By on December 4, 2013

2014 Toyota Camry

For the 12 year in a row, the Toyota Camry is the No. 1 best-selling car in the United States, but how long its reign continues will depend on how well its competitors can do in their attempt to dethrone the king of the showroom.

The current total sold for 2013 is 378,520 units, with its closest competitor — the Honda Accord — trailing by just over 44,000. Toyota has stated that they intend to keep the crown for as long as possible, and have acted accordingly by aggressively ramping up incentives beginning last month.

The result? A quarter of its overall sales occurred during the Black Thanksgiving weekend, with similar results expected around Christmas time when the automaker holds their annual Toyotathon. Earlier this year, Toyota said it was prepared to defend the Camry’s crown with “whatever it takes“.

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117 Comments on “Toyota Camry Still King of the Showroom, Challengers Closing In...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Toyota said it was prepared to defend the Camry’s crown with “whatever it takes“.”

    In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.
    -John Ruskin

  • avatar
    Zackman

    For Toyota to stoop to increased rebates and buying their customers – like our neighbor – proves to me that they’re scared of the competition, and that their cars, while still very good, are not up to the standard of a decade ago.

    Thinking of another one of our neighbor’s experiences of extensive V6 engine and tranny issues would make me stick with a 4 cyl. basic model if I were leaning toward buying one.

    Personally, I like the new Camry and ALMOST considered one last year, but has anyone noticed how those rear lower fender panels, or “skirts” as I call them vibrate and sometimes flap when at speed on the highway?

    Anyway, Toyota’s desire to move the metal at any cost will affect the bottom line someday, if it already hasn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I agree about the rear fender quarter panels fluttering at highway speed being a ridiculous thing to behold – and you know what?

      The $60,000 Mustang GT500 Clarkson drove across Europe exhibited similar behavior if you observe things closely enough.

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      The flapping panels really bothers me. The first time I saw one I assumed it had been damaged.

      Toyotas really fell flat. The in-laws are pretty damn loyal to Toyota. As a result, my wife has had a 2001 Camry, 2008 Corolla, and her current vehicle is a 2010 Corolla. The difference in interior quality between the 2008 and 2010 is shocking. The 2008 has soft touch materials, tight panel gaps, doors that close solidly and have some heft to them. The carpet and seat upholstery held up very well to her abuse and still cleaned up very well.

      Jump in the 2010 and it’s nothing but brittle, easily scratched plastic. Very inconsistent panel gaps. Her dash has settled about a quarter inch lower on the passenger side than the driver’s and you can see the supposed-to-be-hidden bottom of the a-pillar trim. An AC vent has a bad habit of popping out over hard bumps as well. With only 70k miles the seats look worn and tired and the carpet is pilling.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        The bumpers “flap” (and they hardly move as it is) because they’re light due to weight savings and safety standards in slow impacts. In case you haven’t noticed, lots of cars do that today. Bumper covers are significantly lighter than cars from even 5 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      andyinatl

      And i thought i was the only one that cared about that :-) I guess there are many other OCD’d car enthusiasts. The “flappy” bumper sides would absolutely preclude me from buying this car, but another point of contention is rear headrests. Or lack of them…. There’s a couple of pimply looking things that are permanently attached to seatbacks, even on top line XLE models with leather interiors. That is just unforgivable….

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    They’re just gonna have to bite the bullet and do updates every couple of years if they want to stay on top.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I think they might, starting with the 2015 version which will be available for sale sometime during 2014, and which has supposedly had all the shortcomings addressed during this revamp.

      In the mean time, stay tuned for big discounts on all remaining 2013 and 2014 Camry models. Right there is a $1K factory discount plus whatever the dealer decides to take off. Good deals to be had.

      I don’t own a Camry and am not in the market for one either.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        The Camry’s discounts aren’t even significantly out of line from competitors. This is just another myth that people hear and automatically assume to be true, but then don’t actually go and look it up.

        Heck, it was an Edmunds post from a few months ago when the “Camry: stealth failure” article was posted that said the Camry’s incentives were tied with the Fusion and significantly lower than the Altima, Sonata, and Malibu. Why the hell don’t those cars have a weekly thread trashing them?

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          @84Cressida….Get over it man. No one is out to beat up your beloved Toyota’s.

          I personally believe that a Camry is a butt a$$ ugly geek mobile.

          You probably feel the same way about Malibu’s

          Its all in good fun.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          You can’t get excited about that negative stuff. A winner always has a lot of detractors when winning comes at the expense of the detractors.

          But the new car buyers love a winner! And Camry consistently is the winner in this segment in spite of all the negativity thrown at Toyota by the detractors and the effort by Ray LaHood and the USDOT to discredit Toyota as being unsafe because of SUA.

          That didn’t pan out. I hope Toyota upgrades both the Camry and the Tacoma to keep well ahead of the other car makers.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            I don’t see the Ford F-series get anywhere near the scorn the Camry gets, and we all know how Ford loves to tout that it’s number one in pickups. In fact, its sales numbers along with those of other trucks are celebrated on a monthly basis. Yet, each week we get ANOTHER article about how this next car is finally going to take down the Camry and how Toyota is suddently “desperate” and is falling apart.

