The challenge for Toyota going into the 2015 model year was how to keep Camry the #1 seller in America.
You have a car that some consider boring, but you have hundreds of thousands of loyal owners who do not mind that. You do not want to offend them, but you want to grab the attention of consumers who are looking at Altima, Mazda 6, and Fusion.
I would say Toyota played it safe, not a bad strategy at all, and the sales results prove that out. Camry has been #1 with Americans for 12 straight years. Camry translated in Japanese means crown. I wonder how they knew to name it that in 1982 when the first one arrived in the United States.
My test vehicle is the XLE, the top-of-the-line Camry. You have three choices of engine, the 4-cylinder, 6-cylinder, and a hybrid version. I have the most popular engine, the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that is putting out 178-horses and is hooked to a 6-speed automatic tranny. Honestly, this engine feels like a 6-cylinder, with strong, steady, but quiet acceleration.
When you open the door of the Camry, the word that comes to my mind is clean. The seats look inviting and supple, the leather looks well made and soft. Everything in this car is easy to operate with large buttons and knobs, and there is virtually no learning curve, everything is rather obvious. Back seat room is very large, with ample room for 3 adults, and the trunk is massive and easy to access.
Toyota’s Entune system is one of the best in the industry. It gives you navigation system, Bluetooth, and a suite of apps to make life easier, and to make driving less stressful. Syncing your Smart phone is simple, and whatever apps you have on your phone, will appear on the 7” color touchscreen on the dash. Should your phone ring, the system will cut off the audio, then record its so you don’t miss your favorite song or program.
My favorite feature is a wireless phone charger that sits just above the gear shifter. Lay your phone on the pad, hit one button, and it will begin to charge. When it is fully charged, a green light lets you know. Again, this happens with no wires at all. This is a $75 option. I hope all Toyota dealers in America have the sense to order this on every Camry in their inventory, this is a really cool feature.
My review Camry has a power moonroof, blind spot monitoring, rearview camera, keyless entry, pushbutton start, leather-heated seats with bun warmers in the front, and voice recognition.
The 2015 Camry just feels like a very well built car. You hear it in the interior quietness, and you hear it when you shut the doors and slam the hood. Handling is very good, the steering is sensitive, but not annoying. I drive some exciting cars, and this doesn’t fall into that category, but it is SOLID. The 2015 Camry is a joy to drive, the fuel economy is fantastic for a car the size of this one, and the value proposition is exceptional. At least for me, it is easy to see why it has the crown of sales in America. This car just makes good sense.
What I liked most: The value the Camry brings to market.
What I would change: Would love to see a 7-speed automatic in the Camry.
MSRP: Base price $28,150. As equipped $30,779.
Fuel Economy: 25 City/35 highway/28 combined, doing slightly better.
Odometer reading when tested: 1450 miles.
Towing Capacity: N/A
2015 Camry XLE in a few words: Just a great car, and an outstanding value!
Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain coverage with roadside assistance, and 2 years of free maintenance.
Car Pro Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars.
Manufacturer’s website: Toyota
Dealers: We have great Toyota dealers in Austin, Cleveland, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, Modesto, Phoenix, Raleigh, Sacramento, San Antonio, and San Francisco.
Photo Credit: Toyota