By on November 4, 2014

1_front (1)

In 1992, the Toyota Camry was perhaps the most respected sedan in the midsize segment. Not all consumers could afford one, but most would have preferred one. The 1997 model represented Toyota’s changed focus. Rather than adding features and content, they started adding profitability “affordability”. Steve Lang and Ed Niedermeyer discussed this in detail, but here’s the short version: With every successive redesign, Toyota promised that its cost-controls would be transparent to consumers. With every successive redesign, consumers noticed a few more cut corners but kept buying.  Sales first grew organically but then became increasingly dependent on incentives.

This takes us to 2015. The Camry is America’s best-selling passenger car 12 years running and sold 408,000 units in 2013. The lead is tenuous though as competitors are gaining marketshare through fashionable sheetmetal, tech-laden interiors and superior dynamics.

Sounds like it’s time for a midcycle refresh then.

Notice that I said “refresh”, not “clean-sheet redesign”. All powertrain options are carryover from the previous year, but Toyota’s updates were still substantial enough to generate 2,000 new parts. Torsional rigidity is up via 22 additional spot welds, enabling a suspension retune. Every exterior surface aside from the roof is new, and the interior is significantly revised.

2._side

The Camry is considerably improved by this refresh, yet pricing for the volume trims (LE and SE) is roughly flat with 2014. Yesteryear’s L trim was dropped, but the LE ($22,970 before destination) features keyless entry, an 8-way power driver seat, backup camera and all the power options buyers now expect as standard. Steel wheels might be the only reason for pause among consumers. Those looking for more will consider the XLE ($26,150) and its standard heated leather seating, 4-way power passenger seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, stitched dash and other niceties.

3_xse

Drivers interested in a feistier dynamic proposition will recall the SE trim ($23,840) that Jack loves so dearly. TTAC’s resident lovable rogue wasn’t alone in his preference for this configuration either – SE sales represent about 40% of Camry volume. The formula remains similar in 2015 with a sharper suspension, weightier steering and several interior improvements. It’s all easily identified via a unique grill and 17-inch alloys. The performance ladder goes one rung higher this year however thanks to the new XSE trim ($26,150). In addition to similar luxury trappings as the XLE, XSE springs receive another round of stiffening over the SE units, wheels are upsized to 18 inches, steering receives a unique tune and the conventional shocks and struts are swapped for digressive units that feature internal rebound springs.

4_DriverIP

Entune, Toyota’s infotainment system, is standard on all trims and continues to improve. Those who approach technology with – ahem – suspicion may now find it more intuitive than MyFord Touch. The base and optional JBL stereos are unchanged, but both sound clearer thanks to 30% more sound insulation than before.  XLE and XSE buyers can also opt for tech offerings you formerly needed to purchase a Lexus to get – LED high and low headlights, a wireless charging tray for Qi-equipped cell phones, adaptive cruise control and a crash-prevention suite including an automatic braking feature. The crash-prevention suite enables an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ score.

As already mentioned, engines and transmissions are unchanged. Toyota’s ubiquitous 2.5 liter inline four (178 hp, 170 lb-ft) is available with all trims, while the 3.5 liter V6 (268 hp, 248 lb-ft) is available on the XLE and XSE. A 6-speed automatic pairs with either engine. Meanwhile, the 2.5 liter Atkinson-cycle hybrid is offered on the LE, XLE and now SE trims.  Toyota reported that 10% of buyers chose the hybrid last year and 6% elected for the big bore V6.

Fuel efficiency improves versus 2014 but is just average in the segment. Direct injection fueling and a few other tricks commonly used by competitors are conspicuously absent in the conventional engines. A coefficient of drag of just 0.28 and slight curb weights ranging from 3,240 lbs (4-cylinder LE) to 3,480 lbs (V6 XSE) certainly help though. The EPA is calling for 25/35/28 city/highway/combined MPG for the 2.5, 21/31/25 for the V6 and 43/39/41 for the hybrid. My test loops were generally short, but the numbers seem realistic.

5_profile

Toyota is quick to call this the boldest Camry ever. The looks are certainly more pronounced than before, but don’t expect anything as controversial as Lexus’ spindle grill. I’ll make my comments brief as Sajeev has already ground this grain – he’s right to criticize the DLO-woe Toyota has unleashed, but I also think Toyota deserves some credit for making mirrors, lower trim, door guards, etc. body color on all trim levels. It’s a good move for a brand increasingly accused of pinching the wrong pennies.

