For more than a decade, the Toyota Camry has been at the top of the sales charts when it comes to the mid-size family sedan category in the United States. However, in recent years, due to the rapid advancements in building process and technologies, other competitors have been able to close the gap between themselves and the Camry, but none have been able to dethrone the Camry from its no.1 spot. Realizing the competitors’ advancements, Toyota engineers went back to the drawing boards and for 2015, completely redesigned the Camry both inside and out, to stay competitive and maintain its place in the highly competitive mid-size family sedan segment in the U.S.
What is new for 2015
For 2015, the Camry has been redesigned both inside and out, but the only carryover panel from the previous generation Camry is the roof. Also, for 2015, the Camry gains a new aggressive and sport-tuned XSE trim. The Camry XSE comes standard with a 2.5 L 4 Cylinder and a smooth shifting six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Inside the new Camry XSE, occupants are welcomed to a revised instrument cluster, faux aluminum trim pieces and Ultrasuede simulated suede/leather front and rear seat upholstery. On the outside, every body panel is new except the roof and comes standard with 18 inch alloy wheels, body colored door handles, new front and rear bumpers, a rear lip spoiler, chrome exhaust tips and black and body colored grille surrounds.
2015 Toyota Camry XSE Options
The base Camry XSE 4 cylinder has a starting price of $27,600 and comes with a lot of standard features from the factory. However, there are four additional packages to satisfy the customers’ needs. The first package is Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite for $685. The second package adds power tilt/slide moonroof for $915. For $3,020, the customer can opt for the power tilt/slide moonroof with options and for $4,575, the customer can opt for the fully loaded Entune Premium JBL with Navigation and App Suite with options which features an upgraded 7.0 inch high resolution touch screen, Qi wireless charging system, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control among other active and passive safety features.
Compared to the previous generation Camry, the revised interior of the 2015 Camry XSE feels more premium with soft touch materials everywhere and provides a more welcoming vibe to anyone who steps inside. The sports seats in the XSE trim feel more supportive compared to the seats in the other trim levels. Consumers in the snow belt benefit from the standard heated front seats. The leather wrapped steering wheel feels really firm in your hands and the placement of the paddle shifters behind the wheel is well within the reach of your finger tips. Unlike the previous Camry’s interior, all the key audio, climate, and HAVC buttons are placed well within the reach of the driver and the front passenger and all the all audio and voice activation buttons are placed on the steering wheel so that the drivers keep both of their hands on the wheel while driving. Thanks to the redesigned front seat backs, the occupants in the rear benefit from added legroom while there is enough space for two adults or three children to travel in comfort during long journeys. Overall, the interior of the new 2015 Camry XSE is well designed and provides its occupants with the right amount of comfort and convenience.
Engine and Fuel Mileage Specifications
The standard engine in the Camry XSE is a 2.5 L 4 Cylinder engine which produces 178 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 170 lb. ft. of torque at 4,100 RPM. With the standard six-speed automatic, the Camry XSE 4 cylinder achieves the fuel economy ratings of 25 mpg in city and 35 mpg on the highway, which places it right in the middle when compared to its competitors with 4 cylinder engines and automatic transmissions.
First of all, this is a Camry, not a sports sedan, so if you try to drive this car hard, it will retaliate. However, when you drive it like a Camry, the car feels very compliant and answers to every command you provide with the steering wheel and the gas pedal. On a straight road, the Camry feels very comfortable, the suspension tuning in the XSE trim is a good compromise between sport and comfort. Even though it rides on 18 inch rims, the tires themselves have a high side wall and this absorbs majority of the road imperfections but will send your body shaking when you drive over a large pot hole in the middle of the road.
The response and the feel provided by the steering wheel is so-so. Around mild corners, the car transitions well and enables the driver to have a little fun. But, around tight corners and roundabouts, I would recommend that you back off the gas pedal, let the chassis settle and allow the car to do its thing rather than forcing the issue.
Compared to the previous generation Camry SE, the brakes in the new XSE are much more responsive and gives the driver a lot more confidence while coming to a stop. Though the brake rotors are of the same size when compared to the previous generation Camry SE, the new pads and brake master cylinder make all the difference here. However, if you wish to extract all the performance capabilities from this new Camry XSE, we recommend that you upgrade the tires from the standard all-season units to a dedicated, high performance summer tires.
Overall, the new Camry and especially the Camry XSE is a vast improvement over the previous generation. The XSE trim adds the little amount of spice that the entire Camry desperately needed. The exterior of the XSE is very aggressive and it will turn heads. But for the traditional Camry consumers, there is always the less aggressive LE and the more luxurious XLE to choose from. The interior of the new Camry is also a vast improvement compared to the previous generation as the occupants are welcomed to well designed layout with soft-touch materials and supportive seats that provide an overall premium look and feel.
At the end of the day, this is still a Camry, which means you get that solid build quality, the excellent reliability and bang for the buck that everyone has come to expect from Toyota and this is the reason why the Camry continues to be the king of the mid-size family sedan segment in the U.S. year after year.