This is part of a collaboration with DriveShop. All opinions expressed are my own.

Getting familiar with the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE this Winter Season

So, it’s been a while since we drove a car around and not an SUV. In Texas, that’s just kind of normal, you know. To drive a big truck everywhere you go. It’s the only state where I have had a massive pickup truck show up at the airport to pick me up when I used a ride sharing app to get home. In the moment I remember thinking, “yeah, I am definitely back home in Texas now.”

It was kind of charming in a very “everything is bigger…” kind of way.

This winter, though, we got a refresher on why it’s also kind of nice to go more compact sometimes. Especially when it raises your family vehicle’s level of “cool” with your 15-year-old son exponentially. Edgar was infatuated with the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE as soon as it showed up in our driveway earlier this winter. He couldn’t wrestle the keys from my hands fast enough to check out all the bells and whistles on the dashboard of the Camry XLE.

Getting familiar with the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE this Winter Season

“It was nice,” he declared when he was done, and proceeded to ask for a spin around the block. He was so excited I couldn’t bring myself to tell him no. Every day after that he insisted I drive him to school in the car. My nephews, and a lot of the other guys in the family, all kept having the same reactions. “What kind of car is that?” “Man, it’s nice.” “Very cool.” After a while, I kind of wanted to only drive it around myself too.

We did end up doing a lot of driving around Houston at the end of the year, so I had plenty of time to get familiar with this Toyota model. What I liked most about it is that even though it was a roomy family car, it also looked very much like a sports vehicle. The shape of the body and the details inside really gave it that luxury feel. Also surprising was the amount of leg room in the Camry in the back seat. Edgar is pretty tall. For a moment I wondered if he was going to be too tight in the back when we all rode around together. He wasn’t and he actually was really comfortable, able to stretch his legs and take naps and all. He’s good at that.

Driving the Camry also made me miss my first car a little. It was a maroon Toyota Corolla and it got me around everywhere in my late teens and early twenties.

Getting familiar with the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE this Winter Season

For a second vehicle, or a car for the kid, it really makes a lot of sense.

And if you know anything about hybrid vehicles, they are almost always very fuel efficient. We only filled the tank once in the two-week period the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE was in our possession. That was kind of hard to say goodbye to at the end of 2017.

Still, it’s given us one more reason to not completely disregard all vehicles that are not pickup trucks or SUVs.