            Which is hilarious, since the Camry gets trashed for “bad handling” and being an “appliance” when nothing handles worse and is more of an appliance than a pickup truck. Camry gets trashed for “high incentives” which I’ve shown countless times are not any higher than certain compmetitors, and the most recent fleet sales numbers STILL show the Camry to have lower fleet sales than said cars. Hell, if the Camry incentives were as great as everyone is saying, I’d seriously contemplate buying one right now if I was in the market.

            I do hope the 2015 Camry refresh takes it up a notch. The Camry has a few rough edges, but is still a pretty solid car. 30,000 people a month, no matter how good the deal is, will not buy something they think is junk.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Camry’s are discounted far more than they ever were before and fleet sales have risen just to keep the sales crown. Even Toyota admits to this. Why else do you think that local car dealers have used low mileage new body style 2012 LE sedans for as little as $13995?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            All you wrote is true. No doubt about it.

            But the name of the game is to sell. Get as many of your wares out in the real world as you can, any way you can.

            Like 84Cressida wrote, “30,000 people a month, no matter how good the deal is, will not buy something they think is junk.”

            If Ford, GM and Chrysler could do with their mediocre midsized sedans what Toyota does with the Camry, they would. The reason they can’t is because more people prefer the reliability, dependability of the value retaining Camry.

            Ford has no problem selling its F-series trucks and that is the best-selling vehicle of any kind in North America.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            You said “But the new car buyers love a winner! And Camry consistently is the winner in this segment” – actually the Accord is the top seller by retail sales, you know to actual people rather than fleets or corporations.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mike978, you are absolutely right!

            But, again, the name of the game is to sell. Get as many of your wares out in the real world as you can, any way you can. And that includes rental fleets, corporate fleets, lease fleets, whatever.

            When my daughter-in-law worked for a Pharma company, selling pharmaceuticals and drugs, her employer furnished her a new Camry LE that was part of about 20 leased Camry sedans that had been leased from ONE lease company.

            Along with the Camry, she was also given a corporate credit card for gas, lodging, meals and expenses along the way. The company did the same for all their sales reps. And they still do, long after she went on to bigger and better things in her working life.

            Fleet, lease and corporation cars eventually wind their way into the used-car market and get sold to members of the public who cannot afford to buy new. Many of them are well maintained. Others, like those from car rental companies, are pretty well trashed.

            It doesn’t matter how Toyota does it, keep the crown, as long as they do it. If GM, Ford and Chrysler could do it with their mediocre sedans, they would.

            I’m not looking to buy one but I hope the 2015 Camry will be a major improvement over the current best-selling models.

            After the dirty deal they got from Ray LaHood and the US DOT re: SUA, I hope Toyota sales skyrocket in the years ahead.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Competitors have been proclaimed to have been “closing in” for at least two decades now.

    Yet, another crown for King Camry.

    As long as the Camry remains a reliable, efficient, affordable & relatively comfortable car, that gives its owners one less headache in their lives, it will most likely remain on top.

    I despise bland appliances, but I also understand & appreciate the fact that the overwhelming majority of people want to try and keep a lid on both the number of things and the number of problems that consume their time & energy in our brave, new. mad world, and the Camry does both of these things with aplomb.

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      I’m with you. I don’t personally subscribe to the “car as an appliance” thought but I can appreciate the person who does. There is a great demand for this kind of vehicle in the world and Toyota has done it well enough for many years to earn their reputation. That said, I believe their last couple generations have really slipped in overall quality.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Except, the Accord is actually the RETAIL sales champ and the Camry used to sell many multiples of the competition from Ford, Nissan, Hyundai/Kia, etc. and still have the highest ATP (along with the Accord) in its segment.

      Now, the Camry’s ATP is at the bottom.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Plus the Accord is more of a fun drive, and IMHO, that also translates into better maneuverability in emergencies, as opposed to “grounded to the road.”

        Have had my Accord since March, and still tight as a drum, with no real squeaks or rattles inside. I’ve read multiple reviews about the latest Camry generation having some problems in that area, something previously unheard in a Toyota product!

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          Oh so you’ve read biased accounts from lame-ass reviewers who hate the Camry regardless, seemingly because its success and because it doesn’t drive like a Supra, but don’t own one. Gotcha. And I have zero problems driving my ’91 or ’07 Camrys in “emergencies” nor do I feel unsafe. And the ’07 (the ’91 doesn’t either, but you said recent) doesn’t squeak or rattle one bit at 90,000 miles.

          You can take your “Fun to drive” and have fun with your road noise and rough ride.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            And likewise you can take your fugly, limp riding, shoddily put together interior, poor crash test result that CR no longer recommends Camry and have fun too:)

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            Says the clown who drives a W body Impala.

          • 0 avatar
            mr.cranky

            @84Cressida- Sick burn! You just made a fan here, even if I don’t think much of Toyota itself.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Is this true ponchoman? Do you own a pre-2014 Impala whilst criticizing Camry drivers for their choice of car? If so, that is one of the most f*cking pathetic things I’ve ever heard.

            Those who dine on Bimbo bread shouldn’t snicker at those who eat Wonder.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “that also translates into better maneuverability in emergencies, as opposed to “grounded to the road.”

