Home » The Hybrid-Only 2025 Toyota Camry Gets 50 MPG While Remaining Fun And Affordable

The Hybrid-Only 2025 Toyota Camry Gets 50 MPG While Remaining Fun And Affordable

2025 Toyota Camry Alanis King Ts
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The Toyota Camry is the safe choice. For a lot of car buyers, it doesn’t require a second thought — its Toyota reliability, sufficient performance, and inoffensive looks are enough to close the deal. That’s why 300,000 Americans buy one every year. But for 2025, the Camry’s identity will change: It’s going hybrid-only.

[Full disclosure: Toyota flew me out to San Diego for a real-life Toyotathon, with an off-road course, a street route, and a bunch of car models to drive. In addition to transportation and accommodations, Toyota provided chocolate milkshakes and other non-milkshake food. -AK]

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This isn’t just a big move for the Camry; it furthers Toyota’s hybrid-first approach to the future. Toyota’s said that going all-in on fully electric vehicles isn’t the path forward right now, and while people have criticized the company for dragging its feet on EVs, we’re all starting to realize that hybridization is a great answer to our modern transportation problems (in America, at least).

 

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Plus, it’s making Toyota money: In late 2023, Toyota said hybrids account for 28 percent of its global sales and are just as profitable as its traditional gas-powered cars. Hybrid sales are growing way faster than EVs in the U.S., and Toyota has hybrids to sell — including the new Camry.

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What Is The New Toyota Camry?

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The Camry is one of the best-selling cars in America, slotting in at eighth on the 2023 list with more than 290,000 sales. That number used to be in the 400,000 to 500,000 range, but it’s gradually fallen as the U.S. trends toward trucks and SUVs.

Still, the Camry makes up a huge chunk of the American car market — justifying its existence when many other carmakers ditched the sedan. The Camry has potential to be a big factor in pushing the U.S. toward a hybrid future. For non-car people, the terms “hybrid” and “EV” can be scary: What, I have to charge? How long does that take? How much does it cost? Do I need outlets at my house?

Non-plug-in hybrids like the new Camry, which charge the battery while the car is driving instead of at an outlet, help bridge that gap and assuage those concerns. They’re less scary to EV skeptics; they feel familiar, yet they still bring normal car buyers a step closer to full electrification.

Camry Sides Compare (2)

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Plenty of people want to drive long distances without scouting out chargers or experiencing EV range anxiety, but we need to move toward more sustainable vehicles. With new Camrys offered as hybrid-only, people shopping for their traditionally safe choice will be met without a choice on powertrain — helping push them out of their comfort zone toward a more efficient vehicle.

Let’s look at the basic specs:

  • Price: $28,400 base, plus $1,095 in fees 
  • Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder 
  • Transmission: Electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive (FWD) or electronic on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Horsepower: 225 (FWD models), 232 (AWD models) 
  • Fuel Economy: Manufacturer-estimated combined 51 mpg (on the LE FWD grade)
  • Body Style: five-seat sedan
  • Curb Weight: 3,450 to 3,538

What It Looks Like

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Toyota’s new body style features the “hammerhead” front end, which is exactly what it sounds like: the hood lines, grill, and headlamp combine to look like a hammerhead shark. It’s an elegant way to blend all of those lines together, and it gives the Toyota lineup a recognizable face. I’m not in love with it yet, but I recognize that everything must evolve to stay relevant. It’s growing on me.

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The rear of the Camry still looks very “Camry” to me. It’s got those taillights that reach forward into a rounded point — “rounded point” contradicts itself, but you know what I mean — making the rear feel almost disjointed with the front of the new car. It’s like Toyota wants us to know what we were driving behind, but question what’s driving behind us.Best of both worlds in organic marketing, I guess?

What About The Inside?

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The Camry is also familiar inside. Its panoramic glass roof makes the car feel airy, and the interior layout and dashboard don’t stray too far from the mold: There are a few big, flat dash panels, tactile buttons, and a digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen. It’s modern but not daring, and most importantly, it has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Some cars still don’t have wireless CarPlay! In 2024! Can you believe it?)

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I drove a white Camry XLE, which is the third-highest of the four trims (LE, SE, XLE and XSE). The only unconventional part of my XLE’s interior design was its dashboard pattern. It was almost like quilting, but with little holes at the intersections of the quilts. I still don’t know how I feel about it, but I appreciate that it was different.

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Camry Interiors Compare (2)

The Camry also keeps a straight pull-down “PRNDL” shift lever, which is a nice and familiar action. Some modern Lexus and Toyota products have a lever that requires you to pull over and up (or down), and while I get used to it after a few days, it’s not the smooth movement I crave.

How It Drives

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The XLE I drove was front-wheel drive, had 225 horsepower, and started at $33,400. It also gets a manufacturer-estimated 48 mpg in the city, 47 on the highway, and 47 combined. All-wheel-drive models send power to the rear wheels through a dedicated rear electric motor, which gives the car additional traction when you need it: bad weather, acceleration, and other traction-hungry situations.

