The 2015 Camry got a significant restyle, and while it is definitely more expressive and interesting, things like the yawn-fest rear end and my review car’s Celestial Silver Metallic colour reminded me that Toyota still doesn’t want to stand out from the crowd too much. Oh sure, it’s lower and wider, and my car’s SE package includes what Toyota calls a Sport Style grille (which is surprisingly aggressive – for a Camry) and a rear spoiler. Yes, it rides on nice 17-inch rims with 215/55-sized rubber. But in the end, this Camry – the best-looking one yet – continues to blend in as it rolls down the street. And I’m guessing that’s just fine with Toyota and with most buyers.
Much like the exterior, nothing got me really excited but I couldn’t find much to criticize about the interior. Clean, ergonomically-sound styling and Toyota’s use of decent materials, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces (and some contrasting red stitching in case you weren’t convinced this is a special/sport edition) make for a pleasant mid-level cabin. The “sport seats with sport fabric material” (it’s a combination of SofTex vinyl and a patterned fabric) are very comfortable and the driver’s side is power-adjustable. The bolstering on these “sport seats” is actually pretty good but it looks more aggressive than it really is. You get nice things like an excellent steering wheel with a chunky yet comfortable rim, a dual-zone automatic climate control and a 6.1-inch touchscreen that handles your audio and phone functions, your back-up camera and the expected hybrid energy-flow displays and fuel economy information. I found plenty of storage around the cockpit, including a large bin under the centre stack (where you’ll also find all the connections for audio inputs and a 12V plug) and plenty of space under the armrest lid.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a rear passenger that can’t get comfortable. The Camry certainly carries on the tradition of offering plenty of space, and there’s no shortage of head or leg room, even for the tallest of passengers. When it comes to creature comforts, the incredible amount of room is about all your passengers are going to get. There’s nothing else going on back there – no air vents, no charging plug, nada. Our three kids fit back there nicely and had room to stretch out. No complaints. You’ll find two sets of LATCH anchors for children’s seats if you need them.
I was happy to see that the hybrid’s battery pack doesn’t reduce the trunk space as much as I expected it to – you end up with a very usable 370L trunk (versus 436 for the non-hybrid Camry). The fold-down seatback exposes a small pass-through for long, skinny items.
While the Camry’s shape is relatively fresh, the front-wheel drive hybrid drivetrain – a 2.5L four cylinder along with an electric motor that combine to offer up a reasonable-sounding 200 horsepower – is carried over from the last generation. That includes the CVT.
Toyota says the hybrid Camry averages 5.7 L/100 km in the city and 6.1 on the highway – better than most cars on the road, and certainly better than the other Camrys. I was also thrilled with the normal-sized 64L tank which makes for an astounding theoretical range between fill-ups.