          Someone posted it below, but it’s worth repeating here:

          http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/review-toyota-camry-se-2-5l-track-tested/

          With standard stability control on everything now, I’m doubting the range in emergency handling is that much different between cars anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          SatelliteView

          My lease 2010 accord’s dashboard rattled like insane

        • 0 avatar
          calgarytek

          @sgeffe

          Like that you love your Accord. Still sucks to not have one with double wishbones up front. Don’t even talk about handling. I’m sure you’ll start getting a thunk at about 100K, which is typical of having just ONE control arm…

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        You are so freaking predictable. ATP matters when the Camry is sales champ, but when your false argument of the Genesis selling more than the GS comes into play, suddenly “ATP” is nowhere to be found.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          84 – it is true the Camry is popular but you must admit Toyota are having to work much harder now to keep it #1 in total sales (even if not in retail sales). It is also true that years ago the Camry sold for more than most of the competition, now they sell for less. Quite a change.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I had a few notes from a 10 minute ride as a passenger in a 2013 Camry LE.

    -It was very softly dampened, causing overall numbness.
    -It had good sound insulation.
    -The engine note was buzzy and not nice.
    -The fake stitching on the dash was nasty.
    -It didn’t have navigation.
    -The interior was light grey/dark grey/black/silver/brushed nickel/aluminum/LED TOO MANY COLORS AND CONTRASTS.
    -Door panels felt quite quite cheap.
    -Interior door handles made of cheap plastic.

    I was very unimpressed. I can’t believe they sell so many. And having spent lots of time back in the day in a 96 Maxima – this thing wasn’t near as good.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      I can’t stand the instrument cluster on the current Camry. It looks like it belongs in a 1980s GM product. The rest of the interior doesn’t look so hot, either.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      -It was very softly dampened, causing overall numbness.

      Would you rather it be rough and harsh?

      -It had good sound insulation.

      They always have.

      -The engine note was buzzy and not nice.

      Completely disagree. The 2AR-FE sounds great, especially at high RPMs. Great exhaust note too. Lots of power and smooth shifts.
      -The fake stitching on the dash was nasty.

      It’s real stitching. It’s a real piece of thread sewn into the dash.

      -It didn’t have navigation.

      It’s a freaking LE model. The supposed C&D 10 best Accord LX and game-changer Fusion S don’t have it either. But apparently Toyota is the one in the toilet.

      -The interior was light grey/dark grey/black/silver/brushed nickel/aluminum/LED TOO MANY COLORS AND CONTRASTS.

      They’ve gotten trashed for not having enough color before. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

      -Door panels felt quite quite cheap.

      Care to explain how?

      -Interior door handles made of cheap plastic.

      Should they be made out of pure gold?

      A ’96 Maxima is a 17 year old car built in a completely different time period and not to mention isn’t even in the Camry’s class. A 2013 Altima or Accord won’t be as impressive compared to it either. Not to mention said Maxima doesn’t have any of the safety features, electronics, fuel economy, Bluetooth, airbags, etc that a new Camry does.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Of course it was in the Camry’s class at the time, in the 90s! It doesn’t have electronics? Doesn’t have any airbags? What are you saying – does it make sense or did you just need to make a list?

        -RE: Real stitching
        I didn’t know it was real, but it looked out of place either way. Big white piece of thread through a black dash panel, in a generally grey interior.

        -RE: Nav
        I didn’t say OMFG NO NAV POS WTF. I said, it didn’t have navigation. Fact. You’re too prepared to fall on the sword for Toyota. I didn’t have my sword out, so you took your own out to fall on instead. Quit it.

        -RE: Door panels
        The door panels were hard, scratchy plastic. They were unpleasant to touch or rest an arm upon.

        -RE: Door handles (interior)
        They should be made of metal, as it imparts a much nicer quality feel. You don’t have to spaz and say “pure gold,” because nobody was talking of nor expecting it. Just metal. That’s all.

        -RE: Colors
        There is a way to use harmonious materials and colors in a nice way, and then there’s a way to use 50 shades of grey and black which is not harmonious. For harmony of materials I’d reference you to Lexus products. Obviously in the Camry they won’t be as nice, but they CAN and SHOULD match together. Everything in the Camry I saw was just all over the place, different angles, materials, colors. It was too busy.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    It is revealing how much alike the current Camry and our 2002 model are. Many successful cars are only changed incrementally (Golf, Passat, V70) until there is a need for a proper overhaul.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I think buying a new Camry has to be the equivilant excitement wise, to getting new socks and underwear at Target. I suggested an Accord to the wife when she was looking for a new car, but the Camry was never on the radar. Mainy due to its total blah-ness but also because of that miserable Highlander they sold in her ’01.

    I suspect with all the cash Toyota is throwing on the hoods of these things to move them that they are substantially cheaper than a comparable Accord. Otherwise why not get the much better Honda?

    • 0 avatar
      Sloomis

      I can tell you from experience that buying a Camry might be as exciting as getting new socks and underwear at Target, but driving one is significantly less exciting than that.

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      At least those new underwear will grip you tight around the vegetables for a couple washes. The Camry will always be loose and unrewarding to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        goldtownpe

        “The Camry will always be loose and unrewarding to drive.”

        Jack Baruth beg to differ.
        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/review-toyota-camry-se-2-5l-track-tested/

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          And so do I.

          • 0 avatar
            Athos Nobile

            And so do these guys

            youtube.com/watch?v=MYTX_gq54p4

            Fridge > all, brilliant ad BTW.

            Some people just want a car that takes them from A to B reliably. Even people that are car enthusiasts, yes some of them buy -surprise surprise- Camrys.

            That doesn’t make them retarded.

