2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
The 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid's green technology ups the ante for an already-competent sedan. Despite the fact that the four-cylinder engine works with a 105-kilowatt electric motor, many say the ride is comparable to gas-powered sedans. Still, there were a handful of test drivers stuck on the learning curve.
- "The Hybrid is a good performer and one of the most fuel-efficient mid-size vehicles anywhere." -- New Car Test Drive
- "The driving experience in the Camry Hybrid is remarkably normal. Most of the time you can quite simply forget that you're driving a hybrid, because it behaves almost exactly like a gasoline-engine car -- which says a lot about the sophistication of the hybrid system." --
- "Driving the 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid can be a bit odd due to the CVT, electric motor and eerily quiet cabin at traffic lights." -- Edmunds
- "Once I trained my right foot to know exactly where the threshold was, I was able to drive in electric mode as high as 20 mph before the gas engine started up. Drivers behind the hybrid may have little patience for this, as engine-free acceleration is slow." -- Cars.com
Acceleration and Power
The 2009 Camry Hybrid has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque, along with a supplementary electric motor that creates a combined output totaling 187 horsepower. Most writers are pleased with the sedan's ability to move. They also have positive remarks about the Camry Hybrid's continuously variable transmission. The Camry Hybrid has EPA ratings of 33/34 mpg city/highway.
- "When called upon, the 147-horsepower 2.4-liter variable-valve timed engine delivers a surprising amount of oomph, enabling the car to pass with ease on the freeway." --
- "The Hybrid isn't as quick as the V6 Camrys … but it's noticeably quicker than four-cylinder models, and particularly four-cylinders with the automatic." -- New Car Test Drive
- "One of the few continuously variable automatic transmissions I've used that feels smooth and seamless." -- Detroit News
- "Acceleration is incredibly smooth due to the continuously variable transmission, which doesn't have the hard gearshifts of a standard automatic." --
Handling and Braking
Reviewers agree that the Camry Hybrid's smooth ride and confident road manners mean it handles much like a regular Camry. But the electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering draws its share of criticism.
- "In terms of ride, handling and interior comfort, the Camry Hybrid could easily fool us into thinking we were driving an XLE." -- New Car Test Drive
- "Although the electrically-assisted power steering feels a bit numb, it never leaves the impression of being disconnected from the road." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Ride quality was excellent, both over rough roads and on Interstates. The suspension is compliant, but it isn't too soft and mushy to make the ride miserable." --
- "When crawling along in traffic, the steering wheel has an alarming tendency to pull sharply to the left or right depending on the camber of the road." --
- "Brake feel, always a hybrid bugaboo, is good here." --
- "The brakes tended to grab when applied; gentle and gradual does it." -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette