Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid and Nightshade Edition: Undercover Hybrids
Let’s face it, not everyone who drives a hybrid sedan wants the world to know it’s a hybrid. Sure, some of us love the funky good looks of the new 2023 Toyota Prius. But for those of us who just want a car, not an advertisement of our greenie roots, the Camry Hybrid comes in two flavors, the Camry XSE Hybrid and Nightshade Edition, that give you all the benefits of a hybrid, but with a styling bonus.
The Nightshade Edition is a sporty Camry
The Camry Nightshade Edition is What happens when you put sparkly bronze-colored wheels and special paint on a Camry. But, it’s more than just an appearance package. The Nightshade Edition comes with sport-tuned shocks and springs, as well as some suspension bracing and flappy paddles for shifting. Sure, this is no GR Camry (if such a thing existed), but it’s definitely sportier than your average Camry.
The Nightshade starts at about $32,000, and with some options, it can come close to $35,000. The Nightshade comes in a sleek deep blue, metallic black or bright white colors only.
The Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid brings solid near-luxury trappings
The list of standard features on the Toyota Camry XSE make this car a star on the inside. While the Nightshade Edition looks like a boulevard brawler, the XSE brings a smoother dash layout, more leather, and a host of great features like heated and ventilated seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and a booming stereo. Not to be outdone in the styling department, though, XSE models can get a cool two-tone black roof, that gives it a touch of the Crown.
Yes, the XSE has sport suspension and paddles, too, but this is the luxury package designed to coddle you as much as save fuel. It starts at $34,095 but because it already has every option, there’s not a lot you can add to it.
The Camry XSE Hybrid and Nightshade Editions hide their hybridness
Other than a little hybrid badge, you’d never know these near-luxury or sports sedans are hiding 208 horsepower of Camry hybrid power. They’re also quicker than their gas-powered counterparts. The electric boosters provide more torque sooner, and that means quicker acceleration. And, we can’t mention a hybrid without saying that these cars are rated at 44 mpg in town and 47 mpg on the highway.
Both cars also come with Toyota’s Safety Sense system, like the regular gas-powered best-selling Camry. That system comes with blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking assist, and full dynamic radar cruise control. They also get lane departure alert, lane tracing assist, and the cool road sign assist that shows you the speed limit or other info in the digital gauge cluster.
Fun Fact: Both cars have paddle shifters, but the transmission is a CVT. So, because that transmission doesn’t have actual gears, the computer approximates it.