The Toyota Camry has long been America's favorite family sedan. Toyota also makes the Prius, a byword for gas-electric hybrids. When the company combined the solid, practical features of the Camry with the technology of the Prius, it made for an extremely efficient, extremely sensible hybrid sedan. The Camry Hybrid represents a logical choice for people who like the comfort of the standard Camry but want more efficiency.
Redesigned for 2012, the Camry Hybrid gets no major changes for 2014.
Aside from its grille and minor trim, the Hybrid looks like an ordinary Camry. Some buyers might wish it were more distinctive, but others may appreciate the premium model's unpretentious profile. The interior follows this theme, differentiated from standard Camrys only by unique gauges for hybrid systems.
Among hybrids, the Camry is one of the most spacious and accommodating, with big doors and a vast back seat. The trunk is reasonably spacious, though a bulky battery pack in the trunk almost negates the usefulness of the split-folding rear seats.
Interior quality is hit-or-miss. While everything is assembled well, competitors are using better colors and richer materials. Cross-path detection, smartphone integration and blind spot monitoring are available, but auto-braking features are not.
Under the Hood
The Camry Hybrid gets a stronger powertrain than the Prius, but it's a similar set-up. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine pairs with an electric motor for a combined output of 200 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission is the only choice, and sends power to the front wheels. Fuel economy is the real story, rated at 43 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. Opting for the upscale XLE with its 17-inch alloy wheels drops efficiency to 40/38.
Performance is similar to a regular four-cylinder Camry, and the Camry Hybrid remains a comfortable cruiser for long distances. The CVT contributes to some drone, though, and competitors like the Passat TDI are better able to provide passing power on demand. Also, unlike the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Camry Hybrid isn't a fun car to drive.