I drove the Camry in the mountains and enjoyed it. The steering was responsive and well-weighted, not too light or too heavy. The pedals had tension and didn’t feel squishy. There wasn’t a ton of weight transfer in the turns, and you could take turns quickly. It was fun — not numb or boring — and that’s cool for a Camry.

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The acceleration isn’t jumpy, but it’s strong enough, and there’s not a ton of wind or road noise. EV mode allows you to drive low speeds without any gas at all, and the gas kicks in as soon as the car determines you’re out of that low-speed range. The continuously variable transmission is the only thing that feels out of place in the car; there’s no shifting action on the fun roads, which makes it feel like something’s missing. But overall, the car is capable if you want to have a little fun and use less fuel.

Conclusion

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I love hybrids, and Toyota does too. The new Camry isn’t perfect, but it is a car that can lead a revolution among normal buyers. The ride is comfortable and fun, the looks aren’t too out-there, and Toyota’s reputation for reliability can probably carry the rest. Plus, at $28,400 base, the new Camry (exclusively hybrid) is more than $400 cheaper than the outgoing Camry Hybrid. In a world of unchecked inflation, that’s a nice break from the norm.

The Camry is the safe choice, and now it’s the safe choice with an exclusively hybrid powertrain — letting car buyers learn that hybrids, and even full EVs, aren’t as scary as they seem. To me, that’s only a good thing.

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I Briefly Drove The 2025 Camry Too – I Liked It

David Tracy here! Alanis and I teamed up on the Toyotathon event, with me handling the Tacoma and Tundra, and her handling the Camry and Crown Signia. I was also able to get behind the wheel of the Camry, albeit briefly, and was just as impressed as Alanis.

Here’s the car I drove. Doesn’t it look classy in blue, at least up front?

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And here’s the cabin. I really like the fabric on the doors and dash, especially in white. It’s just cool.

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While I agree with Alanis that a normal PRNDL shifter makes sense for the masses, for this car, a smaller shifter — perhaps dash mounted — would work great, and would free up some room on the center tunnel. Speaking of the shifter: I will miss the eight-speed automatic on the outgoing car, as I don’t love the Camry’s CVT (or perhaps I’m just not used to it). Still, I place the transmission among the better CVTs I’ve experienced (it’s not a conventional CVT — see below), and it helps the Camry achieve 50 MPG, so it’s all good.

Anyway, while we’re looking at the interior, I just wanted to point out how much room there is, even on the all-wheel drive (which again, has a hybrid system that has to package a lithium ion battery (note that Toyota also likes using Nickel-Metal Hydride, especially in Toyota truck applications. But the Camry and other front-drive Toyotas get sweet, sweet lithium):

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You can thank the electric all-wheel drive system whose rear differential is completely separate from the engine/transmission/front motors (there are two electric motors up front), requiring no driveshaft to run down the length of the car.

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Here’s the powertrain up front:

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And here’s the rear drive unit, which — again — is totally separate from the gas-burning drivetrain components up front. There are no mechanical connections to the engine or transmission. This has its limitations as an all-wheel drive system, but is probably fine the snowy roads that a Camry driver might face; this isn’t an off-road machine.

Screen Shot 2024 04 17 At 8.49.49 Pm

And here’s a shot from the rear showing more of the multilink rear suspension’s lower control arms. You can sort of see the fuel tank ahead of the suspension; I’m fairly sure the battery is packaged somewhere up there, too roughly under the rear seats:

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Anyway, I really just wanted to pop in here and show that rear drive unit more than anything. Thank you Alanis for covering the Camry for us!

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Timbales
Timbales
2 months ago

The interior looks nicer.

I had a Camry as a loaner from the dealer when I used to drive a Matrix. It felt gigantic in comparison.

Noahwayout
Noahwayout
2 months ago

Hi Alanis and David! It will be be great to do an article on Li-ion vs NiMH batteries, the advantages and disadvantages, and why Toyota is switching their cars to Li-ion but not their trucks. Cheers!

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
2 months ago
Reply to  Noahwayout

The advantages of Li-ion is higher energy density which leads to better packaging, and possibly higher outputs depending on how they’re designed. The major advantage NiMH has is cost and supply since they are kinda out of fashion. I think Toyota’s hybrid designs don’t require high enough outputs for NiMH to be a hinderance, and trucks have a lot of underbody space so a larger battery is not an issue in favor of cost savings.

Noahwayout
Noahwayout
2 months ago

I sort of imagined that to be the case.

Ben
Ben
2 months ago
Reply to  Noahwayout

Given that this has come up at least once on every single Toyota hybrid article recently, I give this suggestion a hearty thumbs up.

Healpop
Healpop
2 months ago
Reply to  Noahwayout

Yes, I second this! Would be a great deep dive article that this site is so good at.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
2 months ago

The Camry is a good car that will last a long time with no problems 🙂

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
2 months ago

I may be crazy, but the Camry is one of my favorite rentals cars. It may not be exciting, but when normal rental cars are things like the Sentra, Rogue, and Trax, the Camry is a breath of fresh air. It is relatively sporty (compared to CUVs, anyway), has good ergonomics, gets good fuel economy, has plenty of room inside with a good trunk, and is comfy on the highway.

