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Toyota Camry XSE Offers Performance and Practicality

March 2015, by Adam Pringle - Also by this author

The Camry XSE offers the body style and perfomance feel shifting of the SE, but also boasts a wider wheel package and more sharply tuned suspension and steering. Photo by Adam Pringle.
The Camry XSE offers the body style and perfomance feel shifting of the SE, but also boasts a wider wheel package and more sharply tuned suspension and steering. Photo by Adam Pringle.

With the recent release of its Camry XSE in conjunction with the Camry’s redesign for MY-2015, Toyota said it is looking to inject some higher-end sportiness into its flagship mid-size sedan line.

The Camry XSE is identical to the sport-minded Camry SE in some ways — both have the same body styling, sport seats, and transmission paddle shifters, along with performance-feel features such as faster shift times and downshift blipping control when the transmission is in shift mode. However, the XSE also boasts a wider wheel package (18-inch wheels, compared to the SE’s 17-inch wheels) and more sharply tuned suspension and steering.

On top of that, the XSE offers a wider variety of options than those found in the SE, including a new technology package that features automatic high beams, lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems, rear cross-traffic alert, and a pre-collision system that can automatically engage the brakes in case of driver inaction.

Examining the XSE Up-Close

Members of the automotive media had the chance to cruise in the Camry XSE at a Toyota event in Anaheim, Calif., this past November.

The Camry XSE is offered with two engines: a 2.5L four-cylinder that delivers 178 hp and 170 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 3.5L V-6 that packs a punch of 268 hp and 248 lb.-ft. of torque.
Whether equipped with the four-cylinder or V-6, the Camry XSE offers tight handling along with firm gripping of asphalt courtesy of its 225/45R18 all-season tires.

And, the XSE’s performance does not come at the price of fuel economy: the four-cylinder engine has been U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated at 25 mpg city/35 mpg highway, while the V-6 gets 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway.

The interior of the Camry XSE features a 4.2-inch LCD screen that, along with displaying various vehicle functions, allows drivers to look at the pressure in each tire through a direct tire pressure monitoring system. This feature is standard on all 2015 Camry models except the LE gasoline model.

The high-tech safety features in the XSE are accompanied by touches of simple practicality and functionality, such as the 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space.

Fleet Camry sales for 2014 numbered 61,727, and the best-selling fleet models are the four-cylinder LE and SE, Toyota told Automotive Fleet. The XSE four-cylinder has an MSRP of $26,150, while the XSE V-6 has a $31,370 MSRP.

Overall, the Camry XSE is practical enough to please fleet managers while stylish and sporty enough to excite fleet drivers.

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