2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
Looking for a brand new hybrid sedan that can help you save on fuel while still meeting all of your creature comfort needs? The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid might just be the vehicle of your dreams. It is certainly nothing like a nightmare - not with its cozy ride quality, comfy seats, and easy-to-use infotainment set-up. Even the base LE trim comes pretty well-packed with standard features. The transitioning between brakes and handling capabilities could use some smoothing out, but it is unlikely that these issues will chase too many people away.
What's New for 2020?
Aside from the long-awaited standardization of Android Auto for your smartphone app integration needs, everything carries over from the 2019 model year. The 2020 version is part of the eighth generation of Camrys that was introduced back in 2018. Last model year saw the addition of Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay, so the 2020 line-up has many options for streaming.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid – The Pros
1. Excellent Visibility
From the driver's seat, it is easy to see around the 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid. The forward view is perfectly clear, and the rear view is pretty wide too. The windows are all large in their design while the roof pillars and slender - a perfect pairing that helps eliminate big blind spots. There is a top-view camera that you can get added on if you want even more visibility, but it is definitely not required.
2. High Fuel Efficiency
The reason you are likely looking at the Camry Hybrid is its EPA estimate. And who can blame you? A combined 52 mpg is nothing to scoff at and is not typical of a larger hybrid sedan like this. While the smaller Prius gets around this number, the Prius is limited by its interior space. That's why the Camry Hybrid is so appealing; it gives you the best of both worlds. With one of the highest EPA ratings in its class, it's no wonder people are interested in this vehicle.
3. Swift Acceleration
The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid is not a sports car, nor does it pretend to be. But, for its class, the acceleration is impressive. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds, which is even faster than its gas-only variant. For a hybrid in this class, 7.5 seconds is a good showing from the 208-combined-hp engine. Getting up to speed on the highway should not pose a problem, and you will be able to pass others with ease.
4. A Quiet Powertrain
Speaking of the powertrain, the Camry Hybrid has a quiet one. The electric power will get you moving without making a sound, and the engine will quietly kick in thereafter. You have to put the Camry Hybrid into heavy throttle in order to get much noise from it. Wind and road noise remain muted regardless of your speed. You can hold conversations and listen to music without intrusion.
5. Cozy Seats
The seats are another high point for the 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid. They might not look like anything extraordinary upon first glance, but once you've sat in them for a moment, you won't want to get up. They are given a wide and flat design and conform well to all different body types. The cloth seats on the base trim are remarkably comfortable and breathe well.
6. A Strong Climate Control System
Heating the cabin up or cooling it down is made easy and efficient with the climate control system. The vents are placed in sensible areas, allowing a smooth flow of air to get pumped throughout the cabin. All you have to do is set the controls to the temperature you want, and you are good to go. If you live in a place where the summers get really hot, the A/C will go pretty high.
7. User-Friendly Controls
All of the controls found inside of the 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid are well-marked, placed in areas that are obvious and easy to reach, and do not distract the driver from driving. Only one or two tries will get you used to on-screen prompts and interfaces. You can easily turn any knob you need to adjust from the driver's seat, including the radio controls.
8. A High-Quality Interior Design
The Toyota Camry Hybrid might not be a luxury vehicle, but it does have an appealing design loaded with high-quality interior materials. There are plenty of soft touch surfaces, and nothing inside of the cabin looks tacky or cheaply made. There are no weird panel gaps or rattling noises while driving. The solid build quality is enhanced by the vehicle's utility, as there are plenty of small item storage spaces to be found.
9. Plenty of Cargo Space
With that being said, cargo space is another highlight of the interior. The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid has a cargo area with 15.1 square feet of cargo space when all seats are left in place. You can take down the 60/40-split folding rear seats for even more room. This is the same amount of cargo space that comes on the Camry, as the battery pack does not infringe upon cargo space. The wide trunk opening and low height for lifting over help make loading and unloading cargo even easier.
10. Standard Smartphone App Integration
Finally! Toyota has picked up the pace and equipped the Camry Hybrid with a full array of smartphone app integration. You can use Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or Amazon Alexa to fill your streaming and navigational needs while you and on the road. Just link your phone up; there is very little in the way of a learning curve here. A lot of people might prefer this to some of the Entune features that come standard with the Camry Hybrid.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid – The Cons
1. An Awkward Transition Between the Regenerative and Regular Brakes
A problem that many hybrids face is awkward transitions between the normal and regenerative brakes. The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid is not immune to this issue. In most normal driving situations, there is not a problem, but the transitions feel rough when you get into stop-and-go traffic jams. Of course, panic braking is hindered by the eco-friendly low-rolling resistance tires, so that does not help matters either. It takes 128 feet for the vehicle to make a panic stop from 60 mph, which is not great for this segment.
2. The Base LE Trim is Weak On the Highway
The base LE trim level is not as spunky as the higher trim levels, especially when it comes to highway performance. This is due to the fact that the LE has a different engine that focuses more on fuel efficiency than anything. This vehicle has a lithium ion battery whereas the higher trims have a nickel-metal hydride battery. This makes for a power difference as well as knocking the EPA estimate down to 46 mpg combined on the vehicles with the nick-metal hydride battery. So, you essentially have to pick between power or fuel economy on the Camry Hybrid.
3. Built-In Navigation is Difficult to Use
The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid has a wonky built-in navigation system. If you don't use your smartphone's navigation, then you have to use Entune's Scout GPS Link which can be difficult for users to figure out if they are not too tech-savvy. A few users have even dedicated blog entries and websites to documenting their struggles with Scout GPS Link. You're better off sticking with your smartphone's navigation app.
4. Handling is Sub-par
Handling should be spry on a vehicle like the Camry Hybrid, but it falls short. First off, the tires have little in the way of road grip, so that does nt help matters. Of course, this is typical for hybrid model tires. Second, the vehicle seems to be quite jumpy when you take it down a winding road. All that jostling about puts the Camry Hybrid behind some of its more well-mannered competitors.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid vs. 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid
The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid gets bested in some ways by the 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid. The Accord Hybrid has better handling capabilities and all-around smooth infotainment features. However, the Accord Hybrid's system can get noisy at both high and low speeds. Also, the brakes on the Accord Hybrid are pretty comparable to the ones on the Camry Hybrid, and that is clearly not a good thing. Otherwise, these two vehicles are almost on par with one another.
2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid vs. 2020 Ford Fusion Hybrid
The 2020 Ford Fusion Hybrid has the Sync 3 infotainment system, which is one of the best on the market right now. It is very user-friendly and well-organized. The Fusion Hybrid also has a superbly quiet interior no matter what speed you are going. Engine, road, and wind noise barely trickle in at high speeds. The downside? The Fusion Hybrid's fuel economy is a little bit lower (with 43 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway) than the competition. Oh, and there is a sloping roofline that cuts off some of the driver's visibility out of the rear. The rearview camera helps, but you might find yourself getting annoyed with how much you will have to rely on it.
The 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid is proof that Toyota cares about the feedback they get from their drivers. Adding Android Auto along with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa was a smart choice since many other automakers have already standardized smartphone app integration on their line-ups. Toyota is not behind-the-times when it comes to the Camry Hybrid. This vehicle is comfortable and modern without being overcomplicated and confusing. If you can get past the funky brakes and some handling flaws, then the new Camry Hybrid might just be the eco-friendly vehicle for you.
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