2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE Review
SEATTLE — If there’s one area that Toyota has undisputed expertise in, is hybrid vehicles. They were one of the early pioneers of hybrid technology. With its 2020 Camry Hybrid XLE, Toyota offers some refinement, great fuel economy and decent performance.
There are a couple of viable competitors now that have stormed this market segment and that is the Honda Accord Hybrid as well as the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. This Camry does have a slightly higher base price over those competitors. It starts at $29,385 while the Accord Hybrid starts at $26,575 and the Sonata at $28,725.
There’s no doubt that this current generation of Camry is arguably the best-looking Camry ever built. Toyota’s design team did a great job of seamlessly combining sporty edges with enough curves to give it a very sporty and fun look.
Under the hood:
Toyota uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that works in conjunction with an electric-drive motor. Its combined output is 208 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. Power delivery comes from a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with overdrive. The combination is good for a fuel economy of up to 44 miles per gallon in the city and 47 on the highway.
Acceleration is smooth but not the quickest around. Quite average for a sedan in this class and the steering feel is rather muted as well. But that’s not normally a big deal to most consumers looking to step into a hybrid sedan like this. That aside, the handling is rather good, all things considered and the braking is rather exceptional compared to other hybrids out there that depend on regenerative braking systems. Most are far too squishy – that’s not the case here.
The interior, while nothing extremely flashy, is well rounded with tech and driver aids as well as creature comforts. You’ll find a dual climate zone, heated front seats, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (why not for the passenger as well?), tilt-telescoping steering wheel, an electric parking brake and a 60/40 split folding rear seat.
Blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, heated seats and some nice wood-accents are standard fare here. The audio system is harnessed in a 12.1 inch cluster but doesn’t offer the best we’ve heard, it’d be great if Toyota offered a more premium JBL-powered one as we find in its Land Cruiser. There is also native support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Seat comfort is more than adequate for extended trips and there’s ample room in the rear (38 inches of legroom) for two adults. Cargo space comes in at 15.1 cubic feet.
Safety and wrap-up:
With all Toyotas, there is a lot of safety engineering that goes into this Hybrid. Those include a five-star crash test rating for front, sides and rollovers. It also has airbags throughout the cabin as well as tensioning seat belts.
In the end, Toyota has a very competitive hybrid on its hands. Sure there are a couple of areas where its competition may be a bit ahead but none have Toyota’s legendary reliability. All things considered, this car might be the best-looking hybrid sedan in its class as well.