Import Alliance car show

An appliance.  A beigemobile.  Vanilla.  Those are just some of the commonly used descriptors that are associated with the Camry.  Unfortunately it’s not a fair assessment of the vehicle.  The Camry has always been perfectly engineered mediocrity.  What does that mean?  It’s engineered not to offend anyone, but to appeal to the general public because as much as we enthusiasts hate it, the general public is where the money is at.  And the general public doesn’t care about horsepower, handling, or driving feel.  They care about reliability, utility and gas mileage.

Toyota Camry XSE

2015 Toyota Camry XSE

Let me put it another way.  There are people out there (probably) that really, really love dishwashing machines.  They subscribe to Dishwashing Monthly, they have dishwashing machine posters hung up in their offices and can name every iota of a dishwasher.  If you have the unfortunate task of being around a group of dishwashing machine aficionados, then you’re just completely lost in their dull and meaningless conversations.  And God help you if you buy the wrong type of dishwasher, for they’ll hang their heads in shame and mock you incessantly on why you didn’t get the ‘right’ one.  Well to the general public WE are the dishwashing machine enthusiasts.  To them the car is an appliance, it’s an appliance that will get them from point A to B without breaking down for a decade and then they’ll get another dishwasher errr I mean car.  To those people the best dishwasher is the Toyota Camry.

2015 Toyota Camry XSE rear

2015 Toyota Camry XSE

Now with this 2015 Camry that sentiment is a bit unfair.  This car will appease the general public in their acquiescence to mediocrity but to the enthusiast in all of us, there is an exception…the XSE model.  I’ll stand by as you laugh for a second.  You done yet?  Okay good.  Yes the XSE completely transforms the appliance nature of the car into a quick and nimble handling sports sedan.  Checking that option box will give you a sports tuned suspension, Sports Seats with Leather and Suede (front and rear), a thick leather steering wheel with paddles and red accent stitching throughout along with sticky Michelins on all 4 corners.  How about speed you say?  Here is a list of your standard sporty cars:

  1. Honda Civic SI
  2. VW GTI
  3. Focus ST
  4. Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works
  5. Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0t

Those are fairly quick cars right?  One of those maybe in your driveway right now.  If so, do me a favor?  Get up and take a quick look at it.  Now imagine you’re sitting at a light and a Camry rolls on by.  You have your windows down, music blaring, life is pretty good right?  Now the light turns green and you set off.  You burn through first gear, snatch second gear, take it all the way to redline and you look ahead and that Camry you snickered at is pulling ahead.  How do you feel now?  Well I’m pretty sure it’s the exact opposite of what that Camry driver is feeling because he just waxed your ass.  The Camry can scoot 0-60 in 5.7 seconds and it’ll reach the ¼ mile 14.2 at 100.6 mph!  I don’t care who you are those are numbers are damn well commendable.

Now let’s talk about handling because again this will be another reason the ‘enthusiasts’ hates on this car.  Well the steering is nicely weighted and delivers crisp turn in, it will hang on to the corner as long you want to without the front end plowing away.  Once you reach the end of that corner the brakes deliver good pedal feel and it get you to a stop from 60 in a 120 feet.

2015 Toyota Camry XSE

2015 Toyota Camry XSE

The interior is nicely laid out and in typical Toyota fashion everything is put together snugly and the controls are extremely easy to use.  As stated before the XSE gets you the Sport leather seats and they are firm yet supportive and has red accent stitching strewn about the interior which offers a great contrast to the black interior treatments.

2015 Toyota Camry XSE dashboard

2015 Toyota Camry XSE dash

2015 Toyota Camry XSE driver's seat

2015 Toyota Camry XSE

2015 Toyota Camry XSE rear seats

2015 Toyota Camry XSE

To sum up, do you know what this car is?  It’s the ultimate sleeper.  It’s original intent was to be a car that will last you until the end of time with civility, comfort and efficiency.   The XSE on the other hand will still last you until the end of time…but with a smile on your face each time you drive it.

Driving Notes

  • This model also comes with the Qi wireless charging unit. So if your phone is wireless charging enabled you just activate the corresponding Qi button and place the phone down on the charging pad and that’s it!
  • Voice activation in this car is horrendously slow. It takes about 30 seconds to activate then 15 seconds to process.  It’s so slow in fact that you forget why you press the button in the first place.  Just use the simple and quick touchscreen instead
  • Turn off traction control, find a nice empty road, come to a complete stop, and just plant the throttle. Then smile as you lay a smoky burnout through first and second gear.
Gram Lights