Don Mynack
Don Mynack
2 months ago

I thought Alanis might have taken this off-roading and was prepared for a hell of an article!

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
2 months ago
Reply to  Don Mynack

It’s not an Altima 😛

Eddie Wuncler
Eddie Wuncler
2 months ago

After 20 years it’s finally time to say goodbye to the 2GR. Its definitely a bittersweet moment, but it’s a long time coming. As for the talk on the eCVT, they should really just rebrand it as an E-Planetary gearset transmission. Those who know what it is know how reliable it is, while those who don’t will think it sounds futuristic and cool. They last longer than a conventional auto and Jatco really fucked everyone over

Jatco Xtronic CVT
Jatco Xtronic CVT
2 months ago
Reply to  Eddie Wuncler

Jatco has consistently made good, long lasting transmissions. Just think about how many miles 60k is!

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
2 months ago

Username checks out, lol.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago

I mean, honestly, 60k was pretty much all a car was good for when I was young—and I’m not even close to retirement yet

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
2 months ago
Reply to  Eddie Wuncler

Yes, the auto industry seems to have their heads stuck in the sand about how bad the reliability reputation of ‘a CVT’ transmission has gotten for the car buying public. The push-belt CVT’s (like the Jatco you mention) have earned that reputation, but the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive (which they unwisely started generically calling an eCVT like the rest of the industry) doesn’t at all deserve to be painted with that same brush. There is no push belt, no traction fluid, nothing to slip – it’s a planetary gearset and two motor/generators and some dog clutches. There’s almost nothing that *can* wear out in that system.
Similar deal with Mitsubishi and their ‘transmission’ in their PHEV Outlanders – it is just a clutch and a single speed gearset that allows the engine to drive the wheels directly at higher (35 mph on up) speeds, as if it was a normal transmission in high gear. Below that speed the wheels are driven by the electric motors only. It is a series/parallel hybrid system. Honda does the same thing with the Accord. As long as they don’t do something silly like slip that clutch a bunch to let the engine ‘help’ the electric motor at low speeds, this system similarly almost doesn’t have anything that can wear.
They should be more reliable than any other kind of automatic transmission. But they’re marketed as CVT’s, which they technically are, but that is a poisoned term now.

DaChicken
DaChicken
2 months ago

I’m curious about the power output of that rear drive unit. Just from the pics, it looks like that would make a good unit to do an EV swap into a small car.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
2 months ago
Reply to  DaChicken

I was assuming 7HP based on the FWD vs. AWD HP figures. Seems like just enough to bump you out of a snowy rut until the fronts get traction. Maybe it can power a gokart.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
2 months ago

The extra 7hp comes from the extra battery output unleashed from not being limited by the front motor. The rear motor is capable of ~40hp, but the battery cannot output the maximum capacities of the front and rear motors simultaneously.

Parsko
Parsko
2 months ago

YES YES YES!!!!! I love this idea.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
2 months ago
Reply to  DaChicken

If it’s the same as the Prius AWD, it’s 40hp.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
2 months ago

Most car manufacturers, “there is no way we can meet these crazy high fuel economy numbers, it’ll make cars too expensive etc etc”. Toyota – “here’s the new Camry, it only comes as a hybrid getting 50 mpg and starts at just $30k.”

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
2 months ago

Stealing my thoughts between two different newly released embargoed reviews because I prefer this comment section…

“51 mpg for 232 hp is damn impressive. Actually, it makes my eyes water a little when I think about my ‘97 GT Mustang having only 215 HP and averaging 15 mpg in the city. I’ll be curious to see if this, and the new Prius Prime with its 220 hp, ever get TRD specs.”

And a new thought, is the eCVT system using planetary gears (like my beloved Maverick) or something else? I’m not able to watch Toyota’s explainer video for likely the next few hours. ????

David Tracy
David Tracy
2 months ago
Reply to  Spartanjohn113

Correct!

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
2 months ago
Reply to  Spartanjohn113

Toyota’s eCVT is a planetary gearset if memory serves

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
2 months ago
Reply to  Spartanjohn113

Oh and apologies to anyone wondering why there are four questions marks that make me look like a madman. I tried to use the “grinning face with sweat” emoji…and obviously that didn’t work. So let’s now try emoticons! ^_^;

Parsko
Parsko
2 months ago
Reply to  Spartanjohn113

You’re a monster!

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
2 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

[Plays with a sentient pastry’s legs] “Run, run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
2 months ago

I agree with the commenters below who think the eCVT needs a rebrand – Toyota already had “Hybrid Synergy Drive” in the era of the gen 2 and 3 Prius, but they seem to have heavily deemphasized if not entirely dropped it.

I see no reason for a car like this not to have a column shifter, other than marketing worries potential buyers will associate it with the Cutlass Ciera their grandma had when they were kids.

