Monday, May 27, 2024
News2025 Toyota Camry First Drive Review: Too Good to Not be a...

2025 Toyota Camry First Drive Review: Too Good to Not be a Camry

All sedans are dying but even so, Toyota loaded up the Camry with everything to keep it on top


2025 Toyota Camry Pros

– Very attractive overall

– Hybrid powertrain only.

– More value than any equivalent SUV.

– Impressively good to drive.


2025 Toyota Camry Cons

– Most affordable Camry is now $3,400 more expensive than the previous generation car.


Midsize sedans are dead: Long live the midsize sedan! It’s crazy to think that some automakers, now focused on raking in big bucks with SUVs, are still hard at works designing and building cars. What’s even crazier is that, unbeknownst to consumers, these cars offer more value and/or are less expensive than their SUV counterparts. Staying relevant requires innovation and adaptability, and for longstanding champions like the Toyota Camry, evolution isn’t just an option; it’s necessary for survival.

2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Entering its 9th generation, the 2025 Toyota Camry has embraced the present and near future by becoming exclusively available as a hybrid. This change enables it to keep up with environmental trends and enhances the vehicle’s appeal in terms of operating costs and resale value—a crucial factor given Toyota’s renowned durability. Amid fluctuating fuel prices and growing eco-consciousness, the hybrid model positions the Camry as the sensible choice in North America’s still relatively competitive midsize sedan market.


Design and Styling

The latest Camry doesn’t shy away from bold updates. The redesigned front end and sleek new rear taillights contribute to a more dynamic aesthetic. The introduction of the sporty SE as the new base model, especially in vibrant color options like Supersonic Red, makes the car pop on the road. Rear diffuser, deep front apron, and new wheels make the new Camry the sportiest ever since the TRD trim from a few years ago.

2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Inside, the SE’s cabin greets you with tasteful cloth inserts, SofTex seats, a user-friendly redesigned dashboard that is far more attractive than the old one with its triangular-shaped centre stack, and an overall enhancement in aesthetics and function. Fit and finish are spotless and tasteful. The standard 7-inch IP and 8-inch touchscreen are replaced by twin 12.3-inch units for the XSE and XLE trims. From what little I accessed from the touchscreen; I can safely say that the infotainment system works as expected.

The new Camry Hybrid, as always, offers generous trunk space and comfortable seating arrangements that cater well to families and professionals alike.


Performance and Driving Experience

Under the hood, the Camry is now exclusively powered by a 5th generation 2.5L 4-cylinder hybrid system. The engine’s performance has been finely tuned to offer a balance of power and efficiency, with no less than 225 horsepower for the FWD models and 232 for AWD ones. The available power and throttle response in the tested SE AWD made for a very entertaining romp on the highways exiting San Diego and more so on the secondary roads that brought us near the Mexican border. Truly, the eCVT and extra oomph urged me on drive likely harder than any Camry owner ever will, and I enjoyed it.

2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The ride quality benefits from a multi-link suspension, providing a balance of comfort and responsive handling. The Camry was at ease over every surface however I am slightly concerned about the SE and XSE’s “specific sport-tuned” suspension once in Montreal. Other Toyota’s with this type of suspension calibration do not fare as well here as they might in SoCal. Otherwise, steering and and revised brakes are flawless.


Hybrid fuel efficiency

The 2025 Camry Hybrid’s fuel consumption ratings are impressive. The FWD models are rated at 4.6L/100km in combined driving while the spunkier AWD versions will require only 5.1L/100km in combined driving.


Trim Levels and Pricing

2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The model lineup includes several trim levels, starting with a focus on the SE front-wheel drive and SE Upgrade all-wheel drive configurations. Pricing strategies have been carefully considered, offering more features and better value than many competitors. The SE Upgrade AWD is expected to generate significant volume in Canada and at $37,950, it’s the only AWD hybrid sedan available.

When pitted against rivals like the Honda Accord Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata, and Nissan Altima, the 2025 Camry Hybrid holds its ground. It’s not the least expensive AWD however the car’s powertrain, comprehensive features, combined with Toyota’s reputation for reliability, affordable ownership costs, and solid resale values more than level the playing field. And then you factor in fuel costs…


Final Thoughts

2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The 2025 Camry Hybrid impresses, period.  Toyota’s decision to drop the non-electrified powertrains is the car’s sole downside, if only because the base price rises notably and surpasses nearly all of its competitors.

Even so and despite a segment that is losing ground where Camry sales remain stable, Toyota’s hybrid-only decision will only keep interest high and may even cause an uptake in deliveries.

2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2025 Toyota Camry | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Advertisement

Trending Now

Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.