          • 0 avatar
            goldtownpe

            Self proclaimed “car enthusiasts” love to bashed the Camry’s handling and steering but then someone who actually knows how to drive fast takes it to the track and loves its handling, it just makes me laugh at those “car enthusiasts”. These “car enthusiasts” apparently don’t know sh|t about cars or driving cars.

            “But in fast corners you could use its unshakeable stability and talkative steering to push it very hard and thus sniff at cars with much higher but more troublesome limits.” – Jack Baruth

            I would love to see Jack take a rental Fusion 1.6T to the same track and see how it does. Hopefully that little 1.6T can survive a weekend without setting itself on fire.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      “I think buying a new Camry has to be the equivilant excitement wise, to getting new socks and underwear at Target.”

      Yeah okay, um, good for you. And I’m sure whatever it is that you have is the equivalent of mopping up someone’s sweat from a chair.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Cressida your problem is you have been driving Toyotas for so long your don’t have clue how they compare to anything else that wasn’t built 30 or 40 years ago. Your totally one of those faithful Toyota sheep who thinks because it says Toy on it, it has to be the best!…LOL Sorry to burst your bubble but If I thought Toyota products were all that after owning two of them there would still be one parked in my garage.

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          I’ve driven literally EVERY SINGLE ONE of the Camry’s competition. Probably more than you have, and not on mere little 2 minute test drives either. Not a single one of them is leaps and bounds more impressive or some Godly car like you people make them out to be. Sorry to burst YOUR bubble. And I could give a rat’s ass what you have in your driveway.

          I have zero problem calling Toyota out on problems. And the Camry like any car has its faults. The difference is that the other car’s faults aren’t posted weekly in another useless article, nor are their faults either embellished or flat out lied about.

          • 0 avatar
            SatelliteView

            I, for one, like how brand new Toyotas can’t pass small offset crash test with anything but “poor” rating. Really says a lot about quality of engineering

        • 0 avatar
          jimmy2x

          “Your totally one of those faithful Toyota sheep”…

          It is difficult to take seriously people who use the “sheep” label in a feeble attempt to bolster their point of view.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            But you have used labels similar to that for people who blindly go for other brands.

            I understand your discomfort now BS has left and some “anti” Toyota posts are made occasionally. Now you know what it was like for other people who had every day anti GM, Ford or Chrysler posts. BTW I own a Toyota and a Subaru.

  • avatar
    Banger

    Man, this headline got me all pumped up for a murderous group of Dodge Challengers circling in for the kill on a hapless Camry. Or really good Challenger sales numbers. But let’s be honest, I knew there was no way it was the latter.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Hah, that’s what I immediately thought too. Imagine “Dodge Challenger, best selling car in America”. That would be my kind of America. Or ‘Murica as it is sometimes said.

      • 0 avatar
        Banger

        “That would be my kind of America. Or ‘Murica as it is sometimes said.”

        Abso-freakin’-lutely, Mr. Dio. #AMERICA

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        It’s really sad that a transplant Asian company making some specific cars in America that gets the title best seller here. Not one person I asked that bought a Camry could give me any specific reason other than the Toyota “label” or the lease deal was cheaper on why they bought one. Says a lot about many Camry owners.

        • 0 avatar
          goldtownpe

          You can read about several reasons to buy a Camry here:
          http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/review-toyota-camry-se-2-5l-track-tested/

          I love to see a rental Fusion 1.6T on that track.

          Jack Baruth, who admitted to not being a fan of Toyota Motor Corp, said he could see himself buying one with his own money.

          Yep…says a lot about Camry owners…smart car enthusiasts who prefer durable, efficient, and track-proven performance over superficial looks and spec sheets.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Toyota is loosing ground due to its conservative approach. Bland and reliable cars sold well when the competition was unreliable and hard on fuel. The competition have fixed those shortcomings and have more exciting products. Deep discounts work in the short term but in the long term customers start to expect them and won’t buy until more discounts are offered.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The only real competition was the Sonata a little while back. Accord has followed Nissan and gone CVT. There is no competition from Ford, GM or Fiatsler in that segment of the market.

      I hope the 2015 Camry will be a winner.

      • 0 avatar
        luvmyv8

        I wouldn’t say there’s no competition from Ford. Here in San Diego, I see plenty of new Fusions on the road…. and not fleet either. The Camry still is king because it’s always been the “safe” choice for buying a new car, but the Fusion makes a compelling argument.

        In all honesty, the Fusion was my plan “B” if I couldn’t find a Jeep Wrangler I liked, which I did, a nicely equipped ’12 Sport S 4X4 with low miles and the Pentastar.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “The Camry still is king because it’s always been the “safe” choice for buying a new car”

          I agree! It sure is a solid choice for people strapped for money or on a tight budget who need something reliable that retains its value.

          Like I wrote earlier, elsewhere, I’m not in the market for one, but I have been approached by friends to recommend something (because of my former association with the industry) as a decent mom-mobile or reliable family transport.

          Many moons ago at least two of my children bought a new Camry before SUVs and CUVs became cool.

          At today’s prices, especially with the incentives being offered, Camry is a great buy! An LE can be had for less than $23K with factory discount and even less if the dealer pitches in some discount money.

