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An all-new 2015 Toyota Camry already? That’s what some current Camry owners might think, as the current generation of this longtime best-selling sedan model has only been around for three model years. Yet today the Camry faces even stronger competition from recently refreshed versions of the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, and others.
Toyota is in effect not resting on its laurels; it’s given what it calls a sweeping redesign to the Camry for 2015—with a completely new look for the interior and exterior, added noise insulation, and upgraded driving dynamics.
While the change in appearance isn’t radically different, it looks updated, more refined, and more contemporary inside and out. And the most significant change are under the skin. The Camry gets what Toyota calls an aggressive front-end appearance, with LED front running lamps plus available LED auto-leveling lamps for the low and high beams. Taillights get a new design that tapers in with the side sheetmetal, and a ‘decorative garnish’—read chrome bar—runs across the trunk. Toyota calls that cue sporty, although it’s a generic cliche.
The somewhat downmarket look and more ‘chunky’ feel of the outgoing Camry’s dash have been wiped away, with a ‘high-tech’ look for the center stack and a newfound attention to materials and details. Upper dash areas now have soft-touch trims, and the area just ahead of the shift knob gets an enclosed bin for personal electronics, with a USB port and available wireless charging pad (as in the larger Avalon).
In all, the 2015 Camry has nearly 2,000 new parts compared to the 2014 model. Toyota says that everything is new except the roof. Toyota claims to have made some significant changes to improve the Camry’s responsiveness. While the existing MacPherson strut, multi-link rear suspension layout does carry over into the 2015 Camry, a new calibration for the electric power steering and a retuned brake-booster system should help make it a better-driving car. So should a stiffer body structure and additional spot welds. As well, Toyota has added noise insulation at the floor, improved window and door seals, and redesigned the side mirrors for better airflow; all of this should help improve interior noise, which has been one of the current car’s inadequacies.
What’s under the hood is carried over, mostly. The 2015 Camry will remain powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or 3.5-liter V-6—both hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission—or in the Hybrid model, a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder and Hybrid Synergy Drive system. New to the lineup this year is a new sporty SE version of the Camry Hybrid.
Toyota has further retuned the stability control system in SE models to intervene in a smoother way. And based on the success of the sporty SE model, a new XSE model has been added to the lineup and is the sportiest Camry yet, according to Toyota. with 18-inch wheels, unique shocks, firmer suspension bushings, and stiffer springs—as well. Both of these more performance-oriented Camry models get a mesh front grille and different front fascia.
The 2015 Camry will offer more active-safety features than before, including Lane Departure Alert, a Pre-Collision System with Auto High Beams, and a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Adaptive Cruise Control is also on offer with that feature set.
Features and pricing haven’t yet been announced; but with the tight competitive environment amongst sedan models, we can only see the value situation getting better. Camry SE, XLE, and XSE models now all include Optitron gauges with a new 4.2-inch TFT display in between.
Will all these changes add up to a more refined, better-driving Camry that wages a stronger fight against key rivals? We hope to update you with full driving impressions and a full review here before the 2015 Toyota Camry goes on sale this fall.
- High-mileage Hybrid model
- Even sportier XSE new to the lineup
- Fresh new look
- Greater attention to cabin noise
- Rear seats don’t fully fold
- Unsupportive base seats
- Will it feel like less of an appliance?