What’s probably the most common car on U.S. streets isn’t a Chevy or a Ford, but aToyota. The Camry has been the best-selling car inAmerica for eight of the past nine years. More than ten million Camrys have been sold since 1983, when the model was first introduced, and the majority of those have been sold in theU.S.
With each new Camry much improved, and an even better value it seems, expectations for the new ’07 model are high.
There’s also the issue that the Camry is just so darned good and efficient at being a comfortable, economical, trouble-free sedan that it has come to be viewed as an appliance, and has gathered descriptions, according to Toyota execs, like “bread-and-butter,” and “dad’s car.” And driving a Camry sort of lends itself to an “I don’t care about cars” anonymity. Is the Camry boring, or is it just too darned good?
That was the challenge: how to bring more style — and a little more driving enjoyment — to the Camry without alienating any of Camry’s very loyal customer base.
To start, the team behind the latest Camry sought to add much more upscale character to the car. While that was also said to be a goal of the last-generation Camry, it’s really worked this time. The Camry’s exterior shape emphasizes sharp surface lines and a multi-leveled hood and rear decklid, along with an emphasis on continuity that’s echoed inside as well. As expected, the new Camry is highly influenced by the current Avalon, introduced last year, and also inherits various design cues and features from upmarket Lexus models. If you squint, on the outside you can even see a little influence from BMW.