Best Bet
  • (4.6) 69 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $9,726–$18,194
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 39-41
  • Engine: 156-hp, 2.5-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 2-speed CVT w/OD
2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Our Take on the Latest Model 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid

What We Don't Like

  • Tires have poor grip
  • No more one-touch windows
  • Exterior not radically redesigned

Notable Features

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

2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

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.

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Consumer Reviews

(4.6)

Average based on 69 reviews

Write a Review

2012 Camry Hybrid XLE

by dkrupnik from St. Louis, MO on December 10, 2017

Quiet ride, too much road feel (Toyota changed the ride of the XLE in 2012), very rough ride for a Toyota Camry XLE. Reliability has been very good except for having to replace the Hybrid battery ($4... Read Full Review

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2 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid trim comparison will help you decide.

2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

Front
P
Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Front

Overall evaluation
P

Head Restraints and Seats

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

Moderate overlap front

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

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Front Seat
Rear Seat
Side Barrier
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 2 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $3,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

24mo/25,000mi

Free Scheduled Maintenance

24mo/25,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

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.

Powertrain

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.

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).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

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.

Other Years