Not long ago, automakers added hybrid drive systems to their standard gasoline-engine-driven lineup to capitalize on a small market segment that wished for a greener solution to personal transportation or needed to save money at the pump. Unfortunately, early hybrid drive system technology had several limitations. And its haphazard application as an afterthought addition to existing drivetrains left consumers with only slightly improved fuel efficiency and inflated purchase prices for new hybrid vehicles. However, times are changing, at least at Toyota, as the new Camry Hybrid outperforms the non-hybrid Camry in a recent U.S. News & World Report ranking.
The 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid ranked as the best new Toyota model
The 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid ranked highest among Toyota’s 2022 models in a recent U.S. News comparison. The fact that other Toyota models’ hybrid versions outranked or at least matched their non-hybrid counterparts is a good sign for hybrid technology, especially in those vehicles with Toyota nameplates.
U.S. News reviewers gave the Camry Hybrid high marks for its superb fuel economy rating, spirited powertrain, comfortable ride, and included standard amenities. However, they felt the new touchscreen could have better resolution, the steering could provide more feedback, and lower trim models use too much hard plastic inside the cabin.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid boasts a spirited powertrain and superb fuel economy
The 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid’s 208-horsepower hybrid powertrain relies on a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine paired with an electric motor and a sealed lithium-ion battery pack to generate 149 lb-ft of torque.
A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) handles the shifting and routes power to the front-wheel drive system. Oddly, some reviewers found the CVT system noisy, while others found it quiet.
The highest fuel economy estimates come from the Camry Hybrid LE, which gets “an above-average 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway.” While other Camry Hybrid trims can’t match the LE’s numbers, they’re still respectable, with ratings of 44 mpg city and 47 mpg highway.
Enjoy a comfortable ride and plenty of standard amenities
The 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid employs MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone suspension set up in the rear to deliver a “comfortable ride” that soaks up any road irregularities and provides confident handling on curvy highways and exit ramps. In addition, the regenerative braking system, which supplies electrical power to charge the car’s battery system, can feel soft under low-speed braking compared to traditional braking systems.
The Camry XLE or XSE trims feature leather upholstery and wood inlays inside the cabin area, but the lower trims are adequately functional. The included “Etune3.0 infotainment system” is easy to use with a responsive 7-inch touchscreen that provides decent resolution compared to the optional 9-inch screen.
The standard system consists of a “six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, and two USB ports” in addition to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. Dual-zone automatic climate control keeps front-seat and rear-seat passengers equally comfortable.
Why is the Camry Hybrid better than the non-hybrid?
The Camry Hybrid’s superior fuel economy places it higher on the ranking chart than its non-hybrid stablemate. While the V6-powered Camry has more horsepower, the hybrid’s powertrain performs well enough to negate the horsepower advantage. Both versions offer tremendous value, but the Camry Hybrid’s fuel economy makes its higher purchase price a non-issue by paying dividends at the gas pump.
Is the 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid a good buy?
The 2022 Toyota Camry beats out the competition in fuel economy. However, competitors like the Honda Accord Hybrid offer terrific fuel mileage, decent performance, and comfortable rides while providing more cargo space in the trunk and passenger space in the cabin. In addition, the Accord Hybrid “is a tad more enjoyable to drive.” U.S. News encourages you to drive both cars, and others, before buying a new Toyota Camry Hybrid, as personal preference plays a role in determining the best choice for you.