Hybrids sell on fuel economy, and the 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid is rated by the EPA at 33 mpg city / 34 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 34 mpg.
The Hybrid Synergy Drive system, used in the Prius and every other Toyota hybrid, is a "full hybrid" system, meaning it is capable of moving the car on electric power alone under some circumstances. The Camry Hybrid's electric motor can power the vehicle on electricity alone, but only under gentle acceleration at speeds below 30 mph. When more power is needed and at higher speeds, the system combines power from the 40-horsepower electric motor and the 147-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, which also recharges the battery when coasting or braking.
The system is well integrated into the car, though the battery pack cuts trunk space by about one third (from 14.5 to 10.6 cubic feet).
The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid accelerates from 0 to 60 mph "in a very respectable 8.4 seconds," Edmunds concludes. Mother Proof notes that drivers may "feel the moment when things move from electric to gas and back again," but that the car's dynamic qualities more than compensate. "The ride and handling are no sacrifice at all. This Camry virtually glides down the road and takes turns smoothly and easily."
Since the 2010 Toyota Prius obtains a combined 50 mpg rating, Autoblog questions whether the Camry Hybrid's fuel efficiency is high enough. Likewise, Popular Mechanics questions whether people are "willing to pay about the same for the larger Camry Hybrid as they will for the slick but smaller Prius." But Edmunds calls the 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid's 33 mpg city / 34 mpg highway "impressive" in its own right.