Consisting of 10 uniquely engineered speakers made from environmentally friendly materials (hence the “GreenEdge” moniker) located in 8 spots around the nicely updated cabin of the 2015 Toyota Camry, this best-selling family sedan now boasts a pretty kick ass audio system to its long list of rather less exciting but no more impressive virtues. It’s just that at InfotainmentExperts.com no one generally gets chest palpitations from things like class leading resale values and reliability both of which the Camry possess in all trim levels. These extend from the nicely equipped LE to our high-lux XLE V6 model to the sportier looking SE and XSE trims meant to appeal to a younger audiences and as before 4-cylinder and hybrid powertrains rare available.
So, do I think that the changes Toyota made (over 1,000 of them) to the 2015 Toyota Camry are enough to change young people’s perception that this is more than a car for their parents? Well, the power and sound quality from the optional JBL audio system I tried would definitely appeal to kids of all ages and I appreciated how easy the Toyota Entune system is to navigate and use but seriously Toyota—do the buttons and typeface on the dashboard knobs and controls have to be so large that they are visible from space?
Most of the buttons laid out logically across the dashboard were so big even I felt no real need to take special care when aiming and that is saying something since I am one of the 3 million Americans who suffers from an essential hand tremor. So if your hands shake a bit or your eyesight isn’t great then the Camry’s interior will be like a heavenly salvation. As I just passed 40 a few months ago I am not sure if that’s cool though and I am no longer allowed to be an authority on such a matter.
I hate to say this but not only did I find the available tech perfectly capable in the Camry but I had fun driving this car for a week. There I said it. I like driving the Toyota Camry as much as I liked the sounds that gently and smoothly flowed from the JBL audio system’s speakers which were soothing to the eardrums of anyone who rode in the car. Not even my mom complained that the music was playing too loud in the car and she always says that.
The JBL GreenEdge upgrade also came with a nice subwoofer and amplifier which always managed to maintain a solid clarity through the middle ranges especially with vocals from mainstream pop, lighter rock and standards. Serious audio geeks will no doubt feel that it lacks truly serious bass depth but Is don’t think that’s the sort of thing Camry buyers are after so JBL tuned the system well.
But trust me, when you try a sound system that mistakes loudness for clarity and quality, you will know what true ear pain is when you open your car door at home and realize your ears are ringing so loudly that you can’t even hear your family talking to you. That may or may not be a good thing but at InfotainmentExperts.com there is no question that quality of sound trumps loudness any day of the week. Still, I found the JBL unit in the newly refreshed 2015 Toyota Camry XLE V6 I tested to be plenty powerful to keep us entertained even if it didn’t cause the window glass and door trim to rattle.
I felt much the same way about the engine that came with our XLE model Camry, a 3.5 liter 268 horsepower V6 which carried over pretty much exactly from last year. If you love luxury, I do recommend the XLE V6 but if you want a bit more excitement have a look at the all new XSE V6 trim level (also available with the JBL audio). Our XLE V6 was fully loaded and stickered out at just $34,000 but that included safety features like blind spot warning, lane departure warning, automatic headlamps,, radar cruise control, rear cross traffic alert and more. To get the JBL audio system I had to order the admittedly bargain priced $805 Entune Premium JBL Audio with Navigation package which gives you pretty much what the name says. It includes a hi-resolution 7-inch touch screen display, navigation with real time traffic and weather as well as all of the wealth of features that comes along with Entune. Syncing my smartphone (an Apple iPhone 6+) took exactly 3 seconds and my phone directory was uploaded by the time I counted to 11 which is impressive.
For more information on the apps and features available with Toyota’s Entune system and its requirements, check out the article titled “An In-Depth Look at Toyota’s Entune for Beginners.” The article will tell you everything you need to know about the current system that is available all across the Toyota model line-up. Joshua and I hope to have tests for you of as many Toyota models equipped with Entune and the JBL audio upgrades as possible in the coming months! I will also update you on any upgrades made in that time to the Entune system.