Test Drive Notes Library
- Still the reliability king.
- Great practicality. Combines reasonable comfort, roomy, thoughtful interior, improved handling, nice style, smooth engine and transmission, decent mileage, good resale value, and superb reliability.
- It’s been largely de-geezered for 2015. The previous version of the Camry should have come pre-installed with a bumper sticker that said “Follow Me to the Early Bird Special.” It was a working definition of dowdy, from the exterior styling, to the paint colors, to the optional plaid seats. Plaid seats!! The new, 2015 Camry is much more up to date, with a wedge shape, more aggressive grille and lights, and overall, younger-looking style.
- Handling is improved. While not sporty, it feels a bit tighter and less floaty, and offers nothing to complain about. Nice, firm steering feel at highway speeds. We drove both the XSE (S presumably for Sport) and the XLE (L presumably for luxury) and definitely preferred the XLE. The handling in the XLE was very good, the ride comfort was better, and noise levels were lower. The XSE’s slightly more aggressive look may help some wives convince their wavering husbands that it’s OK to be seen in a Camry. But in our experience, the marginally better handling didn’t outweigh the increased road noise.
- Interior definitely feels more upscale.
- Touchscreen and dashboard controls improve usability over 2014 Camry, especially with optional, larger screen. Navigation is easier than most to program in destinations.
- Visibility, while compromised out the back like all wedge-shaped cars these days, is better than most. It’s very good up front and to the sides.
- Decent gas mileage for a very strong V6. 25 mpg overall. 21 city, 31 highway. Four-cylinder versions get about 3 mpg more overall. A hybrid version offers fuel economy approaching 40 mpg.
Test Drive Notes Library
- In the XSE trim, the 18-inch, low-profile tires are probably responsible for the loud road noise at highway speeds. The XLE version, with 17-inch, higher profile tires are noticeably quieter, and more comfortable around town.
- The seats are nice, but lack some thigh support.
- Visibility out the back is terrible.
- While there are nice, large knobs for volume and tuning, the touchscreen also controls the navigation system and Bluetooth phone connections. So if you’re using more than one thing — saying using the map for directions, while taking a phone call, you have to touch the screen to switch back and forth to use the controls, which feels unsafe and distracting. A navigation button would be nice to quickly return to the full screen navigation. A mute button for the phone on the steering wheel would be a welcome addition, especially given the road noise in the XSE at highway speed.
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