2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid

7.6
2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid

The Basics:

TheCarConnection.com has driven the 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid to bring you this hands-on review that covers styling, performance, safety, utility and features from on-the-road observations. TheCarConnection.com's editors also researched reviews from other sources to give you a comprehensive range of opinions from around the Web-and to help you decide which ones to trust. High Gear Media drove a manufacturer-provided Toyota Camry Hybrid to produce this hands-on road test.

The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid is, basically, the standard midsize Camry sedan with a different and far more frugal hybrid powertrain. For the 2010 model year, Toyota has given the Camry Hybrid revised instruments and a very mild restyle that includes a unique and distinctive grille.

The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid offers all the benefits of the well-known Camry sedan with Toyota's proven, reliable hybrid system to hit the market's sweet spot.

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. 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 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).

Toyota has built more hybrids than any other carmaker, and it shows. The 2010 Toyota Camry's powertrain is so smooth and unobtrusive that with the sound system working, it's almost impossible to tell when the gasoline engine switches on and off; passenger have to look at the instrument panel display to tell for sure. Like the rest of the Camry line, the Hybrid's ride is soft and well damped. The interior is spacious, with plenty of room for five adults and plenty of legroom in the rear. The handling is good, but the Hybrid weighs more than the standard car, so it's not quite as nimble.

The Camry Hybrid, like most Toyotas, does well on the safety scale. It is fitted with a total of seven airbags, including front-seat, full-length curtain, and front side-impact airbags, plus a knee airbag for the driver. Electronic stability control, which Toyota calls Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), is also standard to modulate the throttle, individual wheel brakes, and even the steering to keep the Camry Hybrid stable on slippery surfaces. The Camry Hybrid won five stars, the highest rating, in the federal government's crash tests, while a non-hybrid Camry was rated "good" in tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS rated that Camry "marginal" for the rear-impact test only.

The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid offers so many standard features that it's equivalent to the highest XLE trim level on a regular Camry, plus a smart-key system. Among them are dual-zone automatic climate control, a 440-Watt JBL audio system with Bluetooth, a power glass moonroof, leather interior with reclining rear seats, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and an ionizing system for interior air. Options include a navigation system, heated front seats, and heated outside mirrors.

The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid is, basically, the standard midsize Camry sedan with a different and far more frugal hybrid powertrain. For the 2010 model year, Toyota has given the Camry Hybrid revised instruments and a very mild restyle that includes a unique and distinctive grille. Those changes can go unnoticed, however, and the Camry Hybrid is largely identical to non-hybrid models.

Car and Driver summarizes the 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid as "a pleasing if slightly dull vehicle" overall. The Camry Hybrid, according to Edmunds, is a "very impressive and complete sedan that now has the added benefit of an attractive price." Still, it "doesn't make nearly as much of a green statement as the Prius," notes Car and Driver, because it's so similar to the standard Camry.

Compared to several previous generations of Camry, the 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid is larger and has a blunter nose, which Cars.com describes as "more sculpted, angular forms". "Its looks are still fresh," says Motor Trend. Sixteen-inch aluminum wheels come standard, but Cars.com points out that options include "17-inch aluminum wheels".

Inside the 2010 Camry Hybrid, Mother Proof praises the "calming gray leather, chrome accents and cool blue dials." Edmunds specifically calls out "a very family-friendly environment" with looks that are "snazzier than in years past," not to mention the Camry Hybrid's noise suppression, which "rivals King Tut's tomb for quietude."


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.


Toyota has built more hybrids than any other carmaker, and it shows. The 2010 Toyota Camry's powertrain is so smooth and unobtrusive that with the sound system working, it's almost impossible to tell when the gasoline engine switches on and off; passenger have to look at the instrument panel display to tell for sure. Like the rest of the Camry line, the Hybrid's ride is soft and well damped. The interior is spacious, with plenty of room for five adults and plenty of legroom in the rear. The handling is good, but the Hybrid weighs more than the standard car, so it's not quite as nimble.

The 2010 Camry model line continues its reputation as a well-built and spacious sedan. Edmunds calls the 2010 Camry Hybrid "a hybrid that demands no sacrifices" and specifically praises the "top-notch interior, lots of amenities, and plenty of room for five."