          As a caveat, I also recommend not keeping them beyond the factory warranty period but taking advantage of their retained value and trading them off for a new one with factory warranty.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Considering that Camry is apparently a phonetic interpretation of the Japanese word “kanmuri”—which translates to “crown”—the Camry’s position as the sales leader is appropriate. However dubious that crown is, Toyota is laughing all the way to the bank, and will continue to do so as long as so many American buyers go after these same qualities in a sedan.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    My ex-boss had a Passat many years ago, his frequent repairs and breakdowns while my “inferior” old Camry labored on day after day and mile after mile w/o any repairs was my only way to get even for his lack of being a good boss. Thank you Toyota!

  • avatar
    fredtal

    I’ll defend this car, it’s comfortable, economical and above all reliable. That’s really all most folks want in a car. I see no reason to bash it for what it’s not suppose to be. And personally since I’m thinking of a new car, I’ll take all the discounting I can get!

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    No, I am self-employed and work on commissions only so if I missed an assignment I don’t get paid and if I screwed up enough I’d get fired! So a reliable, well maintained vehicle is a must, call it bland or appliance or whatever!

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    I am one of those people who own a Camry. A 2004, bought used. I don’t get angry when people say a Camry is dull, an appliance, an insult to car design, soulless, etc. It is all true. But my nearly ten year old car runs like it was new and it has never broken down or needed any repair, for the first owner or for me. I expect this happy state of affairs to continue for another ten years. I despair of the boredom of driving a Camry for that long, but it would a bad financial decision to replace a car this good just because I want something more fun or flashy.

    I could get a 7-series (they are cheap as used), but would it be worth the running costs, the repair bills and the worry? I need a car that runs every day. The Camry does not bring any passion, but it earns my respect for its loyal service.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      ” I don’t get angry when people say a Camry is dull, an appliance, an insult to car design, soulless, etc.”

      You may not, but as someone else who has a Camry (two) among many different cars, these weekly haterade threads and conjecture about how this car is seemingly worse than AIDS is really starting to get on my nerves. The attacks and insults toward the people who buy them just exacerbate it for me.

    • 0 avatar
      SatelliteView

      What about safety? Replacing a car to be up to date on safety standards?

      • 0 avatar
        Polar Bear

        “What about safety? Replacing a car to be up to date on safety standards?”

        Safety is a valid argument. Other arguments are status (which I am not willing to pay much for), better comfort, gadgets, etc, as well as the excitement of changing cars and driving something new.

        When it comes to gadgets I have updated the Camry once already. I installed a touch screen stereo with a reverse camera and blue tooth and hands free for the phone. Navigation I don’t need.

        The big improvement in car safety happened before 2000 I believe, in terms of advanced crumple zones, anti-lock brakes, pre-tension seat belts and airbags. Improvements now are incremental. I don’t think a 2014 is THAT much safer than a 2004. My car does not have stabilization, or lane departure warning, or drowsiness warning, or any of that new stuff, all of which is nice to have, but how much difference does it make? From memory, a simple seat belt is worth a 50% reduction in death risk, a driver front airbag another 20%, and from there on it is diminishing returns. In fact, the main thing I wish I had is stabilization in case of hydroplaning or slippery roads.

        However, if I was high speed highway cruiser I might worry more about the safety aspect than I do now, when the Camry is only driven around town at low speeds, 99% of the time under 60 km/h.

        But sure, safety improvements do add up, which is why I would rather not be in an accident in a 1972 Beetle.

        • 0 avatar
          SatelliteView

          Structural strength is very-very important. plenty of youtube videos that prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

          Also, side curtain airbags. Does your car have them? There least amount of “car” between you and the other car, is in the sides

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I wish to trade in my car for a mid 90′s Camry in good condition, they were better than today’s version.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      That was the high point for the Camry.

      Much better built/engineered with much nicer interior materials.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        I dare any one of you to show me a midsize sedan built today under $35K that comes anywhere close to the 3rd Gen Camry.

        Hint: you won’t.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I think the 1993+ Camry was the best built I over-engineered Camry ever, and rivaled true luxury cars when equipped with the V6 (my parents owned one and would buy a new one again today if it was still being produced like that – it was a real Lexus, actually, better than many modern Lexi).

          IMO, the 2nd best Camry was the version that debuted in – I think – 1996; it had the same plush, quiet ride that had by then associated with the Camry, but Toyota had begun to cheapen the interior somewhat compared to the prior version. It still had smooth and reliable motors (I4 or V6).

          The worst Camry by far was of the generation that I had the misfortune of renting thrice, which was the 2010 version – rubbish interior quality, known and switchgear inferior to a Hyundai, and gobs of tacky silver painted plastic everywhere – with a sloppy ride that wallowed and emitted suspension noises of all sorts. The dash gauges were incredibly cheap looking and the seats were horrible, too. I literally couldn’t believe how far Toyota had fallen each time I was stuck with that gen Camry.

          The new one is thankfully an improvement over its predecessor, but to be honest, it’s not anywhere near the top of the class in terms of interior fit and finish, materials quality, driving dynamics (a given), or sexiness. It truly is an appliance, but it’s a reliable, fuel efficient one, with a compliant, quiet ride that needs little in the way of attention from its owners.

          Toyota needs to up its game in terms of revolutionary leapfrogging, rather than evolutionary change, with the next generation, if it wants to recapture its 1990s era glory. I am actually surprised that Toyota has let ifs products falter as badly as they have given the proud heritage they once stubbornly clung to in terms of honoring the traditions of its founder, especially given the continuous involvement of their family members in management and control of the day-to-day operations of the company.

