Will it Winter? Part 2: 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid in winter, in snow

Toyota and I are cursed. It wasn’t getting motion sickness behind the wheel of the last Camry Hybrid that convinced me, though. In fact, I only began to suspect as much a few months ago, when the Scion FR-S they sent me to review was vandalized in my driveway. This followed a scheduling SNAFU with a Lexus RX that saw the car leaving almost as soon as it arrived and an on-again, off-again date with a Lexus NX. The arrival of the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid just as the worst blizzard of the year was about to set in, however, cemented it.

Toyota and I are cursed.

It’s not that the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid is a bad car. Far from it. In fact, I was impressed by the clever use of textures and textiles Toyota employed to make the (relatively) bare-bones Camry feel upscale and rich. The seats were supportive and comfortable, and the updated 2015 sheet metal looks absolutely spectacular when it’s not obscured by a few feet of snow. The driving part, however …

 

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid | It Will Not Winter


In the early hours of Sunday morning, knowing we’d be snowed in all afternoon and well into the night, I decided to drive out and pick up some Dunkin Donuts for the family. With just two inches of snow on the ground (if that), the eCVT equipped Toyota spun its tires madly, and barely got itself going- but that wasn’t the scary part.

As I was driving up to the DD, I applied the brakes at the intersection on Madison St. I didn’t “slam” the brakes or jump on them in any way- in fact, I was driving slowly and gingerly, already aware that the car’s low-rolling resistance tires were a far cry from the all-seasons on my personal cars. The Camry’s brakes almost immediately locked up (yes, I know that shouldn’t happen) and the car skidded through the intersection like it was your grandfather’s 1977 Dodge Aspen.

On the drive back home from Dunkin Donuts, with hours left to go before the snow really started to come down and on (more or less) freshly plowed residential streets, the car again locked its brakes and skidded- this time off the road and into a pile of snow that the plows had built up on the corner of my block. As such, I found myself stuck.

I was left with only two possibilities. The first was to acknowledge that the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid just wasn’t equipped to handle Chicago’s blusteriest snow days, and the second was to come to terms with the fact that Toyota and I, as a couple, are cursed.

As for the question posed by the title of this article: despite being a capable fair-weather companion, the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid will not winter.

Not even close.

 

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid | Final Thoughts


I don’t usually make a recommendation on a test vehicle, one way or another. Part of this is motivated by the fear that doing so will convince to manufacturer to stop giving me cars *cough* FORD! *cough-cough*– excuse me. Mostly, though, it’s because that’s not my job. All I’m supposed to do, in theory, is try to share my experience(s) with a given car and hope that it gives people the information they need to make the choice that’s right for them.

That said, if you live anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon Line, the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid is not for you. That’s not just because the factory tires completely incapable of safely and effectively navigating an active snowfall, either, but because the lack of a “low” or “crawl” gear in the eCVT makes liberating this car from snow banks and drifts almost impossible. Wholly impossible, in fact, if you don’t have a few large neighbors helping to physically push you out (thanks, guys!). As a final nail in the coffin of the case for/against the latest Camry Hybrid, I never saw better than 28 MPG on the car’s digital MPG display.

All of that, in my opinion, makes a pretty solid case against picking up a 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid over, say, a 4 cyl. gas-only Camry or even a loaded-up Corolla. As such, that could be the end of Toyota testers here at Gas 2. If it is, you know why … it’s because me and Toyota are cursed!

 

Original content from Gas 2.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.