268 hp @ 6200 rpm
248 lb.ft. @ 4700 rpm
The Toyota Camry is in a way just like vanilla ice-cream; everyone likes it but no one goes crazy over it. Yet, somehow, both are best sellers in their segments. For 2015, Toyota decided to give an end to the bland yet effective character of its best selling mid-sized sedan, so they stripped it down to the chassis came up with a grand make-over.
The almost all-new 2015 Toyota Camry is the proper way to refer to the resulting product. The word “Camry” is derived from the Japanese word for “Crown”, a word that on its own refers to something highly respected but nevertheless boring. So since they didn’t name it something like “Hotto chitsu”, lets see if there is anything else really exciting about it.
The exterior design is re-done, top to bottom, the front got that “Lexus-y” front grille and all body panels look fluid and modern; much prettier than the previous model. The body has also grown in dimensions and in the XLE trim level, it looks pretty elegant. The problem remains, that parked in a huge parking lot, it hardly stands out from the crowd.
It might not really impress people passing by, but it sure has plenty of cool features to offer to its owner. Wireless charging for your phone, rear view camera, a cool JBL sound system, climate control, blind spot alerts, power seats and leather appointed interior are all part of the package.
Inside the cabin, some soft to the touch materials have been used trying to create a more modern and upmarket feel to it. Partially it has worked, the instrument cluster looks nice with the blue backplate, there is no dated green lcd clock from the 70’s on the centre stack and the touchscreen with navigation is quick to respond and intuitive to use.
Together with its excellent reliability records, the interior space remains the hottest selling point of the Camry. The front seats are truly captain worthy seats, while the rear bench is also very spacious offering exceptional headroom and legroom. The trunk however is not equally impressive. It is not bad, but even a Jetta can top the 436L of space offered. Also, the cut through to the cabin, once the rear seats have been folded, is very narrow limiting loading capability.
The 3.5 V6 engine certainly makes the car interesting as it feels very zippy and willing to move the body at quick paces. Putting out 268 HP and 248 lb-ft of torque, it delivers sports car like performance figures to this otherwise family oriented sedan. 0-100km/h comes in 6.8”, while the reverse procedure is completed in 47m (on winter tires). The gearbox is a bit slow and feels to have long ratios, but the powerful motor compensates for that. When cold, you ll find a few odd shifts taking place, but overall it is good enough to not attract any attention. Fuel economy is a bit heavy for the class, averaging 12.5L/100km.
The new car enjoys massively revised suspension and promises much better dynamics and a more involving drive compared to the old model. When you are not pretending to be a race driver, which will be 99.99% of the time, the Camry is a refined, quiet, soft ride, which is as easy to drive as is to forget about your driving experience. There are is nothing really interesting going on, unless you plant the throttle and have to keep the nose under control. Generally, it is safe and surefooted, but has no interest in anything else.
So to summarize, for 2015 the Camry is a well priced (V6 XLE $35,920), well equipped, reliable, comfortable daily driver with improved driving dynamics that does everything well but goes unoticed all of the time. So essentially, what we have here is new, improved packaging for the same old vanilla ice cream.
Traction under hard acceleration