Speaking of going back to the ’80s, if this were a liftback it’d be the perfect CUV alternative.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
2 months ago
Reply to  Nlpnt

I tend to disagree on column shifters, particularly for any car aspiring to be more than an appliance. Column shifters are great with bench seats and trucks. For cars, less so unless you do indeed want to sell Grandma a bench-seat Cutlass. Yes, it clears out more space for cupholders in the center console. But I don’t want my messy passenger’s drippy Slushie next to my arm. The shifter is a bit of a driver’s personal space barrier and that’s the way I like it.

Also, if you need to run wiring or any kind of interlock linkage between the shifter and the brake pedal + transmission, the center console arrangement is likely to be cheaper and simpler. Columns become a nightmare as more wiring and stuff gets packed into them. Plus, it avoids the need to pull the airbag and wheel to work on one more assembly. The stalk controls can be bad enough.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
2 months ago
Reply to  UnseenCat

My understanding is that column shifters can be fully electronic nowadays, see the newest Hyundais as an example. Because the transmission is a (non-hydraulic) eCVT, there is no possibility for any physical linkage being needed, and it’ll be purely wiring. Also, the Camry is ultimately an appliance, no matter how grounded to the ground it is 🙂

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
2 months ago

The exterior is certified Grade A Toyota “meh”, but man, what a leap forward on the interior. Old school shifter is also typical Toyota. Maybe they’ll do the electronic shifter and center console redo for the MCR.

D-dub
D-dub
2 months ago

In the future, stick-an-iPad-on-it interiors are going to represent the 2010’s the way tailfins represent the 1950’s. It’s nice to see Toyota finally getting with the 2020’s.

Last edited 2 months ago by D-dub
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago

I like the side profile less now that more real images are out, but I do still think it’s an improvement, particularly inside. I do appreciate Toyota not locking you into a black interior on the ‘sporty’ trim which most others (like Honda) tend to do.

I think the pricing represents a nominal premium over the base Accord, but that’s a nonhybrid, so in the low $30k range the Camry is some 50% better in combined fuel economy. Hybrid-to-hybrid you’re at $34k to start with the Accord Sport.

Re: the shifter, although Toyota never did the Prius’ stick thing on the Camry hybrid, Honda did switch from the pushbutton setup (which didn’t free up any actual console space) back to a regular shifter in the current hybrid Accord and CR-V. Although they still have pushbuttons on models like the Pilot so not sure what their gameplan is.

Sashagof
Sashagof
2 months ago

David, can you confirm that the AWD model uses the nickel battery and not lithium? I remember that was the case for the previous generation Prius with AWD, they stuck to NMH while the FWD ones got Lithium. I thought they were all Lithium now.

David Tracy
David Tracy
2 months ago
Reply to  Sashagof

You’re right. They’re all about NIMH on trucks, but not the Camry. Fixed!

PresterJohn
PresterJohn
2 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

David can you ask the Toyota engineering people why they use NiMh on trucks but not cars? I’m sure there’s a good reason but it seems like the lower density for the NiMh packs lead to some serious packaging compromises

Anxious John
Anxious John
2 months ago

Their new cars look really good compared to their trucks(which I don’t hate). I love the screen being integrated into the dash unlike what they are doing with their trucks/suvs.

Ben Chia
Ben Chia
2 months ago

Great write-up! Succinct and to the point.

MDMK
MDMK
2 months ago

Fans of the 2018-2024 Camry have been hating the new design on social media but it’s good to see the Camry’s new mature look, mostly freed from the extra chrome trim pieces and fake “sporty” elements which are now banished to the spare parts bin.

It’s also good to see the LE/SE’s smaller 8inch screen and instrument cluster doesn’t look too downmarket.

Its too bad the color palette besides the new welcomed teal color and (maybe) the underground gray is near-Mazda levels of unimaginative

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago
Reply to  MDMK

Glad I’m not the only one who hated the last gen Camry. The damn thing looks like it was designed by the Autozone accessories aisle. Way, way, wayyyyy too busy as Tooner ish. Let the Camry be what it’s always been…sensible transportation. If you want something more exciting get a GRC or Elantra N.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
2 months ago

I can’t say I like the minimal effort in the exterior redesign. That effort is more in line with refresh, and I don’t think that the new face works with the rest of the old design. I also do not enjoy lobster claw taillights, which is a trend I was hoping would go away.

That being said, 30kish for a mid-size (let’s get real the interiors of these mid-sizers are now enormous, this is as large of a sedan as you could need) sedan that gets nearly 50mpg is a great value, especially considering the Camry’s reputation. Also, as much as people find the Camry boring, I’ve driven a modern one and I found it to be genuinely fun. But I think that has a lot to do with crossovers being absolute shit to drive from a steering/handling perspective. Personally, I’d like to see the narrative that the Camry as a choice is boring, because these days, it’s one of the least boring, practical cars that you can buy. Hell, I’d go so far to say the person who choses a Camry over the litany of crossovers available is downright interesting.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago

Standardizing hybrid drivetrains in appliances/volume sellers is something that should’ve been done a decade ago. Better late than never I suppose, and this certainly looks nice and gets great gas mileage. I agree with Prester John though-eCVT needs a rebrand. It isn’t a traditional CVT with the bands…I believe it consists of a single low speed gear and a set of planetary gears that happen to be variable.

