Ease of use and peace of mind add up to an incredibly efficient experience at the wheel of the all-new Camry Hybrid.
The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid may be completely redesigned, look spiffy, and deliver top-notch quality, but in the end, it’s still the same ‘ole popular sedan that’s been on sale in the United States for more than three decades. Of course, that’s a good thing!
The newest iteration of the Camry aims to please folks who don’t necessarily have “car on the mind.” In other words, the kind of customer who is looking for a reliable and comfortable machine they can count on for years to come. A car that will serve their family, transport them safely, and won’t force them to make unnecessary compromises.
After our weeklong test, we found out that the all-new Camry Hybrid XLE lives up to the famous slogan commonly touted on TV infomercials: “Set it and Forget it.” It’s that simple, once we dialed in our seat and mirror positions and came to terms with its infotainment system, the Camry simply excelled at being easy to use and extremely efficient.
Our test Camry differs to the normal model by Hybrid drivetrain. Hybrid doesn’t mean it’s electric, as some folks often tend to think, it simply means that the gasoline engine is aided by a battery pack that recharges as the vehicle drives down the road. The process of how this happens is a bit complicated, but what you must know is that the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in the Camry delivers exceptional fuel economy thanks to its hybrid motor and battery pack.
For example, when you come to a complete stop the engine fully shuts off. When you depress the brake and step on the accelerator, the battery kicks in for the first few precious moments when you’re moving forward. Once you reach a certain speed, the gas engine starts back up and takes over from there. The point is to save gas by utilizing battery power whenever possible, such as under acceleration.
Thanks to all of this efficiency, we still had more than a quarter-tank of gas left after driving nearly 300 miles in seven days!
Living With It
Crossovers and SUVs get all the credit for being family friendly, but the truth is that sedans do a pretty darn good job, too. The Camry offers a spacious back seat that’s able to comfortably seat two adults and as many as three kids. Up front, the XLE trim offers heated and ventilated seats for the driver and passenger, and the driver’s seat has a memory function that’s is a lifesaver if you share the car with your spouse.
In the back, you’ll find two sets of LATCH anchors, and the backseat is wide enough (55.4 inches) to fit two full-size car seats and a toddler (without booster) in between them. The trunk is big enough for four carry-on suitcases or two week’s worth of groceries.
If sedans aren’t your thing, you might want to take a look at our experience with the Toyota Highlander, which carries over every excellent trait of the Camry but in a much larger vehicle.
The new Camry lives up to its expectations by delivering a comfortable ride at a price that won’t break the bank, while offering legendary reliability and safety. Its Hybrid drivetrain adds another layer of functionality by maximizing a family’s fuel budget.
2018 Camry XLE Hybrid
- Starts at: $29,650
- As-tested: $37,430