It hadn’t been long since my first drive experience with the revised 2015 Toyota Camry. I spent a couple days along the northeastern edge of Florida’s sunny coastline driving every trim level the Camry had to offer. But recently a Camry showed up at my door, ready for a weeklong stint. Remembering back to my first drive experience, I knew the week would be full of pleasant, uneventful driving. This would especially be the case since the week’s loaner was fitted with the swanky XLE trim with near-Lexus levels of luxury.

The car also came loaded with options, including the 3.5-liter V-6, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, the Entune infotainment system with seven-inch touchscreen, the Technology Package, illuminated door sills, and the rear spoiler.

The Camry proved to be a great fit for the week’s activities that including tooling around town, hauling kids in car seats, and taking a short two-hour road trip for a wedding. So how’d it do? Click past the jump for the rundown.

Click past the jump for more on the 2015 Toyota Camry

  • 2015 Toyota Camry - Driven
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    268
  • MPG(Cty):
    21
  • MPG(Hwy):
    31
  • Torque @ RPM:
    248
  • Displacement:
    3.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.8 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    120 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine; FWD
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

TopSpeed Garage

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Exterior

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 Exterior
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Toyota engineers also added extra spot-welds in some critical places along the body structure, helping increase rigidity.

Though it’s only been a few years since the Camry’s last major redesign, Toyota decided it was time for a refreshed, livened look. Customer feedback necessitated a more youthful, expressive look, so designers did just that. While most of the youthful design ended up in the XSE trim level, my XLE tester has a more dignified yet soulful look. Toyota says every body panel has been touched, save for the roof.

Toyota engineers also added extra spot-welds in some critical places along the body structure, helping increase rigidity. The suspension works in conjunction with the tighter body, providing a compliant ride without being too soft. Squeaks and rattles are non-existent.

Interior

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 seven-inch Entune infotainment system is intuitive to use and it holds all sorts of applications from Pandora and iHeartRadio to Facebook Places and Yelp.

Passengers take full advantage of the updated hardware. The interior is church-mouse quiet with nearly no wind noise or vibrations. The 2015 Camry also enjoys an extra 1.5 inches of wheelbase length with the extra room added to the back seats. Legroom is generous in all four seating positions, and the nearly flat rear floorboard makes even the center passenger spot feel roomy. The seats themselves are very comfortable with plenty of support but without being hard. The driver seat has eight-way adjustment with lumbar adjustments, which made my little road trip seem like a drive around the block.

Behind the wheel, the controls are very well placed and are logically arranged. Those familiar with Toyota controls will be at home here. The seven-inch Entune infotainment system is intuitive to use and it holds all sorts of applications from Pandora and iHeartRadio to Facebook Places and Yelp. The voice recognition works well, picking up semi-natural language. The materials making up the interior were high-quality, though the piano-black accents are quick to show fingerprints and dust. I found myself wiping it off nearly every day. I really enjoyed the adaptive cruise control on the long trip. There was a long section of two-lane highway where I didn’t have to touch the pedals for at least 45 minutes. Brilliant.

Powertrain

2015 Toyota Camry - Driven Drivetrain
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When not driving like a hyper miler, the V-6 Camry will hit 60 mph in just under six seconds.

While the Camry comes standard with the 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder, my tester had the optional 3.5-liter V-6. Its 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque are more than adequate for motivating the 3,300-pound Camry. Keeping a light foot on the throttle results in some decent fuel mileage. I surpassed the EPA’s 25 mpg combined estimate, ending up with 27.5 mpg averaged at the end of the week. If I had really tried, that number could easily have been 28.5.

When not driving like a hyper miler, the V-6 Camry will hit 60 mph in just about six seconds. Torque steer is evident, but not prevalent, and it’s very controllable. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts very smoothly, never calling attention to itself. Shifts are buttery yet quick in the normal mode. Sport mode forces the transmission to hold gears longer, allowing revs to climb to the 6,200-rpm peak-horsepower spot. The engine is also surprisingly eager to rev It almost seems out of place in the Camry, but I really liked it.

Driving Impressions

2015 Toyota Camry - Driven Interior
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The steering feels good except when under hard acceleration and torque steer rears its ugly head and when traveling at 70+ mph on the highway.

Toyota’s efforts to isolate the interior and reduce NVH have paid off. Add in the extra comfort from all the XLE trim-level goodies, and this Camry becomes Lexus good. The leather-lined seats provide plenty of long-distance support while the heating elements keep buns toasty. The steering feels good except when under hard acceleration and when traveling at 70+ mph on the highway. At the faster speeds, the steering is too twitchy and makes the car feel too tense. It would feel right at home on a sports car, but not the Camry.

Outward visibility is great and the blind-spot monitors work flawlessly. The rearview camera offers a decent picture, but isn’t the best in the industry. Upon entry and exit, the proximity key works at the slightest touch of the door handle — something not all cars can claim.

Pricing

2015 Toyota Camry - Driven Emblems and Logo Exterior
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Pricing-wise, my Camry tester started to get expensive. All told, the MSRP was $36,044, including the $825 destination. In isolation that doesn’t seem too bad with all the options and features my tester had, but when compared to its big brother, the Avalon, it starts looking pricy. The Avalon XLE Touring, the third out of four trim packages, starts at $35,000 and includes most of the features except the radar cruise control and the seven-inch touchscreen (the Avalon gets a 6.1-inch screen). The Avalon is a bigger car, which some folks may not want, so it’s nice the Camry can still offer the same level of luxury in a slightly smaller wrapper.

Competition

2015 Chevrolet Impala

2014 - 2015 Chevrolet Impala Exterior AutoShow
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The Impala brings a good fight to the Camry in terms of interior volume, electronic gadgetry, and V-6 power. New for the 2014 model year, the Impala is a completely redesigned sedan from its police and rental-agency favorite predecessor. A leather-lined interior plus Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system are quality items. The Chevy’s 3.6-liter V-6 offers up 305 horsepower and a 0-to-60-mph run of 6.8 seconds. Highway mileage, which sits at 29 mpg, isn’t nearly as good as the Camry’s.

Pricing for the Impala starts at $27,060 but can quickly surpass the $36,000 mark with the top-trim 2TLZ package.

2015 Hyundai Sonata

2015 Hyundai Sonata - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Like the Camry, the 2015 Sonata is completely revised. The Hyundai’s new look is a more mature one that includes a more sculpted and chiseled look Things under the hood are more chiseled too. While it doesn’t offer a V-6, its 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder offers up 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Its 0-to-60-mph run comes in 7.5 seconds. While it might be slightly underpowered and slower compared to the bunch, it exceeds them in fuel economy. The EPA lists it at 32 mpg highway.

Pricing for the Sonata 2.0T starts at $28,575 but adding the Ultimate trim package brings the price to $33,525.

Conclusion

2015 Toyota Camry - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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I really enjoyed my time with the Camry. Driving it was a relaxing experience awash in comfort, luxury, and features. The fact my complaints were few and far between is a testament to how much attention the automaker gave the Camry. Best of all, the car no longer feels like a soulless appliance meant to fill a need, but rather something that could be purchased with enthusiasm.

  • Leave it
    • Starts getting expensive with options
    • Piano black trim easily shows dirt
    • Some torque steer on hard acceleration
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