I haven’t driven one personally but the general consensus is that they’re much less offensive than a traditional CVT and more or less stay out of your way. They also help gas mileage significantly-when compared to the Kia/Hyundai hybrids that use traditional torque converter automatics the Toyotas tend to get 5-10 MPG better across the board, which is a pretty big deal.

Anyway bring on the Crown Signia! As one of the 2-3 people who are actually intrigued I can’t wait to hear more about it and get Alexis’ takes.

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
2 months ago

a single low speed gear and a set of planetary gears that happen to be variable

That’s a different transmission, that is Toyota’s CVT for non-hybrid applications. Their hybrid CVT is truly weird/ingenious, integrates the electric drive motor inside the transmission, and I don’t understand it.

Drew
Drew
2 months ago

Anyway bring on the Crown Signia! As one of the 2-3 people who are actually intrigued I can’t wait to hear more about it and get Alexis’ takes.

I’m the other person! That’s the vehicle that might convince me to stick with a hybrid instead of going EV for my next car.

E A
E A
2 months ago
Reply to  Drew

I’m the OTHER other person. Are the three of us besties?!

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
2 months ago
Reply to  E A

Well, this is awkward. I too am interested in the Signia. Are we sure there’s only allowed to be three of us?

Drew
Drew
2 months ago

Damn. I’ll step aside and let you be interested. Guess I’ll have to find something else.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
2 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Oh no, I couldn’t be such a burden. You can have my seat, I’m ok with standing

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago

You must be from the Midwest 😉

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
2 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Ope, you got me

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
2 months ago

I agree that hybrids should be standard…which is why I’m highly annoyed Ford has now made the hybrid engine on the Maverick a $1,500 premium. I get it’s likely to temper demand and increase profit, but if it’s so popular, work to improve your supply lines.

E A
E A
2 months ago

Per TFL on YouTube, there’s an embargo on the Crown Signia until June. I happened to see all these Toyota products in person since I work on Coronado and saw the signage on my way to work last week. Hoping the Signia gets better MPG than the currently estimated low 30s. Really interested in an AWD wagon, bit I’d hate going from 34-36 mpg in an NA car to 30 in a hybrid.

Last edited 2 months ago by E A
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago
Reply to  E A

That’s odd, everything I’ve seen says the deets will come out today. Hopefully we don’t have to wait until June…

E A
E A
2 months ago

Oh schnit! Seriously? Then I hope I’m wrong and we get reviews today!

Drew
Drew
2 months ago

From https://www.theautopian.com/toyota-is-hosting-an-actual-toyotathon-for-journalists-right-now-and-it-is-insane/

Crown Signia – April 25, 2024, 7:00 AM EDT

Not June, but not today. If they’ve changed the dates, I’ll be excited to see the info earlier.

E A
E A
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

C’mon Autopian, is the article on the Crown Signia coming today? If it does, only 4-6 more years until I buy one used!

PresterJohn
PresterJohn
2 months ago

Does anything in the automotive world need a rebrand more than the “eCVT”? It’s not a CVT in the sense that we think of it, it’s a completely different setup.

What’s worse is eCVT means different things depending on the manufacturer. Honda calls its hybrid transmissions eCVTs but they work differently than Toyota’s.

Last edited 2 months ago by PresterJohn
David Tracy
David Tracy
2 months ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

It’s true. They do feel similar in ways, though the way they operate is significantly different.

Last edited 2 months ago by David Tracy
IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
2 months ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

If I was selling hybrids I would definitely come up with a distinct name for the drive system to avoid the Jatco exploding CVT connotation. I hear about sluggish CVT response all the time, but the eCVT in my wife’s Accord will practically launch the car if you floor it with a full battery.

V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

Does anything in the automotive world need a rebrand more than the “eCVT”?

This strikes me as a solution in search of a problem.

The only people with strong opinions one way or another about a CVT vs an eCVT vs a traditional automatic are not the type of people who are shopping for the appliance cars that they come in.

This is the perfect car for my mom. She has no idea what a CVT is, how its different from a regular automatic, or why she should care about it one bit. Put it in D and go.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I was basically typing up this same exact thing.

If people were genuinely aware of how a CVT works, nobody who has purchased a Nissan in the past 15 years would go anywhere near them. I’m going to have to assume that the people who gobbled up Rogues over that time have moved on to another CVT equipped vehicle, and more than likely have no idea what sort of transmission it has.

Enthusiasts tend to stay away, and some other savvy buyers, but we’re probably talking 5% of the market? And based on Toyota’s hot streak of late, I doubt anyone is going to associate anything that Nissan does with them, regardless of what things are named.

Last edited 2 months ago by Taargus Taargus
V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago

I think enthusiasts are sometimes the worst at exaggerating problems/misunderstanding probability.

I have no doubt that Nissan CVTs fail at a higher rate than the average torque converter auto. But the way we talk sometimes, buying the Nissan is an automatic death sentence, when the actual failure rate might be in the single digit percent. Higher than it should be certainly, but not certain or even likely.

