New 2015 Camry XSE drives as great as it looks
Today I had a chance to drive the great looking new 2015 Toyota Camry XSE V6. This is a car that takes an already proven winner, the Camry, and moves it up one notch on the value and enjoyment scale. The XSE is a new trim level that marries the best Camry in terms of looks, the SE, with the luxury of the XLE trim. Add the optional V6 with 268 horsepower and you have a car with an MSRP in the range of $32K to $36K that can match or beat the refinement, options, and performance of an Acura or Audi.
2015 Camry XSE - The Ride
Unlike some Toyota products of the past, this Camry XSE has both low-profile tires on big 18” rims, and also a very comfortable ride. Around town the car is perfect in terms of comfort and road feel in my opinion. Bigger bumps and road imperfections are felt, but not in a jarring way. Minor bumps are not felt at all. The car turns well, and it has not so much a sporty feel as capable. If you are looking for a sports sedan, it should be pointed out that Lexus makes the best one on the market right now. Camry XSE is not a sports sedan, but it does handle as well or better than many front-drive pretenders that market themselves as such.
2015 Camry SE V6 – The Drivetrain
The XSE can come with the popular 4-cylinder engine that serves most drivers' needs very well, or the optional 268 horsepower V6, which is a proven winner in terms of reliability. This engine has much more power than most drivers need, but it allows for comfortable driving. The engine never seems to work hard. On my test drive I did not push the car, but I have pushed this engine in other Camry and Toyota vehicles and it can move this car from 0-60 MPG in under 6.5 seconds. The engine uses regular gas and because of this, if you compare its fuel economy to the premium brands like Acura and Audi you will see that it provides a better cost per mile of fuel than their optional engines that match its power.
DON'T MISS: 2015 Toyota Camry Gallery
2015 Camry XSE Interior
I loved the feel of the synthetic suede seating my test vehicle had. The material feels expensive, it is perforated to allow for more air flow and would be great on either warm days or cold compared to full leather. Camry is not skimping here. The seats, steering wheel and other surfaces do use real leather. In combination, you will agree when you see it that this is an upgrade from full leather.
The infotainment system uses a touch-screen in the center stack. What a relief. As a Lexus owner, I am not a big fan of the mouse-type interface. I prefer the simplicity of a touch screen having owned both from Toyota/Lexus. Beside the screen are large buttons for the most basic things like Audio, Apps and such. Toyota gets it. The HVAC system can be controlled without using the touch-pad, and the controls are big and easy to use. I just tested a Honda that spoiled a great system by making those buttons so small I could neither read them nor hit them with a finger while moving. Toyota has all the advanced technology most makes do, but it lets those drivers that just want to get the simple stuff done do it very easily.
2015 Camry Safety
My tester had forward collision prevention. That is a system I will never buy a new car again without. It also had blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning. If you don’t want these systems, they can be turned off. The outgoing Camry has the industry’s highest possible safety rating, the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus. I would be shocked if this new 2015 didn’t also achieve that.
In summary, I found the new Camry XSE lives up to the hype. This new trim makes the Camry a very viable alternative to some of the so-called premium brands offering front drive sedans at this price point and higher. The new car drives very well, looks great and has interior and safety updates to keep this car on top of the sales charts where it has become so comfortable.