The interior upgrades are less divisive. Material selection and textures are generally improved, and more surfaces are soft-touch than before. The faux stitching of 2014 is largely removed, and actual stitching is available (dashboard, gearshift, steering wheel, and door inserts) depending on trim. The upper buttons on the center stack are still remind me of a large-print keyboard, but the 2015 design is much more modern. With one obvious exception, panel gaps are improved too… once I saw the maw around the glovebox lock, I couldn’t unsee it:

6_glovebox

On the road, all trim levels represent a dynamic improvement over their predecessors. Body roll is particularly reduced in the LE and XLE. They still aren’t sporting propositions though – steering effort is lighter than average and tire grip is modest.  In previous years, there was a large gap in dynamic traits between the LE and SE. I still prefer the SE tune overall, but the difference isn’t as pronounced anymore. (That’s a reflection of greater improvement in the LE, not a regression of the SE).

New two-stage brake boosters are offered on all trims and improve feel considerably. Pedal modulation is more precise than before but also generally softer than most competing midsizers. Brakes aside, the SE alleviates the above complaints about LE’s steering weight and body roll without inducing harshness. The suspension loads up nicely when pushed, and you can easily develop enough rapport with the car to independently feel what the front and rear tires are doing without resorting to extralegal speeds.

Mild driving won’t indicate much of a difference between the SE and XSE, but pressing the car hard reveals a genuinely greater performance envelope. Transition behavior is much crisper, and the steering stays truer when applying throttle to exit a corner. Toyota staffers indicated that CEO Akio himself had a say in the suspension tune. If you enjoy the SE, you’ll likely prefer the XSE.

7_hybrid

No version of the Camry is dangerously slow (the hybrid is actually a bit quicker to 60 than the inline four), but the gas-only powertrain options, particularly the 2.5, are starting to show their age. Low-end performance of the 2.5 is softer than several competitors’ entry-level engines but is still less thrashy than the 2.5 Ford offers. Subjectively, I found the V6 much more competitive versus other upper-shelf segment offerings and continue to prefer it to most competing 2.0 turbos.

When considered as a whole, the 2015 Camry does not dominate in objective and subjective measures the way its 1992 forebear did. There is no “1992 Camry” in the marketplace today though – no competitor represents that kind of runaway engineering effort. In a segment noted for parity, the 2015 Toyota Camry represents an improved, still-safe choice that doesn’t quite reach for greatness.

8_tail

Toyota provided airfare, accommodations and the tested vehicles for this review.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

111 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2015 Toyota Camry...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    A fair and insightful review. It looks like the new Camry is exactly what Toyota wants it to be.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    The perfect appliance. And by that, I am not saying that as a derogatory comment, but actually as a compliment.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      But for lots of drivers, that’s what they want and there’s nothing wrong with that. Inexpensive, reliable appliances.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      Yup. And so are the Mazda6, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, and Volkswagen Passat. These cars just have Halo cars in their brand to give owners a sense that there’s some shared DNA, like the flabby bald guy who works in the next office, but reminds you that his third cousin twice-removed is a world-famous athlete.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    “once I saw the maw around the glovebox lock, I couldn’t unsee it”

    Post Traumatic Maw Disorder. Therapy *is* available. Don’t hesitate to avail yourself. It’s your right and you’ve earned it.

    Toyota has certainly lost its way.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      “Toyota has certainly lost its way.”

      They certainly have.

      We had a row-your-own 89 Camry, navy over light blue, lil’ four-banger. IIRC, it had motorized belts like a Ford Tempo. Had those ugly as$ steel wheels, too.

      That bastard was unbreakable.

      We hadn’t had another Camry since. THAT was a Camry. Damned cockroach.

      • 0 avatar

        I hated those motorized passive-safety belts. My ’90 Accord EX, which was the car I drove through high school, had them…

      • 0 avatar
        VehicularStudent1

        They need an entire rework and some imagination. All their cars look the same on the outside with cheap plastic materials making up the inside. A little metal, leather and wood would go a long way toward making their boring lineup a little more fun. Might even increase sales. An option of a 5 speed manual shifter on ALL their cars would be welcomed as well. When they made their “splash” in the 80’s and early 90’s all the STUPID auto execs rushed to copy the company that has never had any of their own ideas. Hence, the new auto industry has a bajillion cars that look the same from the interior to the exterior. I have not studied automotive design ever, but I could design cars that didn’t look like all other cars. But, that concept appears to be gone as everyone thinks we are all robots. Pathetic…

  • avatar
    kosmo

    I want an XSE wagon. It doesn’t even HAVE to be equipped with a diesel, stick shift and brown exterior, either.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Then what’s the point?

