Susan Frissell, Editor, womenwithwheels.com
Depending on your source, one will find variations in the pricing of the 2021 Toyota Hybrid. Our test vehicle-the XSE version came with a MSRP of $32,720. The XLE Hybrid listed at $32,170 (44/47 mpg), the SE Hybrid at $28,785 (44/47 mpg), and the LE at $27,270 (51/53 mpg.). Anyway, you shake it, this is a beautiful car and if you’re stuck on a hybrid, it would be hard to make a better choice for the money.
Our test Camry Hybrid XSE sedan came in the attractive two-tone combination of Celestial Silver/Midnight black (roof). Very cool. The 2021 Camry Hybrid looks different, shapelier, and more up to date. Unique. This writer is really becoming a fan of the two-tone colors often seen now in several brands; think KIA Soul, Chevrolet Blazer, etc.
One has 10 exterior colors to choose from in the new 2021 Camry Hybrid, along with three interior colors. Our top-of-the-line test vehicle came equipped with the Red, Perforated Leather seats…Wow!! Hit’s you at first, but we kind of grew fond of it, something different, and flashy! Two other available colors include the Black Perforated Leather and Ash, Perforated Lather. Ash or tan has become a favorite of ours in other vehicles, especially when paired with a blue exterior. So many great combos today. Hard to choose!
The engine in our 2021 Camry Hybrid is a 2.5-L 4-cylinder, Hybrid Synergy Drive System. The transmission is electronic CV (not a favorite) with paddle shifters. The suspension sport-tuned. Nineteen-inch wheels/tires seem to be the order of the day and provide a good solid ride, and smooth driving experience.
Our Camry Hybrid XSE came equipped with several options, including the $1760 Navigation Package which includes Radio: AM/FM/HD Premium Audio, Dynamic Navigation w/3-year trial, 9″ touchscreen, 9 JBL speakers including subwoofer and amplifier, USB media port, USB charge port, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatible, SiriusXM w/3-month All Access trial, Connected Services including Safety Connect w/1-year trial, Service Connect w/10-year trial, Remote Connect w/1-year trial, Wi-Fi Connect w/up to 2 GB within 3-month trial, Destination Assist w/1-year trial and voice command.
The JPL speakers were a pleasurable edition and pushed our Camry into the desirable option class. The other pricy option, the Driver Assist Package ($1430) was added and includes Multi-Stage Ventilated Front Seats, 10″ Color Heads-Up Display, Intelligent Clearance Sonar, Bird’s Eye View Camera, Parking Support Alert/Brake. A must have-we’ve decided of late, no matter the vehicle, is the two-tone color option: In the Camry: Two-tone Midnight Black Roof (with rear spoiler, black window trim, and side-view mirror caps. Handsome.
A few of the other added ops, such as mudguards at $129 are a must, door edge guards nice ($129), and carpet/trunk mat set ($259) and rocker applique ($75), may be drops for some buyers, but if you’re wanting to keep things clean, the mats are nice and would cost more buying them on your own.
As anyone who has driven a Camry-new or old-you know how easy to drive, how quiet and dependable they are. Buyers are getting more, or just as much as any other sedan in this category. Not a hybrid fan, I could see myself thinking twice about this vehicle. The idea of 44/47 mpg. is appealing.
As expected, the US NHTSA crash test results are all at 5-star. The 2021 edition is mechanically identical to the 2018-2020 models. It moves much like the other millions of eighth-generation Camrys. When a vehicle competes for so many years, one becomes immune, thinking it dull. I say this because I have been guilty of the same.
There are many new things for 2021. For 2021, Toyota has scratched the Camry L edition. Those looking to start with the basics will have to choose the Camry LE ($25,965); a very similar car, just a grade better. You’ll notice a slightly redone front grill and fascia, new color choices and wheels (opt for the black!). So too, has Toyota renamed their offerings in the Camry line, such as Blueprint and Ice Edge, and our beauty Celestial Silver!
For those choosing the XLE trim, you can expect reworked leather upholstery, an optional 9.0-inch infotainment display, (or standard 7.0-inch) and all-new TRD’s now offer Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic alert, with heated exterior mirrors. You wouldn’t be off your rocker if you thought the top-of-the-line XSE Camry sedan feels like a “Lexus.” A hard car to catch, as we know, there isn’t much like the Lexus brand…but perhaps now a closer relative. Expect similarities, after all, they are cousins. Heated/cooled seats are a borrow, traffic assist, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, 360-depress proximity cameras, auto hold, heads-up display, automatic high beams…all kinds of goodies.
Some may find the 2021 Camry Hybrid ride ‘soft,’ but it’s the way it’s always been. Which is probably one reason for its popularity. It’s a ridiculously easy car to drive and maneuver, fitting the average driver. Perhaps someone looking (i.e., automotive reviewer, car buff) for a ‘racier’ vehicle should look elsewhere (consider the TRDD). The Camry has always been ‘every man’s car,’ and it continues to do it well, year after year. The ride is quiet, isolates most bumpy spots in the road, and the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder glides right along. The 208 horsepower seems adequate.
For 2021, the Camry Hybrid includes the XSE version. The XSE offers unexpected high-tech equipment and is a strong leader in value compared to other ‘luxury’ cars. A lot for the money.
Ours is not a real ‘technical’ review of the new 2021 Camry Hybrid XSE. More a biased liking for this affordable, clearly up-graded sedan. No matter what ‘they’ say, sedans are still rolling off the lots in large numbers. And manufacturers are still offering them. Dead modality??
We think not.
Pricing: $24,830-$35,620; our test car $32,720 MSRP, $38,415 Total, $995 delivery
Engine: 2.5-L, 206 HP., in-line 4, horsepower: 176, Torque 182-267 N.m
Transmission: Continuously variable automatic, front-wheel-drive, paddle shifters
Weight: 3,310 lbs.
Fuel tank capacity: 13.2-15.8 gal.
Fuel economy: up to 51/33 mpg.
Wheels: Aluminum Wheels
Front Wheel Size: 19″ x 8″
Rear Wheel Size: 19″ x 8″
Front Suspension: Strut
Rear Suspension: Multi-Link
Tires, Front Tire:P235/40VR19
Length: 192.1 in.
Width: 72.4 in.
Height: 56.9 in.
Wheelbase: 111.2 in.
3 Years / 36,000 Miles
5 Years / Unlimited Miles
5 Years / 60,000 Miles
8 Years / 100,000 Miles
2 Years / 25,000 Miles
2 Years / Unlimited Miles