It has only been three years since Toyota introduced the current-generation Camry. But that's long enough to lose ground in the hyper-active mid-size market and the competition has been far from sitting still.
The Camry is only the tenth-best-selling car here in Canada, well behind its Corolla sibling, and second in class behind the Ford Fusion. But it's the biggest seller in the key U.S. car market, which makes it a very big deal for Toyota, indeed.
So the company is giving the 2015 Camry a major visual overhaul, changing almost everything you can see, both outside and inside, while what's under the skin some minor tweaks. Toyota says it has more than 2000 new parts overall.
The 2015 Camry made its world debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. All its external sheet metal, except for the roof, has been revised, and the new car is marginally longer and wider.
Up front there's a new bottom-feeder grille, similar to that on the 2014 Corolla, with a nod towards big-brother Lexus's optical-illusion grille design. It is flanked by new lighting clusters with available LED headlamps and leads into a new hood and more sculpted body-sides, culminating in a restyled deck lid and new tail-lamps.
It's still far from avant-garde but the styling is a bunch more adventurous than has been the Camry norm and the bolder look is emphasized by a wider track to match. Inside, almost every surface that the driver or passengers can touch has been changed to give it a more refined and upscale appearance. Soft-touch materials, French stitching, satin chrome, and metallic black trim can be found on premium models and a new centre stack is said to offer simplified, more intuitive controls.
Instrumentation includes 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument cluster and audio screens up to 7-inches display – plus there's an available wireless charging systems for smart phones, said to be a segment first. To improve NVH, there's almost 30% more carpet insulation and the side mirrors are mounted further away from the cabin to reduce wind-noise.
The new Camry boasts a reinforced body structure with more spot welds to increase torsional rigidity. It also gets a new, two-stage brake booster and a retuned suspension that is said to deliver more responsive handling while maintaining the comfort our owners expect. Available safety equipment includes a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and auto high beams.
Toyota expects the Camry to achieve a NHTSA 5-Star safety rating and an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus designation. To help attract younger, more sport-oriented buyers, there's a new Camry XSE model that you see here with18-inch alloy wheels and an enhanced suspension and an SE version of the Camry Hybrid.
The new Camry, which is built in the U.S.A., will go on sale this fall.