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Camry wagon? Ah, those were the good old days when you could choose from a Camry wagon or even a Corolla wagon. Now they just sell Venzas and Prii V and no one seems to care except the true wagon lovers.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      I’d be happy with a Camry wagon in ANY trim level. Or a Fusion, Accord or Malibu wagon. Heck, even a Sonata wagon. The Euro wagons are too pricey and I fear their maintenance costs since I keep cars a long time. I’m probably going to have to hold my nose and get a CUV when my Sable wagon has to go.

  • avatar
    Andy

    SE Hybrid is an interesting idea.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    As an aside, what happened to Steve? I liked his stuff…

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I’d want an XSE with a 6-Speed.

    Something’s tellin’ me there ain’t such a beast, that there ain’t no 6MT option with V6 (probably only 5MT w/ the four banger, pffft)

    If that’s the case… BOOOOOO!

    Regardless, there seems to be a lot of car for the money here, although I’m still not completely cozy to the idea of witnessing “Electric Blue” Camries, with sporty charcoal wheels, et cetera.

    I’ll take mine (if I could) gold over beige leather, six-speed / V6. Totally unassuming :)

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      There hasn’t been a stick in a Camry for like 3 years now. It ain’t coming back. :(

      Would I seriously buy a V6 Camry with a manual? Hell yes!

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        Why no petition?

        I’ll sign.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Would you gentleman please put down your pens, take out your wallets and step over here, I have an Accord I’d like to show you

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            So long as it doesn’t look like a bridge, lead the way, my good man.

            There WAS a v6, 6MT Accord Sedan- 2006 and 2007, IIRC…

            …epic.

            14 sec quarter mile…? IIRC?

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            Oh if only it came with that sweet, salacious J35… Fear not, another Accord Coupe V6 is in my future; I just don’t know how far along in my future!

            Right now I’m eying a 2008/09 Altima V6 stick sedan for my next car (I have 12 months or more to save up me pennies). This 2007 I bought has really impressed me thus far. They run thousands cheaper than the Alti coupes, and honestly I think they look better.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I like everything except the cheap c pillar. I’d see that every time I walked up to the car and it would bug me.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I am surprised they are still using that old 2.5L. I thought they were up to something new with ~200HP.

    Good review though. Hopefully they come up with an XSE version of the Corolla. That is a much better platform for a driver’s car (very relatively speaking of course).

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel Latini

      You could get your wish if they end up porting a version of Europe’s Auris to Scion. We’ll likely know more at the LA auto show

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      It’s still a competitive engine, though perhaps on the tail end of its market life. Acceleration is comparable to the Hyundai/Kia 2.4 and the new itty-bitty Ecoboosts in the Fusion and it’s much more pleasant than the thrashy Nissan. It helps they hooked it to a good responsive automatic. I think only the Accord and Mazda6 show it up.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Yeah I have nothing but praise for the current Toyota 2.5I/6A combo, a smooth and torquey operator with perfect shift points under all conditions. I much prefer it to the 1.6EB/6A I sampled in a Fusion SE rental a few weeks ago. Now I haven’t tried a new EarthDreams Accord, that may very well be the standard to beat from what I’ve read in reviews.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          The 3.5 seems very underpowered to me for that displacement.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            3.5L VTEC is glorious.

            Smooth. Refined.

            Even in the Pilot, it is sweet.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sorry, referring to the Camry engine. I don’t know anything about the Honda 3.5.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Ah.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            330 hp seems like a more reasonable number from a NA 3.5 these days.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            330 HP? Who is getting that out of a NA 3.5L V6 in a non performance vehicle. Ford, GM, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Chrysler all get about the same HP out of their NA 3.5L-3.7L engines. Most are around the 280-305 HP mark.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’m saying advancement wise! Nissan was at 305-310 a few years ago, of course now on the 3.7.

            Unless you consider all of those “performance,” which you might.

