First introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, the Toyota Camry Hybrid continues to advance in technology, design, power and efficiency. This steady and evolving progress may indeed underlie its choice as commercial fleet manager’s “2022 Fleet Car of the Year.”
Now in its 16th year on the market, that original Camry Hybrid – with a single trim level and combination 2.4L four-cylinder engine/electric motor – in 2023 offers five grades – LE, XLE, SE, SE Nightshade, XSE — and the next-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS II).
In view of this year’s fuel price hikes have pushed fuel economy to the top of fleet managers’ priorities, the Camry’s fuel efficiency ratings are noteworthy. The LE Hybrid is the champ, with a manufacturer-estimated 51 MPG city / 53 MPG highway / 52 MPG combined rating.
Efficiency & Power: THS II
The Camry Hybrid powertrain is the most efficient and powerful every offered according to Toyota. The THS II combines the output of the 2.5L Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine and an electric motor (MG1), while using both that motor and a second motor (MG2) for hybrid battery charging.
In the hybrid, the gas engine is tuned to produce 176 hp and 163 lb.-ft. of torque. Paired with the 118-hp electric motor, the total hybrid system net output is 208 hp.
The lithium-ion (Li-ion) hybrid battery pack is installed beneath the rear seat without reducing passenger room or trunk capacity. The battery’s position also contributes to a lower center of gravity.
The Auto Glide Control (AGC) feature calculates efficient coasting logic to enhance fuel efficiency. Activated only when the vehicle is operated in the ECO drive mode, AGC. limits the loss of vehicle speed through engine braking, acting as a neutral gear to allow longer coasting. An AGC indicator light illuminates on the multi-information display when AGC is operating to alert the driver of reduced engine braking.
Available in North America only, the Toyota-developed Dynamic Torque Control AWD system is available as a standalone option for the four-cylinder LE, XLE, SE, SE Nightshade, and XSE grades
The Camry has been a repeat Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) top safety pick+ recipient, the organization’s highest rating. The rating acknowledges the standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ system that includes:
- Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection with Intersection Support.
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control standard on XLE gas and Hybrid, LE Hybrid and SE Hybrid grades.
- Lane Keeping Technology: Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist and Sway Warning System.
- Automatic High Beams.
- Road Sign Assist, designed to recognize certain road sign information using a forward-facing camera and display the signs on the dashboard multi-information display.
Other safety features include the Blind Spot Monitor helps Camry drivers change lanes with confidence, detecting and warning drivers of approaching or adjacent vehicles.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert can offer added security when backing up out of a driveway, for example. The feature helps detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out, alerting the driver with a visual and audible warning.
These features come standard on XLE and XSE grades and are available on certain LE and SE grades.
All 2023 Camry models have 10 standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, providing enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, anti-lock braking system, and smart stop technology.
Finally, all 2023 Camry models are equipped with a standard backup camera and Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder, alerting drivers of an open rear door while the vehicle is in operation.
Interior Functionality & Comfort
The Camry’s interior combines functionality and styling. The dash design sports a cockpit feel while providing expansive outward visibility
The Camry relays information to the driver via three available displays. A floating 7- or 9-inch central touch-screen display combines audio and navigation. Customizable features and smart-phone touch screen icons help ensure familiar and convenient operation.
For even greater functionality, Camry also offers an available 7-inch multi-information display within the instrument cluster. Available on XLE and XSE, a 10-inch color Head-Up Display projects vital information, including speed and turn-by-turn navigation directions, onto the lower portion of the windshield.
The XLE grade features a luxurious-looking textured herringbone seat pattern. Ventilated front seats are available on the XLE and XSE.
The hybrid-only climate control system uses an electric compressor and humidity sensor to provide automatic dual-zone comfort. Rear seat vents come standard on the XLE and XSE gas and hybrid grades and are available on the LE and SE gas grades.
For the 2023 Camry models, Toyota engineers improved the quiet ride experience by incorporating noise, vibration and harshness countermeasures previously found exclusively on luxury models.
Extensive sound-absorbing insulation includes foam/vibration-dampening materials throughout the vehicle, along with a thicker dash silencer mat across the entire firewall section. A special vibration-damping coating is applied over a wider area of the underfloor, and noise-proofing material encompasses more surface area under the headliner.
In the Camry Hybrid grades, all HV components are covered under the Hybrid System Warranty for eight years/100,000 miles. Additionally, the hybrid battery warranty is 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Also standard is ToyotaCare, covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years, unlimited mileage.