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2023 Toyota Camry hybrid is a well-rounded, fuel-efficient midsize sedan Featured

Posted On Monday, 01 May 2023 22:36 Written by
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The 2023 Toyota Camry hybrid features a sharp design and excellent fuel mileage. The 2023 Toyota Camry hybrid features a sharp design and excellent fuel mileage. Photo by Matt Myftiu/Autotechreviews.com

Since debuting the Prius at the tail end of the 20th century, Toyota has long been a force in the world of hybrid vehicles, and they continue holding on to this leadership role with a large number of hybrids available for the 2023 model year.

The Camry is Toyota’s midsize sedan tour de force, so it makes sense that a hybrid version has been available for the past 15-plus years. And while some competitors have abandoned hybrids and focus exclusively on electric vehicles, there are still a few direct competitors for the Camry hybrid — including the Sonata hybrid and Accord hybrid.

I’m of the belief that Toyota is being smart by not diving fully into EVs before the infrastructure is there to support them, and still keeping a strong hybrid lineup in play for people who want fuel economy but don't want to go the EV route.

I recently spent time behind the wheel of a 2023 Toyota Camry hybrid, and I’m back with a full report.


LOOKS

Both inside and out, the 2023 Camry hybrid can claim a sharp design aesthetic.

On the outside, the vehicle features an aggressive front end, and bold black grille that stands out in the segment. This Camry is no wilting lily blending into the walls, it’s serving notice that it’s arrived to grab your attention.

My test vehicle featured a Celestial Silver paint scheme, 19-inch black alloy wheels (base model starts with 16-inch wheels), LED headlights with integrated daytime running lights, and dual chrome exhaust tips. It also featured a two-tone Midnight Black metallic roof and rear spoiler.

Moving inside, the Interior design on my test vehicle featured an attractive red and black seating design, with comfortable seating in front and back rows.

The inside of the vehicle is spacious and roomy, though the trunk is smaller than some rivals (it comes in at 15.1 cubic feet). Both heated and ventilated seats are offered for comfort in all weather.

Other interior highlights include: Leather-trimmed front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, folding 60/40-split rear seat, and a heated steering wheel, and metallic trim.

HOW’S THE RIDE?

All Camry hybrid models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a hybrid system that combine to produce 208 horsepower, and feature a CVT automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

Acceleration is better than you might expect in a hybrid, coming in at roughly 7.5 seconds for 0-to-60 time. It’s powerful enough that you never have to worry about whether you'll be able to pull off a pass or get on to the highway safely.

Thanks in part to the sport-tuned suspension, the overall driving performance is quite smooth and even enjoyable, with instant braking and strong overall handling and cornering capabilities.

Drive modes include Eco, Normal and Sport, and can be adjusted depending on your situation. Eco gives you top fuel mileage, but the most uninspiring drive. Normal will be the daily go-to, and Sport gives the car a kick in the pants but sacrifices fuel mileage.

Keep your expectations realistic of course, as this is still a hybrid and nowhere near a sports car. But gone are the days when hybrids meant dreadfully slow and boring to drive. 

TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

My first thoughts on the tech setup were that the design of the infotainment system in the Camry hybrid, centered around a 7-inch or 9-inch touchscreen, looks a bit dated compared to other vehicles in the class.

But in the end, function is more important than looks. And the system functioned just fine. Voice commands proved responsive and the vehicle listened and did what I asked it to do. Some of the touch controls took longer in terms of the number of steps than I would have liked, but overall they're well-placed and easy to use.

In other tech features, the Camry hybrid features several USB ports, an integrated dash cam, a 6-speaker or 9-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music and phone calls, a satellite radio trial, compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and options including a navigation system and wireless phone charger.

The core of the safety features on the 2023 Camry hybrid is the Toyota Safety Sense system, which is included on on all trim levels and offers a bevy of features including:

— Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
— Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
— Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
— Automatic High Beams
— Road Sign Assist
— Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert 

Also, an optional Driver Assist Package includes: 10-inch color Head-Up Display, Panoramic View Monitor, plus Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking


MPG

The 2023 Toyota Camry hybrid I tested had official fuel mileage numbers of 44 city/47 highway/46 combined. Other versions of the vehicle claim even higher numbers, up to 51 city and 53 highway.

In my real-world testing, I was closer to 40 miles per gallon, but the weather was cold and I regularly drove in sport mode, so I could have done better if I had actively tried to do so.

The fuel mileage numbers on the main midsize sedan hybrid competitors — Hyundai’s Sonata hybrid, and Honda’s Accord hybrid, are close enough that the Camry hybrid holds its own.

The potential for going more than 500 miles on a tank of gas in the Camry hybrid before your next fill-up will no doubt be enticing to many buyers.

PRICE

The 2023 Toyota Camry Hybrid I tested was the highest trim level and surpassed $40,000 including options. The base model will cost around $29K.


The Camry hybrid comes in five trim options: LE, SE, SE Nightshade Edition, XLE and XSE. Even buyers who opt for the most affordable Camry hybrid will be impressed with its capabilities and features.

The price range accurately reflects the quality of the vehicle and its healthy amount of included features. And the pricing for the Camry hybrid is competitive compared to rival hybrids from brands like Hyundai and Honda, especially when Toyota’s reputation for reliability is taken into account.

BOTTOM LINE

Toyota, the originator of producing hybrid vehicles in mass quantities, is back at it with another excellent offering in the 2023 Toyota Camry hybrid.

With strong fuel mileage, quality design, impressive technology and safety features, and an overall enjoyable drive, there's little to dislike about this hybrid. 

It's a great under-the-radar, middle-ground sedan option for people who want to be environmentally friendly, but don't want to commit to an electric vehicle quite yet due to lack of infrastructure or other reasons.


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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.



Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2023 Toyota Camry hybrid
  • Price as tested: $40,312 (starts around $29K) 
  • Best feature: Excellent fuel mileage, roomy interior
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars     
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Families wanting a reliable, roomy sedan that will limit their trips to the gas station    
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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