            Chrysler 3.5s were putting out 250 back in 1999. So 268 seems behind here in 2015.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            The numbers certainly don’t look competitive. But considering both C&D and Motortrend have clocked a Camry with it running to 60 in 5.8 seconds and hitting ~100mph at the 1/4 mile, I wouldn’t feel cheated in any way by that.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “330 hp seems like a more reasonable number from a NA 3.5 these days.”

            This is a family sedan, not an F1 car. Peak HP numbers are next to meaningless in this category. The better question is, how fat is the power-band?

          • 0 avatar
            johnny_5.0

            While the peak numbers don’t seem amazing, these things run sub 6 second 0-60 and trap at ~100mph. With only a 6% take rate for the V6, I don’t think they really have much incentive to bump the power.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      The difference between upper 200s and low 300s in a NA, port injected 3.5 is spinning it to 7200 instead of six flat.

      In a Camry? They could put in a fuel cutoff at 5000 (and 235 hp) and nobody but the internet hp/cc brigade would notice.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @danio – yes true that.

        I haven’t gotten to read the print rags reviews of the latest iteration of the Toyota 3.5 and new 6 speed. The old 3.5 and 5 speed were criticized for the transmission “hunting too much” but I realized they were driving it wrong. At any speed under about 83 mph the 5th gear cruising will be at or below 2500 rpm. Set the cruise control and the transmission won’t leave 5th except for on steep hills. That is the meat of the power band and the torque is effortless.

        When trying to rush my wife to the hospital for the birth of our daughter I found that I could chirp the tires from a standstill before the traction control kicked in – that was with AWD.

        The beauty is there is plenty of power to run even a Highlander 3.5 up against the electronic speed limiters if you need to. This V6 is one that makes you mourn the death of the V6 in family cars.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      sportyaccordy, the old 2.5L/6A combination is well suited to the Camry midsize segment. Tough enough to survive real-world neglect with very low probability of expensive maintenance. Change fluids per recommendations and drive it until the rest of the car wears out. Main limitation is it can’t play the EPA fuel economy test cycle games as well as newer engines/transmissions.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    This car serves a purpose and feeds the masses that want cheap and utilitarian. I personally stay as far away from this segment as possible. I’m not being negative on this car and I understand its purpose. I just have zero interest in a car that is void of fun, performance, and driver engagement and a refresh and sporty commercials won’t cut it. Obviously there are huge numbers of drivers out there that don’t think like me.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Despite all the “Enthusiast” whining and crying, it’s a darn good car. The kind you can reccomend to a friend.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Nice safe advice, like telling a friend to put all his money in a passbook savings account.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      meh, basically everything in this segment is recommendable. The only two I would warn against are the Nissan Altima (because I despise their drivetrains and their interiors) and the Subaru Legacy (only bc AWD is a hidden cost to most non car people and honestly, pretty crap transmissions.) Everything else gets the job done, with the odd first year model to avoid aside.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        You’ve got Accord if you want a bit more spice in the segment, along with the 6 if ultimate performance isn’t as important as decent handling. (Nothing beats the Honda J35 V6–in the six-speed slushbox with VCM, you get 0-60 times in the 6 second range along with mid-30s highway mpg, and even more if you’re careful, as my observed 40mpg Toledo-Detroit one-way on a slower trip this past summer attests!) IMHO, the Fusion is just too risky with the EcoBoosts. The Altima is OK and the Subie is a little fussy with the AWD, as stated, though supposedly their CVTs rival the segment-leader Honda. (I drove an Accord CVT soon after the 9th-Gens came out, and it was as good as a conventional slushbox, without the upshifts. They’ve had occasional trouble with them, but have also been good with fixes! :-) )

        But yes, the Camry is just fine for folks who just want good A -> B transportation, no frills, no bling.

  • avatar

    First of all, I’d like to praise Toyota for making an upscale sport version. Some of us like the tightened suspension and ground effects, but would still like full leather, auto climate controls, and even navigation (you hear that, Accord Sport?!). Hyundai has done similarly with the Sonata Sport, and I think it’s great. Second, I do think it’s an overall improvement looks-wise, and that customers will appreciate it. I’ve already seen nine or ten of these about town.

    That said, while it’s not a redesign, new creases and cutouts mean that it looks like Toyota has had to make new stampings for every single panel except the roof. So would it have killed them to just put that kink in the *actual* fixed window instead of creating a fake one? Honestly, if it weren’t for that glaring DLO-fail, I’d love the design.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      I don’t get every TTAC-er’s obsession with the daylight opening fail.

