2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review: More Efficient, More Useful

– Newberg, Oregon

A hybrid powertrain option has been part of the Toyota Camry lineup since the 2007 model year, and so with this year’s all-new Camry sedan comes a new electrified version. More efficient, more practical, and with all the other changes applied to the regular 2018 Camry – read our First Drive here – the new Camry Hybrid makes a better case than ever for being your next daily driver.

 

 

Pros

More trunk space. Because the battery pack is now under the back seats, there’s more trunk space than in the last Camry Hybrid – 15.1 cubic feet with the seats up, versus 13.1 before. Better yet, the rear seat pass-through is now open, so you can fold the back seats for more cargo room. The old Hybrid’s back seat did fold, but the tiny pass-through gap made doing so pretty much pointless. The new car’s 60/40 split seat provides much more flexibility.

Drives like the non-hybrid. There are very few signs from behind the wheel that you’re driving a car capable of 52 mpg combined. Sure, there are unique gauges and modes for the trip computer, but the Camry Hybrid has the sure-footed handling and steering of any other Camry model. Off-the-line acceleration is brisk, with more low-end punch than the four-cylinder car. Only a slight springiness in the first inch or two of brake-pedal application betrays the car’s eco-conscious roots.

More powerful. The 2.5-liter gas engine is stronger than the outgoing Camry Hybrid, which partly explains why acceleration feels so strong. You get ...