2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Performance


#1 out of 19 in Midsize Cars

$28,150 MSRP
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2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.4

The 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid has amazing fuel economy estimates, with annual fuel costs in line with the Toyota Prius. Many reviewers find it more enjoyable to drive than a Prius, thanks to the Camry Hybrid's peppy engine and engaging handling.

  • "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 automatic blends electric and gasoline power with ease and efficiency. Continuously variable gearing helps the cruise control hold speed within 5 mph on downgrades." -- Edmunds
  • "Indeed, through the tight bends and sweeping curves, the Hybrid proved relatively fun to drive. Yes, you read that right again, fun. Kinda, sorta … Let's be clear, this is no sports sedan, but it's no wallowing beast either. We hustled it harder than probably 99 percent of Camry owners ever will and it almost never felt out of its element." -- Automobile Magazine (2018)
  • " … having driven a 2017 Prius Prime to the Camry event, we can say that the new Camry Hybrid is a substantially more comfortable and engaging car to drive." -- Autoblog (2018)

Acceleration and Power

All Camry Hybrid models come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The type of battery depends on the model. There’s a lithium-ion battery in the LE, and the SE and XLE trims have a nickel-metal-hydride battery. Overall, this energetic 208-horsepower setup holds its own while getting up to speed or moving down the highway.

The base Camry Hybrid LE has one of the highest fuel economy ratings in the midsize car class: 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway. The SE and XLE are not quite as thrifty, but their gas mileage is still well above the class average, at 44/47 mpg city/highway.

  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "Speaking of sport modes, the new Camry Hybrid has one if you pick the right model, and the SE even has paddle shifters to lend the CVT the feel of a six-speed automatic. Yes, you read that right, paddle shifters. At 208 total system horsepower, the Hybrid deploys a similar version of the new 2.5-liter four, detuned to 176 horsepower and 163 lb-ft, working with the electric motor to boost power under hard accel and optimize mpg in low stress situations." -- Automobile Magazine (2018)
  • "Next we got in an SE Hybrid. Here the CVT is trying hard to be sporty and responsive but feels neither. A gander at the spec sheet lists mileage at an impressive 52 mpg combined for an LE Hybrid. This might be worth the loss of road feel, especially if you can't really feel the road anyway, depending on how you drive. The SE and XLE Hybrids are rated at 46 combined, which is also outstanding. If gas mileage is more important to you than sportiness, this is your ride." -- Autoweek (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Camry Hybrid comes standard with front-wheel drive and several driving modes, including Eco, Normal, Sport, and EV (a low-speed all-electric mode). This midsize hybrid sedan is comfortable and composed for the most part. However, you may experience some body lean around sharp corners, though this isn't a major issue.

  • "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. It's pretty good, but the extra weight of the hybrid system diminishes the car's composure a little compared to the regular Camry." -- Edmunds
  • "We took a spin in the LE hybrid, and its behavioral transformation is less remarkable than the nonhybrid models we drove. Its continuously variable automatic transmission still suffers constant-rpm droning under acceleration. Moreover, this version's steering and suspension haven't firmed up as much as its siblings'. This new hybrid does, however, achieve normal brake-pedal feel as it mixes friction and regenerative braking, a characteristic that has long eluded Toyota." -- Car and Driver (2018)
  • "On all but the base LE hybrid, larger tire contact patches (now 235/45R18s instead of last year's 215/55R17s) deliver a firmer grip on the road. And because you sit closer to the road, the feeling is one of closeness to its nuances. The SE Hybrid adds sport-tuned shocks and springs for a slightly firmer ride. The blending of regenerative and hydraulic braking is fairly seamless, however initial response at speed is sometimes less assertive than expected for a fraction of a second, leading the driver to press the brake pedal harder than anticipated." -- New York Daily News (2018)
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