      Is it really that big of a thorn in your side?

      It’s cheap. It’s an oversight. Crappy little filler piece.

      It is what it is, man. It’s there. Okay…. and?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      No, you can’t get the Accord Sport with leather and nav, but then again, try getting that loaded-up Camry or Hyundai for $25,000…or any Camry or Sonata with a manual.

      And unless Toyota and Hyundai have been talking with Colin Chapman via Quija board, neither will be as rewarding to drive enthusiastically as the Accord is.

      It may be a bit bare bones, but the Accord Sport is far better to DRIVE than anything else I’ve sampled in this class. It’s direct with its driver, feels connected, is amazingly nimble for a big car, and is surprisingly quick – it’ll turn in a 0-60 run in the mid sixes. A naturally aspirated Camry or Sonata won’t be able to even come close. PLUS first class reliability.

      All for $25,000.

      And $150 for the Garmin.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        I concur, FreedMike.

        +1

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        One Sonata manual here!

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        The simplest marketing upgrade Honda could do would be to delete the “Earth Dreams” logo from the top of the Accord base engine and replace it with “K24 DOHC VTEC”. The Honda base engine is now from the more desirable higher performance K series, but set up to run on 87 octane regular gasoline. However, sub 7 second 0-60 runs require the selection of the manual transmission and gray or black paint for the Sport, gray or silver for the EX.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yeah, I’d love to see an Accord Sport V6. Base it on the EX-L V6 the same way the existing Accord Sport is based on the LX. In other words, an EX-L V6, but with tighter suspension tuning and 18″ wheels with better tires.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      ^ This!

      Honda needs to make a Sport package an option across the line: EX Sport, EX-L Sport, V6 Sport, Touring Elite.

      Saw your 1990 Accord EX post further up–my Dad had one as his first Accord of five so far, and IMHO the best! Only the 2013+ 9th-Gen is better overall, though the interior quality isn’t quite up to that standard! (Honda and Acura interior quality took a dive along with cost-cutting in other areas, but it’s coming back.)

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Was there not more mixed shade areas available to take these photos from 92 to 100% useless? Honestly. You’re not Canadian, because there’s no filter applied, but the lighting just ruins all of it.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      It doesn’t fully capture the majesty of the seat fabric on the basic models, which looked like something Charo would have worn for an appearance on Johnny Carson in 1973.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel Latini

      My apologies, Corey. The photos aren’t my best work. The sun was constant during this event, and there were something like a dozen different individual vehicles to drive (Camry, Sienna and Yaris in different trims, powertrains, etc). I was hustling the whole time.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I took a look at a refreshed Camry a couple of weeks ago – I didn’t get any driving time, but I did get “seat time” with it, and a 2014 Accord the dealer had on hand for comparison. It was NO comparison – in terms of look, feel and perceived quality, the Accord has it all over the Camry. Even the Corolla looked and felt nicer inside than the Camry.

    Yes, Toyota’s trump card is long term reliability. I’m sure the Camry will faithfully go 200,000 miles until it dies. But the Accord also has an excellent reliability rep, and the rest of the class is catching up. The difference is no longer orders of magnitudes – it’s degrees.

    Toyota is selling on reputation these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      It’s not that the Camry has lost ground, it’s that others have gained it. The Accord was always a good car too, but Hyundai, Ford, Kia their mid-sizers were trash 10 years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        Give me the car from the ones who’ve been there.

        It’s cute the rest are playin’ catch up though, you know.

        Chrysler’s got some rose-tinted glasses for ya to take a peek through.

        Like watchin’ a 3D movie with them paper 3d glasses. You know… one of the lens films are red and the other is blue…?

        Put them bad boys on. All of the sudden: “whoa… Chrysler!! Dam…”

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I think to be more to the point, Toyota is making a Camry that Camry owners will love. Problem is, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for conquest sales. I’d term myself as such a buyer – I’ve never bought a Toyota.

        And I also think the competition’s been getting better for far longer than 10 years. A 10-year-old Malibu or Fusion (yes, I know it came out in 2005, but we’re close enough) is still a mechanically sound car – a far cry from the truly bad stuff that was out in the ’80s. Chrysler was Chrysler.

