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Little has changed for the 2013 model year on the Camry Hybrid, which many buyers may welcome. Only two trims are available, the Hybrid LE and XLE. While the LE is nicely equipped it does not offer nearly the amount of option packages as the XLE.
Other features exclusive to the pricier XLE include available Display Audio systems that have Navigation and Toyota's Entune (allows drivers to access cell-phone apps and data services). Although equipped standard with a 6.1” touch-screen, AM/FM/CD player, six speakers and Bluetooth technology, Camry’s top-level trim comes with navigation as optional. However, three different Display Audio with Navigation systems are offered.
Least expensive is the Display Audio with Navigation and Entune, which simply adds the two latter features plus satellite radio capability to the standard XLE equipment and costs $1,050. For an additional $1,700, customers can have the eco-friendly JBL GreenEdge audio system added to the Display Audio with Navigation and Entune. At the top end is the Premium HDD Navigation system that requires buyers to shell out an additional $2,600. Featuring a 7” high-resolution VGA touch-screen display with split-screen functionality, it has advanced navigation capabilities like NavTraffic and NavWeather by way of the onboard hard-drive.
All automakers are interested in fuel-efficient models, resulting in quite a bit of competition for the Camry Hybrid. Ford’s Fusion Hybrid, especially the new 2013 design, is a force to be reckoned with. Good fuel-economy is a given yet the Fusion also has a roomy interior and drives as if it was gas-only. Although, some of the Fusion Hybrid trims achieve worse gas-mileage than the Camry. For better fuel-economy on the highway, consider a diesel like the Volkswagen Passat TDI. Though drivers see less mpg’s in the city, the TDI is a more powerful performer and will deliver more mileage on the highway than the Camry Hybrid.
The Toyota Camry wins over consumers not for all it does well, but more so for all it does not do badly. However, with the Camry Hybrid, fuel-efficiency can be added to the list of areas in which the sedan excels.
As the base trim of the Hybrid models, the Hybrid LE still has a higher base price than the most expensive gas-only Camry trim. Both of the Hybrid models are powered by a 2.5L 4-cylinder hybrid system that puts out a strong 200 hp. The LE exterior receives body-color power heated mirrors and Hybrid badging. On the inside, the audio consists of six speakers connected to an AM/FM/CD player with an USB port and auxiliary audio jack. The dual zone automatic climate control up front has an air filter, electric compressor and humidity sensor. Hands-free calling is made possible through Toyota’s BLU Logic system. Also equipped is the Smart Key system allowing for easier entry to the front door and trunk plus Push Button Start and remote illuminated entry.
The highest-priced trim, Hybrid or not, in the Camry line-up is the Hybrid XLE. Available leather and convenience packages will add options like a backup camera, Homelink transceiver, power tilt/slide moonroof and an anti-theft system. Other available packages include the Blind Spot Monitor and Safety Connect (features Emergency Assistance and Stolen Vehicle Locator, among other things). Rear passengers in the XLE are treated to air vents while the driver’s seat is equipped with an eight-way power adjust. Bluetooth technology and a 6.1” touch-screen are standard as are the two 12V auxiliary power outlets and auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass. The leather-trimmed steering wheel has a four-spoke design and tilt/telescopic functionality.
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Solid in most aspects but some trims aren't tops in fuel-mileage.
The TDI gets better fuel-mileage on the highway but worse in the city.
Unimpressive efficiency, unlike the interior room.
The Optima Hybrid has a jarring drivetrain yet many features are standard.