Toyota Camry — Featuring a host of improvements

By David Finkelstein
Special to MotorwayAmerica

With  notable bragging rights, the best selling car in the United States  for the last  12 years has been the popular Camry from Toyota Motors. The  Camry is now offered  with a host of new improvements for 2015.  The vehicle itself has been redesigned  to a point that it's obvious  that the new edition is far different in appearance  and overall  footprint when compared to the outgoing 2014 version.

As a matter  of  fact, when doing some number crunching I find that 2,000 or so vehicle  components  have gone through various changes or have been re-engineered. More precisely, only the vehicle's stamped overhead steel roof  assembly remains unchanged.

Part  of the underlining “in your  face” aggressive change begins with the car's front grille assembly,  which is quite extraordinary with a hint of the brand DNA that we  also see with their Lexus line of upscale vehicles. Camry's sophisticated  exterior is showcased with the car's all new tapered headlamps  and tail lights. The Camry has more prominent character lines that  spans the four wheel arches, across  the doors and onto the rear quarter panels.

This  transformation  has set the stage for the new Camry to be manufactured with a  much  stiffer and stronger body structure. Beneath the bolder body lines,  Camry’s  skeleton has been bolstered with additional spot welds  to enhance rigidity.  Aerodynamics have also been addressed.  The sedan has the  quietest ride  experience Toyota has ever engineered  within this model line. 

The redesigned, upscale  interior and advanced  instrumentation with intuitive controls help keep the  driver safely  focused on the road. The new interior certainly looks and feels  much more upscale with the premium as well as soft-touch materials  through out. 

The new center stack area includes a 12-volt power  point outlet, USB port and an  available wireless charging system  for select smart phones. The large center storage compartment housing  is  designed to keep your valuables out of sight. To help reduce driver  distractions, the factory installed a  4.2-inch information center  located between the three dimensional dash gauges. The  screen's  color animation displays a wide range of vehicle information which  is  tied into the audio and multimedia system. It also displays  navigation information, warnings pertinent to your driving such  as low tire pressure and  other communications to the driver at  a brief glance.

With the exception of the  entry level model, this  nice feature is standard on all other trim levels.  I would also have to agree with the Camry design team that the  2015 model is the best handling and most comfortable riding  Camry  that Toyota  has ever offered. The suspension system in all  versions is dedicated to raising  the bar when it comes to handling  agility and offering up a smooth ride. 

Advanced safety features  include; Pre-Collision System, Adaptive Cruise Control,  Lane Departure  Alert with Auto High Beam Lane Departure Alert and Blind Spot  Monitor  with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. That is in addition to the 10 standard  airbags that include dual-stage advanced SRS front airbags, front  and rear  seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags and a  driver’s and front  passenger’s knee airbag.

Powering Camry  is a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder  gasoline engine which produces  178 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of peak torque.  The EPA estimated  numbers show 25 MPG city/35 MPG highway. The duel overhead cam  3.5-liter  V6 engine is available in the XLE and XSE grades and delivers 268  horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Both engines are teamed  to a  six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA MPG estimates  of 21 city/31 highway  are posted for the V6 engine.

Both Camry  gasoline engines employ Dual Variable  Valve Timing with intelligence,  designed for optimal performance and fuel  efficiency.

Clearly,  Toyota Motor Company remains the world’s leader in hybrid  vehicles  and with the Camry on our radar, it too is offered with this optional  powertrain for 2015. The EPA numbers show an estimated 43 mpg  city/39 mpg  highway/41 mpg combined fuel economy with Toyota's  seamless hybrid system.

The hybrid operated flawlessly in both city as well as highway driving. To  take a brief snapshot view of the 2015  Camry's trim levels: the entry level LE  has projector-beam halogen  headlamps with auto on/off feature, daytime running  lights, color-keyed  heated power outside mirrors with manual folding feature,  16-inch  steel wheels with wheel covers and P205/65R16 tires, intermittent  windshield wipers, high solar energy absorbing window glass as  well as a bright  chrome upper grille and a rear trunk garnish  assembly.

On the SE (in addition  to the standard LE features)  you'll discover projector-beam halogen headlights  with black sport  trim bezels and auto on/off feature, 17-inch alloy wheels with  Graphite  finish & P215/55R17 tires and a color-keyed rear spoiler,  chrome-tipped  exhaust, sport-tuned suspension and a smoked/chrome upper grille  assembly with a sport mesh design.

On the XSE (in addition to  the standard LE  and SE features) projector beam halogen headlamps  with black sport trim bezels  and auto on/off feature (4-cylinder. only),  LED Low and Hi Beam Headlights with black  sport trim bezels and  auto on/off feature (V6 only), power tilt/slide moon roof  with  one-touch open/close with jam protection, driver and front passenger  illuminated vanity mirrors and rear-seat reading lights (V6 only),  18-inch  machined alloy wheels with black painted accents & 225/45R18 tires, acoustic  noise-reducing front windshield (XSE  and XLE V6 models only), dual Chrome-tipped  exhaust (V6 models  only) and bright LED Daytime Running Lights. Finally, on the  XLE  model (in addition to the standard LE, SE and XSE features) LED  Low and Hi  Beam Headlights with auto on/off feature (V6 only)  plus 17-inch alloy wheels with Super Chrome paint & P215/55R17  tires.

There are also many differences  with the car's interior  as well, depending on the trim level.

Camry's base  warranty is  for 3-year/36,000-mile bumper to bumper and the powertrain warranty  is for 5-year/60,000-miles. The entry level gasoline model has a starting  price of  $22,970. This pricing structure does not include shipping  charges which come to  $825. The Camry hybrid for 2015 has a base price of $26,790.