Thanks I appreciate the feedback. Well I was on Toyota s website playing with building one and it didn't say anything about a sunroof with the XLE until I get to the nav package. I really don't want the jbl or the sunroof as I've never cared for them and it is one more thing to break. I plan on putting a full stereo in it anyway so the jbl is moot. I was looking at the hybrid XLE and my dealer does have one in stock. I may have to drive it and see. I like having a bit more power and the mileage would be great. The V6 is nice but it's not a deal breaker per se. I have a tundra when I want to haul something or go fast lol. Only thing gets me weird is the hybrid battery.
For me, the Hybrid powerplant is the only one I would be interested in. I have a 2018 Camry LE Hybrid and it is the quietest, smoothest car I've ever owned. I've never felt the need for more power as it can do 0-60 in just over 7sec. It doesn't shift, it just let's out a snarl and rockets around things when you want to pass. I mentioned something like this in a post about a year ago when somebody asked about the Hybrid's performance and I think people thought I was being smart and joking. I wasn't. I'm very impressed with the hybrid's performance. It has no problem merging with traffic, especially if you put it in Sport mode. I would describe it as "eager," ready to go in that mode. Enough so that I wouldn't want to leave it there. Sport is just to jumpy for normal use, but it's handy when you're in heavy traffic and need it to react "now!
I see comments from some that say the hybrid screams, or drones. I have never experienced anything like that. It just goes. When it was new, the engine would unexpectedly rev up sometimes when I wouldn't have expected it too. But as the computer learned my driving habits that eventually went away. Now it just goes when I want it to go, and cruises quietly the rest of the time. Sure, when I get on it to pass or merge the engine rev's up just like any other car with an ICE. But it let's out more of a snarl than a drone that I think sounds pretty cool. It is very short lived though because it get's the job done so quickly that it's more of a visceral rush than anything else. I'd like to keep my foot in it but I'd be getting tickets left and right because the speed builds quickly. Nevertheless, I enjoy the moments when I can use it. Otherwise, it lumbers around quietly just doing it's job most of the time. But remember, I'm talking about the LE Hybrid so it doesn't have that "sporty" sounding exhaust note and 19" low profile wheels bringing road noise into the cabin because it rides on 16" wheels. It's all about being smooth and quiet and I often wonder if it's that sporty exhaust note that's causing the "droning" sound some complain of. Which if it is, they shouldn't put that in the hybrid. Because it just doesn't sound good at a steady rpm. You need to be going through gears to be able to appreciate that sound.
I had the opportunity recently to drive a beautiful non hybrid Wind Chill Pearl and Black 23 Camry XSE AWD for a full week. I put about 350 miles on it so I got a pretty good impression of it. The AWD Camry is of course the 2.5l 4 with the 8 speed transmission.
It was a real looker and if it was mine I could be very happy with it, But coming from the Hybrid it left a little bit to be desired. First off with all the gear changing going on the car wasn't nearly as responsive as the eCVT in the Hybrid powertrain. And then the 2.5 didn't have the advantage of the electric motor to assist it during acceleration, so it lagged behind there. The sport suspension gave it a much busier ride and the 19" wheels slapped the potholes and bridge strips more noticeably. The wider tires also entered a lot more road noise into the cabin to the point that I think what some refer to as "wind noise" is actually the road noise from the tires bouncing back off the glass. Because I can't figure out why it would have any more wind noise than my LE does. And I don't think it does, it's just the tire noise echoing back off the windows. At least that's what I think anyway. But the biggest disappointment with the XLE AWD was the 14 less mpg that it averaged compared to my LE hybrid.
I enjoyed driving it while I had it because it made me feel like I was in high school again. None of the "negatives" that I mentioned were bad enough to make me not enjoy the car. As I said, I could easily get used to it and still love it. But knowing that the hybrid is available, and after living with a hybrid, that would still be my car of choice. And the funny thing is, that when I got my car back, leaving the XSE AWD and driving away in the Hybrid LE, I felt that I had now gotten into the real
sports car. It was so much more responsive and nimble feeling than the XSE AWD was. And I greatly appreciate the smoother quieter ride and more responsive powertrain of the LE Hybrid to the XSE AWD. The 14 additional mpg's is also very welcome indeed. But I do miss that high school feeling.
As far as the hybrid battery goes I wouldn't worry about it at all. All the new Toyota hybrids, my car included have the new Li-ion battery that should easily last 20-25 years. Many will argue that and say that's unproven. But as far as "I'm" concerned it is
proven technology. I base that thinking on my personal experience with NiMH vs Li-ion batteries in photography equipment, cell phones, power tools and garden equipment that I've owned in the last 20yrs. My old Canon DSLR's of the early 2000's all used NiMH batteries. They lasted about 2-4yrs before becoming unreliable and needing replaced. From 2006 on, my newer cameras started using Li-ion batteries and they are all still in use today. It used to be that I wouldn't buy a cell phone that didn't have a replaceable battery because they had to be replaced every 2-3yrs. My current 6.5yo cell phone is still going strong on it's Li-ion battery. All of my old power tools are long gone because they're NiMH batteries became useless. I replaced them all with Li-ion versions and they are still going. I have a 13yo weed eater that won't give up with a Li-ion battery. The list goes on and on but it is indisputable that Li-ion batteries are far superior to NiMH batteries. And in the "mid teens" Toyota worked with Panasonic to develop a "fireproof" Li-ion battery and my 18 Camry LE Hybrid was the first Camry to get it. By 2020 Toyota was confident enough to put them in their entire hybrid line. The older Prius' with the NiMH battery can go 12-15yrs before needing a new battery. So I don't think it is unreasonable at all to expect 20-25yrs of life from the current Li-ion offering.
If my car got totaled today and I had to buy a new 23, it would be a Camry LE Hybrid with the Cold Weather Package. That would be a very sweet ride to me. But if you do consider it, look at it closely because the LE package doesn't appeal to everyone.