Another example, the infamous Porsche IMS bearing. Supposedly eight percent of them fail prematurely. That’s very high for a part that shouldn’t fail at all, but it also means 92% of Porsches didn’t have the failure.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

From a drivability standpoint you guys are correct. From a reliability/reputation standpoint I think IRegertNothing below is right, there’s a chance people just lump all CVTs together and write off the new Camry, even though the eCVT is pretty well proven.

There are certainly some buyers that may just blindly buy whatever the latest generation is, but it’s taken a long time for people to shed the notion of hybrids needing a several thousand dollar battery replacement in long-term ownership.

If someone’s researching whether to buy a hybrid Camry there’s a chance at coming across misinformation about buying an outgoing Camry “because the new one is CVT-only” and those fail etc. While there’s some exaggeration that also means it’s louder.

Research for non-car people used to mean read Consumer Reports and call it a day, but now they might watch Youtube reviews or search “new [car] problems” and see stories on forums and the like to narrow down their search. I’ve seen this with a few purchases by friends in the last couple years. Even my mother remarked how she liked the walkaround video of an Outback a Subaru dealer over 1000 miles away from us had on their website, and that was nearly 10 years ago, before the influence of TikTok and reels and influencers.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I would agree with that mostly, but the Nissan CVT thing has become infamous, even for people in my circle that genuinely know nothing about cars. When my parents were car shopping, they wouldn’t even entertain Nissan, as they both have coworkers who had Nissan transmission failures. The sample sizes may be small, but when everyone you know, knows someone who has had trouble with their Nissan… it can snowball out of control.

So while we might exaggerate a bit here, we’re talking about CVTs from a marketing perspective, and while I agree that while the average consumer probably doesn’t know that their car has a CVT, they do know the trope that “Nissans blow up catastrophically, and early”.

It doesn’t help that all of those failures are so dramatically expensive that when one happens it basically ruins the average person’s life. You’d better believe that if I have a transmission fail immediately out of warranty, I’m going to tell every person I meet about it from now till the day I die. Hell I still spend time beating up on 90’s Chrysler products.

V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago

Guilty of that myself with VW I suppose.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

“but it also means 92% of Porsches didn’t have the failure.”

Did they ever trace the cause?

Last edited 2 months ago by Cheap Bastard
PresterJohn
PresterJohn
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Yeah I disagree. The Nissan thing with CVTs has become so widely known that even non car people know about it. Toyota can probably get away with it because of their ironclad reliability reputation but it definitely has a negative connotation outside of car circles. You’re right the average person doesn’t care about how it “feels” vs a traditional automatic, but they certainly care about reliability.

V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

But that perception is with Nissan, not with CVTs. Again, most people don’t know the difference (remember that survey where most BMW owners thought their cars were front wheel drive?).

Calling their transmissions CVTs hasn’t hurt Subaru any, for example.

PresterJohn
PresterJohn
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Perhaps, but how hard is it to call it something different when it *is* different? Also Subaru is probably not the best example here since they seem to be immune to reputational damage for any of their myriad of issues.

I see your point in general but renaming it is almost free and would at least separate it in the mind of people who know a thing or two about cars but aren’t necessarily enthusiasts.

Crimedog
Crimedog
2 months ago

I know they are meant to be used, but the fingerprints…..
the finger prints….
Ugh.

(I fully recognize that it is a ‘me’ problem when the photo has fingerprints on the touchscreen)

Abraham Smith
Abraham Smith
2 months ago

For me personally, I don’t see the point of a non-plugin hybrid at this point.

If it were PHEV even with just 15 miles of electric range, it would be high on my list.

Captain Zoll
Captain Zoll
2 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

I absolutely agree, that’s well within range to run errands.

But as Alanis noted, a lot of (ignorant) buyers are likely to see the charge port next to the fuel cap, and freak out thinking they need to charge the car as well as refuel it.

If it means they buy a plugless hybrid now, to realise they don’t need to charge it, then their next vehicle is a PHEV so they get used to charging, then you finally get them into a BEV, that’s fine by me.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
2 months ago
Reply to  Captain Zoll

I have seen many studies that show PHEV owners almost never plug them in.

Always broke
Always broke
2 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

I’d even go one step further and say no all electric range but still plug in. Some kinda of eco mode that maximizes battery usage even with the engine running, maybe get 70-80 mpg for the first 10-20 miles.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
2 months ago
Reply to  Always broke

What the heck is the advantage of that?

Always broke
Always broke
2 months ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

A small 5 kwh battery could probably produce half the power you would use driving around for 20 minutes at low speeds effectively doubling your mileage until it’s exhausted without the cost of designing the vehicle for full ev operation.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
2 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

Cost and complexity. Look at how much more expensive PHEV versions of vehicles cost than their non-plug-in siblings. There’s not many cars that are offered in PHEV and non-plug-in hybrid versions, but the ones that are, it’s like a $5k price increase to get that PHEV. Now, do the math on fuel/electricity prices, and it’s like 10-20 years to earn that money back in gas savings.

Drew
Drew
2 months ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

But you are forgetting the tax credit. If they make the PHEV here, for $7500 higher MSRP, it would be the same price after credit. And non-US manufacturing still means getting it on the lease. Because of that, PHEVs are often a hidden bargain.

