It’s hard to find fault in the 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid XSE I just tested. As long as you remember what its purpose is.
Most people who never considered a hybrid (because, well, hybrid…) might like the 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid XSE. It rides and handles like a Camry, but it gets outstanding fuel mileage. There is no real loss of cargo or cabin space, and it’s relatively quick too. Honestly, for folks who want a more efficient Camry – this IS the way.
You may have heard that “cars are dead” or that “sedans no longer sell.” Hogwash. About one million vehicles in the Camry’s class were sold last year. Sure, it’s not up there with pickup trucks and crossovers, it’s still impressive. Despite production slowdowns, Toyota will sell over 300,000 Camrys in North America this year.
Driving a rolling compromise
Not everyone wants a hybrid, but they may need one. Fuel prices are painful, and EVs are out of reach for many. Toyota’s leads the way with their huge hybrid fleet. The Camry Hybrid’s XSE package fills a void for those who need a tiny bit of gusto to go with their economy. Sure, it still makes a combined 208 horsepower (which is okay, but not amaze-balls), but the handling package can be immediately felt. The steering does not communicate, but the Camry XSE goes where pointed with very little drama.
Normally, you feel a bit of sway, but the sportier suspension does a great job sorting out mildly challenging corners. The ride is a bit stiff, but that may have to do with the larger (black painted) 19-inch wheels. I think they look pretty cool.
If, for some reason, you want to seriously flog a Camry – there is the TRD package.
It’s simple, practical and comfortable. There are no surprises, but there’s no real innovation either. We all know that Toyota is setting up their whole lineup for a major infotainment upgrade, but it may be a few years off for the Camry. At least it’s not embarrassing to sit in. I truly felt the seats were very comfortable.
Amazing fuel mileage, despite driving like an ape
No matter where I took the Camry, I could not shake the 42 mpg I averaged. On highways, in the city and back roads near Boulder, Co – it remained the same. I pushed the car hard too. According to the EPA, the XSE Hybrid is rated at 44 mpg city, 47 mpg highway and 46 mpg combined. If you the best possible mileage for a Camry hybrid – the LE (which is lighter) gets up to 52 mpg combined.
Yes, you can do a tad bit better with the equivalent Honda Accord hybrid and Hyundai Sonata hybrid – but they all feel different. I have to say, this Camry feels like a Camry.
Pricing of the 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid XSE –
Prices for the base model, 2022 Camry Hybrid LE start at $27,380. My top-of-the-line XSE came to $32,820. For that extra five grand, it gets a sport-tuned suspension, black 18-inch wheels along with a more opulent interior. The XSE package also opens up the potential for higher end items, such as ventilated seats.
Although the Audio Plus — 9.0-inch touchscreen (with six speakers) infotainment system is just so-so, it’s a snap to use. It’s discouraging that Toyota still limits maximum audio output so much. On a car like this, with a typical hybrid drone, having a sweet sounding audio package would be nice.
Nowadays, I don’t think people need to spend extra dough (in this case $1,760) on a navigation package. Still, rather than ponying up $860 just to get a sunroof, the $2,770 gets you the Navigation upgrade Package with Options. Simply put, you get the moonroof, navigation AND cold weather package. It makes a little more sense.
I could go on and on about how it competes, how frugal it is, and how well it handles. All of which gets it a “thumbs up.” I will simply say this: dude, it’s a thrifty Camry. That’s more than enough.