CAR REVIEW

Quality Verified | Posted July 5, 2023

2023 AAA Car Guide Winner: Midsize Under $35K

The 2023 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE Nightshade earned the overall top score for vehicles under $35K in the 2023 edition of the AAA Car Guide .
What is the AAA Car Guide?
The AAA Car Guide helps consumers navigate the evolving automotive marketplace by ranking and rating the newest vehicles, including EVs. The Guide provides consumers with reviews, based on testing by AAA Engineers, highlighting how many advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are included in the vehicle, along with other criteria and information.
2023 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE Nightshade
VEHICLE TYPE
BASE PRICE
PRICE AS TESTED
IIHS / NHTSA
Midsize Hybrid
$30,615
$32,909
Overall Observations

The Camry, introduced in 1983, is typically the top-selling sedan in the U.S. It’s generally among the 10 best-selling vehicles, and its numerous strengths have helped it earn and maintain its elevated status.

 

Three things that make the Camry not only a desirable car but also a very good value (the base nonhybrid’s price starts at just over $26,000) are its efficient drivetrain; its smooth, comfortable ride; and its abundance of space for passengers and cargo. The hybrid version, with its fuel-sipping ways (up to 52 mpg combined) and smooth gaselectric transitions, only increases its appeal. Other positives are nicely improved exterior styling (particularly the refreshed Nightshade edition we tested) and the standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ suite of advanced safety features (blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning still costs extra, though).

 

But a few of the Camry’s traits could stand some improvement. The engine is noisy at full throttle, the infotainment system is outdated, and the Camry lacks features found in some competitors (e.g., heated and ventilated seats, backseat climate controls). Rear visibility is compromised by a high rear deck and fixed rear head restraints, and the rearview camera image isn’t sharp. Finally, although many Camry owners couldn’t care less – their loss – the Camry lacks any type of excitement or driver engagement. It’s just not an interesting or fun car to drive.

Strengths and Weaknesses

AAA’s Recommendation: Whether you own an electric vehicle or a gas-powered car is up to you – and you should consider lots of factors in making that choice. No matter what type of vehicle you’re choosing, we recommend visiting a dealership, test driving one, and asking as many questions as possible to make an informed decision.

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