        Toyota’s been resting on its laurels for a LONG time, and for Camry buyers, that’s OK. The problem will come 10 years from now. That’s an eternity in the car business. Just ask Pontiac.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I think the Accord is let down by it’s interior, so that’s not encouraging for the Camry. The Camry definitely looks better in pictures, though I haven’t had seat time in it.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    The death of the L trim is a blessing for rental customers everywhere.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also I will point out – I think it’s a design fail to put the only trim panel gap for the center stack right at the point of the customer’s finger, where they adjust the radio. It will be a thing noticed visually very often, and in a tactile manner when you’re reaching around the area and not looking down.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      That won’t matter to folks who drive their cars until they die (and in the case of the Camry, it could be the car or the owner, but I digress)…but it’ll matter to everyone else.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Four things I didn’t like about 4 cyl SE rentals. You really got to floor it when you want to go 80 mph up in the Sierra foothills. The spokes on the steering wheel are too wide to grip the wheel, the trunk opening is rather small and I didn’t like the looks of the gauge cluster. Latter looks a lot better, but the others probably need another refresh.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Daniel, thank you for your review. I have emailed the link to six old people I know who are interested in trading their aging rides for a 2015.

    Maybe your commentary and the pictures will help them to decide if the 2015 Camry will be in their sights.

    If so, my recommendation was to get the V6-equipped 2015 Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel Latini

      HDC – glad you found it helpful! The LE interior is still a bit dour, but your friends will likely be impressed with the upper trims (especially if they are upgrading from clunkers).

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Daniel – very helpful! I have received an acknowledgement and thanks from every single one already. They don’t read ttac. Prefer word of mouth and seek input from a fellow church member, in this case, me.

        I recommended the V6 XLE. I believe it would be better aligned with the driving style of people in their late sixties, especially since their wives will be driving the Camry most of the time.

        Thanks again!

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          highdesertcat, I’d suggest that you have them try the base 4 cylinder and hybrid options also, bringing along friends to weigh down the car for the test drive. Also pretty easy to get a rental 4 cylinder Camry and thoroughly test it on a weekend road trip. The Toyota V6 is nice, especially in Lexus models, but it’s a fairly expensive upgrade.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            George B, I (we) live in mountain country with altitudes ranging from ~4500ft to 9303ft elevation.

            Four bangers may do well in the flatlands at sea level but those extra two cylinders of a normally-aspirated V6 are extra nice.

            Most Americans of my generation don’t care about mpg or the price of gasoline. We grew up with the stuff and are thoroughly addicted to it, preferring to drive at all costs.

            People in my area are also not that attracted to hybrids, preferring to sink the extra costs in upgrades for conventional ICE-powered vehicles with nicer trims and options.

            The six people I emailed the link to would be buying a sedan for their wives as a grocery getter, rather than have the old girls traverse the congested parking lot of Wal-Mart or Lowe’s Grocery in an F150 or antique Suburban. And none of them are interested in tiny cars.

            As people age they become less agile behind the wheel and need something smaller and more maneuverable to navigate the crowded parking lots. The midsize sedan is probably the smallest vehicle they would consider and the Toyota Camry has a proven decades-long track record and advantages in spades.

            It’s entirely possible that they may choose not to buy the 2015 Camry but buy an Altima, Legacy, Accord or Sonata instead. But I do believe that 2015 will be a pivotal year for many seniors, including me, in their late sixties.

            For many, including me, what we buy in 2015/2016 will most likely be the last car we buy during our driving life. So the added costs of a higher trim or more expensive engine really doesn’t figure prominently in the decision-making process.

            My wife bought her “last” driver recently, a 2015 Sequoia Platinum 4X4, and she plans on driving it until she no longer can.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @HDC

            If you live at altitude, you need a turbo, not 2 more cylinders. That is, afterall, what turbochargers were invented for.

            The number of cylinders is irrelevant to power output.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            krhodes1, my part-time helper and fellow contractor, Nguyen, has an Ecoboost F150 — it can’t keep up with my 2011 Tundra 5.7 going up the mountain on US82 with the same load.

            I think most people my age who grew up with V8’s would choose a NA V6 over any 4-cyl, NA or blown.

            Besides, four cylinder engines are nervous nellies, deriving their power at higher rpms.

            My recommendation stands — I would recommend a V6 Camry over any 4-cyl Camry.

            For that matter I recommended a V6 Accord for my grandson in SoCal and he’s ecstatic with his.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            krhodes, another comment lost in the void…..

