The Right Choice: The 2023 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid
There are---good Lord---13 ways to order a Camry---variations on the same four-door sedan that can cost you considerably less than $30,000 or just a little less than $40,000 before options.
But here's the pro tip. Unless you're itching for the 301-horsepower V6 and its 5.8-second 0-60 times, get the hybrid.
When you do, you get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor. Total system horsepower is 208, which gets it to 60 from a standing start in 7.4 seconds, which is one-tenth of a second quicker than the standard Camry gasoline four-cylinder. That car has an EPA combined city/highway fuel economy average of 33 miles per gallon. The Camry SE Hybrid? 46. Not a typo. Forty-six miles per gallon. Combined. If you want to go full-miser, there's the base-level LE Hybrid. It does 52 mpg combined.
Our car did not go full-miser. It was the second-from-the-top trim among Camry Hybrids, the SE Nightshade. Base price $31,640 with destination. Tons of standard equipment---Toyota's comprehensive Safety Sense 2.5+ active safety suite, a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch TRD (Toyota Racing Development) matte bronze alloy wheels, bi-LED combination headlamps, a black front grille with sport mesh insert, black mirror caps, shark fin antenna, rear spoiler, window moulding and rear badges, a six-speaker audio system, sport fabric Softex-trimmed seats, a power driver's seat with lumbar, and a dual-zone automatic climate control system.
In fact, the Camry SE Hybrid is so well-equipped, there wasn't much in the way of extra-cost options to put on it. Just $300 for a convenience package (HomeLink and auto-dimming rearview mirror), $600 for a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, and $299 for carpeted floor mats and a trunk mat. As-tested price for the 2023 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid Nightshade---$32,839.
That price is a bargain on any level. When you factor in that it's a Toyota Camry, one of the best, most reliable family sedans on the planet, and that you'll burn gas (according to the EPA) at the rate of 2.2 gallons every 100 miles, it's even more of a terrific buy.