The Toyota Camry has been in the U.S. since its humble beginnings in 1983. Humility didn’t linger around, however, as Camry sales grew to 128,000 units by 1985. By 1988, Toyota was building Camry sedans in its new factory in Kentucky. Ten years later, the Camry was already in its fourth generation. Now 32 years and eight generations after the original, the 2015 Camry is still experiencing sales growth and gaining popularity, but there is always room from improvement.

I spent two days getting a sneak peek at the redesigned 2015 Camry to see what Toyota has planned for this four-door family stalwart. Talking first hand with the designers reveals more attention to flashy styling and sportier looks. The engineering team mentions things about a more rigid body thanks to extra spot welds and a powertrain that continues without changes.

In general, the Camry is now aimed at a younger audience, somewhere in the mid-40 range. That’s not to say those on either side of the median age won’t find appeal in the car. That is especially true with the Camry’s new, sporty trim level: the XSE. A unique grille, bespoke 18-inch wheels, and upgraded interior materials separate it from LE, SE, and XLE trims. The hybrid version is still available with its Atkinson Cycle, 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder. For those looking for some extra punch, the venerable 3.5-liter V-6 returns as well.

Click past the jump for the full review

  • 2015 Toyota Camry - Driven
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • MPG(Cty):
  • MPG(Hwy):
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    2.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.0 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    120 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine; FWD
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Camry Walk-Around


2015 Toyota Camry - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Toyota Camry - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Toyota Camry - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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A glance around the outside of the 2015 Camry showcases the majority of changes for the redesign. Toyota has revamped the exterior looks to be more expressive and fun in response to customer feedback. Looks like journalists weren’t the only ones bored with the old design.

The most striking appearance comes on the all-new XSE trim package. The black front grille, high-class wheels, and a small spoiler on the rear deck lid help differentiate the car from its stable mates. Of course, those wanting a more traditional or luxurious look can opt for the other trim levels. The differences are clearly seen in the photo below.

2015 Toyota Camry - Driven Exterior
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Besides the grilles, every other panel is new for 2015 except the roof. Though the chassis is largely unchanged, the Camry has grown by 1.8 inches in length and 0.4 inches in width. The extra length is accented by a rather Lexus-style character line that runs the lower door panels and arches up toward the rear tires.

Also upscale are the new optional LED headlights and daytime running lights. Clean covers protect the detailed headlight internals that help bring refinement to upper trim levels.

While hybrids aren’t usually considered sporty, Toyota has developed the Hybrid SE model that combines the standard hybrid powertrain with a tighter suspension setup. Thicker anti-roll bars, different shocks, and upgraded control-arm bushings help make handling more enjoyable.

Of course, the Camry wouldn’t be itself without all the safety equipment Toyota has become known for. The STAR safety system comes standard and includes stability control, traction control, ABS, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology. If more safety equipment is needed, customers can opt for the Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Controls, Pre-Collision System, Auto High Beams, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. These safety features helped the Camry pull off an IIHS Top Safety Pick + award.


2015 Toyota Camry - Driven Interior
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2015 Toyota Camry - Driven Interior
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2015 Toyota Camry - Driven High Resolution Interior
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The new styling continues to the Camry’s redesigned interior. Better materials give a richer look and makes panel gaps that much smaller. Piano black accents around the gear shifter and radio surround look great, but can attract fingerprints and dust. Those plagued with OCD will need to carry a cleaning cloth in the car. The new XSE package brings in Alcantara-like suede on the door panels, with red stitching on the dashboard, steering wheel, seats, center console, and shifter boot. The accents look rather nice.

Infotainment equipment also plays a starring role in the new Camry. An available seven-inch touch screen hosts Toyota’s Entune infotainment and navigation software, while the optional Qi pad offers wireless device charging, given your device is compatible. The Entune system works well and responds quickly to inputs. The navigation system gives a side-by-side view of the overall map and a close-up of upcoming turns. A 4.2-inch TFT display sits between the two main analog gauges and gives all the needed information like fuel mileage, range, tripometer, and radio information.

In back, comfort is better than before. The extra length in the Camry’s chassis gives more legroom, while the widened wheelbase gives more hiproom. Headroom stays the same.


2015 Toyota Camry - Driven Drivetrain
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The Camry offers buyers the option between three powertrains, including a standard, 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder, a 3.5-liter V-6, and the hybridized, 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder. I spent the majority of the time in the 2.5-liter I-4 and the Hybrid. The standard gasoline engine motivates the car without any troubles, and the six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly but gives enough feedback to remind the driver he’s not using a CVT. This is the volume engine and it’s likely the majority of customers would be happily pleased with the I-4’s performance.

The Hybrid version feels very hybrid-like. The CVT makes the car accelerate with a gradual effect and the engine feels like its never overworking itself. An informative display shows the direction of power to and from the battery, engine, and wheels. Not only is the display fun to watch, it helps curb throttle usage and make hypermilers out of us all. An EV mode allows the Camry Hybrid to drive up to 25 mph on electricity alone.

Driving Impressions

2015 Toyota Camry - Driven Interior
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The Camry just works. It’s interior ergonomics don’t get in the way, its engines produce enough power, and its handling is surprising. Compared to the many other vehicles I’ve driven, the Camry just does its job without complaint or backtalk. It does what you want it to, hauls plenty of stuff, and gets good fuel economy doing it. The swanky new XSE trim level left the best impression on this young, 20-something author. Fit and finish are high-quality and the levels of NVH are quite low.

Steering feel is good, as is outward visibility. Brake feel is typical Toyota with a smooth and linear pedal. There is little throttle tip-in, so jerky starts are never a problem. And though I didn’t get to test it, long distance comfort should be rather good.


2015 Toyota Camry - Driven Emblems and Logo Exterior
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Pricing for the Camry lives mostly in the $20,000 range. Opt for the V-6 in its available trim levels (XSE and XLE), and you’re looking at $31,370. It all depends on what you’re looking for as to what you’d want to buy, but my money goes on the new and sporty XSE trim with the 2.5-liter I-4.


2015 Hyundai Sonata

2015 Hyundai Sonata - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Hyundai has totally reworked the Sonata for 2015, not only making it better looking inside and out, but also making it a better handler. The 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinders return, though both receive a slight bump in power.

An upgraded interior looks the part with added comfort for all. Rear seat room is generous on all counts. A new Sport model utilizes the 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine and adds several cosmetic upgrades.

Pricing for the Sonata starts at $21,150 and rises to $31,575 for the top trim level.

Honda Accord

2014 Honda Accord High Resolution Exterior
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Like the Camry, the Accord has been a top seller in the category for many years. It’s built its reputation on reliability and a low cost of ownership, but has perhaps suffered slightly in recent times by a dull design.

The Accord is powered by a standard 2.4-liter with 184 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque or 3.5-liter V-6 making 278 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual does the shifting as standard, while a six-cog auto is optional.

Pricing for the Accord starts at $21,995 and build toward the $35,000 mark with all the boxes checked.


2015 Toyota Camry - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Toyota has touched on all the right areas to make the 2015 Camry different. Its new styling looks more up-market while its carryover powertrain continues to offer good fuel economy and decent performance. Its lengthened and widened body affords more passenger room and its upgraded interior materials bring a ritzier feel. It’s a sure bet that Toyota will continue selling Camrys at astonishing rates.

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