By Nitish Rele
The nearly 100-year-old Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is steeped in tradition. And so is Toyota. So it made perfect sense for the carmaker to hold its family reunion of the totally redesigned 2015 Camry, and refreshed Sienna and Yaris, in this historic inn near Jacksonville.
The best-selling car in the United States retains the 2.5-liter inline-4 (178 horsepower and 170 lbs.-ft. of torque) and 3.5-liter V-6 (268 horsepower and 248 lbs-ft. of torque) engines as well as the 6-speed auto transmission. But Toyota has reinforced the body by widening the track (0.4 inches) and length by 1.8 inches. The front end of the midsize family sedan now screams attitude with sleek, tapered headlights, a more prominent grille, and a new bumper and hood. Satin-chrome accents deck up the interior with its reworked center stack, custom-tuned JBL audio system, fresh 4.2-inch TFT screen between the three-dimensional gauges and wireless charging system for select cell phones. An XSE model has been added to the previous 4-cylinder LE (starts at $22,970), SE ($23,840) and XLE ($26,150) trims. The XLE/XSE V-6 trims begin at $31,370.
The minivan acquires a revised headlight, tail lamp and LED daytime running light design, and a fresh front grille. Step into the cabin and notice the new instrument panel, center console, dash and three-spoke steering wheel. Toyota has also introduced more interior colors in the seven- or eight-passenger ride. However, the 3.5-liter V-6 engine stills cranks out 266 hp @ 6,200 rpm and 245 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 4,700 rpm while mated to a 6-speed auto gearbox. The only minivan available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the Sienna comes in L, LE, SE, XLE and Limited trims, base-priced at $28,600 and peak at $41,650.
No doubt the sporty hatchback is an excellent value, stylish and fun to drive. Its European product planners have raised the ante with a sharper appearance as the horizontal chrome grille meets up with headlights, widening the wheels and boosting the rigidity of its body structure. The interior gets a new dashboard and softer materials, premium accents around the shifter, and more padding to reduce noise. The powertrain has been retained: 1.5-liter inline-4 cylinder engine with 106 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 103 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 4,200 rpm while coupled with a standard 5-speed manual or the optional 4-speed auto transmission. The three- and four-door Yaris is available in L ($14,845), LE ($16,505) and SE ($16,820).
To test drive a Toyota, visit 9210 Adamo Dr. Visit www.toyota.com.