Toyota has finally stepped up to the plate with the boldest and most attractive Camry ever. Everything but the roof has been changed from bumper to bumper and from the floor to the roof. The Camry has enjoyed the distinction of being America?s best-selling car for the past 12 years. Nearly 2,000 parts were changed or reengineered in producing the 2015 Toyota Camry lineup created by more than 7,000 American team members. Since its inception into the U.S. marketplace, the Toyota Camry has sold more than 10.2 million vehicles, with 6.2 million still on the road today. Built in Georgetown, Kentucky, with a North American content of 75 percent, the 2015 Toyota Camry arrives in showrooms with production taking place after only three years since the last iteration appeared.
Forty-five percent of past Camry customers have chosen the sporty SE model (and who happen to be, on average, 12 years younger than other Camry customers), and now, there?s even bigger news – the SE is joined by a sportier-handling XSE grade, with 18-inch wheels, suspension tuning and added luxury features. Like the premium XLE grade, each of these sporty models is available with the choice of a 178-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or the 268-hp 3.5-liter V6. The Camry Hybrid returns to the lineup as well, available in LE, XLE and the eco-fun SE grades.
The new Toyota Camry expresses a more athletic and emotionally appealing persona, displaying an aggressive looking front bumper and grille, pronounced side character lines and low-profile LED headlamps that give it a far more alluring style. It?s sleeker and also slightly longer (1.8 inches) and features a wider track (0.4 inches) that delivers a dynamic stance and presence. In profile, a pronounced body line begins at the Camry?s muscular front fender and spans across the doors and rear quarter panel, creating a sense of motion.
Sleek new headlamps serve as the eyes in the new unforgettable Camry face. The 2015 Camry offers available LED low- and high beams with auto static leveling, and front turn signal indicators with LED DRL?s are integrated for an elegant appearance. Tail lamps wrap around into the tapered rear quarters for a more upscale image. The 2015 Camry is available in 10 colors, including an all-new Celestial Silver Metallic and Ruby Flare Pearl. Additional colors new for Camry include Blizzard Pearl; Predawn Gray Mica; and Blue Crush Metallic. Both the Camry SE and XSE are distinguished by a unique front fascia design with a piano-black mesh grille that displays a design association with the Lexus ?spindle? grille. The halogen or LED headlamps (standard on V6) on these sporty models get an almost sinister-looking dark chrome coating, in contrast to the clear appearance on the other grades. (The dark headlamps look especially sinister with the Attitude Black Metallic exterior color.)
Moving inside the 2015 Toyota Camry?s interior showcases premium materials, an overall roomier feel and enhanced amenities. Varying by model, seat cover textures range from premium fabric up to genuine leather trim and Ultrasuede with durable, high contrast French-stitching. Detailed stitching and satin chrome trim provide a sophisticated appearance and luxurious feel.
The center stack is new, and shows off a high-tech, premium look that smoothly integrates with the console. The center console plays a larger role than ever in modern cars, accommodating a host of personal items as well as presenting multi-media functions. The Camry?s console tray provides more storage and a convenient power source within the storage box. A new enclosed bin forward of the shifter features a 12v power port, USB port and a segment-first, available wireless charging system for select smart phones.
Toyota incorporates new electronics in the 2015 Camry to help reduce driver distraction. An example of that approach is the new 4.2-inch TFT screen nestled between the three-dimensional Optitron gauges, standard on all grades except the Camry LE gas model. The screen?s color animation displays a wide range of vehicle functions and coordinates with the multimedia system to display audio, navigation, warnings and communications. It?s also networked with the direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System so you can even see at a glance the pressure in each tire.
Toyota deleted noise from the 2015 Camry?s interior. With the already quiet powertrains, the engineers focused particularly on reducing wind and road noise. Window and door seals were improved to minimize exterior noise. The side mirrors were redesigned to better reduce turbulence and noise by controlling airflow, and the carpet uses 30 percent more noise-insulating material.
The new Camry offers advanced safety features including : a Pre-Collision System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Auto High Beam Lane Departure Alert, and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. In addition, 10 standard airbags include dual-stage advanced SRS front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver?s and front passenger?s knee airbag.
As with all other new Toyota vehicles, the 2015 Camry comes standard with the STAR Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist. It also features the Smart Stop Technology brake-override system.
The XLE grade offers the Safety Connect? telematics system (with a one-year complimentary trial subscription) for the maximum in customer assurance, which covers four safety and security features: Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), and Roadside Assistance.
Depending upon the model grade, Camry offers a variety of audio and Navigation packages with either 6.1-inch or 7-inch displays. The display serves as a portal for Entune?, Toyota?s innovative multimedia system with access to the subscription-free App Suite. The available HD Radio system includes iTunes? tagging and SiriusXM Satellite Radio? (with a 90-day complimentary trial). All 2015 Camry models feature a standard Bluetooth? wireless connection for compatible hands-free phone calls, with an available phone book transfer function. Steering wheels in all models feature integrated audio and Bluetooth controls, and a standard USB port allows playing music and video from portable audio devices, using the vehicle sound system and available in-dash display screen, including full iPod? integration.
The top-of-the-line system comes with a seven-inch Premium HDD Navigation system with Entune? and JBL GreenEdge? audio system. The system?s split-screen can simultaneously display navigation and audio information. The GreenEdge? eight-channel amplifier is lighter and produces higher sound output than conventional amplifiers while consuming less energy. The Entune App Suite includes mobile apps for Bing?, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable?, and Pandora?. Entune data services include a fuel price guide, sports scores, stocks, traffic and weather. The audio unit can download new Entune apps as they?re developed, including the necessary voice recognition components.
My test 2015 Toyota Camry came as an XLE model with the 3.5-liter V6 engine. The base price was set at $31,370 while adding options and Delivery charges, increased the final tally to $35,944.
SUMMARY: The 2015 Toyota Camry XLE V6 powered mid-sized sedan is unquestionably the best Camry ever. It?s no longer boring and evokes an emotional response in terms of its fresh new appearance.
It is now more Lexus-like in many ways. The performance delivery is above average, with the electric power steering now providing a more on-center feel with more direct-feeling steering inputs. The six-speed automatic transmission illustrates the fact that gearboxes with more than 6-speeds are not really necessary to provide smooth gear changes.
The ride quality is on par with a premium entry level sedan. and the handling characteristics border on the sporty side of the equation, and Toyota provides security with their 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty that applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation. Standard Toyota Care is a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The new Camry lineup offers a variety of choices ? all better than before.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Toyota Camry XLE V6
Base Price: $31,370.
Price as Tested: $35,944.
Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, DOHC, 24-valve V6 with Dual VVT-I and Toyota Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 268 @ 6,200 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 248 @ 4,700 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed ECT-I automatic.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Independent MacPherson strut with 25-inch tube stabilizer bar.
Rear – Independent dual link with 15.9-inch tube stabilizer bar.
Brakes: ? ? ? ?Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, VSC, EBD, BA and
Smart Stop Technology brake override system.
Tires: Bridgestone Turanza P215/55 R17 98V mounted on 5-?V?-spoke (10) silver painted
Wheelbase: 109.3 inches
Length Overall: 190.9 inches
Width: 71.7 inches
Height: 57.9 inches
Curb Weight: 3,460 lbs.
Turning Circle: 36.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 17 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 21 mpg city / 31 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.280
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.