People think of it as the EV credit, but it applies to PHEVs:

Must be powered to a significant extent by an electric motor with a battery capacity of 7 kilowatt hours or more and must be capable of being recharged from an external source of electricity

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
2 months ago
Reply to  Drew

And all the PHEV’s that actually are eligible for the tax credit, that also have a non-plug-in version that’s on the market are?

Drew
Drew
2 months ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

The PHEV Escape (and some others) gets $3750 because it doesn’t meet the sourcing requirement. There are currently no PHEVs that I know of that meet both requirements, but they could. That credit does make it cheaper to get the PHEV than the Platinum hybrid, though they only offer the PHEV in that top trim, so you can definitely get a regular hybrid cheaper.

Leasing can get around the requirements, but only a few manufacturers offer the lease credit on their PHEVs that I know of (Mercedes and Volvo come to mind). But more could.

Last edited 2 months ago by Drew
V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago
Reply to  Drew

That would only be true if the PHEV had a $50,000 MSRP (15% of $50K is $7500). $42,500 OTD for a Camry PHEV might appeal to some, but it’s a tougher sell when a regular hybrid exists for $28K.

PHEVs with a battery of at least 7 kWh may qualify for a tax credit as long as they meet all of the other requirements. For PHEVs, the tax credit is calculated either as 15 percent of the vehicle’s MSRP, the dollar difference between the cost of the PHEV and a similarly equipped gas-powered version of the same vehicle, or $7,500—whichever is lowest.

Drew
Drew
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I’m pretty sure that’s not how the current law is written. The only requirements are that the vehicle is built in North America and that the mineral sourcing requirements are met. For example, the PHEV Escape gets $3750 because it doesn’t meet the sourcing requirement. There are currently no PHEVs that I know of that meet both requirements, but they could.

The previous tax credit differentiated between PHEV and EV, but it went away when they passed the new one.

V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Here’s the source for that statement. I’m not an expert, but I do trust CR and this report was supposedly written/updated last week.

https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/hybrids-evs/electric-cars-plug-in-hybrids-that-qualify-for-tax-credits-a7820795671/

Drew
Drew
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

https://irc.bloombergtax.com/public/uscode/doc/irc/section_30d

Here’s the relevant portion of code. It does not differentiate between PHEV and EV in its current form.

V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago
Reply to  Drew

I no longer trust CR quite as much.

Drew
Drew
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I suspect it was just a holdover from a previous version of that article. They’ve probably been updating the vehicles for several years and someone missed a little on the explanation portion.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Wasn’t CR the folks who reported two totally different reliability ratings on the Toyota and GM cars that were essentially identical and built in the same plant?

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
2 months ago
Reply to  Speedway Sammy

And put incendiaries next to the fuel tanks of GM trucks to make them explode and smeared the Samarai?

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

The fuel tank deal was NBC News and a work buddy who was a volunteer firefighter in Indiana helped expose the fraud.

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Lexus ES PHEV then?

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
2 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

This is the car for people who don’t want to think about their car. The people who don’t want to plug it in, don’t want to change, and don’t want to learn how their car works. Those people can now get 40+mpg by default.

Sashagof
Sashagof
2 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

PHEV batteries are prohibitively expensive to replace. Look up any car like the Volt, once the battery dies the cars get junked. I have a Prius and I had the entire battery replaced for under $1500 with labor in under 2 hours.

Drew
Drew
2 months ago
Reply to  Sashagof

That’s one of those things that gets tossed around, but it isn’t some kind of inevitable result. Especially if the PHEV has a relatively short range, you could easily keep the replacement cost much lower. And, if battery costs start to come down and Toyota makes enough of the PHEV to make them common, you could see a lot lower costs than you find at present.

VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

Roughly 1/3 of Americans rent, so if you assume most of that 1/3 can’t charge at home, and add on the people with homes without driveways or garages, and then add on people who work from home–PHEVs just add a lot of unusable battery capacity/weight to cars that really don’t need them.

I definitely like them as a concept–but they’re more or less useless to me and several friends and family members.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

How many of those folks have access to an extension cord at work though?

VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I mean, I’m not optimistic. When I was still working in person my parking garage was two blocks from my building.

But even for someone with it closer, if you need to get a 100-foot extension cord and that only makes for L1 charging, how long do you need to work there just to pay back the cost of the extension cord? And that’s if they don’t decide to charge you for it anyway, never mind that it probably wouldn’t be allowed in cold weather if you have to leave a window cracked…

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

L1 charging gets up to 5 miles/hr, plenty enough to charge most PHEVs over a full workday.

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
2 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

And how many garages are going to:

1) Allow anyone to plug in their cars for free?
2) Allow people to snake power cords all over the garage?

This is already a huge issue with HOAs.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

Employers don’t have HOAs. And lots of employers offer free or low cost charging as a perk.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
2 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Even more employers don’t offer charging at all.

