Until recently, driving a hybrid car required some sort of sacrifice, whether in terms of space, performance or anonymity. However, in the case of the Camry Hybrid, one could argue that Toyota has given the buying public a hybrid that demands few or no sacrifices.
If judged only on its merits as a competent midsize sedan, the Toyota Camry Hybrid would score well. We've found that it shares all the attributes that make the conventional Camry one of the best-selling family sedans out there: a comfortable and quiet ride, more than adequate power, lots of amenities and plenty of room for five. That its fuel economy beats that of most compact cars and its price is well within the normal range for an average midsize car are just icing on the hybrid cake.
Current Toyota Camry Hybrid
The current Toyota Camry Hybrid features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. Combined output comes to 200 horsepower and it's routed to the front wheels through a specialized continuously variable transmission (CVT). The EPA estimates combined fuel economy at an excellent 40 or 41 mpg, depending on the trim level.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid is offered in LE, XLE and (late introduction) SE Limited Edition trim levels. Standard feature highlights for the LE include keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, full power accessories, Bluetooth, a touchscreen display and a six-speaker sound system with a USB port. The XLE adds a power driver seat and an upgraded sound system. The SE Limited Edition is essentially an XLE with sporty styling cues and the sport front seats of the non-hybrid Camry SE. Main options include a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a premium audio system, a navigation system and a smartphone integration system.
It should be noted that halfway into the 2014 model year, the Camry Hybrid saw a few minor changes. These include the aforementioned new trim level, the rearview camera becoming standard across the board and a renaming of the car's infotainment systems.
Inside, the Camry's new interior benefits from roomy seats, admirable outward visibility and well-placed controls. What the cabin design lacks in cohesiveness, it makes up for with generally good materials quality, especially the handsome stitching on the dash and door panels of upper trims. Toyota's Entune system is also praiseworthy in the way it easily adds enhanced audio, information and navigation features, although the touchscreen's virtual buttons can be a little frustrating to use at times.
While fuel economy gets top billing here, the Toyota Camry Hybrid is still pleasant to drive. Its hybrid powertrain is quite smooth in its operation and provides quick acceleration. Handling is unremarkable and the steering is quite light and uncommunicative, but for most buyers this will likely be a non-issue.
Read the most recent 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Toyota Camry Hybrid page.