$28,400 Hybrid-Only, All-New 2025 Toyota Camry: How Does It Stack Against the Competition?

2025 Toyota Camry versus direct rivals 15 photos
Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation
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The Japanese automaker has decided to forego the classic powertrain for the ninth-generation Camry mid-size sedan in favor of hybrid exclusivity - can the best-selling nameplate adjust to that without giving its rivals access to some of its clients?
Toyota has been on a big roll this spring – they kicked off the initial test drives with the 2024 Land Cruiser and also presented the 2025 4Runner sibling that's also related to the N400 Tacoma. As for sales, its American and European deliveries were ahead of the market trend during the first three months of the year, so they had a great Q1 to begin with.

At home in Japan, they're also launching the gasoline or diesel-equipped (no hybrid, though) Land Cruiser '250,' but in America, they're overflowing the newsreel with something from the passenger car side of the business. Thus, after the N400 Tacoma, Land Cruiser, and 4Runner trio of SUVs, those seeking a traditional four-door sedan from Toyota will soon experience the ninth-generation 2025 Camry mid-size saloon. There's a big caveat, though – it's exclusively equipped with the fifth-generation Toyota Hybrid System, now available in FWD and all-wheel drive.

According to the top brass, it was a natural step to kill off the conventional options – including the V6, and they might know what they're talking about if we look at the recent rise of hybrids to the detriment of both EVs and conventional gas or diesel models in places like Europe, for example. There are also many refinements across the board – which will probably make a lot of the detractors say it's just a 'facelift' rather than an all-new product, especially because it still uses the same TNGA-K platform as its predecessor.

However, the Toyota Camry has "dominated the best-selling sedan category for 22 years in the US," as per the Japanese automaker – and it will probably continue to do so. The THS 5 hybrid system has a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine at its core with 225 combined hp for the FWD model and 232 hp for the models equipped with Electronic On-Demand AWD – efficiency is a manufacturer-estimated combined 51 MPG for the base LE FWD model. With a dedicated rear electric motor, AWD is offered across all four (LE, SE, XLE, XSE) grades.

Most importantly, in a day and age when 99% of automakers don't know how to stop raising prices and would probably do it on a daily basis if allowed, Toyota attempts to go against the trend with a starting price of the 2025 Camry of $28,400 (excluding the $1,095 fee), which is $455 below the MSRP of the entry-level 2024 Camry Hybrid. However, it's also $2k higher than the outgoing 2024 Camry LE with the 2.5-liter inline-four and front-wheel drive. Also, maybe it's time to see how the 2025 Camry stacks up against its competitors, right?

The new and improved 2025 Toyota Camry faces stiff competition because several of the mid-size Japanese sedan rivals may be just as appealing or more. In alphabetical order, let's start with the Chevrolet Malibu. This solitary American competitor kicks off at just $25,100 in LS FWD format and doesn't have an AWD option. The engine is also smaller, a gasoline-only 1.5-liter turbo option packing just 163 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque sent to the front wheels through a CVT gearbox. Frankly, although it's cheaper, it's also way less powerful, ICE-only, and doesn't offer an AWD option.

Next up comes its eternal runner-up, Honda's Accord. The company unleashed the eleventh generation in America for the 2023 model year, and the 2024 Accord now kicks off at $27,895 with the 192-horsepower turbocharged engine in base LX trim. If you want the 204-horsepower Accord Hybrid, you must pony up $32,895 for the Sport grade. Again, it's probably another win for the 2025 Camry, at least on paper, thanks to a lower MSRP for the equivalent hybrid option, a more powerful hybrid system, and the availability of AWD.

The Hyundai Sonata and Kia K5 models, built on the same N3 platform, are interesting alternatives. They both got updated recently and sport distinctive styling – the Sonata no longer looks catfished and has an elegant full-width LED band appearance. At the same time, the K5 follows the latest Kia design trends. The Hyundai is available both with gasoline and hybrid powertrains, starting at $27,500 with the 191-hp 2.5-liter and $30,800 with the 2.0-liter 192-hp hybrid option. Again, the Camry has a lower starting MSRP for the equivalent hybrid option and also more power.

The 2025 Kia K5 starts at $26,990 with a 2.5-liter good for 191 hp, which replaces a 180-hp 1.6-liter turbo mill, and it's even cheaper than the equivalent base Hyundai Sonata. There is no word on the hybrid model just yet, but the gasoline model does boast the option of AWD if you want it. So, we need to reserve judgment on this one for the moment when the lineup is complete with the hybrid option – the direct competitor for Toyota's 2025 Camry. Last but not least, there are also the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy.

Also redesigned for the 2023 model year, the former starts as low as $26,370 and offers both FWD and AWD options. It has two powertrain options, but none of them are hybrid, so you'll have to ponder the advantages and trade-offs when comparing the Altima against the 2025 Camry. Meanwhile, Subaru recently announced the pricing details of the 2025 Outback ($28,895, same as 2024MY) and 2025 Legacy. As it turns out, the latter also still starts from the same level as the 2024MY - $24,895, making it the cheapest among the aforementioned mid-size sedans.

Interestingly, AWD is available as a standard fixture across all trim levels in combination with either the 182-hp entry-level 2.5-liter boxer engine or the Legacy Sport's 2.4-liter turbo boxer, packing a punch with 260 ponies. Again, there's no hybrid option, but the Subie has a lower starting price and a powerful turbo variant as potential alternative ideas if you're not keen on Toyota's hybrid system. So, what do you think? Which is your favorite mid-size sedan for the 2024 and 2025 model years?
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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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