Capsule Review: 2015 Toyota Camry XSE
The Camry connoisseur, if there is such a thing, would spot the difference.
Unlike some well-known TTAC authors who don’t hide their Camry admiration, I wasn’t on board the Camry love boat. The last SE I drove disappointed me with unimpressive efficiency figures, an interior in need of polish, and an overall sensation of obsolescence. And it was in fact obsolete, as Toyota Canada delivered a Camry Hybrid SE to my driveway in October 2014 when the refreshed 2015 car was already a thing.
• USD Base Price: $27,725
• Horsepower: 268 @ 6200 rpm
• Torque: 248 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
• Observed Fuel Economy: 19.3 mpg
Nevertheless, I’ll readily admit I appreciate that Toyota finally located the Camry’s sense of style. When this particular car pulled up in front of our house, I noticed right off the bat that it was an XSE, a trim level Toyota introduced for 2015 to combine XLE luxury with the SE’s sporting intentions. The Blue Crush Metallic also represents top-notch taste.
While it’s my job and I do my best and I take a measure of pride in these things, I didn’t notice key signifiers: twin tailpipes. Granted, Blue Crush arrived on Monday, January 5, the busiest work day of the year for a sales-oriented auto writer like myself. I backed the car into our driveway, refusing to take time out of my busy schedule for an unnecessary late night Volkswagen GTI-like drive to the grocery store. “It’s not like it has a V6,” I muttered.
Cain's Segment: U.S. Midsize Car Sales In 2014
Growth in America’s midsize car market was slow in 2014, the second consecutive year in which the overall auto industry moved forward at an impressive rate while midsize car growth was unimpressive.
• Altima and Fusion set nameplate records
• Camry tops second-ranked Accord by 40K
• The Big 5 grew their share of the segment
Yet in 2014, the most dominant midsize cars did in fact expand their sales at a healthy clip. The top-selling Toyota Camry was up 5%, year-over-year. Honda’s Accord, the second-ranked midsize car, posted a 6% improvement compared with 2013. Sales of the third-ranked Nissan Altima, America’s fourth-best-selling car overall, climbed 5% to a record-high 335,644 units.
America's 10 Best-Selling Cars In 2014
The Toyota Camry was America’s most popular car in 2014, the 13th consecutive year in which the Camry has led all passenger cars. The Camry ranked fourth among vehicles overall, trailing only three pickup trucks.
• Camry volume represents a six-year high
• Accord volume shoots up to seven-year high
• Corolla leads all small cars
Camry volume rose to a six-year high in 2014. With a 5% increase in the lead-up to a MY2015 refresh, the Camry outsold its nearest rival, the Honda Accord, by 40,232 units. (The Accord trailed the Camry by 41,806 units in 2013.) Accord volume, at 388,374 units, improved to a seven-year high.
Despite reporting record-high U.S. sales, the Nissan Altima fell from third place in 2013 to the fourth spot this year. Altima volume increased in each of the last five years.
We Can't Rent This Camry, But Maybe We Can Track It
TTAC’s authorial corps have been the lone contrarian element in their praise for the Toyota Camry – but not even Jack Baruth could have imagined a Camry XSE like the one that debuted at the SEMA show.
Capsule Review: 2015 Toyota Camry
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.
Toyota Putting The Brakes On Further Capacity In America
Toyota is not going to be expanding any plants in the United States, even as they are forced to absorb further production of the Toyota Camry as their assembly deal with Subaru winds down.
Toyota May Kill V6 Camry
Fans of the Toyota Camry have insisted that unlike lesser American and Korean rivals, their beloved mid-size sedan would never forsake the legendary V6 engine for a puny, profligate two-point-oh-tee. They may need to be ready for a plate full of crow.
Junkyard Find: 1984 Toyota Camry LE Liftback
We don’t normally put the words “Camry” and “rare” together in the same sentence, but this series is all about finding rare-but-not-valuable oddities (e.g., one of the very last GM J-body. When it comes to rare Camrys, there’s the seldom-seen-in-the-wild Camry All-Trac and the nearly-as-rare Camry Liftback, and I’d found exactly one example of each in wrecking yards prior to today’s find. Yes, here’s another first-gen Camry liftback, this time dressed in whatever Toyota called this strange metallic purplish-brown hue.
QOTD: Would You Ever Pay For A Stripper?
No premium or power nuttin’.
All yours for $12,800 before fees, tax, tag, title.
There's A New Queen Of California
Oh, California, the trend-setting coastal paradise that once sparked a revolution in the American car market. Fully half of cars sold in the Golden State are from Japanese brands, and for a couple of years, the top dog was the Toyota Prius – about as opposite as could be from the rest of the country, where the Ford F-Series reigns supreme. But there’s a new leader in the sales charts, and it’s a bit more mainstream (or “ normcore” as the kids are saying these days).
Fuji Heavy To End Toyota Camry Production
No, that title is not a misprint. Fuji Heavy Industries, which current builds the Toyota Camry at an Indiana assembly plant, will stop producing the mid-size sedan for Toyota starting in 2016.
QOTD: In Defense Of The Toyota Camry
We treat the physical results of capitalism as though they were an inevitability. In 1955, no captain of industry, prince, or potentate could buy a car as good as a Toyota Camry, to say nothing of a 2014 Mustang, the quintessential American Everyman’s car. But who notices the marvel that is a Toyota Camry?
– Kevin Williamson, The National Review
TTAC is not like most car blogs – and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. Last week, the introduction of the newly refreshed Toyota Camry was the most popular article on the site. I couldn’t be happier.
Editorial: Toyota Announces The Most Important New York Auto Show Debut
This edition of the 2014 New York Auto Show just got a little more interesting, as Toyota announced it will show off a mid-cycle refresh for the current version of the Camry.
Cain's Segments: Midsize Sedans
By stealing the Toyota Camry’s best-selling midsize car crown, albeit likely on a temporary basis, the Nissan Altima ended February 2014 as America’s best-selling car overall. The Altima’s lead was also substantial enough last month to make the midsize Nissan America’s leading car year-to-date.
You Put Your Hybrid In My Camry SE!
The last time we talked about a Camry SE on these [s]less-than[/s] distinguished pages, the resulting article upset one of our contributors (a certain “Nurburgring race instructor”) so much that he quit the site in protest. That certainly wasn’t my intention. But I know that our hearts will go on.
Of all the comments that particular test attracted, both on and off this website, I don’t recall any of them having anything to do with a desire for hybrid power. Presumably, however, there is someone out there who wants the sportier appearance of the Camry SE and the now-legendary economy and durability of the Hybrid Synergy Drive, because now it’s possible to combine the two.