The Toyota Camry has been America’s best-selling passenger car (excluding trucks) for many years. Now, Toyota is making a bold move to solidify the Camry’s dominance by eliminating gas-only models for the upcoming 2025 version of the vehicle.
For the redesigned 2025 Camry, Toyota will offer its midsize family sedan solely with gas-electric hybrid powertrains. Gasoline-only versions will be phased out as Toyota aims to boost the Camry’s fuel efficiency and performance. Fans of Toyota’s 301-horsepower V6 engine will be disappointed to hear that it will no longer be available in the Camry. However, they may be satiated by the increased power that comes with the new hybrid powertrains.
It will be one of the first massively popular cars to transition to hybrid-only powertrains but it won’t be the last.
The decision underscores Toyota’s role as a pioneer of hybrid technology. The Japanese automaker introduced the first mass-produced hybrid with the Prius in 1997. Now, the newly redesigned Prius is more sought-after than ever and its other hybrid models are becoming more and more dominant.
The Camry Will Feature a New Hybrid System Producing up to 232 HP
The next-generation Camry will feature Toyota’s latest hybrid setup, called Hybrid Max. It pairs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors.
On front-wheel drive models, the hybrid system produces a combined 225 horsepower, significantly more than most base powertrains on midsize sedans. Meanwhile, opting for a new optional all-wheel drive system adds a third electric motor on the rear axle to boost the total output to 232 horsepower.
Toyota says that the Hybrid Max powertrain has been tuned to deliver improved low-end torque compared to the outgoing Camry Hybrid. This gives the 2025 model a more responsive and engaging driving feel.
The hybrid Camrys will come paired with a continuously variable transmission tuned for greater smoothness. Mileage estimates have not been released, but efficiency should be either equal to or mildly higher than the current Camry Hybrid’s 52 mpg combined EPA rating.
Camry’s AWD – A First for a Toyota Hybrid
Offering all-wheel drive on the 2025 Camry Hybrid is a first for Toyota. The setup gives buyers more flexibility in configuring the Camry for performance or all-weather capabilities.
Toyota’s new AWD-i system is unique as it uses a separate electric motor to send power to the rear wheels as needed. This provides on-demand all-wheel drive without the weight and friction of a traditional mechanical AWD system.
Every Camry trim level, from the LE base model up to the XSE sport model, will offer the AWD-i option. Shoppers can choose the perfect blend of maximum mpg and all-weather traction.
Sportier Styling Inside and Out
Along with the new greener powertrains, Toyota has given the Camry a much-needed thorough makeover inside and out. The exterior receives a smoother, more sculpted look up front. The redesign will likely be vital in keeping the Camry relevant as its tech and design has been criticized as being much too outdated, especially when compared to its competitors Hyundai, Kia, and Honda.
Toyota says that the aim was to give the 2025 Camry a more sophisticated and athletic appearance. The interior was redesigned for greater comfort, visibility, and tech integration. This time, Toyota focused heavily on the driver’s experience.
Upper trim Camrys get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch head-up display to keep key info in sight. A 12.3-inch center touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is available as well. The Camry’s interface and menus were optimized for easy access to features while on the move.
Advanced Safety Systems for All Models
Even base 2025 Camry LE models will come with the latest Toyota Safety Sense package. This includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and other driver assistance features.
Higher trims will be equipped with extras like a 360-degree exterior camera system. Toyota prioritized making essential active safety tech standards across the lineup. With all trims also being sold as hybrids, Toyota appears to be packing value into its reimagined bread-and-butter family sedan.
Why Go Hybrid-Only with the Camry?
Toyota’s decision to make the Camry a hybrid-exclusive model stems from multiple factors. For starters, the Camry Hybrid makes up a significant portion of the company’s sales, proving that there is enough demand to execute a smooth transition without significantly hurting sales.
The hybrid powertrain’s improved efficiency will help Toyota meet increasingly stringent emissions requirements going forward. Transitioning buyers to hybrids is also critical for Toyota to achieve its own sustainability goals.
With gas prices expected to remain high for the foreseeable future, hybrids offer savings at the pump. The Camry Hybrid delivers a convincing advantage over its gas-only counterpart, achieving about 10 more mpg in combined city/highway driving. With no hybrid premium on base pricing, the upgrade pays for itself.
Toyota is betting that the efficiency, power, and drivability of its latest hybrid system will win over any lingering skeptics. The company hopes to make the Camry Hybrid the de facto choice for consumers, rather than an upgrade.
Toyota Aims to Strengthen its Position with Hybrid Leadership
The strategic shift to an all-hybrid Camry lineup also leverages Toyota’s competitive edge. Toyota reported in 2020 that it had sold over 15 million hybrids globally since launching the Prius more than 20 years ago.
The automaker is by far the market leader in hybrid vehicles, giving it economies of scale and technical expertise in hybrid powertrains. Going hybrid-only with the Camry allows Toyota to maximize its return on its hybrid investments.
Toyota also cites shifting hybrid production of the Camry from Japan to the U.S. This improves flexibility and helps buffer against exchange rate fluctuations. Localizing Camry Hybrid construction may help Toyota partially mitigate overseas risks.
Toyota is also preparing dealers to handle a higher influx of hybrid repairs and service needs. The automaker’s certified techs already work on over 1 million hybrids during service visits annually. Now, they will take on even more as hybrids become mainstream.
Toyota realizes that some consumers will have reservations about a hybrid-exclusive Camry lineup. But the company hopes that the new Hybrid Max system, which manages to blend responsiveness, refinement, and efficiency, will win skeptics over.
This transition for the Camry mirrors the industry’s broader trajectory, though it is still leading the pack. Hybrids are projected to comprise an increasing share of auto sales industry-wide over the coming decade. Toyota is aiming to lead that charge starting with transforming its best-seller into a hybrid bastion.