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
2 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

My point was that while everyone knows HOAs are evil, employer’s benefits are capricious and while charging may be a perk today, wait until some MBA decides that they need to cut costs, or someone trips over a cord and sues the company for their trauma. And if it is a perk, you can bet that some other accountant will decide it’s a taxable benefit.

For example, I have a client who has a parkade at their office (which I have to pay to park in when I visit). The parkade is run by a third party company and has 110v power for block heaters at every parking spot. Great, you think, I’ll plug in my cord and charge my EV while I’m away. Except that the plugs are off unless the temperature goes to -20c and then they rotate on a 20m on/off cycle, which is pretty much useless for charging your EV (it’s not even great for starting your car at -30c).

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

Then enjoy it while you can and use its loss as a reason for your leaving in the exit interview.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

And that’s assuming garages, which most commercial office buildings don’t have in my area and I suspect most others.

I’m honestly surprised the idea of throwing extension cords all over an office parking lot is being entertained as a realistic solution for people. Who’s maneuvering around other parked cars to roll and unroll an extension cord in the pouring rain or 100 degree heat index?

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
2 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

If its one car, maybe. If its 2, a little harder. But what if its 12? I can’t imagine any employer anywhere allowing extension cords to be plugged in all over their building and run all over the parking lot. So this is a VERY short term solution, for those people it would be a solution for at all. Then we just have to go back to solving it.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

Depends. I know of at least one company with a local delivery and pickup fleets that switched to EVs anyway so they make the chargers available to employees during business hours and plug in the fleet overnight.

Others can work with the building owners and government to install chargers, preferably powered by rooftop/carport solar where possible. Corporate property owners should be willing to accommodate their tenants especially when it can only make them and their property look good too.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
2 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

I have read that almost nobody plugs in, that was a self-reported study though.

Thatmiataguy
Thatmiataguy
2 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

Um, the point of a non-plugin hybrid is that it uses significantly less fuel for minimal increase in cost and no increase in hassle.

I don’t see why there is no point in that.

Don’t let great become the enemy of good.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  Thatmiataguy

I know right? Why make trillions when you can make billions?

Thatmiataguy
Thatmiataguy
2 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

The people who desire fuel economy over all else already have the Prius Prime.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  Thatmiataguy

Its a start. That doesn’t mean we can’t ask for more.

2manybikes
2manybikes
2 months ago

PRNDL should be a dial. You’re never in more than one at a time, so a button for each is a waste. And the lever takes up valuable space in the driver’s reach. As a safety measure to make it conspicuous so the chronically inattentive or momentarily distracted don’t hop out in Drive, I get it, but in a world of everything-by-wire, surely we can rig up a brake hold when the door pops open and there’s no weight on the seat?

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
2 months ago
Reply to  2manybikes

Dials don’t have the feedback to know what gear you selected, you always have to look. 2 years later and I still have to look to the one on my Pacifica. Regular shifters are the best, you dont even have to look to know when you select Reverse or Drive.

VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

I mean, in every car I’ve driven, including a Focus, Flex, and Econoline, I don’t know if I ever shifted without looking, except perhaps to Park.

2manybikes
2manybikes
2 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

Then the problem is poorly designed dials. Let’s fix that, Mr. B! Suggestions for PRNDL feedback:
P: twist to this and a solid haptic THUMP; dial is yellow.
R: twist here, the dial draws flush with the dash (it reverses!), dial turns red, and when done reversing you tap it, it extends and rotates itself (THUMP; yellow) to P, or double tap for same schtick rotating to D.
N: help me with this one?
D: twist here, get a low audible rumble and a haptic vibrate ala revving engine; dial turns green.
L: same as D, but much slower haptics and audible rumble; dial brown.
We will also need a capacitive feature so it knows when the driver’s hand releases the dial to activate that position. And I think the haptics should be in the seat, not on the button.

Last edited 2 months ago by 2manybikes
Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
2 months ago

Maybe is the angle of the pictures but is the dashboard that tall? Doors used to blend with the dashboard height but now looks like its on a different level. Maybe they did that on purpose to put the screen integrated with the vehicle but now you may lose a lot of visibility unless you raise the bottom of the seat.

Always broke
Always broke
2 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

It does look taller and I bet you’re right on the screen integration. People hate the iPad stuck to the dash look (myself included). But putting the screen at the right height to easily see it while driving means doing that or having a taller dash.

VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago
Reply to  Always broke

Yeah, I get why that’s aesthetically bothersome to people, but if the alternative is a taller dash that obstructs/raises sightlines…just stick the tablet to the dash and be done with it.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
2 months ago

Not bad, but honestly if I could swing a new car right now, I might go grab one of the outgoing V6 Camrys with a conventional automatic, and just drive that into the ground for the next 25-30 years.

Greg
Greg
2 months ago

Can’t say putting a cvt in a car and removing 100hp excites me. But, I can say, seeing the infotainment in the dash finally after years of Toyota being stupid about that, is a huge win. As it’s a huge deal breaker for me, I am hopeful all new cars from them will put the screen back down where it should be. The real shifter is also a huge win. I’ll take those improvements in trade for the performance, which isn’t the point of a camry anyways.

For a family hauler at 30k roughly, seems like a good buy.

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