For 2015, the philosophy of building the Camry will undergo the biggest change including a new exterior and interior along with changes to the model lineup. When you do something like this consumers will often accuse the company of not really doing much. This time saying the Camry is “the same” means it can never be mistaken for any car but a Camry. Adding the “but different” to the expression means the driving experience is dramatically improved.
What is the Toyota Camry?
The Camry is the best-selling car in North America mostly due to its conservative nature and high reliability. It is also Toyota’s “bread and butter” car over here. That means whenever changes are made to the Camry, Toyota does it under a microscope. Even when the need for change is obvious, the temptation to leave it the same is nearly irresistible. It also means an incredible amount of testing is done before these changes see the light of day, or in this case, the dealer’s showroom.
2015 Toyota Camry Prices and Specifications
For 2015, the Camry comes in seven models with two “B” choices. The LE has a base price of $23,850, while the LE-B bumps that to $25,935. The SE trim starts at $24,990, then the XSE has a base price of $27,990, while the XSE-B is priced at $29,980 and then goes up to $33,650 for the XSE-V6. Top-tier Camrys are the XLE which starts at $30,790 and moves up to the XLE-V6 at $34,550.
The Camry Hybrid comes in LE trim, which starts at $28,410, moves up to the SE at $29,635, and tops out with the XLE at $34,500.
Drivetrains for the 2015 Camry are unchanged from the previous generation: a 2.5L 4-cylinder or 3.5L V6, both attached to a 6-speed automatic transmission. What's new is the 5-cycle fuel economy testing procedure that changes how fuel economy is calculated. The new fuel economy rating for the 178-horsepower four-pot is 9.7/6.9/8.4 L/100 km (city/hwy/combined). The 268-horsepower V6 is now rated at 11.0/7.7/9.5 L/100 km.
Driving the 2015 Toyota Camry
Just because the powertrains are the same as last year, that doesn’t mean the driving experience is anywhere close to the same. Akido Toyoda, Chairman of Toyota Motors (Japan), asked two things of the new-generation Camry: that it be better, and that it be fun to drive. Mission accomplished.
From the moment you sit in a 2015 Camry, you know this car is different. Engineers can tell you that there are over 2,000 new parts and that the chassis was stiffened by increasing the number of spot welds. What the Camry transmits to you is a feeling of solidness that has never been there before. The interior is quieter, and the doors close with a more authoritative thunk.
Then you start it up and put it into gear; the Camry pulls smoothly away from the curb. If you hit a pothole, you get the sensation that you’ve run over something but the car doesn’t move a great deal. Hit the same pothole at road speed, and the car does not deviate from its course. Moreover, driving well above the posted speed limit is so easy that cruise control is a must.
Taking a series of tight corners to get on and off freeways (or just because they are there) reveals a newly recalibrated suspension and steering system that inspire you to go a bit quicker, which is something the Camry has not done before. It also means turn-in is more precise and that the new Camry stays on your chosen cornering line without wandering. Under hard braking, such as in emergency manoeuvres, the Camry does not squirm or move about and goes where you point it. Rarely do you find a car priced at this level that handles city speeds and extra-legal speeds so easily.
Inside and Out of the 2015 Toyota Camry
In addition to a redesign of the interior, all trim levels of the 2015 Camry have been redone, and for added value, each one offers extra equipment and/or upgraded materials. SE and LE models get cloth interiors. The new materials allow occupants to move about without having their clothes stick to the seats and have enough breathing ability to keep sweating to a minimum on hot days. XSE and XLE trims come with leather upholstery.
One major improvement across the line is that the USB and 12V outlets are now located where they can be seen and easily used.
On the outside, every panel is different except the roof. Up front, fitment with halogen or LED headlamps depends on the trim level as does the signal light/park light combination. The Camry's stance was widened, and overall the car is a longer by 45 mm. A strong character line was put into the side of the Camry to provide a visual break to the sedan body style. The trunk area was reworked to offer a bit more luggage space and to finish off the tail in a distinctive style.
Comparing the 2015 Toyota Camry
The Camry has traditionally been compared to the Honda Accord, while the upstart Hyundai Sonata is a new mainstream competitor. Consumers will also cross-shop with the Volkswagen Passat, Nissan Altima, Mazda6, Ford Fusion, and Chevrolet Malibu.