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Behold: The 2015 Toyota Camry

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On: Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 1:18PM | By: Teddy Field

Behold: The 2015 Toyota Camry

If the Toyota Camry were a meal, it'd be a slice of Wonder Bread served on a bed of lettuce. Sure, there's plenty of nutritious vitamins and minerals, but it's always had the excitement quotient of a lukewarm glass of water. The 2015 Toyota Camry, however, promises to be much different. They've apparently added a lemon wedge, ice cubes, and a new grille! So let's meet Suburbia's re-invented best-seller...

Before I delve into the new features of the 2015 Toyota Camry, let me begin with a little disclaimer; I'm a 30-something car journo who gets to drive a lot of interesting cars. I personally own a convertible sports car, and don't bat an eye at spending $2k on an annual service. The concept of reliable, affordable transportation is foreign to me. If I need to transport more than one person, I simply drive another car. If my car is in the shop, I drive another car. Etc. etc.

When people ask my opinion on the Toyota Camry, they usually recoil like I just slapped the baby Jesus. Suggesting that their sedan savior might be a tad boring is like blasphemy. “My Camry handles!”. “My Camry'll scoot; I don't know what you're talkin' about?”. But having driven... other cars, I can assure you that the last few Camry generations have been, indeed, boring to drive. Like 1991 Buick Century boring. But people apparently like not spending $500 to have their spark plugs changed. They'll trade a few tenths of lateral G-force for a car that you can actually climb out of with a modicum of dignity. Ah, the fickle masses.

Although most people dismiss my wisdom, assuming that I'm just an irresponsible car nut, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda seems to agree with me. He's directed his designers and engineers to develop cars that are more “exciting”. Since 2011, the sport-flavored Camry SE has accounted for nearly 45% of Camry sales (roughly 180k units per year). The Toyoda family has seen the writing on the wall, and the refreshed 2015 Toyota Camry seems to be the first mainstream result of the company's new direction.

Designed in America and built in Kentucky, the Toyota Camry has been our best-selling car since the Mayans started making calenders from fluffy kittens. To continue this trend, Toyota has stiffened the chassis of the 2015 Toyota Camry by adding additional spot welds, widening the wheel track by 0.4 inches (spreading the wheels further apart on the axles), and re-tuning the suspension to meet the consumer demand for each trim level Grade. The electric steering has been reprogrammed to provide even more synthetic feel, and a new two-stage brake booster replaces the sponge cake used on the 2014 model.

In terms of looks, Toyota's designers spent a considerable amount of time trying to make the 2015 Camry look more interesting. And they've largely succeeded... except for the front end treatments, of course. All trims below the XSE get this huge 'thing' below the grille that looks somewhere between an electric shaver and the face of a Big Bertha driver. The XSE gets this aggressive(ish) black mesh arrangement, which does look better than the Big Bertha grille. But it makes the front of the car look like a catfish. Maybe it's just me.

The 2015 Toyota Camry XSE replaces the SE as the “ultimate sport flavor” Camry, and receives unique springs, dampers, bushings, 18-inch wheels, the catfish grille, and other gym-approved accoutrements. We haven't sampled this flavor Camry yet, but it sounds even more exciting than a Himalayan Vanilla Bean Latte from Starbucks!

Toyota says that over 2,000 new parts were used on the 2015 Toyota Camry, and the only distinguishable carryover parts are the roof and the engines. This “refreshed” Camry certainly looks more interesting than the car it replaces. We just hope that it lives up to that hype.

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