If you like the way the Toyota Camry SE looks but you really want the impressive fuel economy that the Toyota Camry Hybrid provides, you've been out of luck--until now. For a limited time, Toyota is offering a limited-production version of the Camry Hybrid all dressed up like the Camry SE model, but without the SE's sport-tuned suspension or the paddle shifters that make it more appealing to drive. The new 2014.5 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE Limited Edition debuted at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.
Equipped with the same design tweaks that the automaker provides on the standard SE models, the new Camry Hybrid SE features fog lights, a rear spoiler, and 17-inch aluminum wheels with more aggressive tires. The Camry Hybrid SE's interior mirrors that of the standard SE, too. An option package adds a power sunroof, navigation system, and Toyota's Entune Apps Suite technology.
In addition to providing 40 mpg in combined driving, the new Camry Hybrid SE Limited Edition is more powerful than a standard SE 4-cylinder, which returns 28 mpg. The hybrid model's gas-electric powertrain is good for a combined 200 horsepower--22 more than a Camry SE 4-cylinder model.
Also, note that starting with Camry models built after December 2013, the car's Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash-test ratings have significantly improved. Prior to January 2014 production, the Camry's performance in the small overlap frontal-impact test was rated "Poor." Now, all models that have rolled down an assembly line since the first of the year are rated "Acceptable" in this regard, qualifying the car as a "Top Safety Pick." Since the new Camry Hybrid SE Limited went into production in February 2014, it meets the Institute's "Top Safety Pick" requirements.
Toyota plans to build 5,000 units of the 2014.5 Camry Hybrid SE Limited Edition, and the car goes on sale in March for $27,845. The option package adds $2,215 to the price tag, bringing a loaded version to $30,870, including the $810 destination charge.