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “No version of the Camry is dangerously slow”

    No new car for sale in the United States is dangerously slow, so that’s no surprise.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    In this segment, I’d take this over the Altima, maybe the Sonata. That’s it.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    The new central control stack is nicely done, as are the materials improvements.

    I absolutely abhor the exterior styling changes, but I can’t deny that the Camry now excels in many areas where it previously didn’t.

    Toyota has a real sweetheart of a V6. The 2GR-FE has dominated horsepower and fuel economy rankings since its introduction nearly a decade ago. All without dubious trinkets like DI and cylinder deactivation.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    One improved feature nobody mentions is the rear tail light layout. The ’14 looked unfinished with that huge notch left out of the lights on the trunk lid. Now the ’15 has filled that area back in, and it looks more… complete.

    http://image.automobilemag.com/f/2014_toyota_camry/54182894+w736+h490+cr1+ar0/rear_view.jpg

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    By the way, I want to compliment Daniel on the nice review.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    I am of the strong belief that the 2011 was the last of the competitive Camrys. I had a 2009 and, despite the overblown “sudden acceleration” fiasco, it was a highly competent car that felt superior to most of the alternatives at that time. Had I waited, I probably would have witnessed the dropoff in price that signaled the transformation of Toyota from a car marketed mostly on reputation to price…it surely would have been impossible even in 2009 to buy or lease a Camry for LESS than a Fusion or Malibu.

    • 0 avatar
      bkmurph

      Meh, I disagree. I think the XV40 Camry (model years 2007-2011) was the low water mark in terms of Camry quality and competitiveness. The outside looked handsome enough, but the interior looked and felt like a serious letdown. Toyota tried a more aggressive styling direction for the exterior and interior of the 2012 model, which may not have been to everyone’s liking, but at least they tried something. Of course, every Camry from the 2002 model year onward has used some variation of the K Platform, so these aren’t huge changes from one generation to the next.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      “it surely would have been impossible even in 2009 to buy or lease a Camry for LESS than a Fusion or Malibu.”

      Buy, yes; lease, maybe not. High resale value translates to lower lease rates.

      • 0 avatar
        chiefmonkey

        The Ford dealers were offering to lease fusions at much less than what Toyota dealers were offering back when I leased mine with same down payment, mileage etc…I think Toyota was still convincingly able to market the Camry as a “premium” product among family sedans at that time. Whether or not it justified or not…

  • avatar
    stickmaster

    When I had a rental Camry last year, I was shocked how poor it was compared to my 2007 Accord.

    The point is this: the Camry just isn’t a good car anymore. It’s not a question of being sporty or not. It doesn’t even do “non-sporty” well. It’s not particularly comfortable or quiet, and it feels poorly made with cheap, light materials.

    I don’t see why anybody would choose a Camry over say, an Accord, Fusion, Passat, just to name a few, let alone any of the other competitors.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Looks like the Camry moved up from maybe the ugliest car in the class to something fairly attractive. The ass is especially improved. If I were shopping in this class and wasn’t still stuck on 3 pedals, I would give it a look. That’s certainly not true of the 2014.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    I thought I’d feel differently about the front if I saw one ‘in the metal’ so to say. I did. I didn’t. Ugly … it better be unbreakable.

  • avatar
    zach

    I still drive a 2001 Camry (4th gen)? and it’s been crazy reliable, people who ride with me still say “wow this is a quiet car”, I guess I am the only sub 40 year old who likes the Camry.

  • avatar
    zach

    The Camry has been pulling midsize duty for almost 20 year’s, respect the Camry or else!

  • avatar
    zach

    If the 1997 was cheapened, than they did a good job hiding it, my 2001 is quiet, comfortable, and extremely reliable after 180,000 miles, bought it used with 20,000 miles in 2003, and can count the repairs because there was only one, the motor mount about 4 year’s ago.

  • avatar

    People are now buying this car out of habit. It the same reason people bought Citations in the early 80s.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • -Nate: (old man rant) !_KIDS_! HARRUMPH . ? Maybe it’s time to bring back driver’s education in schools ?...
  • -Nate: ? Has anyone here looked at or purchased a Hertz vehicle ? . -Nate
  • Lie2me: Walmart will miss you :(
  • sgeffe: And wait until you get around to the front, where the sabre-toothed woodchuck grille awaits! Of course this...
  • teddyc73: Juicy? Really? Time to retire that word before it becomes as overused as “iconic”.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber