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Test Drive – Rockin’ the Road (& Fightin’ the Law!): 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE

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When it comes to family adventures, road trips are great, and getting great gas mileage is even better. Over the past few years, hybrids have come down in price, while also becoming quite stylish – style being something that was seriously lacking in the early generations. At the forefront of the movement, Toyota has been a pioneer in the field, with their Prius becoming synonymous with the “hybrid” name, that technology eventually rolling into other models, expanding their offerings to a full nine vehicles for 2017. Among them, the 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid is set to be one of their most popular, and there’s some solid reasons as to why.

2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review

2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE in Cosmic Gray Mica at Rock Father HQ

As a mid-size sedan that seats five, the Camry has long-been a favorite for families, but the Hybrid adds additional fuel economy into the mix with a combined city/highway rating of 38mpg (40 city/37 highway). Trunk space is ample, and the fold-down rear seat with pass-through expands cargo capacity for those special hauls. The cockpit and passenger compartment is comfortable, and again – increasingly stylish, especially on this XLE, which comes complete with leather-trimmed seating and a heated steering wheel.

2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review

Known for exceptional safety and reliability, the Camry comes with essentially everything you could want, from rear back-up camera and blind spot warning, to brake assist and Smart Stop Technology – it’s all here, along with ABS, 10 airbags, and whiplash-lessening front seats. Funny enough, it was actually the safety system that actually may have gotten me into a bit of trouble… I got pulled-over while driving this one.

“Rollers. I bet that cop has got S.C.M.O.D.S.” (cue the Sam & Dave)

Fortunately, my perfect driving record is still intact (knock-on-wood: I’ve never gotten a ticket), but a cop that hides near our youngest daughter’s preschool stopped me for allegedly going “45mph in a 25 zone.” The irony here is that when he turned on his flashers, I was trying to clear out a digital display warning of “LDA System is Not Available under 32mph,” which annoyingly covered up the center digital speedometer. That says means what it sounds like – the Lane Departure Alert system only works above 32mph, which puts me going below that. No ticket, but an annoyance given that I had to present the “review car paperwork” for the first time.

2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review

“You’ll Never Catch Me, Coppa!”

While my brief run-in with the law certainly helps keep my “Rock & Roll Gangster” reputation in place, it wasn’t appreciated, though it’s hardly a slight to the Camry – a great family car, and one that should be given serious consideration by buyers. 

2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review

The 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid starts at $26,790 for the LE model, $27,995 for the SE, and $30,140 for the XLE. As-driven sticker price: $34,710 Price and build yours at Toyota.com

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