2015 Toyota Camry adds style, substance and spark
Intent on keeping its popular midsize sedan at the head of its competitive class against prime rivals like the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, Toyota treated the 2015 Camry to a major mid-cycle redesign that was unveiled in New York. While the far-reaching exterior changes are obvious at a glance, the Camry recasting team also upgraded its cabin appointments and performed some focused engineering tweaks that promise to improve overall vehicle dynamics as well as refinement. For 2015, the existing LE, XLE, SE and Hybrid models also adds two new entries to the lineup: the luxury/sport-spec XSE and eco-enthusiast SE Hybrid.
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Tired of being pilloried for the Camry's perpetual lack of visual verve, Toyota went all in on the comprehensive 2015 reskin. Save for a carryover roof stamping, every body panel has been redesigned to give the car a more aggressive and athletic character. The Camry's redrawn front-end is particularly notable, with an edgier fascia framing a more prominent trapezoidal lower grille and sleeker lighting elements - which now include optional full LED high/low main lamps with auto-static leveling. More dramatic body side contours including a rising shoulder line help impart a sense of motion to the Camry's profile view while slimmer wraparound rear lamps that neatly integrate into the Camry's stylishly contoured rear fenders are inked by a decorative garnish that adds even more interest to its redrawn tail.
Although the Camry's interior remake isn't nearly as extensive, there's plenty there to laud as well. Upscale materials and the greater presence of soft-touch surfaces impart a richer overall ambiance whether the primary trimout is premium cloth or a mix of supple leather and Ultrasuede. Improved door and window sealing plus sleeker side mirrors and additional under-carpet insulation also promise to make this the quietest Camry in history. All but the base XE model gain a new programmable 4.2-inch TFT driver information screen to complement the 3D Optitron main instrument cluster. On the convenience front, the center console tray has grown larger and added a power point while the covered stow bin ahead of the shift lever features 12V and USB outlets and can be fitted with an optional wireless charging system "for select smartphones."
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The Camry's new dose of goodness goes all the way to its core, where focused reinforcement adds structural rigidity and changes to the electric power steering (EPS) and hydraulic brakes booster improve the feel and response of these two key items. The more robust platform also facilitates better model-specific suspension tuning, which is most evident in the new performance-oriented XSE and Hybrid SE trims. Although the Camry's carryover powertrains won't endow either with any extra muscle, their respective chassis changes should pay quite tangible benefits when the going gets twisty. The SE Hybrid's tauter underpinnings add a front stabilizer bar, revised shock valving, stiffer control-arm bushings and a revamped stability control system while the range-topping Camry XSE moves beyond baseline SE spec with firmer springs/shocks/bushings, unique EPS programming and bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels.
All 2015 Toyota Camrys sold in the U.S. will be built at the company's assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. They'll start arriving at dealers this fall and pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
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