          • 0 avatar
            Polar Bear

            Agreed. The 5th generation Camry (2002-2006) which I own is suffering from cost cutting inside, but the 6th generation (2007-2011) has even cheaper looking interior. I find the 6th unbearable with all that fake painted metal and phony wood, and recommend people skip that one and get either an older Camry or the 7th (current) generation.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Yet nary a 3rd generation is anywhere to be seen on the roadways and highways by my always looking eyes. Yet 90′s Panthers, Olds 88/LeSabres, Bonnevilles, A-bodies, Taurus etc are still all over the place. Hmm I wonder why that is?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Well I don’t know where you live or where your eyes are looking, but 3rd gen Camrys and similar year Accords are EVERYWHERE. Whether you like to admit or not, the 1990s Japanese cars just last and last. 2nd gen Taurii have mostly gone to junkyards with bad transmissions, GMs are longer lived, existing in a cockroach like state where most of the auxiliary systems have failed and the engine and transmission sill haul the car around. The Japanese cars didn’t have high torque v6 engines to overstress their transmissions, and owing to their lower depreciation, spent more time in the hands of careful owners. The interiors and accessories hold up MUCH better. 3rd gen Camrys are actually pretty rust resistant, accords have some rear quarter panel cancer, but that was remedied with the 96+ cars.

            Just helped a friend put a new rear window in his 92′ Accord Coupe (smashed by some idiots that broke into his garage), the car has 212k miles on original clutch, still gets 30+ mpg in mixed driving, and gives him no trouble at all. My gf’s roommate has a 1994 Camry (Beige, LE, gold trim). She’s a very stereotypical young asian female driver and the car has been in a few fender benders, but it runs like a top and the interior is like new. I helped another friend buy a 1992 Accord for $950 that spent its life in upstate NY. Some rust around the edges (rear quarter panels), but it still drove nice and tight, engine purred. It provided him with reliable transportation for a few years (we put new tires on it, front rotors, a high pressure steering hose, and a thermostat), and he turned around and sold it for $1950. Yet another friend had an extremely abused 1996 Accord with 183k miles, and beneath the dents, grime, and neglected oil changes was a strong running car that still drove very well, the AC worked, as did all the power accessories.

            I wonder what the used automotive landscape will look like in 20 years, but I somehow suspect that my 5spd port injected Civic will go the distance, all these Ecoboosted MyFordTouched Fusions less so.

            I realize this is mostly anecdotal, but people aren’t stupid when they buy Camrys based on reputation (whether that reputation actually applies to the current cars or not).

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      This.

      Above all this.

      The high point for the Camry was 1996.

      The low point was 2008-2011ish.

      The trajectory is back in the right direction, but the competition has come close to, or even caught up when you look at the whole package.

      My sister would agree with you also. She has a ’97 Camry with 250K creampuff miles on it (almost all open highway, minimal stop and go, garage kept at both work and home, temperate climate). She has looked for a new car cross-shopping brands since 2007. Every year her and I conclude the same thing. Nothing offers the comfort, build quality, MPG, and known reliability of her ’97 Camry, that includes the 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, and 13 Camry.

      My mother has a 2003 Camry with about 50K miles. Although more “cushy” with nicer options, it hasn’t come close to holding up as well as my sisters. The condition difference at this point is pretty dramatic.

      The Hammer Time analysis that was published here a couple of weeks ago showed, if you click through on the data, that overall problems have plummeted in the last decade and the gap between the best and the worst has gotten incredibly narrow.

      Yes, there are outliers on both ends.

      But the ’96 Camry was amazingly overbuilt and had very high content. The body style has aged well also (although I was never a fan of the gold trim)

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I actually like the post-facelift years for the generation of your mother’s Camry (2005 and 2006). A family friend of ours had finally replaced her unreliable ’85 Buick Something with a leftover but brand-new 2006 Camry LE in a Salsa Red Pearl or whatever it was called. This was the same time that the new-for-2007 Camry was deployed, and I actually liked our friend’s 2006 model better. I don’t know whether or not she still has it, but I’m betting that she does…

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I owned that 1996 Camry, and it was built extremely well. The dash was even padded BENEATH the steering column. But it was no more interesting to drive than today’s. And in 2013 dollars, that basic 4-cylinder 1996 Camry would be nearly $30K.

        • 0 avatar
          Dweller on the Threshold

          Yeah, I owned one too. Uninteresting for sure. Also, clearcoat peeled right off that dude at about year 5. That did wonders for its magical “retained value.”

          Near-Lexus quality, huh? I don’t remember it that way. Anti-Camry groupthink (including contrarian anti-anti-Camry groupthink) tends to run in predictable patterns that just get sloppy sometimes.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            Funny you mention paint peeling because sitting right next to me this very minute is a 2001 Camry LE with about half it’s clear coat missing and holes the size of half dollars in the rear panels and rockers.

          • 0 avatar
            goldtownpe

            Pics or it ain’t true ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Hey Ponchoman, you want to talk rust, how about we discuss the rocker panels on 97-03 w-body Grand Prix?

