Her and His Reviews

May 2014

2014 Toyota Camry
Hybrid XLE

There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that! To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her and His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$31,483 $31,483
The Camry Hybrid is powered by a 2.5 liter four cylinder engine coupled with a battery powered electric motor that boasts a combo 220 horsepower; so no stopping this Camry. With the continuous variable transmission, the car shifts from gas to electric. 2.5 Liter, four cylinder engine combined with a battery powered electric motor. The whole system is good for 220 horsepower. Camry Hybrid is pretty sprightly and fun to drive, and steering and handling are both much better than past Camry's we have driven.
Fuel Economy
40 city mpg and 38 highway mpg - simply fantastic and overshadows its class peers. 40 miles per gallon overall, 40 in city and 38 on the highway. But we've done far better than that: 71 miles per gallon using every trick in the book: the eco setting, cruise control, etc. Since the car hasn't been changed since we got that mileage on a 2012 Camry Hybrid, we would expect the same is probably possible with the 2014 version.
The Car
Toyota took the best-selling car in America 10 years in a row, gave it a design update, and continues to refine this year's model inside and out with comfort creatures, safety and technology. If you have not owned this car, then do you a favor and at least test drive one. It's a winner the 11th year in the making! And, with such value offerings for this hybrid. Hats off to the Toyota family.

The car is spacious, the cabin is quiet. Trunk space is cavernous for travel gear for the long hauls measures slightly above 13 cubic feet (smaller than the gas-only Camry at about 15.5 cubic feet.)
It's tough to think of a more comforting, nurturing car than the Camry Hybrid XLE, which, as tested, had a price of $31,483. Driving this car is as predictable as spring following winter. All the controls are just where you expect them to be. The interior is comfortable and roomy. Steering has improved, and the car wanders far less than Camry's used to back in the day. The fit and finish is solid. So, Camry Hybrid will soothe you, ease your mind and give you way less stress than just about any mid-sized vehicle on the market.

The Camry is built like a tank and tomb quiet inside and out, and then there's the reliability story. It's real, and it's a huge point in Camry's favor. And apparently, Consumer Reports, the respected consumer guide, agrees with that view. The esteemed magazine predicts that the Camry Hybrid's performance and reliability will be "much better than average" for a new car, while Ford Fusion Hybrid's rating is "much worse than average" in terms of new car reliability.

In case you're wondering, the Hyundai Sonata's hybrid model is rated "average" in terms of reliability, as is the Kia Optima Hybrid. So score knockouts for Camry Hybrid against all those cars when it comes to reliability.
The Camry is not the top family car 11 years in a row for nothing: Safety is Paramount. 10 Airbags. Safety Connect provides roadside assistance, all at the touch of a button. ABS, Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology. LATCH. Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Whiplash Injury-Lessening (WIL) Front Seats. Anti=theft device. Cargo net helped to keep luggage and groceries secure. Star Safety System includes VSC, Trac, anti-lock brakes, brake assist and SmartStop technology, front and rear side curtain airbags, whiplash, nury-lessening front seats and much more. The big news in safety is Safety Connect, an OnStar like system that provides roadside assistance, a stolen car locator system, and automatic collision notification among other things.
Entune App Suite is a lovely concierge of services all hosted in a nice size 6" touch screen. Pandora, iheart radio, OpenTable, MovieTickets, Traffic, Weather, Gas Prices, Sports and Stocks and many other options and apps. All voice recognition. Kick out the jam with with Sirius satellite radio (teaser package only - just a 90 day pass), 6 speakers for full surround sound, and customized ride and rotation with the tilt/telescoping steering. Backup Camera. Customized text responses. Personalized Music streaming Bluetooth. The one thing we experienced on full sunlight days the NAV/Entune's screen appeared washed out and hard to read. Pulled over a few times as could not afford to drive and play private investigator at the same time. Our silver 2014 Camry Hybrid XLE test car base a six speaker system, full power accessories, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, eight way adjustable power driver's seat, cruise control, Bluetooth, alloy wheels, electric power steering, 6.1 inch nav screen, center armed rest with cup holders, and a host of other features.

Options included in the price quoted above was a Display Audio system with navigation and Toyota's easy to use Entune infotainment system, satellite radio, music streaming via Bluetooth, a host of stations that offer information from sports and stocks to theater and weather; a convenience package, integrated backup camera and still more.

In terms of interesting technology, the display audio with Navigation Entune takes precedence here. It includes an eight speaker system, subwoofer and amplifier, USB port with iPod connectivity, hands free phone capability, Bluetooth technology, advanced voice recognition, customizable text responses, music streaming with Bluetooth and other features are included.
It's easy to use and one of the best in the business.
Aesthetics & Styling
An attractive vehicle through and through, it remains a yawn to some of the younger brands in this class, that have grabbed stepped a style by the horns. Toyota is not willing to jump ahead and be the front runner to really OWN this category. From a business POV, there is big thinking in taking that risk, so the calculation in staying back, in being more cautious, makes sense. They don't have to...period.

The exterior is competitive enough and the inside is clean, open and attractive. Again, not the winner in terms of style points, but effective, efficient and well designed.
This is the only area in which Camry badly needs some help. Our main issue for Camry is that it's falling further and further behind when it comes to styling and design. When you get into a market where everyone's cars have basically the same equipment and level of safety, fit and finish, things get down to how you feel about the car emotionally.
Does it really turn you on visually and sensually?

On that score, Camry still has a way to go--and we're saying that knowing full well that the car was just refreshed a year or two ago, and that Toyota has a five year cycle give or take, before it replaces its aging models. That's going to be way too long for Camry to soldier on with the same basic design. We hope that Toyota can do the same thing that it did with big brother Avalon--sexy up the Camry with a more up to date look.

Until that happens, Camry--whether you're talking about the gasoline version or the hybrid one-- is going to have an uphill market fight in a year or two unless things change.
3 yr. /36,000 mile warranty. 5 yr. /60,000 mile powertrain warranty. All hybrid-related components are covered for 8 yrs. /100,000 mile warranty. The 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. All hybrid-related components are covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.