Expert Insights

2025 Toyota Camry Hybrid Road Test

Laurance Yap
April 29, 2024
The Toyota Camry, one of the best-selling cars in the U.S., is getting a major upgrade for the 2025 model year. Not only does it have updated styling and a fantastic new interior, but the new Camry also is hybrid-only, with EPA estimates of up to 51 mpg combined.
Blue 2025 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Best-Selling Sedan Goes Hybrid-Only with 50+ MPG

For over 20 years, the Toyota Camry has been one of the best-selling sedans in the U.S., often topping the sales charts thanks to its appealing combination of space, quality, dependability, high resale value, and economical running costs. Now, for the 2025 model year, the Camry has been redesigned to build on that success, as well as emphasize its green credentials.

Not only is the latest Camry a good-looking sedan that enhances all the attributes that made it a success in the past; it’s also hybrid-only. Fitted exclusively with Toyota’s fifth-generation hybrid system, all Camry models are powered by a 2.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine paired with electric power that delivers up to 51 mpg combined, according to EPA estimates.

2025 Toyota Camry Hybrid parked on mountain

Amazing Economy and Available All-Wheel Drive

Continuous evolution of its hybrid system means the latest Toyota Camry is more economical than ever while still retaining sprightly performance. The 2025 Camry’s 225 combined horsepower provides more than enough go for all daily driving situations while returning amazing fuel economy numbers.

One highlight for 2025 is an all-new all-wheel drive hybrid system. Instead of using heavy axles and driveshafts, the rear wheels are powered by a dedicated rear electric motor for electronic on-demand all-wheel drive. The system provides additional traction when it’s needed, such as in bad weather, or when accelerating hard from a standing start, while having almost no penalty for fuel economy. The addition of the second electric motor ups combined horsepower to 232 – that’s 30 more horsepower than the last gasoline-only all-wheel drive Camry, with superior responsiveness and fuel economy.

All Camry models are fitted with an electronically-controlled continuously-variable transmission (CVT). Instead of having a specific number of gears, the CVT can continuously alter its gear ratios to provide the optimum combination of performance and efficiency.

2025 Toyota Camry: Driving Experience

Of all of the new technologies, the electronic all-wheel drive system is the biggest contributor to a massively more engaging driving experience. The system, which now operates electronically, is able to respond much more precisely and much more quickly than a mechanical system to different driving conditions and driver demands. If the all-wheel drive system senses slip, it immediately engages the rear motor to increase traction and keep the Camry steering where you want it to go.

The redesigned suspension also gives the 2025 Camry Hybrid more responsive, confident handling. The new car, despite being just as large and spacious as before, feels much more agile than before on a winding road. If you choose the SE or XSE trim level, they both come with a sport-tuned suspension with upgraded shock absorbers and a stiffer stabilizer bar for more confident handling. All Camrys, regardless of trim level, also have switchable drive modes – normal, eco, and sport.

If you’ve never driven a hybrid before, the CVT transmission will take a bit of adaptation, as there are no gearshifts and it can sometimes sound like the engine and the transmission are out of sync in terms of the noises you hear when driving more aggressively. But it doesn’t take much time to realize the CVT does a great job of balancing power and efficiency. In regular day-to-day driving, it all simply fades into the background; this is a quiet, refined car that prioritizes comfort and silence, and does a great job of it.

close up of Toyota camry AWD HEV logo

Upgraded Tech, Plenty of Standard Safety Features

All Camry models, regardless of trim level, come with a staggering array of safety features as standard. They include:

·      Blind sport monitor

·      Rear cross-traffic alert, which detects vehicles approaching on either side from behind

·      Safe exit alert, which uses sensors in the rear bumper to warn you if there’s an approaching vehicle or bicycle as you exit the car

·      Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, which can brake automatically to avoid or mitigate a collision

·      Radar cruise control to maintain a safe distance from the car in front

·      Lane departure alert with steering assist

·      Lane tracing assist to keep the vehicle in the center of the chosen lane

·      Road sign assistant

·      Automatic high beams

·      Proactive driving assist

Furthermore, the top XLE and XSE models come with traffic jam assist, front cross-traffic alert, lane change assistant, a 360-degree camera, and front and rear parking assist with automatic braking.

Toyota Camry Hybrid front interior

Upgraded Design Inside and Out

Designed in California for the American market, the 2025 Camry is sleeker and more athletic than before. Its new “hammerhead” face shares its look with the new Prius, and is also strangely reminiscent of some recent Ferrari models. “Base” LE models have a black grille, luxury XLE models have metallic grey, and sport-models have mesh grilles along with body-color additions and glossy black trim replacing the chrome trim on regular models. All trim levels come with LED headlights as standard, a great safety feature. Wheels range from 16 to 19 inches; SE models have black 18-inch wheels and XSE models have 19-inch smoke-grey alloys.

Inside, the interior has been redesigned to be more comfortable and practical. From a design standpoint, the look is more classic, functional, and timeless, with simpler shapes and higher quality materials. The seats have significantly improved comfort, with longer bottom cushions, denser foam, and a softer headrest. Standard acoustic laminated glass on the XLE and XSE models helps reduce wind noise to help make the cabin even quieter.

The base Camry LE already comes with really nice woven fabric which resembles ocean waves. Higher trim levels include Toyota’s SofTex synthetic leather with bold accents, and even a combination of real leather and microfiber trim, which offers the best combination of comfort and luxury. Heated front seats are standard on the XLE and XSE, and optional on LE and SE models; higher-end models also have available front ventilated seats and a standard heated steering wheel.

Standard convenience features on all Camry models include a push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air events, and five USB ports – three in the front and two in the rear – with wireless charging, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. All Camry models have a digital instrument cluster, a central touchscreen, and more. XLE and XSE models also have a 10-inch heads-up display.

2025 Camry Pricing and Competitors

The all-hybrid 2025 Camry lineup actually has a starting MSRP of $400 lower than the outgoing Camry Hybrid – despite all of the significant technical and luxury enhancements made for the latest version. With available all-wheel drive, the lineup is simple to understand, and offers good value across the board:

·      2025 Camry LE hybrid front-wheel drive: $28,400 starting MSRP

·      2025 Camry SE hybrid front-wheel drive: $30,700 starting MSRP

·      2025 Camry XLE hybrid front-wheel drive: $33,400 starting MSRP

·      2025 Camry XSE hybrid front-wheel drive: $34,600 starting MSRP

·      2025 Camry LE hybrid all-wheel drive: $29,925 starting MSRP

·      2025 Camry SE hybrid all-wheel drive: $32,225 starting MSRP

·      2025 Camry XLE hybrid all-wheel drive: $34,925 starting MSRP

·      2025 Camry XSE hybrid all-wheel drive: $36,125 starting MSRP

Those figures are impressively competitive with other vehicles in the Camry’s class. The Honda Accord Hybrid is probably its closest competitor. Only available in higher trim levels, the Accord Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $32,895 – thousands more than the base Camry LE, but about the same as the comparable Camry XLE. Its EPA estimates of 46 mpg city and 41 mpg highway are, however, inferior to the Toyota’s.

The 2025 Toyota Camry is now landing at Toyota dealerships across the country. Given its competitive pricing, improved feature content, and excellent safety features – not to mention the amazing fuel economy from its hybrid drivetrain – we’re sure it’ll continue to be a major success.