5 Reasons Why the 4-Cylinder Toyota Camry is America's Bestselling Car
Before getting into the 5 reasons that I believe the Toyota Camry with the 4-cylinder engine is the bestselling car and engine option in America, I should point out that were I to buy the Camry, this would not be the one that I would buy. Through the first 9 months of 2015, a whopping 87.8% of new Camrys sold have been powered by the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine, meaning that just 12.2% opted for the far more powerful V6. The 268hp V6 Camry would be my choice simply because I prefer the extra power, but for someone who is more concerned with efficiency and affordability than high speeds – the 4-cylinder 2015 Camry has no problem selling itself.
After spending 5 days driving a 2015 Toyota Camry XLE with the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine, I believe that the following five reasons are why there are more new cars on the road like this one than anything else sold in America.
5. Surprisingly Peppy – While I understand that someone buying a 2015 Toyota Camry with the 4-cylinder isn’t concerned about going fast, it should be noted that the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine provides plenty of power for this roomy midsized sedan. You aren’t going to win many races, but the 4-cylinder Camry has no issues quickly getting up to speed with fast-moving traffic, nor does it struggle to cruise at speeds well beyond any posted speed limit on Detroit area highways.
In the past, buying an affordable, efficient, entry-level midsized sedan meant that you were signing up for a car that was a total drag to drive, but the available 178 horsepower and 170lb-ft of torque affords the Camry more acceleration than most owners will ever use along with the ability to easily eclipse the century mark on the open road – which is another thing that most owners will never do. However, when it comes down to it, the 4-cylinder Camry can be driven in a sporty manner and it will respond well, so this is not a car that owners will dread driving.
Is it as much fun as the V6 Camry? No, but the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine makes the 2015 Camry much quicker and faster than I had expected, so for the type of buyer interested in the base engine in America’s bestselling car - this engine meets all of their expectations and then some.
4.Predictably Efficient – While the incredible fuel economy levels of hybrid sedans have raised the bar for MPGs very high, the 2.5L 4-cylinder “base” engine in the 2015 Toyota Camry should not be discounted for someone shopping for a midsized sedan with fuel economy being a major consideration. The EPA expects that the 4-cylinder Camry will hit 25 miles per gallon around town, 35mpg on the highway and 28mpg combined. I found that those numbers were all easily achievable without any emphasis on efficient driving and over the course of 8 days, I averaged 29.1mpg.
More importantly, I found that when I drove the 4-cylinder Camry in a more gentle manner on the highway, I was able to exceed the expected figure of 35mpg. On a long highway cruise with no real traffic to interfere with my driving style, while maintaining a safe speed of either 55 or 70 miles per hour (the posted speed limit along the route), I was able to get just shy of 38 miles per gallon and I suspect that someone who lives in an area with lower speed limits could get even better fuel economy figures.
In short, driving reasonably on a highway with a 70mph speed limit should easily yield fuel economy figures of 35 miles per gallon and depending on driving habits, owners could average better than 30 miles per gallon.
3. Sportier Exterior – This is true of all of the 2015 Toyota Camry models, but the most recent exterior refresh has ushered in the most aggressive face of the Camry, ever. In the past, some models came with a more aggressive look while other packages looked far more subdued, but the entire 2015 Camry lineup has an exterior design with some attitude – and customers like that. While this helps sales of the entire Camry lineup, the fact that the 4-cylinder models have a similarly aggressive look to the more powerful models makes this package more attractive to those buyers who want a car that isn’t so vanilla.
A decade back or so, the midsize sedan market in the US was dominated by vanilla vehicles that blended in with the crowd, but the modern automotive market demands that everything have some personality and some attitude – and the 2015 Camry meets those requirements, even with the 4-cylinder engine.
2. Crazy Loaded Interior – In much the same way that affordable, efficient midsized sedans a decade or so back were generally very drab on the outside, they were fairy unimpressive inside when it came to premium amenities. Fortunately, the market has changed a great deal so today’s affordable midsized sedans now have items that were once reserved for luxury cars, and the 2015 Toyota Camry is a shining example of that shift in the market.