            I’ve never seen a Camry half as bad as the aforementioned GMs. Want me to go take a picture of my neighbor’s black SE? There is quite literally nothing left of them, just a jagged rusty edge near the door.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Interestingly you will get everything negative about Toyota in the US media, but for some reason they seem to forget the Camry has been the best selling sedan for the past 12years.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      It’s amazing how there’s a Camry bashing article literally every single week here. Most of it filled with conjecture and no facts. Or perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        People will say what they will say to try to further their own cause or favorite.

        I like the annual sales data that comes out, usually in January of the new year, for the past year’s sales, industry-wide.

        And for quite some time it has been F150 best selling vehicle in America and Camry best selling sedan in America.

        That is really all that matters, who makes money, and who losses money; who gained market share, and who lost market share. The rest is just BS, wishing and hoping by the whiners, and no more than sour grapes on the part of sore losers.

        I hope that Toyota really updates and upgrades their 2015 Camry model to keep ahead of the rest.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Well McDonalds also has the best selling hamburger with billion and billions sold despite tasting like dog meat with literally any competitor offering a far superior burger. It’s hard to get people to try something different or change there old die hard habits.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            The Taurus was a best seller once. It must have been a McDonalds then, too. And the current F150. And the current Accord must taste pretty close to dog meat considering it is climbing up the tailpipe of the Camry in sales.

            Or do you only use the “crappy things sell big” analogy on cars you don’t like?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ponchoman49, you are right in that old habits die hard.

            Most people want the reliability of an appliance from their daily ride. And given the baggage that the Detroit iron carries with it, many people beg off taking a chance on one of their products.

            But I took a chance on a UAW-made 2012 Grand Cherokee, imported from Detroit, and I have been pleasantly surprised.

            No problems, so far, and I didn’t find any marijuana joint ashes or empty booze bottles and beer cans in the car either.

            However, even with my good experience so far, I’m not going to chance it beyond when the factory/extended warranty expires. I’ll trade it off before then.

            I doubt seriously that I will buy another Grand Cherokee given the problems and glitches that plague the 2014 model. I get hate-mail from my three sisters-in-law for recommending the 2014 GC to them.

            For decades I, too, drove only Detroit. The cars I loved the most were my 1972 Olds Custom Cruiser with the 455 and later my Toronado, also with the 455. We saw a lot of Europe in those cars during the eight years we were there.

            But these cars had issues like all the cars of that era and I spent a lot of time tooling and wrenching on them.

            After we got back to the States my kids were becoming of driving age and I started buying USED Japanese cars. Wow, whatta difference!

            Those rice grinders just ran and ran. All I ever did was put gas in them and change the oil&filter every now and then.

            So, starting in 2008 I became a dyed in the wool Toyota convert with the purchase of a Japan-built 2008 Highlander.

            But I am selective in what American-made Toyota product I buy and so far only the Made in the USA Tundra 5.7 makes the grade with me.

            And as far as the Big Mac is concerned? I eat a lot of those. At least two a week, on the go. It ain’t bad if you sprinkle salt on it and drench it with ketchup.

            I’ll do it again tomorrow because my two grand daughters are working. Sausage biscuits for breakfast at one, and a Big Mac for lunch at the other. Weekly ritual.

            Hey, I get to hug and noogie my girls. That makes the heartburn tolerable. Hell, there’s always Alka-Seltzer. Oh, what a relief it is!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Chafe out the swelling fleet sales for the Camry and the Accord is the king – likely already at this point. Ya I know, Honda plays fast and loose with fleet sales, with a fair amount of fleetail going on – but everyone does.

    Hertz’s fleet alone is over 20% Toyota now – about 56K vehicles – that are replaced every 12 to 24 months. That’s just Hertz.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    Yeah, those heavy incentives sure are hilarious guys. They really seem to be giving these away. Look at what they’re going for:

    0% for 60 months +$500 bonus cash AND $1000 competitive lease conquest. Speaking of leases, look at these subsidized leases: $199/ month, $2528 due at signing. Wow. They’ve completely lost the plot.

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention, that’s for the 2014 red hot, game-changingweneedanotherplanttobuildthesethingscustomerskeepbustingdowndoorslifeispain Fusion.

    The 2014 Camry offers 0% financing and $500 bonus cash. No competitive lease cash on top of that. As for leases, $199 per month, but it will cost you more money down at signing, $2999, than the Fusion.

    So who’s giving away what now?

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Then there is this little bit of news:

      The average transaction price on a Camry has declined by 6.4 percent this year through August. In contrast, Accord’s transaction prices rose 7.7 percent and Fusion’s increased 4.5 percent, according to Bloomberg Industries.

      Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20130926/OEM/309269982/can-toyota-camry-stay-on-top-after-12-year-reign?#ixzz2mYz5Ni00
      Follow us: @Automotive_News on Twitter | AutoNews on Facebook

      84, your defensiveness is causing the B&B to bust your balls….

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    Don’t let the Camry bashing get to you. A lot of it is envy of Toyota’s success and should be taken as a compliment. If the Malibu was number one everyone would bash it instead.,

    Boredom aside, owning a Camry means a gradually growing appreciation of the people who made it. To make a car with this quality and longivity they really had to know what they were doing.

  • avatar

    I’m at the end of my 2nd Mazda 3 hatch lease and I don’t think I’m getting a new 3.
    The one car that came to mind is the Camry, it’s cheaper to lease, cheaper to insure and it’s bigger and quieter.
    I did try the new 3 2.5 liter s model, lots of fun driving but extremely expensive, I also drove the 2014 Mazda 6, great drive but noisy like hell and I’m a little tired of noisy cars.
    The only problem now is that I read a lot about the 2015 Camry, seems like they are going to update it pretty soon, should I wait?