Cars.com agrees that the Camry Hybrid can easily seat five occupants. And Mother Proof chimes in too, reporting, "The backseat is super roomy and easy to climb into," and noting also that rear-seat air-conditioning vents "keep things cool and comfy, even in August." Edmunds summarizes the interior by saying, "what it lacks in polish...the Camry Hybrid makes up for with space, quiet and comfort."

TheCarConnection.com notes that trunk space has been reduced by roughly one-third to accommodate the hybrid's battery pack. The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid offers 10.6 cubic feet of trunk space, against the 15.4 cubic feet found in other Camry models. Edmunds notes, "Oodles of cubbies and compartments make it a very family-friendly environment," and Cars.com points out that despite the presence of a battery pack, the "backseat does fold forward" to allow trunk access from inside the vehicle.

The Camry Hybrid, like most Toyotas, does well on the safety scale. It is fitted with a total of seven airbags. Electronic stability control, which Toyota calls Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), is also standard to modulate the throttle, individual wheel brakes, and even the steering to keep the Camry Hybrid stable on slippery surfaces.

The Camry Hybrid won five stars, the highest rating, in the federal government's crash tests, while a non-hybrid Camry was rated "good" in tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS rated that Camry "marginal" for the rear-impact test only.

Cars.com points out that the "electronic stability system," an option in other Camry models, is fitted as standard on the 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid. The 2010 Camry Hybrid also includes anti-lock brakes as standard equipment. Edmunds summarizes the count of seven airbags, "The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid features standard front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, antilock brakes, stability control and traction control."

Specific to the hybrid, Road & Track notes that "as part of their crashworthiness, hybrids have automatic disconnect of their high-voltage source" and that standard EMS/firefighter training now includes "where to cut into hybrids with minimal hazard."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2010 Camry Hybrid five stars, its highest rating, in both frontal and side crash safety. It scores almost as high in NHTSA's rollover avoidance test, earning four out of five stars. Edmunds reports that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) "gave the Camry its highest rating of 'Good' for frontal-offset and side collision protection."

The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid offers so many standard features that it's equivalent to the highest XLE trim level on a regular Camry, plus a smart-key system. Among them are dual-zone automatic climate control, a 440-Watt JBL audio system with Bluetooth, a power glass moonroof, leather interior with reclining rear seats, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and an ionizing system for interior air. Options include a navigation system, heated front seats, and heated outside mirrors.

Edmunds lists the standard features on the 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid as including "dual-zone automatic climate control" and "keyless ignition" plus much more. Motor Trend keeps the list going, saying the 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid also includes as standard "a six-speaker stereo with CD player and auxiliary input jack," along with air conditioning with a pollen and dust filter, "power windows, power locks, automatic halogen headlights, [and] vehicle immobilizer."

Mother Proof notes approvingly that, "Power seats adjust in every direction, and the steering wheel tilts and telescopes into the perfect piloting position," adding that the steering wheel contains "controls for the stereo and phone." Satellite radio and a DVD navigation system round out the list of feature.

Buying Tips:

The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid is almost $3,000 less than the nicest XLE model of a V-6 Camry. And with the arrival of the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Toyota dealers have stiff competition to the Camry Hybrid for the first time, so they may be more willing to bargain on price than in previous years.

Other Choices:

  • 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid
  • 2011 Mercedes-Benz E Class
  • 2011 Nissan Altima
  • 2011 Toyota Prius

Reason Why:

For the first time, the Camry Hybrid faces serious competition. It comes from the Ford Fusion Hybrid, new in 2010, which achieves higher mileage ratings and offers all-electric running up to 47 mph, not to mention tighter handling. The Fusion Hybrid receives rave reviews, and sells well enough to make it a neck-and-neck battle. The Altima Hybrid, available only in certain states, is also a full hybrid; its mileage and performance are similar to the Camry Hybrid, but its better handling is offset by a little less interior space. Buyers who do lots of high-speed mileage may want to consider the clean-diesel Mercedes-Benz E320 BlueTEC, which delivers 32 mpg highway-albeit at a much higher price. Finally, the Toyota Prius was completely redesigned for 2010 as well, with a nicer interior and more optional features. If you're OK with a hatchback and the Prius appearance, it's worth considering for its combined EPA rating of 50 mpg.

The Bottom Line:

The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid offers all the benefits of the well-known Camry sedan with Toyota's proven, reliable hybrid system to hit the market's sweet spot.

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