2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE Review: Steady & Comfortable

Overall Impression
The interior is a strong point.
Plenty of cargo space for a hybrid.
It's not exactly sporty but it's efficient.
Fuel Economy
Comfortable Interior
Entune Interface
CVT Transmission

Sedans are losing their appeal as SUVs and crossovers take a lion’s share of the market, but this sedan will get you to look twice. The 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid received a complete makeover last year and it’s a good one. The Camry needed a redesign and Toyota’s engineers delivered, with new styling inside and out, and improvements to bump up fuel efficiency. 

We recently drove the 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE.

What’s New For 2019

The Camry Hybrid now comes with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa standard.

Features & Options: Emphasis On Connectivity & Safety 

The 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE ($32,725) comes standard with automatic LED headlights, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats. Also standard is the seven-inch multi-information display, GPS Scout Link navigation, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot, six-speaker sound system, and three USB ports. 

The XLE Hybrid also receives unique 18-inch alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, wireless smartphone charging, and a heads-up display. Also standards is Toyota’s Safety Sense, a suite of driver assistance features including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure alert with steering assistance, and automatic high beams.

Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and braking is, for whatever reason, not included in the Safety Sense package. It is, however, standard on the XLE Hybrid. 

Lastly, our Hybrid tester came with the optional Driver’s Assist Package ($1,550) with the Bird’s Eye View Camera, a power/tilt moonroof ($845), adaptive headlights ($415), and navigation ($1,760). Total MSRP including destination: $38,215. By comparison, the 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid starts at $28,150.  

Interior Highlights: Premium Look & Feel  

The Camry’s all-new interior is one of the best improvements when compared to the outgoing model. The fit and finish is on par with what we’d expect from Toyota. The cabin has a more premium feel and is more stylish, thanks to the use of softer-touch materials and more attractive colors. The touchscreen has been updated with a seven-inch version of Toyota’s Entune interface as well. However, it’s not the most user-friendly system. 

Hybrid models get heated leather-trimmed seats with eight-way power adjustments, so any size driver can find the perfect position. The cabin feels light and airy, and there’s lots of head, shoulder, and elbow room for driver’s to get comfortable. Front and rear passengers have ample space around them, and rear passengers won’t feel encroached on if the front seat is all the way back. If you need more room yet, the 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is an option. 

With the Camry Hybrid, we felt visibility in almost every direction was quite good from the driver’s seat. Mirrors, both inside and out, are appropriately sized, and blind spots are kept to a minimum. The standard rearview camera helped us see shoppers in the parking lot as we finished up a grocery run. 

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The Toyota Camry Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, paired with the brand’s latest hybrid system with two motors. It develops 176 horsepower alone and 208 horsepower with the hybrid’s additional net power. 

XLE Hybrids use the nickel-metal-hydride batteries to achieve an EPA-estimated 44/47 city/highway and 46 combined mpg. In terms of fuel economy, the 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid does not perform as well as other comparable hybrid sedans.

Driving Dynamics: Plenty For The Daily Commute 

You won’t buy the Camry Hybrid for its driving dynamics, but you will want it for its fuel mileage. Even when pushed hard in the mountains west of Denver, the Camry Hybrid achieved 41.3 mpg through the higher altitudes. We were also impressed with hybrid’s power and torque, which propelled us up the mountain roads without issue. We don’t particularly like the continuously variable transmission that revs up as you press the pedal down, but passing and merging with traffic was never a concern.

The XLE’s standard heads-up display was a pleasant addition, making it easy to keep our attention on the road. 

Driving Dynamics: Steady & Seamless 

On the flats, and even at medium speeds on the highway, the batteries allow the car to run in electric-only mode. When driving slowly through parking lots, for example, the vehicle will use strictly battery power. We hardly noticed the transition from the electric mode to when the gas engine took over.

The Camry Hybrid is smooth and quiet, and offers up a comfortable commute as a result. Through the mountain curves, body roll wasn’t too excessive. On the dirt roads leading to our house, the Camry Hybrid soaked up the bumps with ease. 

Conclusion: Fuel Efficient & Comfortable 

With the 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid, you’ll save money at the pump while still having a comfortable commuter. If you want more luxury, the XLE is the model to get.

Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid Gallery

Photos: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

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