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2015 Toyota Camry Windy City Review From Larry Nutson

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2015 Toyota Camry

2015 Toyota Camry
The Sales King

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel

Toyota Motor Company kept its auto industry crown for 2014. For the third consecutive year it was number one in global vehicle sales, selling 10.23 million vehicles.

Toyota Camry is a big contributor to these numbers. Camry is the best-selling car in America for thirteen consecutive years. In the U.S. nearly 430,000 Camry sedans were sold in 2014. That’s an increase of 5 percent over the previous year.

In the very competitive mid-size sedan segment Camry has gotten a makeover for 2015. Toyota went bumper to bumper and floor to roof, changing or re-engineering nearly 2,000 parts. Only the roof remains unchanged.

As you would imagine, to hold the sales crown not only in the mid-size sedan segment, but over all vehicles, a car has to offer something for the masses. The Camry for 2015 is even more of a consideration with its improved interior quality as well as improved over all handling dynamics. It’s not the most engaging a vehicle to drive, as many have said, but the Camry gets you there safely, comfortably and efficiently.

I recall the words said by Toyota at the introduction of the 2015 Camry at the New York Auto Show last April, “it’s the best Camry ever.” One would certainly expect that.

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There’s a lot to choose from in the 5-passenger, front-wheel drive Camry lineup. The 2015 Toyota Camry is offered in four different trim levels…LE, SE, XSE and XLE, with three powertrain choices.

Prices start at $22,970 for the LE-4-cylinder and run up to $31,370 for the XSE and XLE V6.

The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine produces 178 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy test ratings are 25 MPG city and 35 MPG highway.

The DOHC 3.5-liter V6 is available in the XLE and XSE trims and delivers 268 horsepower. It, too, is teamed to the six-speed automatic. EPA fuel economy test ratings are 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

With its Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, the 2015 Camry Hybrid LE offers an EPA test fuel economy rating of 43 mpg city and 39 mpg highway for a 41 mpg combined rating.

The Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive combines output from the 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine and a small high-torque electric motor. The system produces a combined 200 horsepower and varies power between the gas engine and electric motor, or combines both, as needed. A 7.6-second zero-to-60 acceleration is fairly respectable.

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My week long test-drive of the new Camry was in the SE hybrid with an MSRP of $27,995. Also equipped along with a number of other extra was the $1,300 Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and a Power Tilt and Slide moonroof for $915.

Remote Start for $299 was also on this car. I’m not a user of this industry feature that many carmakers offer. I just get in and drive; that’s the best way for quick warm up and to not waste gasoline.

Toyota equips different wheels and tires on the LE hybrid vs. the SE hybrid. The LE, whose EPA ratings I previously mentioned, gets lower rolling resistance 205/65R16 tires which help in lowering fuel consumption (raising mpg ratings) in both the EPA test and on the road. The SE is equipped with 215/55R17 tires and resultantly has lower EPA test fuel economy ratings of 40 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.

I did a long, 260 mile highway drive with the Camry Hybrid in winter temps of around 20 degrees and with highway speeds of 70+mph. I got in the range of 31 to 32 mpg, exemplifying that hybrids get their best fuel economy in lower speed city driving.

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All-in-all I found the Camry comfortable to drive in both city and highway conditions. The seats are supportive; I was not fatigued after my road trip; ingress and egress is easy; outward visibility is quite good; steering effort and feel is comfortable and there is good overall chassis response. The stiffer chassis makes for a quieter ride, too.

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I was missing heated seats in the winter cold. You need to step up to the XLE or XSE trim grades to get them. Another favorite of mine, a heated steering wheel is not offered.

Rear seat legroom is good for seating full-size adults. And, the entire cabin has a sense of spaciousness.

Car companies are offering more technology and consumers are realizing the benefit and demanding it. The 2015 Camry offers advanced safety features including 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. A back-up camera is standard on all Camry models.

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Also, the 2015 Camry comes standard with the STAR Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. It also features the Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. More detailed information and specs on the complete Toyota Camry model range is only a mouse click away at If you want to compare the Camry to other mid size sedans or hybrids you can do that right here on

The 2015 Toyota Camry earned a Top Safety Pick plus from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And, the new Camry hybrid was named the industry’s best new car value by Consumer Reports Magazine.

2015 Toyota Camry: America’s best selling family sedan.

2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy