The Toyota Camry Hybrid is good for the environment and fun to drive.
Reviewed by VehiclesTest.com
Hybrid vehicles offer many advantages—but mostly they are better for the environment and easier on the wallet at the gas pump. The Camry Hybrid delivers on both counts, and because it’s based on the eighth-generation Camry platform, it’s a real joy to drive.
The Camry Hybrid utilizes the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform and is offered in three trim levels: the well-equipped Hybrid LE; sport-enhance Hybrid SE; and top of the line Hybrid XLE.
The Camry Hybrid’s driving characteristics and trunk room are improved through the implementation of the TNGA platform, as it allows for the hybrid system’s battery pack to be moved from the trunk area to beneath the rear seat, positioning the battery weight at a lower center of gravity axis.
Every Camry Hybrid comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P, an advanced active safety suite that bundles its Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function, featuring forward collision warning and Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
The Camry Hybrid’s 2.4-liter 176-hp engine is paired with two electric motors for 208 total horsepower. The Toyota Hybrid System II is engineered to provide spirited performance and driving enjoyment. The Camry Hybrid LE is equipped with a Lithium-ion battery pack, and Nickel-Metal Hydride battery pack on the SE and XLE.
Excellent fuel economy is a hallmark of the Camry Hybrid: the LE is rated at an EPA-estimated mpg of 51 city/ 53 highway/52 combined, while the SE and XLE offer EPA-estimated 44 city/47 highway/46 combined. A 100-mile driving test by VehiclesTEST showed a combined fuel economy of 46.5 miles per gallon.
During our performance testing the Camry Hybrid went from zero to 60 mph in 7.77 seconds and had a highway passing time of 5 seconds, and you can feel the electric motor add to the acceleration. On the top end, it ran the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds at 92.3 mph at the finish line. Interior noise was low at just 64 decibels at highway speeds, and VehiclesTEST confirmed the curb to curb turning radius of 38 feet.
Along with the traditional Camry Hybrid system drive modes of NORMAL, ECO and EV, a SPORT drive mode setting allows for an increase in power from the hybrid system for improved acceleration response relative to pedal input.
Tracking how efficiently you are driving is straightforward with the hybrid energy monitor. As the driving conditions change, the monitor uses both the Entune 3.0 display to show how power is being routed to the drive wheels, or how what would be wasted energy is used to charge the battery.
The interior blends function and styling, including easy gear shifter, attractive tach/speed cluster and thumbpad controls. The driver enjoys a cockpit-like setting in comfortable seating, and 7-inch display audio/entertainment screen. There’s also plenty of room for rear-seat passengers. One key design element is the sweeping character line that descends from the instrument cluster to merge with the center console, all of which are made from premium soft-touch materials. What’s more, there’s lots of storage in the big trunk.
The Camry Hybrid offers the great fuel economy that everyone wants with a hybrid, while the electric motor contributes nicely when merging and passing on the highway. The combination of high mileage, power when you need it and outstanding safety makes the Camry Hybrid definitely worth a test drive.
The full video review on the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid is available here. (https://media.flickfusion.net/videos/basic/player.php?vehicle_fkey=&video_fkey=6257F8FF-D912-00C9-757C-5D24A9048594)