It may not be probably the most thrilling automobile on the planet, however the Toyota Camry Hybrid completely excels at its supposed function. It is snug, environment friendly and sufficiently geared up with trendy creature comforts. For 2021, a smattering of nonessential updates barely refines the formulation, making a contextually wonderful automobile simply that significantly better.
New tech, but additionally not
Probably the most instantly noticeable improve within the 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid is the addition of a brand new “floating” display screen that replaces the one set into the dashboard. The complete center of the dashboard is redesigned to accommodate this new show, which measures 9 inches on my Hybrid XLE tester, though decrease trims make do with simply 7 inches. Both manner, it is outstanding, and the brand new look nonetheless packs the identical bodily buttons for the local weather management, that are simple to succeed in and use with little distraction. Charging takes place by way of a number of USB ports, however solely the one below the dashboard is able to operating smartphone mirroring; the USB-A and USB-C ports within the armrest are for charging functions.
Whereas the display screen is likely to be new, the Entune software program on it isn’t. It is the identical acquainted person interface present in each trendy Toyota, and it is the identical one we have been aware of for the final couple years. It isn’t a nasty setup by any stretch, with enough response instances and each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with Amazon Alexa integration, in addition to an embedded nav system that appears previous however features simply positive. Nonetheless, no one appeared to inform Toyota that once you begin making a lot bigger screens, you may need to improve the decision, as a result of every part on my tester’s show is solely upscaled and, in consequence, hella pixelated.
Picture high quality is not one of the best in different methods, both. The top-up show that comes on high-end trims is surprisingly blurry, sufficient in order that it turns into a distraction. The backup digital camera is, frankly, among the many worst on supply throughout the trade, with a picture so grainy (and blown up, given the display screen dimension) that particulars simply disappear into fuzz. Oddly sufficient, the small colour show between the gauges is crisp and extremely simple to learn at a look. I do not get it.
What most consumers will recognize, although, is the upgraded Toyota Security Sense 2.5 Plus system, which is customary on each Camry. Whereas I do not really feel like testing out the improved pedestrian and bicycle owner detection, nor the left-turn detection system that stops me from creeping into an intersection on the incorrect time, it is strong peace of thoughts that they are there. The adaptive cruise is up to date, and I like that it now accelerates throughout a lane change, however the energetic lane-keeping help is totally too heavy-handed, similar to it’s within the up to date 2021 Lexus IS that I lately drove. Depart that bit deactivated, although, and it is clean freeway crusing, as long as you’ll be able to heart your personal automobile.
New look, but additionally not
The 2021 Toyota Camry has up to date styling. Are you able to inform? Me neither. In case you are curious, the cushier LE and XLE fashions get new wheels, the latter rolling on 18-inchers, which look sufficiently luxury-oriented on my tester. This Hybrid additionally rocks a brand new inside herringbone seat sample, which truly appears the enterprise, although it is on the delicate facet. The sportier SE and XSE variants get some decrease fascia tweaks, too.
That is it. It is a Camry. As a rule, of us are shopping for it as a result of it is a damned good household automobile. Positive, the decrease grille’s somewhat massive, however the entire shebang appears good-looking sufficient to cross muster within the valet line.
Easy hybrid energy
The 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid’s powertrain stays unchanged for this yr, and that is good, as a result of it is already stellar. Below the hood is a 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated inline-four that mixes with a pair of motor-generators to provide 208 horsepower. Whereas which may not look like all that a lot for a midsize sedan like this, there is a good quantity of get-up-and-go if I must shoot a spot when turning onto a sooner road. As soon as it is up to the mark, it is all about balancing the throttle to take care of effectivity, one thing that is simple to do with the large ol’ energy gauge on the proper facet. Regardless of how a lot driving force I name up, although, the Camry Hybrid responds with clean supply.
One may not think about a Camry to be all that luxurious, however the trip high quality that comes at this value may be very, very onerous to beat.
The physique is tuned equally. In reality, it is fairly near Lexus’ trip high quality, with supple damper tuning that turns harsh roads into tender undulations. The XLE is a luxury-themed trim, and on the street, it excels at protecting occupants snug. Positive, it is somewhat nautical within the turns, however you’d spring for the Camry TRD should you wished flatness.
The Camry Hybrid’s trip is not simply effortlessly snug, it is environment friendly, as well. The EPA charges the 2021 Camry Hybrid XLE at 44 miles per gallon metropolis, 47 mpg freeway and 46 mpg mixed. My proper foot is clearly government-approved, as I earn about that a lot in every class, maybe 1 or 2 mpg decrease, however a few of that may be attributed to Michigan’s drivers being, um, a sprightly type.
All the way down to brass tacks
The 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid is sweet, however that is as a result of the present era of Toyota Camry Hybrid has at all times been good. It is snug, environment friendly and extra reasonably priced than earlier than, with my range-topping XLE trim commanding a $33,165 price ticket, down $560 from the yr earlier than. Embody the truth that consumers get extra bang for his or her buck than final yr, and this automobile makes for a possibility that is fairly onerous to cross up.