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Is A Used Toyota Camry Hybrid Worth Buying?

Fuel prices are climbing, and the search for a good used hybrid is on. The Prius life is not for everyone so what about a Toyota Camry Hybrid? Here is what I think.


Buying a used car is always a risk. How many owners has it been through? How was the vehicle-treated? Was it appropriately maintained? These questions and many more always swirl around in our heads when looking for a used car.

Hybrids are especially more confusing for many because they are not traditional cars. The expense of a failing hybrid battery alone can wipe out an owner's pocketbook. More often than not, though, most used Toyota Prius are good deals. The cars are built well enough they will last.

So if buying a used Toyota Prius is ok what does that say about the Toyota Camry Hybrid? I thought about it, and here is what I think most need to know about getting into one.

Toyota Hybrid System, Camry Edition
Prius was mostly through its second iteration when Camry hybrid rolled off the line. The Toyota Hybrid System had already proven viable in the marketplace. Now it was time to bring another popular car to the fleet.

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Camry hybrid was introduced in 2006 and became a trendy mid-sized car. Camry hybrid inherited all of the good things about the Prius and the base Camry car.

Camry was already a great seller, but to boost the MPG and give it a better transmission system was a sure winner. This hybrid was destined to be a desirable car, and all these years later, it shows.

Used Camry hybrids are still selling for thousands more than Prius and with high mileage (200,000+). The proven hybrid transmission (MG1 and MG2). Fewer parts, fewer problems.

Toyota Camry Hybrid, The Alternative To A Prius V
Many hybrid owners love the Toyota Prius V for the extra room and versatility. Quite honestly, I agree. While Camry hybrid is not a wagon, it does have more space.

More space is usually connected with more luxury. The seats are more comfortable, there is more legroom, which can mean all the difference in a long road trip.

Camry is also a household name and is well established. Prius is now but has had to fight to get the recognition.

I am going to buy my first Camry hybrid soon. I thoroughly enjoy my Prius, but I want to experience a larger hybrid and see what all the hype about it is.

The fuel economy is still pretty decent on the first generation 38 HWY and 40 City (of course, this varies with how good your battery is). So is having a bigger hybrid that gets better than average MPG worth it? I certainly think so.

Thank you all for reading. I will have more to come soon on this topic. I look forward to seeing you in the following article.

Need some help with that AC in your Prius? Take a look here to see what to do.

Check out this wild new battery tech that Tesla has and why it will forever change the auto industry.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.


CJ (not verified)    May 6, 2021 - 7:33PM

I love my Camry hybrid. But there is one very important thing to check out before purchasing a used one. Older models have a factory fault in the brake actuator assembly. It is incredibly expensive to replace, thousands of dollars.

There was a recall on them years ago that is no longer open. Be sure to check that the part was replaced in the recall. Otherwise, you might have it go bad on you and have to spend a lot to fix it...Like me.

Scott (not verified)    May 7, 2021 - 7:47AM

NO mention of the Camry's "excessive oil consumption" problem because of the piston drain holes. Don't buy a non hybrid 2008 to 2010 unless you're sure the problem has been fixed!

Shiva (not verified)    May 7, 2021 - 11:14AM

Note the storage space is reduced as the seats do not space is limited to the trunk space. Had less effective storage space than the Prius.

Dee (not verified)    May 12, 2021 - 1:10AM

So far I have owned 2 second gen Prius , 1 third gen Prius, a first gen hybrid camry and presently a 2015 Prius V. All of them purchased second hand. All of them purchased with very high kms, ranging from 255000km to 600000km. I have enjoyed all of them tremendously. But having read this article, I must let you know I disagree with it. The Camry is a great car, nobody will argue with that. However aside from the extra power that it has over a Prius, I have not found it more comfortable, roomier or better built than any of the Prius models I’ve had, especially the Prius V .
The Prius has copped a lot of slack from people over the years, sure. Then when new models got introduced, of other hybrids, such as the Camry, Corolla and now even the rav 4, everybody said that the Prius was dead, or on its way out. Even when the 4th gen Prius came out with its ridiculous design and less practical storage space came out, the Prius still survived and is still better. I don’t say this because I like the wackiness of it. No. I say this because the Prius always had the extra tech features. It wasn’t just about the hybrid system, which by the way is awesome. It was the complete package. The Camry is a great car. But still just a Camry with hybrid bits. The Prius is reliable, versatile, amazingly roomy for such a small car ( sit in the back seat of a Prius and see the knee clearance you have and compare that to a Camry or even a larger sedan). And the whole battery thing, these days you can find great prices on refurbished batteries. And the installation, although they don’t recommend it, you can do it yourself. I have done 5 battery swaps , 2 on my cars and 3 on friends’ cars, all successfully , and I’m just a truck driver with no formal electrical qualifications.