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2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid

$8,977 — $16,645 USED
Sedan
5 Seats
39-41 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Gas mileage
  • Passing power
  • Better brakes than many hybrids
  • Trunk room
  • Attractive dashboard

The Bad

  • Tires have poor grip
  • No more one-touch windows
  • Exterior not radically redesigned
2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Redesigned for 2012
  • Gasoline four-cylinder and electric motor
  • 41 mpg (LE) or 40 mpg (XLE )
  • Related to redesigned 2012 Camry
  • 10 airbags

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

by Kelsey Mays -

In the redesigned 2012 Camry lineup, the Camry Hybrid steals the show.

Toyota expects the gas-electric car to get 40 or 41 mpg in the EPA's combined city/highway cycle, depending on trim level (LE and XLE are offered). That's for a sedan that drives like it has a V-6, seats four adults comfortably and holds more cargo than its competitors. The Camry Hybrid lacks the whiz-bang driving displays of the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, but it beats both in terms of efficiency and drivability, and it's a leap beyond the outclassed 2011 Camry Hybrid.

The five-seat Camry Hybrid sedan goes on sale in December. The car comes with front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. To read my review of the non-hybrid Camry, click here. The following review focuses on the hybrid.

Driving
The Camry Hybrid can drive on electric power alone at low speeds, before the drivetrain transitions seamlessly to engine power. When the electric motor and engine work in tandem, the 200-horsepower Camry Hybrid scoots more quickly than its Ford and Hyundai competitors — not exactly slowpokes themselves — despite all three having similar power. Toyota gets my nod for best regenerative brakes, too. Where other hybrid brakes often feel inconsistent or even bricklike, the Camry Hybrid's pedal is almost as linear as a non-hybrid car's.

The Camry Hybrid rides softly, but its standard low-rolling-resistance tires — Michelin Primacy MXV4s on my XLE tester &mda...

by Kelsey Mays -

In the redesigned 2012 Camry lineup, the Camry Hybrid steals the show.

Toyota expects the gas-electric car to get 40 or 41 mpg in the EPA's combined city/highway cycle, depending on trim level (LE and XLE are offered). That's for a sedan that drives like it has a V-6, seats four adults comfortably and holds more cargo than its competitors. The Camry Hybrid lacks the whiz-bang driving displays of the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, but it beats both in terms of efficiency and drivability, and it's a leap beyond the outclassed 2011 Camry Hybrid.

The five-seat Camry Hybrid sedan goes on sale in December. The car comes with front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. To read my review of the non-hybrid Camry, click here. The following review focuses on the hybrid.

Driving
The Camry Hybrid can drive on electric power alone at low speeds, before the drivetrain transitions seamlessly to engine power. When the electric motor and engine work in tandem, the 200-horsepower Camry Hybrid scoots more quickly than its Ford and Hyundai competitors — not exactly slowpokes themselves — despite all three having similar power. Toyota gets my nod for best regenerative brakes, too. Where other hybrid brakes often feel inconsistent or even bricklike, the Camry Hybrid's pedal is almost as linear as a non-hybrid car's.

The Camry Hybrid rides softly, but its standard low-rolling-resistance tires — Michelin Primacy MXV4s on my XLE tester — lose their footing easily, and the electric motor's sharp power from a stop magnifies the problem. Prod the accelerator midway down, and the front wheels spin away, reined in only when the standard electronic stability system intervenes.

The Camry Hybrid LE has Michelin Energy Saver Green-X rubber, which proved even worse in a non-hybrid Camry I drove. The V-6 Camry SE gets 18-inch wheels and stickier Michelins, but they aren't available on the Camry Hybrid. Those standard tires might help with mileage — Toyota cites a 10 percent overall reduction in rolling resistance with them — but the traction tradeoff concerns me.

Teaming an electric motor with the Camry's 2.5-liter four-cylinder and running a more efficient Atkinson cycle, the Camry Hybrid LE gets 41 mpg combined, while the heavier Camry Hybrid XLE gets 40 mpg — more than 20 percent better than the outgoing 2.4-liter Camry Hybrid, which was slower and 260 pounds heavier for an average of 33 mpg. In the process, Toyota also overtook the 39-mpg Fusion Hybrid and 37-mpg Sonata Hybrid. Not bad.

Hybrid Elements
For a detailed overview of the styling and interior, see my Camry review. The Camry Hybrid looks less distinct than the previous generation, which had a different bumper and grille than its Camry counterpart. New instruments and a fuel-efficiency display distinguish the interior, but otherwise the cabin mirrors the Camry's.

Powering the electric motor, the Camry Hybrid's battery pack sits behind the rear seats, intruding on cargo space and sacrificing the folding backseat for what amounts to a glorified pass-through. (Still, that beats the Fusion Hybrid, whose backseat doesn't fold at all.) Toyota moved the battery pack forward 5.5 inches versus the last Camry Hybrid, and the resulting trunk measures 13.1 cubic feet. That improves over the last Camry Hybrid (10.6 cubic feet) and beats the Fusion Hybrid (11.8) and Sonata Hybrid (10.7).

Safety, Features & Pricing
As of this writing, the Camry has yet to be crash-tested. There are 10 standard airbags. As is required of all 2012 models, an electronic stability system and antilock brakes are standard. A blind spot warning system is optional on the XLE. Toyota hasn't priced the car, but given the last Camry Hybrid had more standard features, its successor should undercut its $27,050 price — and close the gap with the 2011 Sonata Hybrid's $25,795 starting price.

Standard features include keyless access with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth and a USB/iPod-compatible stereo. The XLE adds a power driver's seat, a touch-screen stereo display and alloy wheels. Check all the options, and your Camry Hybrid will have a power passenger seat, heated partial-leather upholstery, JBL audio, two separate navigation systems (see the photos to compare), a moonroof and Toyota's Entune multimedia system, which we detail here.

Camry Hybrid in the Market
The gas-only Camry's improvements are fairly incremental, and some shoppers will overlook it because of that. That's not the case with the Camry Hybrid. The interior is a few flubs short of family-car excellence, and the skateboard tires mar an otherwise refined driving experience. But in the most important aspects, the Camry Hybrid leaps past its predecessor. Provided Toyota prices it right — and maintains the car's reputation for good reliability — it should compete for years to come.

Send Kelsey an email  


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
80 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Reliability personified

by Cuthbert from Kansas City area, MO on November 15, 2018

I have owned this car since new, June 2012, and covered 78,500 miles at an average of 35.8 mpg. You get more around town, as the electric motor is used more. But my driving is a mixture of town and ... Read full review

(5.0)

Camry Hybrid LE = A++

by His and Hers Hybrids from Wichita, KS on August 1, 2018

Great car. All the positive attributes of a hybrid plus a little power when you need it. Smooth, solid, and QUIET. I just finished my fourth year approaching 100K with this car and plan on keeping it ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Overall Evaluation
poor
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Toyota

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    24 months / 25,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    7 years/less than 85,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12, 000 miles

  • Powertrain

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    160- or 174-point inspections

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2012 Camry Hybrid Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Camry Hybrid received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker