2015 Toyota Camry Video First Drive

Fresh new look for Toyota’s Camry
Imthishan Giado

2015 Toyota Camry

I know what you’re thinking – isn’t it a bit early for a refresh? After all, it’s only been three years since they launched the current-gen Camry. And that car was far better to drive than it honestly needed to be.

For 2015, Toyota’s gone with something between a full refresh and a comprehensive redesign.  There’s a slick new body design – only the roof carries over from the previous car – which looks considerably more distinctive and upmarket than the oddly-hawkish previous generation. In fact, it’s easy to mistake it for an Avalon, Toyota’s full-size offering.

Such a move is no accident; despite selling more than 150,000 units in the UAE, local dealer Al Futtaim Motors would clearly like to distance the car from its taxi roots and get more regular folks to choose Camry. To ensure this, the car’s exclusively available to retail buyers until the end of this year.

The other big news – while the three of the four new trims will continue to come from Australia, the top Limited trim will be imported from the US. A sign of things to come? With production from the Altona plant set to end in 2017, all our future Camrys could well come from the US of A.

For the launch, we were allowed to test only the Limited variants. The existing drivetrain, a 2.5-litre four cylinder engine making 181bhp and mated to a six-speed auto, will continue to be offered.

2015 Toyota Camry

What’s it like inside?

Camry-like? You don’t get to make one of the best-selling cars in the world with bad seats or poorly-thought ergonomics, and the Camry is one of the simplest cars in the world to own and operate. On our brief drive, the seats proved comfortable for a range of body shapes. Limited comes with alcantara wrapped panels on the door cars and contrast stitching; they lift up the ambience from the beige-and-grey you’re used to, though you’ll never mistake it for a Range Rover.

New for this year is a 7′ infotainment system sporting big simple buttons, while the dash gets a high-res full colour screen of its own to display trip data and other info. On the Road

Power from the 2.5 won’t pin you back in the seat but it’s perfectly fine for the average driver. What will surprise you is the handling; I’ve always maintained that this Camry has one of the better chassis in the segment and this new version continues to impress, starting with the steering which has some genuine road feel. A stiff and suspension make the body tight over low speed bumps and humps, but it pays off in the bends where the car feels taut and unexpectedly agile.

Sure, it’ll understeer but if you get the weight transfer just right, the back end will step out! Not that I recommend you drive like it, but it’s nice to know somebody tuned this Camry to drive like more than an appliance.

Oh, and for those you wondering, this American-made Camry felt as tight and well put together as any Japanese Toyota I’ve ever driven.

Verdict

Toyota’s improved the things that mattered – the looks – and wisely left the well-sorted chassis alone. Bulletproof build, a good drive and bullion-like expected resale value mean it’ll continue to be one of the top sellers in the segment.

Specs
Price:
S – AED83,900 ($22,840) – Limited AED 103,900 ($28,280)
Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder, 178bhp @ 6000rpm, 170lb ft @ 4100rpm
Performance: 9.3secs 0-100kph, 200kph (est), 7.8L/100
Transmission: six-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight: 1447kg

One response to “2015 Toyota Camry Video First Drive”

  1. Jai M says:

    If they could let this sell alongside the existing model, keeping the existing one for commercial sales, and this a notch higher for retail.

    I love the specs and features that they have crammed into this generation. However, just the fact that every third car on the road is one, makes me not want to buy one. Hope Toyota takes this feedback!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *