Toyota Camry hybrid the best Camry available
And the best hybrid in its class
OK. When the conversation is hybrid cars, most think Toyota Prius first. So, I don’t think there has ever been any doubt that Toyota is still the indisputable hybrid king. However, when the Ford Fusion hybrid, for instance, squashed Camry hybrid fuel economy, it was a little easy to wonder if Toyota was losing some mojo.
Of course, the Camry hasn’t gone through a major update in years, unlike the Fusion. That is until now, and faith in Toyota’s hybrid prowess has been restored.
Not only does the new Camry hybrid offer the best fuel economy in its segment, it also offers the best price. Perhaps more interesting, however, the Camry hybrid might be the best Camry.
In the last few years, an undeniable trend has hit the auto industry: consumers are holding onto their vehicles longer. Keeping a car for 10 years is normal, and if you’re going to keep your Camry for 10 years, then why not buy a hybrid?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a real simple cost comparison between the conventional Camry and the Camry hybrid as the Camry hybrid offers performance more like the V6 Camry, rather than the base 4. So, I’m adding an extra $1000 to the cost of the Camry LE for comparison, as the base V6 only comes in the SE trim package and above. With extra amenities the SE starts at $26,640. Consequently, the extra $1000 seems fair, even low.
That makes the hybrid premium $2400, or less. For average drivers, the Camry hybrid should save at least $500 per year in fuel costs compared to the conventional version, at least. In fact, if you’re an urban driver, the savings could be significantly greater per year, to the tune of a few hundred dollars or more. Therefore, conservatively, the Camry hybrid provides a return on its hybrid investment in 5 years or less.
After 10 years, the Camry hybrid buyer is far ahead, especially if gas prices spike again — and probably again — over the course of the next decade. Likewise, if a battery breakthrough is achieved in the next decade, it might be cost-effective to convert the Camry hybrid into a plug-in hybrid.
Yes, most Camry consumers will balk at the extra upfront costs of the Camry hybrid, despite the long term advantages, which is why Toyota is only anticipating that the Camry hybrid will account for 10 percent of all Camry sales. Still, if you’re an urban driver that typically owns a vehicle for 5 years+, the Camry hybrid provides a great hedge against higher gasoline prices and the best overall value.
For consumers open-minded enough to think long term, the Camry hybrid is probably the best Camry.