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2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid was new.


Performance: 8.0

The 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid's green technology ups the ante for an already-competent sedan. Despite the fact that the four-cylinder engine works with a 105-kilowatt electric motor, many say the ride is comparable to gas-only sedans. Several reviewers report that learning to keep the Camry Hybrid in electric mode takes some doing, but once the driver is trained, the Camry Hybrid can go up to 20 miles per hour on battery power alone.

  • "The Hybrid is a good performer and one of the most fuel-efficient mid-size vehicles anywhere." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The driving experience in the Camry Hybrid is remarkably normal. Most of the time you can quite simply forget that you're driving a hybrid, because it behaves almost exactly like a gasoline-engine car -- which says a lot about the sophistication of the hybrid system." -- Forbes
  • "Driving the Toyota Camry Hybrid can be a bit odd due to the CVT, electric motor and eerily quiet cabin at traffic lights." -- Edmunds
  • "Once I trained my right foot to know exactly where the threshold was, I was able to drive in electric mode as high as 20 mph before the gas engine started up. Drivers behind the hybrid may have little patience for this, as engine-free acceleration is slow." -- Cars.com

Acceleration and Power

The 2011 Camry Hybrid features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 147 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque, along with a supplementary electric motor that creates a combined output totaling 187 horsepower. Most writers are pleased with the sedan's power. They also have positive remarks about the Camry Hybrid's continuously variable transmission. The 2011 Camry Hybrid nets a city/highway fuel economy rating of 31/35 mpg.

  • "When called upon, the 147-horsepower 2.4-liter variable-valve timed engine delivers a surprising amount of oomph, enabling the car to pass with ease on the freeway." -- CNET
  • "The Hybrid isn't as quick as the V6 Camrys ... but it's noticeably quicker than four-cylinder models, and particularly four-cylinders with the automatic." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The CVT is "one of the few continuously variable automatic transmissions I've used that feels smooth and seamless." -- Detroit News
  • "Acceleration is incredibly smooth due to the continuously variable transmission, which doesn't have the hard gearshifts of a standard automatic." -- CNET

Handling and Braking

Reviewers agree that the Camry Hybrid's smooth ride and confident road manners mean it handles much like a regular Camry. Still, the electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering draws its share of criticism.

  • "In terms of ride, handling and interior comfort, the Camry Hybrid could easily fool us into thinking we were driving an XLE." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Ride quality was excellent, both over rough roads and on Interstates. The suspension is compliant, but it isn't too soft and mushy to make the ride miserable." -- The Auto Channel
  • "When crawling along in traffic, the steering wheel has an alarming tendency to pull sharply to the left or right depending on the camber of the road." -- CNET
  • "Brake feel, always a hybrid bugaboo, is good here." -- Car and Driver
  • "The brakes tended to grab when applied; gentle and gradual does it." -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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