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      There are two updates coming to the Camry. One is the 2014.5 model. That adds some minor equipment changes (like standard Entune/backup camera on some models IIRC) and a new dark blue, Parisian Night Pearl. The real reason for the half model year is because these Camrys will include some updates underneath to do better in the IIHS small overlap test. Toyota said the Camry is being re-tested this month.

      The 2015 Camry will be a refresh and is said to be a significant one, rather than just some small tweaks to the grille, rear end, etc. It will likely address a lot of the valid complaints the car has and add some stuff the competition has.

      Personally I’d wait until they unveil that car, then decide.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Try the SE. It will come far closer to your Mazda3 than the soggy LE and XLE, and will be far quieter going down the road.

      • 0 avatar

        30-mile fetch:
        Funny you said it about the SE, on Wednesday evening, I discover a problem with my Mazda3, one of the back wheels got locked up and I had to take it to the dealer, they did not have the part so they gave me a replacement car from Hertz, a brand new 2014 Camry SE!
        Very nice car, specially after you hear so many bad things about it, (beside Jack Baruth) and after I spent a week in Seattle with a rental Altima, I can never get used to a CVT, makes the car drive “cheap”, high revs when accelerating.
        At least, the Toyota have the steering wheel paddle shift that I like a lot!

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Having driven both the SE and LE versions of the current Camry and owned a 1996, I can see spending money on the SE but wouldn’t touch the LE. The 2013 LE and 1996 feel remarkably similar going down the road, but in the new one all that refinement is hidden behind a lousy interior that really makes the car feel cheap. And since the competition is no longer the 1996 Lumina or Taurus, this really stands out. Toyota decided to compete on price, and this is what we get.

    The legendary 1996 Camry is never coming back unless the American public is willing to shell out over $27K for a 4 cylinder LE.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      My mom had a ’94 Camry XLE V6. She LOVED that car. I’ve driven several Gen 3s and they’re great cars. Still tons of them around. I’d love for Toyota to build a car like that, and I’m sure Toyota wouldn’t mind either. The problem is that nobody will pay for it.

      What people lose sight of is that NOTHING south of $35K has anywhere near the interior quality the Gen 3 has sold today, not just the Camry. A 2013 Accord’s interior quality isn’t anywhere close to a ’93 Accord’s, but you never hear anybody talk about it.

  • avatar

    However Toyota has significantly improved its designs, but other Japanese models like Honda, Nissan & Mazda are far better in designs. I feel when new Toyota looks OK, but after a year or two, others beat it, and it starts looking old-age.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    84Cressida, give it a rest man. Yes a lot of car “enthusiasts” love to mock the Camry, I personally do not agree with them.

    Having said that, there has been a shift in the Camry’s position in the marketplace from the absolutely perfectly crafted and impeccably reliable zenith of midsize cars that commanded a premium(3rd gen camry). To volume leader by merit of its combination of excellent reliability and affordable price. This is nothing new, the Camry only became best seller in the 4th generation, when Toyota first started cutting costs and passing the savings on to consumers. They’ve played this strategy out to the current generation. It’s a strategy that has worked well for them, and we’ll see how they proceed with the 2015 cars. I think they need to reverse course on the decontenting, even at the expense of some profits, just to re-inject some of the “fat Camry” magic back into the nameplate. Then again I’m sure the Toyota product planners know better than I do what’s best for the company.

    To defend the current car’s flapping bumper and cheesy interior trim with excuses reeks of fanboi-ism.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The current Accord is closer to the mid-90s Camry than the Camry is now.

      • 0 avatar
        Dweller on the Threshold

        In what way is this true? The current Accord is the epitome of the Costco-ization of the American family sedan. The 90′s Camry was just the epitome of the American family sedan.

        Accord: everything tossed into the mix, but everything to a precisely tailored price point, and never mind whether it was something you really wanted or just decided at the point of sale that it looked like a cool extra benny.

        The Accord is what it is because consumer preferences have changed. The push-pull of taste and the need to differentiate product operate on entirely different rules today.

        Old Slab Sides was mainly Toyota’s attempt to make a big car. Period. Hard to believe now, but that was the key design goal. American – big. The Taurus was the bogey.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Man, I guess I am the only guy who thinks this is a pretty decent looking car. My wife wants a Sedan to replace the Tucson when it is done and this is on the list though but our main criteria is that it not leave her stranded when I am off in a worldly craphole for several months versus driving excitement.

    I have driven these and frankly, I don’t see what the fuss is. They aren’t as good relative to the competition anymore, but I think that has more to do with the fact that the Competition, especially the US makes have gotten better rather than the Camry getting worse.

    It does have decent headroom in the back seat, mores than any of the other midsize sedans (save maybe the Accord) with those sexy sloping rooflines everyone loves. That is important to folks who actually buy family sedans to drive their family around in versus those who race them by the spec sheet on the interwebs.

  • avatar
    50merc

    I quit shopping Toyotas years ago because in my part of the country they all arrived at the dealership with a second window sticker showing a huge (about $1500) but almost worthless “options” pack added by the distributor. Now I hear Toyota is touting rebates and such. Did they also get rid of the distributor’s swag?


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