Toyota did a great job making the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE more than a mellow, humdrum, people mover. It has a new body, new interior and it has been heavily upgraded. Those two magic letters “SE” lift the hybrid to another level.
Not much change under the hood of the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE, from last year’s Camry Hybrid. The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, which is connected to an electric motor and battery pack, makes a combined 200 horsepower. Power is sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with just enough zing to make on-ramps somewhat entertaining.
The real news, the very best part of the 2015 Toyota Camry SE is the sporty upgrades. black headlight surrounds, sport fabric seats silver interior accents a leather-wrapped steering wheel a rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels and (the pièce de résistance) a sport-tuned suspension.
Around town, the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE drives like the last Camry Hybrid with a little bit of road noise and a hint of engine drone thanks to the CVT. Things change when you open up the tap and charge into a few corners. The sport-tuned suspension and beefed-up rubber help the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE hold the corners with enthusiasm. There is no real steering feel, but the steering effort is on the verge of being sporty.
The bottom line: the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE is kind of fun to drive. That may read like a backhanded compliment; however, how many cars out there that get 40 mpg (combined)that are enjoyable to drive? Not too many. Most of the other Camry Hybrids get a combined 41 mpg, credit that to tires as the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE’s wheels and rubber are not as efficient – but, they sure look good.
Best of all, the $32,233 (as tested) 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE looks mighty good in its new digs. Body lines move upward as they approach the Camry’s rear and the silhouette is downright sleek. Best of all, the front end (which has a unique grill for SE) is complimented by the rear-end’s design. The old Camry was disconnected and tawdry by comparison.
The interior is a tasteful rehash of the Toyota Avalon’s interior – which is to say it’s quite nice. Most materials are high quality, the layout is tasteful, seats are comfortable front and back. The trunk has 13.1 cu-ft of cargo space with a small pass-through on the folding (larger) section of the seatback. Only the passenger side folds as the rest of the rear bulkhead is filled with batteries.
Extra sound-deadening material and (standard) heated seats would have been welcome additions.
First impressions are good and I have taken the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE into the snow too. Traction was good and stopping ability (on snow, ice and tarmac) is quite good. So far, it’s an easy to drive compromise that’s not really much of a compromise.
Not too shabby Toyota.
Check out this 2015 Toyotas Camry XSE review!