2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid

2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review

The redesigned Camry Hybrid gets better mileage, a stylish appearance and a good on-road presence.
4 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

Redesigned for 2018, the Toyota Camry Hybrid has catapulted itself right up to the head of its class with several significant upgrades.

High fuel economy is the primary reason to buy a midsize hybrid, and this year's Camry Hybrid is more efficient than ever. All Camry Hybrids use an updated version of the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired to an electric motor. But various tweaks provide a leap in fuel economy and a slight increase in power. The base LE is now rated at 52 mpg combined (up 12 mpg from last year), which is impressively the same mpg you get from Toyota's Prius. The slightly less frugal SE and XLE post a 46 mpg combined rating.

There's also a new stylish look on the outside and several technology improvements. The touchscreen has been updated with a 7-inch version of Toyota's Entune interface, and advanced driver safety aids, such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision mitigation, are now standard equipment. Underneath, the 2018 Camry Hybrid gets new suspension, which means a smoother ride over broken city streets, a big plus for such a city-friendly sedan.

The 2018 Camry Hybrid has a few drawbacks stemming from its Entune infotainment interface and drivability, but this new model is certainly an improvement over last year's model. We definitely recommend taking one out for a test drive to see the difference for yourself.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid as one of Edmunds' Best Hybrid Cars for this year.



what's new

The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid is completely redesigned. Highlights include improved fuel economy, sleeker styling and additional standard safety features.

we recommend

For the 2018 Camry Hybrid, we recommend the base LE trim level. It comes with plenty of standard equipment, including advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, and it has the higher 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating. If you want more features, stand-alone options such as Entune Audio Plus and a sunroof are available on the base LE, so we see little need to pay more for the SE or XLE.




trim levels & features

The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid is offered in three trim levels: base LE, sporty SE and luxurious XLE. All Camry Hybrids are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor to produce a total of 208 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard. The base LE trim uses a lighter and more energy-efficient lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack, and the SE and XLE hybrids use a nickel-metal hydride (Ni-mh) battery.

The LE starts off with features such as 16-inch steel wheels, automatic LED headlights, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, a rearview camera, lane departure warning and mitigation, and Toyota's Entune Audio interface. Entune Audio includes a 7-inch touchscreen display, voice controls, a USB port, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

Right in the middle of the lineup is the SE that adds 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-themed styling details, a rear spoiler, simulated leather upholstery (with fabric inserts), and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with shift paddles.

The XLE Hybrid gets all of the base LE's equipment plus unique 18-inch alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, wireless smartphone charging, a head-up driver display, two extra USB ports, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and heated exterior mirrors.

Entune Audio Plus is optional on all three trim levels and it adds an 8-inch touchscreen, a smartphone-based navigation app, wireless smartphone charging, a 4G LTE connection with a Wi-Fi hotspot, Toyota Safety Connect, and a nine-speaker audio system with satellite radio and HD radio. The LE and SE can be equipped with the blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert as extras, and the XLE is available with automatic high-beam headlights and a top-down parking camera system. All three trim levels can be had with a sunroof.



trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the2018 Toyota Camry LE Hybrid (2.5L 4-cyl hybrid | CVT automatic | FWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5.0

Driving

3.5 / 5.0

Acceleration3.5 / 5.0
Braking2.0 / 5.0
Steering3.0 / 5.0
Handling3.0 / 5.0
Drivability4.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5.0
Climate control4.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.5 / 5.0

Ease of use4.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0 / 5.0
Driving position4.5 / 5.0
Roominess4.5 / 5.0
Visibility4.5 / 5.0
Quality4.0 / 5.0

Utility

4.5 / 5.0

Small-item storage3.0 / 5.0
Cargo space5.0 / 5.0

Technology

3.0 / 5.0

Audio & navigation2.0 / 5.0
Smartphone integration3.0 / 5.0
Driver aids4.0 / 5.0
Voice control4.0 / 5.0

Driving

edmunds rating
There's goodness in broad swaths with the new Camry Hybrid, but some areas have yet to be conquered. Power and hybrid performance are smooth and plentiful, but its brakes and single-minded tires spoil the party.

Acceleration

edmunds rating
While 208 combined horsepower might not look too impressive on paper, the Camry Hybrid has more than adequate real-world performance. Passing and merging with traffic are never a concern, and its recorded 0-60-mph time of 7.5 seconds even makes it a tad quicker than a regular four-cylinder Camry.

Braking

edmunds rating
The brakes are a mixed bag. Under most conditions they feel smooth and predictable, but the transition between regen and mechanical braking becomes clumsy in stop-and-go traffic. Panic-braking performance is diminished by the low-rolling-resistance tires; our test stop from 60 mph covered 128 feet.

Steering

edmunds rating
The steering is accurate, and the ratio is quick enough to make low-speed maneuvers a breeze. But there's an overabundance of power assist, so the steering is light and gives you little feel for the road.

Handling

edmunds rating
It's well-mannered within its modest limits since the tires don't have much grip. Still, the Hybrid feels tidy for a car in this class. Body roll isn't excessive when you're going around turns, though the Camry bobs up and down on bumpy, twisting roads more than we'd like.

Drivability

edmunds rating
In most situations, you'd be hard-pressed to tell this Camry is a hybrid. The gasoline engine is quiet and quick to rev, and the CVT blends electric and gasoline power with ease and efficiency. Continuously variable gearing helps the cruise control hold speed within 5 mph on downgrades.

