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2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid First Impression

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Charles Renny
Yes, it’s a Camry!

The Camry Hybrid has always been in the shadow of the smaller, better-known Prius. Now, far enough down its own development line, the fact that the Camry Hybrid is a hybrid seems almost secondary to it being a great car to be in and to drive. Akido Toyoda, Chairman of Toyota Japan asked his engineers to make sure the Camry Hybrid was a better car than its predecessor, and that it be fun to drive. As diverse as these goals seem for a four-door Camry -- let alone a hybrid -- the engineers succeeded.

What is the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid?
The Toyota Camry Hybrid is a mainstream hybrid that utilizes Toyota’s Synergy Drive 3 to provide power from a 25 kilowatt lithium-ion storage battery to assist the 2.5L 4-cylinder and to run the car for brief periods of time. In addition, the Toyota Camry Hybrid is a part of the Camry family that has become America’s best-selling car. The mid-cycle refresh changed or added up to 2,000 parts.

Prices and Specifications for 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid 
The Camry Hybrid makes up three of the nine models in the total Camry lineup. The Camry Hybrid LE starts at $28,410 while the SE comes in at $29,635. A new trim level, the XLE, rises to $34,500. 
When it comes to fuel economy, the most frugal Camry Hybrid is the LE and it turns in a fuel economy rating of 5.5/6.0/5.7 L/100km (city/highway/combined) in the new-for-2015 5-cycle testing procedure. Both the SE and XLE come in at 5.7/6.1/5.9 L/100km.

Driving the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Quiet, solid, firm, and comfortable are all key words that can be used to describe driving the Camry Hybrid. The extra stiffening of the chassis makes the recalibrated suspension work very well. Aside from making the interior feel solid and quiet, the suspension controls road activity from body roll to hitting potholes much better than the previous generation. Going around a corner can be done much more quickly than in the past, and until your body starts to move around in the seat you may not even realize it. Straight-line driving is noticeably better as the car tracks straight and true. In short, the 2015 Camry Hybrid goes where you point it, when you point it.

Regenerative braking on the Camry Hybrid is hardly noticeable. Even when approaching a stop, brake pedal modulation is easy and stopping distances are predictable. The sudden slowing down as the regenerative brake comes on is a feeling of the past. 

Inside and Out of the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid 
Declaring the 2015 Camry “bold and new” may seem a bit of a stretch, but the exterior has certainly been improved. The dowdy look is gone, and in its place is a modern, classy look that utilizes styling cues to provide a strong family resemblance to other Toyota products. The entire front fascia and grille opening were redone, and depending on the trim level ordered you will find HID or LED headlamps. Along the sides, designers put in a full-length character lines. The car's stance is a touch wider for a more aggressive look, and the tail was reworked to provide slightly more trunk space and to finish off the new look gracefully. In addition, Camry Hybrids get blue backgrounds in their trim badges.

Once you open one of the four doors and get in, your perception of the Camry will change again! The instrument pod and the centre stack were redesigned and made more user-friendly. The upholstery looks more sumptuous and uses French stitching as accents on the door panels and seat trim. Long overdue was the integration of USB and 12V ports that can be seen and easily used. 

After taking in all of the changes, occupants will notice that the seats are comfortable and even the manually adjustable ones have enough range to keep nearly everyone comfortable on short or long trips.
Attention to detail could also be a theme of this mid-cycle refresh since programming and display screens have changed and seem to be much more user-friendly. On top of those changes are some that you hope you never see, but will be happy that they are there. By this I mean the Toyota STAR Safety System, which now includes longer side curtain airbags that provide better protection.

Comparing the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid
New-car buyers interested in the Camry Hybrid should also look at the Honda Accord Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Kia Optima Hybrid, and Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid.


Charles Renny
Charles Renny
Automotive expert