Owner Review

2015 Toyota Camry Rz S.e. Review

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The Camry’s latest freshening is substantial. All the bodywork is new save the roof, and the curves flow more organically than before. Most models carry a simple five-bar chrome grille, but a gaping, black-mesh snout distinguishes the sportier SE and new-for-2015 XSE trims. It’s a cyborg catfish, but one you can take home to meet the parents.

Additional spot welds add rigidity to the structure, while thicker carpet padding and door inserts help tamp down road noise in the cabin. All variants get minor chassis changes, while the XSE—like our V-6 test car—gets extra starch, with firmer shocks and springs, harder bushings, and a sharper tune for the ­electric power steering. It remains family-car compliant, but the foundation feels more solid and isolated, with better body control and ride quality.

The Camry’s helm, however, is still DOA, offering little on-center feel or increased effort in corners. XSE models wear standard 18-inch wheels shod with Michelin Primacy all-seasons, which numb the experience by prioritizing low-rolling resistance over outright adhesion. Both their lateral grip on the skidpad (0.81 g) and their stopping perform­ance from 70 mph (178 feet) are unexceptional.

The powertrains carry over, including a standard 178-hp 2.5-liter four and an optional 3.5-liter V-6 with 268 horsepower. Both mills are backed by six-speed automatics and stir your soul about as much as the backyard air conditioner. Yet the grunty V-6 con­tinues as the one entertaining aspect of the Camry’s drive; zero to 60 mph happens in 5.8 seconds and the quarter-mile passes in 14.3 at 100 mph. That’s properly quick. Our observed fuel economy of 24 mpg was reasonable and similar to previous tests.

Other tweaks for 2015 bring higher-quality interior materials, including the XSE’s faux-suede bits and tangy-red stitching on the dash and seats. There’s also a new 4.2-inch TFT display in the gauge cluster of most trims and a revised center stack that features a wireless charging pad for compatible smartphones.