Is the 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid Worth $2,000 Over the ICE Camry?

The Toyota Camry is one of the most reliable and fuel-efficient midsize sedans. Starting at $25,845, the Camry is also a good value. But the 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid costs almost $2,000 more than its internal combustion engine (ICE) sibling. Because the ICE Camry is already practical, is there any reason to buy the hybrid version?

The 2022 Toyota Camry offers more than just fuel efficiency

According to Toyota, the 2022 Camry comes standard with a four-cylinder engine producing 203 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque. This engine is rated for 28/39 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive. The base trim also includes 17-inch wheels.

Buyers can opt for the V6, producing 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, starting on the XLE trim. The range-topping Toyota Camry TRD offers this engine as standard equipment. Though all-wheel drive is available for each lower trim level, the V6 can’t be paired with FWD.

As a result, it gets only 22/33 mpg city/highway, but those are still decent numbers for an ICE car. The V6 also enjoys better acceleration. It makes for exciting handling on the TRD and XSE trims with their performance suspensions and 19-inch wheels.

The Toyota Camry can seat five riders on cloth or leather-trimmed upholstery. Though not plush, each seat provides adequate long-term support, and both rows offer heating and ventilation. But the Camry’s trunk space is on the small side, a little more than 15 cubic feet.

In addition, every model has a 7.0-inch center touchscreen, which can be upgraded to a 9.0-inch screen on higher trim levels. Smartphone integration is standard. 

However, you’ll have to pay extra for amenities such as a JBL audio system, panoramic glass roof, and wireless charging pad. Regardless of trim level, the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ suite provides plenty of driver assistance features.

How does the 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid compare to the regular Camry?

2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid, ICE Toyota Camry
2022 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid grille | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid has only one powertrain, an electric motor with a turbo-four engine. Together, they make 208 hp and 149 lb-ft of torque. 

They pair with a continuously variable transmission instead of the eight-speed automatic in the ICE Camry. Unfortunately for some drivers, every Camry Hybrid model is available only with FWD. But it redeems itself by providing satisfying fuel economy: 51/53 mpg city/highway.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid’s interior looks identical to its ICE twin. However, backseat riders don’t have as much headroom because of the battery pack under the floor.

Fortunately, the hybrid’s trunk size remains unaffected. The Camry Hybrid also enjoys the same safety and convenience features as the regular Camry.

According to EPA estimates, you’ll save $6,000 on fuel over five years with a Toyota Camry Hybrid. However, that’s also assuming your highway and city driving are almost evenly split. It’s also dependent on current gas prices, which can fluctuate at any time.

Whichever you choose, both Camry models have attractive interiors and excellent ride qualities. U.S. News reports that the Camry Hybrid has better acceleration than the regular LE trim. With that in mind, the Toyota Camry Hybrid, despite its higher MSRP than the ICE model, is a good deal if you want better fuel economy and a smoother powertrain.

Is buying a hybrid car worth the higher purchase price?

Money Under 30 points out that buying a hybrid car doesn’t necessarily mean immediate fuel savings. Assuming you drive about 15,000 miles annually, it might take over four years to recoup the money you spent to purchase the vehicle.

Still, hybrids are generally more reliable than their ICE counterparts, meaning less money spent on repairs. And though battery packs are expensive to replace, MU30 says these components can last around 180,000 miles before significant degradation. 

RELATED: The 2015 Toyota Camry Is a Used Car Bargain That Can Cost You Under $20,000