2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE Review: Worth the Money?

Thanks to low gas prices and a growing demand for SUVs, midsize hybrid sedans aren’t the most popular vehicles on the market right now. Still, these cars deserve a second look because they boast spacious interiors and excellent fuel economy. The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE is no exception, offering buyers an alternative to the ubiquitous Prius. But is it worth the money? Find out our thoughts below.

Is It Efficient?

In a word, yes. The Camry Hybrid is much more efficient than the regular Camry, which is rated at 29/41/34 mpg. On the base LE trim, the Camry Hybrid tops out at 51/53/52 mpg. If you opt for the SE or XLE, those numbers drop slightly to 44/47/46 mpg (the gasser XLE gets 27/38/31).

See all 27 photos

It’s a similar story for the redesigned Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, which is rated 50/54/52 mpg on the base model and 45/51/47 mpg on other trims. Meanwhile, every Honda Accord Hybrid gets 48/47/48 mpg regardless of the configuration.

Is It Fun to Drive?

If you’re looking for a sporty sedan, the Camry Hybrid is probably not your automotive soulmate. It suffers from dull steering compared to rivals like the Sonata Hybrid and Accord Hybrid. Although it accelerates smoothly from a stop, the Camry Hybrid is not particularly quick.

Under the sheetmetal, a four-cylinder engine and electric motor work together to make 208 hp. Most buyers will find this powertrain sufficient for city and highway driving, but the Accord Hybrid is zippier and generally more fun to drive.

Even more important than acceleration is braking. Fortunately, the Camry Hybrid doesn’t suffer from the squishy brake feel that many hybrids have. The brakes bite down about as sharply as you’d expect with a firm press of the pedal.

See all 27 photos

We appreciate the Camry Hybrid’s easygoing ride, which speaks to its comfort-oriented personality. The suspension on our XLE tester kneads out bumps and potholes in the road so that they’re never too sharp and disturbing. That said, rivals like the Accord Hybrid are buttery smooth. The Sonata Hybrid is likewise quiet and tranquil. Both are more engaging than the Camry, too.

How’s the Interior?

Featuring leather seats, brown accent stitching, and unique wood-tone trim, our XLE tester has a pleasant interior. Although Toyota didn’t use the softest materials, it avoided cheap-looking plastics. If we had to sum up the interior in one word, we would say “logical.” At the center of the cabin is a touchscreen that integrates with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Simple menus make the screen easy to use, and the surrounding buttons are laid out in an organized fashion. Similarly, the lower center console area remains free of extra buttons, and the shifter and cupholders are positioned so the driver can easily access them.

See all 27 photos

Options like ventilated front seats and a 360-degree camera make the cabin feel cozier. But even on a top-spec model like our tester, the interior isn’t fancy. If you’re looking for a high-tech cabin, the Sonata Hybrid may be a good pick because it offers a larger touchscreen and a massive 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Most people will find there is plenty of room inside the cabin. Rear passengers have 38.0 inches of legroom, which is more than what’s offered in the Sonata Hybrid (34.8 inches) but less than the Accord Hybrid (40.4 inches). The Camry Hybrid trails both competitors when it comes to cargo space. It has 15.1 cubic feet, compared to 16.0 cubic feet for the Sonata Hybrid and 16.7 for the Accord Hybrid.

Is It Safe?

Like its key rivals, the Toyota Camry Hybrid has accrued excellent safety ratings. It earned five stars across the board in government crash tests, which include front, side, and rollover tests. Meanwhile, the Camry lineup performed well in tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nabbing “Good” scores in all crash categories. The Camry Hybrid XLE’s available adaptive headlights were rated “Good” in the difficult headlight test.

See all 27 photos

How Much Does It Cost?

The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid starts at $29,385, making it more expensive than its rivals in its base configuration. The 2020 Accord Hybrid starts at $26,575, while the Sonata Hybrid runs from $28,725.

The SE trim, with a “sport-tuned” suspension and other upgrades, goes for $31,085. At the top of the spectrum is the XLE, which is priced from $33,685. When fully loaded with options like our tester, the Camry Hybrid XLE is more than $39,000.

Should You Buy One?

There’s a lot to like about the Camry Hybrid. Along with a comfortable interior, it boasts excellent safety scores, and particularly if you opt for the base model, top-notch fuel economy. Still, we can’t say this sedan is our top pick. Rivals offer similar practicality but are more engaging to drive.

See all 27 photos


Editor-Curated Stories Directly to Your Inbox!

Source: Read Full Article