The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in America for over 10 years, so when they set out to redesign it there was a lot at stake. Toyota simply couldn’t afford to mess this one up and they have managed the job beautifully.
You can see the differences the minute you walk up to the car and actually notice it for a change. The Camry has not been a striking car for some time. It’s been just one sedan among many, but the competition has been busy creating cars that look modern and sporty. Toyota had to do something different or risk their beloved Camry becoming outdated. They started by changing every single body panel except for the roof and it looks fantastic.
Our test Camry was the XSE which combines the sportiness of the SE trim with the luxury of the XLE trim in a best of both worlds situation. It comes with a 3.5-liter V6 paired to a 6-speed automatic and will give you 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. This is the larger of the two engines available on the Camry and it is by far the more enjoyable of the two.
This larger engine matches the sporty exterior giving exactly what you’d expect when you’re behind the wheel. There is plenty of power providing a responsive ride and handling is smooth and confident. The Camry is a sedan, but especially in the XSE trim it looks and drives just on the edge of sports car fun.
All those reworked body panels make things more angular and bold, taking the car out of the sedan doldrums and making it something people will see on the lot and want to investigate. The interior is equally appealing, with upgrades to the look and feel of materials throughout that convey a sense of quality. This sedan hovers just under the $35K mark as tested, but it feels like you’re sitting in something a few thousand more.
The Sport leather-trimmed Ultrasuede seats are heated and power-adjustable for both driver and front passenger. There’s a leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, dual-zone automatic climate control, backup camera, cruise control, 60/40 split rear seats, and a center armrest with cupholders.
It looks much better than the old Camry and it feels great with supportive, nicely bolstered seats. There is ample room in back for three passengers, and even the center passenger will be content with seating that isn’t hard as a rock in the middle.
There are plenty of standard features including 10 airbags, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist as well as Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. These features are found on every single Camry that rolls off the line regardless of the trim level.
Additional available features include Pre-Collision System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Auto High Beam, and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The Camry is a car designed to make you feel safe carting your kids around town.
Infotainment comes from Toyota’s Entune Audio which is available in a variety of flavors. The XSE comes standard with Entune Preimium Audio with navigation while our tester had the upgraded Entune Premium JBL Audio with navigation and app suite.
This is the highest version of the system available and includes a 7″ high-resolution touchscreen, AM/FM/CD, MP3/WMA playback, and ten JBL Greenedge speakers with subwoofer, amplifier, and auxiliary audio jack. There is also a USB port with iPod connectivity and control, voice recognition, and hands-free phone and music streaming via Bluetooth. The Camry definitely qualifies as a connected car.
Overall, driving the 2015 Toyota Camry was a surprise. The Camry has always been a nice car, but like that nice guy, not very exciting. Now they’ve given it more style and a nice dose of technology that give it just a touch of bad boy without losing its appeal as a family sedan.
2015 Toyota Camry XSE
Base Price: $31,370
Price As Tested: $34,943 (not including destination charge)
- Sporty Styling
- Upgraded Interior
- Responsive Engine
- No Manual Transmission
- Suede Seats are Dirt Magnets