The 2021 Toyota Camry Is on a Losing Streak Against Its Biggest Competitors

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Toyota has long been known for its affordable yet reliable cars. And the Camry is no exception. In fact, it’s the best-selling midsize sedan. The Toyota Camry Hybrid also tends to dominate other midsize hybrid sedans, such as the Honda Accord.

However, in many recent roundups, the Accord and Hyundai Sonata have beaten the Camry. In fact, U.S. News named the Sonata Hybrid the number-one hybrid and electric car. And unfortunately for the Camry Hybrid, it just lost out on another accolade.

The best hybrid vehicles of 2021 according to Good Housekeeping

2021 Toyota Camry | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Good Housekeeping recently compiled a list of the best hybrid vehicles of 2021 in eight categories. Winners include the BMW 530e (best hybrid luxury sedan), Honda Accord Hybrid (best family-friendly hybrid), and Audi Q5 (best hybrid luxury plug-in).

Other winners are the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (best hybrid minivan), Hyundai Sonata (best hybrid sedan), Honda CR-V (best hybrid SUV), Kia Niro (best hybrid compact crossover), and Ford Escape Hybrid Plug-In (best hybrid SUV plug-in). 

Good Housekeeping considered several factors when choosing the best hybrid vehicles. In addition to evaluating battery efficiency and fuel efficiency, the reviewers also looked at the intuitiveness of eco-related dashboard metrics, warranty coverage, and retail prices.

Additionally, for vehicles with plug-in capability, GH’s testers also looked at ease of recharging and driving range. And they didn’t just evaluate the price compared to a gas engine; they also compared the price with other available features to determine if the overall value was good for the price.

After narrowing the field, they got together with Car and Driver, owned by the same parent company, to evaluate performance and other important aspects to determine the winners.

Though the Toyota Camry is the best-selling midsize sedan, it lost to tough competition

Ranked number one on other lists, the Toyota Camry Hybrid is one of the best-selling hybrid sedans. In fact, U.S. News ranked it the best midsize car for the money. And in general, the Camry is the best-selling midsize sedan, hybrid or not. But on GH’s list, in the two categories where the Camry might fit — best family-friendly hybrid and best hybrid sedan — it lost. And it lost to two big rivals: the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata. 

The Camry fell to the Accord for best family-friendly hybrid

One of the reasons Good Housekeeping chose the Honda Accord Hybrid was because it’s just like a regular Accord but with much better fuel efficiency. Particularly important for a family-friendly hybrid, there’s plenty of space for passengers and cargo. Plus, it comes with several safety features, including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and forward-collision warning. Good Housekeeping also liked the 8.0-inch infotainment screen and the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. 

And the best hybrid sedan isn’t the Camry but the Sonata

A standout feature of the best hybrid sedan is that the highest Hyundai Sonata trim comes with a solar panel to help recharge the battery. It also boasts an impressive warranty and MSRP while still maintaining a luxury look and feel. The Sonata Hybrid’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor put out 192 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. And the EPA-estimated fuel efficiency is impressive at 45 mpg in the city and 51 mpg on the highway.

So although the Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in its class, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best car. Despite its popularity, it still didn’t make this list.

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