The week that I was test driving the Toyota Camry Hybrid was one of the busiest event weeks I’ve had in over a year. Thankfully, the events were all in town and short jaunts. That turned out to be perfect, so that I could really test the miles per gallon in the XSE sedan.
Year in, year out, even during the SUV rage, the Toyota Camry has been the best-selling passenger car in the United States. I believe it is based on the reliability and durability that the Japanese automakers insist upon. I have been to press events and have interacted with both designers and engineers from Toyota over the years and they are consistent in giving the consumer what they are asking for.
Toyota added a hybrid powertrain to the Camry line, giving us the Camry XSE Hybrid and boosting the vehicle’s overall fuel economy with the company’s Synergy system. Toyota’s Synergy Drive is one of the most dependable and it is put to good use in the Camry. It is nicely integrated into the Camry platform, which also includes a substantial helping of technology and safety equipment as well as an exciting entertainment system.
Exterior: Silver Metallic
As more and more consumers want an SUV, I feel a practical, luxury looking sedan is a great family and empty nester vehicle to consider. Toyota has added some lipstick and red heels to the 2021 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid to make it look like a sport sedan, with a nose-down-side profile. The model I drove was a basic gray but the two-tone ones I’ve seen are really sporty. The XSE package is complete with a set of 19-inch designer wheels that added to the car’s WOW appearance. The front of the car carried a distinctive Toyota grille.
Interior: Light Gray
The interior of 2021 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid is nicely furnished with special touches such as leather head rest and leather trimming on the seat. Soft material is used on the long dashboard, which is set off with metal accents and wood-grain trim. Like the dashboard, the inner side of the door and finished with stitching that helps to reinforce the luxury appearance. I would have liked a white interior.
The 2021 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid comes with a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine and a battery-powered electric motor, while Toyota’s Synergy Hybrid Drive system blends the power from the gasoline engine and electric motor for the vehicle’s operation.
The powertrain also includes an electronic continuously variable transmission that changes gears and four different operating modes, including EV, normal, ECO and Sport. The Camry Hybrid also has a combined rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of 46 miles per gallon. It gets 44 mpg on the city driving course and 47 mpg on the highway. (I got 46.)
The Camry XSE’s hybrid powerplant puts out 208 hp.
The Camry Hybrid is also equipped with dynamic radar cruise control, backup camera with birds-eye view, head-up display, satellite radio, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, Wi-fi hot spot, Bluetooth, navigation, a JBL sound system and driver assistance features such as blind-spot detection, automatic hi-beams and lane keeping alerts and assistance and intelligent sensors to help with parking.
I know for a fact that the Camry had great trunk space for all my extras this week and plenty of leg room in the backseat for driving folks from one event to the other. The Camry Hybrid was a time saver and gas saver. Really… How can you go wrong with a Camry?