Comfort

edmunds rating
Comfort is where any midsize sedan should shine, and the Camry Hybrid does just that. Our biggest beef is with the LE hybrid's ride comfort, which is mostly good but seems to have been affected by the extra weight of the hybrid system. The SE hybrid might be the sweet spot.

Seat comfort

edmunds rating
On first inspection the seats don't look to be anything special, but they do a good job accommodating different body types. The seats are somewhat wide and somewhat flat, providing no pain points, and it's easy to get comfortable and stay comfortable. And the LE-level cloth breathes well.

Ride comfort

edmunds rating
The Camry Hybrid LE excels around town, soaking up bumps and broken surfaces with its long travel suspension and generous tire sidewalls. At highway speeds, however, the rear can sometimes feel soft and buoyant. It's not quite floaty, but it's close.

Noise & vibration

edmunds rating
Electric takeoffs are, of course, silent, and the engine is less obvious because it joins in later — though you will hear it zing under heavy throttle application. There's not much in the way of wind or road noise, no matter the speed.

Climate control

edmunds rating
Clear and easily understood controls, along with good vent positioning, make for set-and-forget operation. And the system handles triple-digit temperatures well, even though it feels slow to get going at startup when we wanted cold air ASAP.

Interior

edmunds rating
Inviting, roomy and easy to live with are good hallmarks to have in such a competitive and important class, and the Camry has them all. The 2018 redesign includes many foundational dimensional changes that have improved both the look and the feel of the car.

Ease of use

edmunds rating
There's nothing confusing about the inside of the new Toyota Camry, with the possible exception of all the acronyms for the safety systems. On-screen menus are easy enough to decipher with one or two uses, and the instrumentation is very legible and efficient with information.

Getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
Generous door openings front and rear mean easy access for most everyone. All the seats are unobstructed by any part of the car, and headroom is never an issue when entering or exiting the vehicle. The seats are an inch lower than in the old car, so it's not as level getting in or out.

Driving position

edmunds rating
This interior is very adaptable, and our drivers were all quick to find a comfortable driving position. The pedal box is roomy, and the steering wheel has a large degree of usable adjustment. Arms and elbows can find comfortable, padded support or are free to move when turning.

Roominess

edmunds rating
Front and rear passengers have ample space around them. Taller drivers won't impinge on rear passenger legroom, and headroom for the rear seat is ample. The front of the cabin is airy and spacious.

Visibility

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There's a large greenhouse on the new Camry and it makes visibility in every direction quite good. Mirrors, both inside and out, are nicely sized, and blind spots are kept to a minimum. The standard rearview camera is a plus.

Quality

edmunds rating
The vehicle tested was a preproduction model, but the fit and finish is on par with what we expect of Toyota. The interior is a nice step up from the last generation with quality materials and is well assembled. The doors did seem to sound a little hollow but did not rattle or feel cheap.

Utility

edmunds rating
Due to some very clever repackaging, the 2018 Camry Hybrid retains a full-size trunk with no intrusion of a battery pack whatsoever. Standing with the trunk open, you can't tell it from a standard Camry. Hybrid sedans usually force you to give up some practicality, but not this one.

Small-item storage

edmunds rating
Good but not stellar cabin storage. The forward center console bin is great for concealing items, but it has a hard, slippery floor so items slide around noisily. The console bin at your elbow is a decent size. The modest door pockets in the front and rear are good for small water bottles only.

Cargo space

edmunds rating
Thanks to a relocated battery pack, there's no longer any intrusion by the pack into the Camry Hybrid's cargo space — it's the same as any other Camry. And the Hybrid's rear seats fold to expand trunk space even more. Plus, the trunk has a generous opening and a low liftover height.

Child safety seat accommodation

edmunds rating
Very easy to mount a car seat, with obvious and easily accessible lower anchors and package tray-mounted tether points, both under plastic covers. There's enough space so that the front seat need not be scooted all the way forward.

Technology

edmunds rating
All Camrys have an impressive suite of standard driver assistance features, but some are too sensitive or cannot be turned off completely. Smartphone integration uses a proprietary system, and built-in navigation is largely unavailable. That said, the audio system is quite easy to learn and use.

Audio & navigation

edmunds rating
The layout of the audio system is simple, and it looks good, too. But Hybrid buyers must use Toyota's favored Scout GPS Link app (free three-year trial) when their phone is connected via the Entune app. We suspect many will instead use their phone directly.

Smartphone integration

edmunds rating
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available, but once your phone has the Entune app, connection is seamless and immediate. Some apps require the phone to be connected with a USB cable. Wireless charging is on offer, but if your phone is always plugged in for Entune it seems a bit pointless.

Driver aids

edmunds rating
All Camrys come with adaptive cruise, automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist. Our Hybrid also had optional rear cross-traffic alert/braking, intelligent clearance sonar and blind-spot monitoring. The lane departure warning was annoying on very narrow roads because it has no off button.

Voice control

edmunds rating
Voice controls through the Entune app suite are fairly straightforward and made all the more effective when you follow the voice command setup menu that helps analyze your speech patterns. Siri Eyes Free and Google Voice are also supported.

Mobile web

edmunds rating
In-car 4G LTE Wi-Fi is available and offered free of charge for the first six months for data up to 2 GB.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.