2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid: 5 Things We Like, 3 Things We Don’t

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid | photo by Steven Pham

With the Camry Hybrid, Toyota takes a successful mid-size sedan formula that emphasizes value and dependability, then gives it an added boost with significantly improved fuel economy. Depending on the trim, the 2021 Camry Hybrid averages more than 50 mpg in a combined mix of city and highway driving. Pitted against direct rivals like the Honda Accord Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, the Camry makes a strong case for itself thanks to its reputation for ride comfort and long-term reliability.

Related: 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review: A More Advanced Transportation Appliance

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2021 Toyota Camry LE
24,594 mi.
$22,695 $700 price drop
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44,517 mi.
$22,986 $984 price drop
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Added to this is a long list of standard features, including tech touches like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, to active-safety items such as forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control. The latest Camry Hybrid is even more fun to drive, with nimble handling and a responsive powertrain. Yet considering the higher price paid for the hybrid variant, saving money on gas could take years to offset the extra money spent at the dealership.

We recently spent time behind the wheel of a 2021 Camry Hybrid XLE, a mid-level luxury trim fitted with niceties like leather-trimmed seating and a 9-inch touchscreen. You can find our complete review by following the link above; for a quicker course on our key likes and dislikes, keep reading.

Things We Like

1. Camry Family Values

Because, at the end of the day, it’s a Camry! Many car shoppers want stress-free ownership and a vehicle to seamlessly transport them from point A to point B without hassle or reliability worries. In this regard, the Camry Hybrid builds on the strong reputation for value and dependability that has made this mid-size sedan so popular for so many years. A smooth ride, spacious cabin and lengthy lineup of standard features prove the Camry still has what it takes to compete against its rivals.

2. Impressive Gas Mileage

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid | photo by Steven Pham

For the ultimate in gas savings, the entry-level Camry Hybrid LE trim delivers an EPA-estimated 51/53/52 mpg city/highway/combined. Other trims, including the XLE model we tested, offer a slightly lower average of 44/47/46 mpg. 

3. Safety First, Safety Standard 

No matter what engine is under the hood, the 2021 Camry offers a long list of standard safety features. Automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, full-speed adaptive cruise control, cyclist and pedestrian detection, lane-centering steering and automatic high-beam headlights are standard on every Camry. Additional features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are also available. Relatedly, the 2021 Camry recently earned a Top Safety Pick Plus rating, the highest possible score, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

4. Ride Comfort and Agility

The Camry Hybrid delivers a smooth ride that makes daily commutes or long-distance drives a breeze. Coupled with its agile steering, the Camry is a willing driving companion no matter where you’re headed — or how lumpy the pavement you’re traversing. During our time with it, we noted the Camry Hybrid felt responsive and “more natural to drive” than the rival Accord Hybrid.

5. Tech Features

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE touchscreen and GPS navigation 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid | photo by Steven Pham

The happiest road trip can end in tears if everyone (and their smartphone) isn’t feeling energized at the end of the drive. With that in mind, there are tech features aplenty in the 2021 Camry Hybrid. Standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, a Wi-Fi hot spot and a pair of USB ports. Our test car was fitted with a 9-inch touchscreen, versus the standard 7-inch screen, and leather-trimmed seats.

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Things We Don’t

1. Rivals Have Classier Cabins 

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE dashboard 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid | photo by Steven Pham

While the interior of the Camry is reasonably roomy and nicely designed, rivals such as the Accord and Sonata hybrids deliver more space and higher-quality materials. During our drive, we noticed some hollow-feeling trim pieces in the Camry. It doesn’t help that the infotainment system, while intuitive and simple to use, has outdated graphics and teeny-tiny buttons surrounding the touchscreen interface.

2. Bizarre Brake Response

Don’t get us wrong, the Camry comes to a controlled stop when you want it to. The problem is how the brakes feel artificial, something we noticed was particularly apparent in the final few feet of a stop. The regenerative braking system helps stretch fuel mileage, though it’s a shame the braking process itself has an awkward feel baked into it.

3. Premium Paid for Hybrid MPGs

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE front logo 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid | photo by Steven Pham

You’ll save money at the fuel pump, but you’re going to spend more at the dealership when choosing the Camry Hybrid over its non-hybrid stablemate. The price difference between the hybrid and a regular four-cylinder-powered Camry sedan is about $2,300, trim depending. We calculated it would take roughly six years to offset that extra expenditure with mpg-related savings down the road. 

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