up to this point, buying a hybrid for financial reasons has been a questionable decision. Quite simply, the price premium for all that high-tech equipment would take years to recoup through fuel savings (and even government tax rebates). The 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid could change that.

With hybrids flying out of Toyota dealers, it makes sense that the cost of producing these sophisticated machines has gone down. Either that or Toyota is just feeling generous, because the Camry Hybrid's base price has been lowered by $1,000 for 2008. It is now only $200 more than a similarly equipped four-cylinder Camry XLE. At that price, buying a hybrid suddenly makes a lot more sense.

Aside from being more wallet-friendly and offering revised options packages, the Camry Hybrid is unchanged from its debut last year. It still offers the same seamless gasoline-electric power plant, serene cabin, quiet ride and ample features list. Actually, there was another change, but it depends on how you look at it. The EPA has revised the way it calculates fuel economy to better reflect real-world driving, and that has resulted in a significant lowering in the Camry Hybrid's mpg ratings. At 33 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, the Hybrid can no longer boast last year's unrealistic 40/38 mpg rating, but its fuel economy is still incredibly impressive for a vehicle of its size and performance. Only the mechanically similar Nissan Altima Hybrid can match it.

Overall, the 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid is a very impressive and complete sedan that now has the added benefit of an attractive price. While the Prius remains the fuel-economy champion and is now one of the best-selling cars in the country, the Camry Hybrid offers buyers a more mainstream and traditional package. Its closest competition comes from the aforementioned Altima Hybrid. The Altima offers a nicer interior and a superior driving experience at practically the same price. Sadly, that car is only sold in the five California-emissions states. As such, the Camry Hybrid is likely to be the hybrid of choice for more people, no matter what their reasons are for buying.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid comes well-equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition, cloth upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, a 60/40-split rear seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt/telescoping column, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer and a six-speaker stereo with a single-CD player and auxiliary audio jack.

Stuffed together into various packages, Camry Hybrid options include leather upholstery, a sunroof, a four-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, a navigation system, satellite radio and a JBL sound system with a six-CD changer and Bluetooth capability.

Powertrains and Performance

In the Camry Hybrid, the gas-fueled engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder modified for greater fuel efficiency. It's capable of 147 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. The electric motor adds another 40 hp, for a total of 187 when driving conditions call for maximum power. The electric motor can also power the Camry Hybrid on its own, but only under light throttle applications at speeds below 30 mph. Although maximum performance is not a priority for hybrids, this Camry goes from zero to 60 mph in a very respectable 8.4 seconds. Power is directed to the front wheels in a seamless fashion through a simplified continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Like most hybrids, the Camry took a hit this year because of the EPA's revised fuel economy calculations. Still, 33 mpg city and 34 mpg highway are very impressive results, and the city number in particular is more than 10 mpg better than other four-cylinder sedans. The Camry Hybrid is also an Advanced Technology Partial-Zero Emissions Vehicle, the cleanest possible rating in terms of air pollution. In some cases, a city's air is actually dirtier than what's coming out of this Camry's tailpipe.


Every Camry comes with front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, antilock brakes, stability control and traction control. In government crash testing, the 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid received five out of five stars in all front and side collision categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also gave the Camry its highest rating of "Good" for frontal-offset and side collision protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although the Camry's cabin looks snazzier than in years past, the general quality has gone downhill in terms of build quality and materials. It's still better than what some other brands offer, but we've come to expect better from Toyota, and the Nissan Altima Hybrid is more impressive.

What it lacks in polish, though, the Camry Hybrid makes up for with space, quiet and comfort. While the regular Camry provides a serenely hushed environment, the Hybrid's ability to travel using only electric power makes it rival King Tut's tomb for quietude. The Camry's comfy seats and oodles of cubbies and compartments make it a very family-friendly environment. The hybrid system's battery packs chew into trunk space (10.6 cubic feet versus 15 in the regular Camry), although a 60/40-split/folding rear seatback provides some added utility when needed.

Driving Impressions

Like the Prius, driving the 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid can be a bit odd at times due to the CVT, electric motor and eerily quiet cabin at traffic lights. Unlike the Prius, though, the Camry Hybrid offers relatively brisk acceleration, meaning you don't necessarily have to sacrifice performance for good fuel economy. While the Camry offers a smooth ride and quiet cabin, its isolation takes a toll in terms of road feel and general driving dynamics. For those who appreciate a car that offers more feedback and borderline fun, the Nissan Altima Hybrid (that shares Toyota's hybrid system) would be a better choice.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

4 years and still going

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Purchased this vehicle in Oct. 2007 and it continues to perform. It has had a couple of minor issues that were covered under warranty - water pump leak - that I didn't even notice. I don't put on a ton of miles (37K) and my driving is best described as mixed. I continue to get a year-round average of 37 mpg. The winter and wet weather of the Pacific Northwest slows the vehicle down as it fights elements, otherwise, I'd say one could average closer to 39 mpg of mixed city/hwy driving. I paid $30K + taxes - about $2-3K more than V6 Camry with same features - leather, Bluetooth, navigation, power seats, sunroof, & heated mirrors. A solid car - comfortable and quiet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Happy camper

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I have been driving this car for over two years. I live in a very mountainous area and appreciate how this car handles around curves and steep grades. Good acceleration, quiet, comfortable and good mileage. Sound system is good although I've customized all my other cars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I have over 51,000 miles on my 2008 hybrid and have had no problems. I got the base model with the only option being floor mats. Overall, I average about 31-36 mpg in city/hwy combined driving. I'm tall and there is plenty of leg room and the seats are quite comfortable. It is quick, comfortable and dependable.

No problems and none expected

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

21 months later and 22k on the Camry, we have had no problems and no regrets. Average mileage is 35 in town and up to 41 on road. Another reviewer complained about body dings...Buy the body side moldings (we did)!!! These should be standard. The best time to buy is at the end of the month or in our case the end of the year, got an immediate 8% off sticker and a great $ for Lexus trade- in.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

For people who want a full-sized car but also want to be environmentally responsible, this is for you. This is my first Toyota, and after owning it for a year and a half, I understand what others have been raving about. Driving around Pittsburgh where mountains abound, I can still get better than 40 mpg while having plenty of room for three passengers (three adults in the back is a little tight). Because the hills are steeper in town, I actually get slightly lower in-town mileage (low- to mid-30s; hybrids typically shine in town), but it's still better than other vehicles I've owned by 10+ mpg. I haven't had a single mechanical issue and have only done standard preventative maintenance.

Car saved my life

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

After an accident where an oncoming car spun out and into me I was thrilled and disappointed that it was our TCH that I was driving-we have two other Toyotas. The car did everything that it was designed to do. Only the airbags necessary deployed and the front end, including hood, crumpled as it was supposed to. I walked away with minor injuries. LOVE this car so much that when it was written off we bought a 2009. It had more than 100,000kms on it with no problems at all. Can't imagine a better vehicle.

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Gas Mileage


  • 33
  • cty
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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