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2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid Continues Strength in Class

Camry Makes Good Showing Against Hybrids Below $30,000

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2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid

The 2013 Toyota Camry continues its tradition of making a strong showing against other mid-sized hybrids.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota's 2013 Camry Hybrid continues its tradition of ranking well in its class of mid-sized hybrid vehicles coming in under $30,000. Strong performance and roomy cabin earn Camry a second look if you are looking for a solid vehicle sporting Toyota's proven hybrid technology that won't break the bank. The MSRP for the Camry Hybrid will range from $26,140 for the LE grade to $27,670 for the XLE, a slight jump of 0.6 percent or $165 over last year's model.

Camry Hybrid LE enters 2013 with a few upgrades from last year's popular model. The LE now comes with display audio as standard equipment. Also, the 2013 model has updated door trim and leather-equipped models also have updated stitching accents along the door panels.

Competitive Fuel Economy

The 2013 Camry Hybrid comes with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission, a four-cylinder engine and electric motor. Camry has been receiving high marks from owners for the seamless transition experienced as it moves from gas engine to electric motor offered by Toyota's hybrid power train. Camry Hybrid's EPA estimated gas mileage is 43 mpg in the city and 39 mpg highway for the LE model, making it highly competitive for fuel economy in its class. The XLE model comes in with just slightly lower fuel economy. Drivers can expect plenty of power moving away from a stop and passing out on the highway, though the quiet and control will likely rate just as high in owners' minds.

Depending on what you are expecting out of Camry as far as sheer driving excitement and enjoyment, you may find it a bit unexciting or you may appreciation its quick acceleration and easy handling. Either way, there is no discounting how smoothly it moves between gas-powered to electric motor and back again.

Total output for the 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid is 200 horsepower, with a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor. The front wheels are directly powered by Toyota's electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. While you might not describe Camry as an athletic vehicle, it is nimble enough to allow easy handling and maneuvering. Drivers new to the Camry Hybrid may find the regenerative braking system takes a bit of getting used to, while those familiar with Toyota will probably find they instill confidence and provide excellent stopping power.

Pleasing Interior and Plenty of Room

The 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid has one of the nicest interiors of any vehicle in its class, from its use of higher-end materials to its good workmanship and attention to detail to the number of available high-tech features designed to make driving just a bit more pleasurable. Overall, the interior is attractive and contemporary.

Camry Hybrid comes with standard fabric seats for the LE model. If you go for the XLE trim, you are rewarded with an eight-way power-adjustable seat on the driver's side as well as the comfort amenities of power lumbar. With the XLE trim, you also have the option of choosing heated front seats for those chilly climates, leather-trimmed seats with a faux-suede insert, and a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat. Whichever trim you opt for, you can expect comfortable seating and plenty of legroom.

Cargo room is above-average, both in trunk space and and seating room, though Toyota could have given a bit more room to the trunk pass-through. There is seating room for five. The Camry Hybrid comes standard with 10 airbags, auxiliary audio jacks, USB, push-button start and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Optional Features Round Out the Package

Optional features, with the XLE trim, include moonroof, a rearview camera (with upgraded blind spot monitoring system for 2013), navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth, upgraded 10-speaker JBL sounds system, HD radio, anti-theft alarm system, safety connect automatic collision notification, and complimentary one-year subscription with roadside assistance and Toyota's Entune infotainment system.

If you aren't familiar with the Entune system, it allows you to sync your smartphone and use the data plan to access search engines and internet radio. Entune is subscription-based, but Toyota is offering a three-year complimentary subscription for new Camry owners. Drivers can also access live weather forecasts, traffic reports, gas price information and stock information. Unlike reviews of Ford's similar system, owners of the Camry Hybrid will find the Entune system intuitive to use. Like most of these systems, sunlight can sometimes make it difficult to see the touchscreen, but owners will find the system's ease of operation helps them keep their focus on the road.

MSRP: $26,140
2013 EPA-estimated fuel economy: 25/35 mpg city/highway for the LE trim and 40/38 mpg for the upgraded XLE trim

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