Toyota recently let me drive the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid on our family road trip. I had never driven a hybrid before and I really was not sure what to expect. I have always assumed that hybrids were slow and awkward to drive. I love power in my vehicles, especially on the highway, but I decided to be open-minded and give this Toyota a chance to prove itself.
The Camry is indisputably a beautiful car. I found it to be quite sporty for a family sedan. The interior was beautiful and modern and the seats were quite comfortable. I have to admit that my old-school husband rolled his eyes and shook his head over the in-dash navigation system and all the bells and whistles, but I love techie toys and frills so I was excited. Here is an image of the interior from the Toyota Website.
The Camry Hybrid is the first car I’ve driven that gets a higher MPG in the city than on the highway. The MPG on this Camry is 43 in the city and 39 on the highway. One of my favorite features about the Camry is that you can monitor the MPG in real time as well as see a history of the MPG for your trip. I noticed that if I accelerated rapidly on the highway, my MPG would drop to about 25, however, going downhill or coasting and that MPG reached up to 60. Incredible! My son also loved the energy monitor display option that allows you to see if the car is running on gas or electric and if the car is charging the battery. That was so very fascinating for an 11 year old. Here is an example of the screen from Toyota’s Website.
If you want technical details on the Toyota Camry Hybrid, there are countless reviews on the Internet. What I want to give you here is a list of reasons why the Toyota Camry Hybrid is an excellent vehicle for family travel. There were several features that we found useful on our trip and that we hated giving up when we got home and returned to our own vehicles.
Multi-Information Display (Fantastic feature!)
This was the feature I used the most, hands down. This display is in the dash and is easily viewed by glancing down through the steering wheel. It contains a plethora of useful information including your speed, the direction you are driving in, turn by turn navigation, tire pressure, the name of the road you are on and (my favorite) the speed limit. Our road trip was to Texas and while I love Texas, they seem to have an issue displaying the speed limit. I often find myself asking “Has anyone seen a speed limit sign?” I love to drive fast so I need to know the speed limit so I can keep myself in check. The speed limit feature turns red when you are over the limit (but if that bothers you, this feature can be turned off).
Navigation System with Traffic
Driving from Metro Phoenix to San Antonio is pretty easy and you really do not need GPS to get you there. However, if you have ever driven in San Antonio and tried to navigate all those loops, you know how handy a nav system can be. We used the navigation system every day of our trip and it even helped us find parking garages downtown. I loved that it saved previous destinations, like our hotel, so we could get back easily without reentering the address. This feature saved us a lot of grief.
The backup camera is an amazing piece of technology. I found this very useful when backing up in crowded lots full of fellow tourists as well as in the hotel parking lot. This is a must-have safety feature.
Smart Key with Push Button Start
This feature will spoil you. I actually sigh now that I have to put my key into the ignition of my car. The push button feature is so convenient and easy to use. I just clicked the unlock button on the Smart Key and left it in my purse. Then when we got to the car, my hands were free to open doors and load children. Once seated, all I had to do was push the start button and go.
Available Satellite Radio
Because no road trip of mine is complete without 80s music.
With such amazing an MPG performance, we saved just over $100 in gas on our trip. We drove from Apache Junction, Arizona to El Paso, Texas, roughly 375 miles, and still had a few gallons of gas left. That is amazing.
There are so many other features your family will love including wireless charging, comfortable seats, a roomy interior, 10 airbags, and the Entune App Suite. In the end, the Toyota Camry Hybrid won my skeptical husband over. The techie extras proved very helpful on our trip and made it more enjoyable. Also, my worries of a car with no power were erased completely. According to Toyota, the combined output of both the gas and electric motors is 200 hp, which was quite a lot of get up and go.
I highly recommend this car for family travel and beyond. The Toyota Camry Hybrid has the reliability of a Toyota, the innovation of modern engineering, and the economical benefits of hybrid technology. Who could ask for anything more?
For more details on the Toyota Camry Hybrid click here or visit your local dealer.
Disclaimer: As I mentioned above, Toyota let me drive this vehicle in order to facilitate the review. All opinions are my own.