2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid keeps up the “Better Than Gas” tradition

2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid

With Toyota products, the hybrid option is almost always the better one. That’s definitely true with the Camry midsize sedan, which is much better to drive and has far superior fuel economy with the hybrid drivetrain. The Camry Hybrid is largely unchanged for 2017.

The manufacturer says

Discover the perfect balance between power and fuel efficiency through Hybrid Synergy Drive.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Toyota
  • Year, Model: 2017 Camry Hybrid
  • Class, Type: Midsize hybrid sedan
  • Propulsion system: Gasoline-electric
  • Base Price: $26,790
  • MSRP as tested: $37,492
  • Availability: Now

Overview

For the 2017 model year, Toyota added Entune Audio Plus and wireless smartphone charging as standard features on some trims as well as more advanced safety measures. The Camry Hybrid is otherwise unchanged from 2016.

Not having many changes is not necessarily a bad thing when your product hits all the marks just about right. The 2017 Camry Hybrid is a great vehicle with a thorough accounting of checkmarks through the list of midsize sedan expectations. It’s roomy inside, drives comfortably, has a reputation or reliability, and it’s economical on fuel. The few downsides to the Camry Hybrid are slightly reduced trunk space and a lack of endearment or fun in the drive.

This makes the 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid likely one of the best options on the midsize sedan front, hybrid or not. It’s far superior to the standard Camry sedan in both fuel economy and driveability without much of a cost premium for the upgrade.

There are three trim levels available for the Camry Hbyrid, making it much more affordable. The base is the Camry Hybrid LE followed by the sportier SE and the luxurious XLE trims. The base model is pretty well-equipped with a 6.1-inch touchscreen and some good amenities for the price. It’s comparable in equipment to a mid-level Camry sedan without the hbyrid powertrain.

The 2017 Camry Hybrid is propelled by a well-vetted Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain that starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motors in a continuously variable transmission (CVT) like setup. This delivers about 200 horsepower all together and sends it to the front wheels in FWD. Fuel economy is estimated at 42 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway for the Camry Hybrid LE and SE models. The XLE is rated at 40 mpg city and 37 mpg highway due to its larger wheels and tires. The Camry Hybrid can travel nearly two miles in all-electric at speeds below 25 mph. These numbers are all real-world achievable for most drivers.

Inside, the 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of legroom in both the front and back seats. Trunk space suffers a bit for the hybrid, dropping to 13.1 cubic feet (2.3 less than the standard gas model), but the fact that the rear seatbacks still fold down for added cargo options is a boon over previous generations and some competitors.

What we like

Excellent all-around midsize sedan on all fronts.

Better drive than the standard gasoline-powered Camry.

What we don't

Competition has more “fun” built in, despite Camry Hybrid’s new sport model.

Fuel economy could improve.

Conclusions

The 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid still remains one of the best choices in the midsize sedan category. It’s not without room for improvement, but it checks all of the boxes midsize buyers need and adds in Toyota’s high expected reliability as a bonus. We can honestly find no compelling reasons for not buying this car. The Camry Hybrid is top of its class.

Test Period Length and Limitations
The Camry Hybrid was a manufacturer’s press loan for about a week, during which time over 200 miles were put on the vehicle in varied weather conditions and with varied passenger loads.

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