By on March 27, 2014

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This edition of the 2014 New York Auto Show just got a little more interesting, as Toyota announced it will show off a mid-cycle refresh for the current version of the Camry.

Although the 2015 Hyundai Sonata was expected to be one of the stars of the show, the Camry’s facelift will steal some of the thunder from the Sonata. Even if Toyota comes out with a few minor tweaks, the Camry’s standing as America’s best selling car will ensure that there’s plenty of media coverage for Toyota, and a convenient distraction from their recent billion dollar fine that was just paid to the U.S. government.

Toyota has both the will and the production capacity to go to serious lengths to defend the Camry’s title as America’s best-selling car. But a newly updated crop of challengers, from Ford, GM, Honda and Nissan (not to mention the new Chrysler 200) are all looking to chip away at the Camry’s top slot.

Even though the Camry was the only mid-size sedan to sell over 400,000 units last year, the segment itself was up by just 1 percent, and sales this year have been down by 11 percent in a relatively flat market. According to Automotive News, the Nissan Altima has been leading the segment this year, and though it’s unlikely to wrestle the crown from the Camry by year end, it’s a sign that Toyota’s dominance is not what it used to be.

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135 Comments on “Editorial: Toyota Announces The Most Important New York Auto Show Debut...”


  • avatar
    alsorl

    Taking the rattles out of the dash is a start.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      That’s probably just the careless American assembly. Toyota quality nosedived when they started building them here using American labor and suppliers. Mr. Toyoda acknowledged this publicly in front of Congress during the trumped up SUA debacle which backfired on Ray LaHood and the USDOT.

      Still, all in all, I know several current 1980s Camry owners who would be interested in replacing their old Camry with a brand new one if Toyota executes the 2015 Camry right.

      • 0 avatar

        Oh HDC, I respectfully disagree. American Toyota workers are only allowed to put together Toyota as carelessly as their Japanese overlords allows them too. If this is true, chalk it up to management not workers.

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          Bull pucky Marcello de V . . Toyota’s US manufactured cars are not held nearly to the standards of their Japanese counterparts .. mainly because ALL US autoworkers are a bunch of lazy arsed red necks more concerned with Union issues … vacations and paid leave as well as where to buy their beer tomorrow than they are with quality manufacturing . Having had several Toyota’s in our household … its the American built ones to a number that give the most grief . While the Japanese built ones seem to go on forever .. trouble free

          • 0 avatar

            Hey gtrslngr, I won’t deny that there are cultural differences as culture is important, but I know quite a few Brazilians who worked in Japan, in Japanese car factories, building Japanese cars, and the stories I have heard! Suffice to say, workers get away with as much as they can anywhere in the world, so it is up to plant managers to keep an eye and do what they can. It is up to management to keep standards. I’ll give you this though, in Japan the companies are smarter and use the unions as another level of control. Part of the reason to work with unions nowadays is that if you give workers responsibilities, most will respond positively. If you treat them as adversaries, what do you expect?

            American manufacturing, like manufacturing in other in any other country, has issues. Some of the issues in American manufacturing companies are very hard to crack. But whose job is it to that other than management’s?

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Toyota’s North American workers are not unionized. Toyota closed its sole American plant with workers that were represented by the UAW a few years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            Save the tired union bashing screeds for the GM ignition switch thread, please.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            The Japanese built Toyota products are built by union employees.

            If you go back and read some Bertel’s work there was lament about JDM Toyotas being built by contract non-union labor, with no loyalty to the company, and who did less quality work.

            If you’re going to whip out the self-entitled union employee, where is my pension brush – just remember the JDM cars are built by union employees, who are expecting a fat pension and…oh never mind…

          • 0 avatar

            > The Japanese built Toyota products are built by union employees.

            I don’t think you understand how simpleton word association thinking works:

            Union = bad
            US Toyota = bad

            therefore
            US Toyota = Union

            Similarly:

            No union = good
            JDM Toyota = good

            therefore
            JDM Toyota = No union

            Given the persistence of this tardation in the face of how many times the basic facts have been explained it appears to be a terminal capacity issue.

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            For what it’s worth, my Accord, built in Ohio, was solid, dependable and well over 200k when it got rear-ended (and totaled). The knee-jerk anti-union stereotyping has gotten very stale. If a worker does shoddy work, what does the union have to do with it? Sears Automotive Centers and Walmart are not unionized, and the horror stories from there go way beyond a rattly dash.
            (Just for fun, google “sears nightmare”, “kmart nightmare”, et cetera!)

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            My 93 Land Cruiser was the most over engineered Toyota product produced by the company during the period which was considered the zenith of Toyota quality. It made it to 250k which was sort of close to the 320k my Bronco II had on it when I sold it. Those lazy American workers managed to build me some trucks that survived my running over bombs repeatedly as well. I guess I should close with a giant screw you and God Bless ‘Merica

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Japan does have unionized auto workers. As do most leading auto manufacturers. By the way. One of those Camry’s that have the squeaky/ rattle in dash is from Japan. All “JAP” the perfect builders for some of the anti-American whiners on this blog. My coworkers husband had to order it. Was not able to get a light blue xle v6 from the Kentucky plant. And they will never buy a Toyota again.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          marcelo, I get this pearl of wisdom from the experience that my brothers had in their Toyota dealerships during the period 1987-2012.

          The Japanese-built Toyota products imported into the US were pretty
          much flawless. Then, when they started selling the US-made Toyota products, the shop calls increased exponentially.

          In California, a state where many people buy Toyota products, the warranty work at their two dealerships tripled. Maybe that was because a lot of Asians bought these American-made Toyota products that proved to be more finicky than their previous Japan-built Toyota product.

          And I also have friends who own or owned a Japanese-built Toyota product of the 1980s and they are loathe to ever buy another Toyota product again if it is assembled in the US.

          Myself, I had no qualms buying a Japan-built 2008 Highlander. It is still flawless today! I wouldn’t let my 16-yo grand daughter use it for her daily driver if I thought it was a trouble-prone vehicle.

          I had some trepidation buying an American-built 2011 Tundra. The Tundra, after a little more than three years and around 60K on the clock, is beginning to show a little wear, mostly in the paint, driver seat, and shocks.

          But it is no better and no worse than my Silverado or my F150 were, although the 5.7-liter engine and 6-speed automatic transmission are far superior to those of both my old trucks.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey highdesertcat! Well, that’s tough to counter-argument. But I still believe in what I told you and what I answered to gtrslangr above. It’s undeniable some factories are more productive than others, have higher standards. But it’s up to management to get the laggards up to speck. Workers will be workers and that’s true all over the world.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Marcelo, I completely understand. You are right from your perspective and interpretation of the facts, of course!

            However, every situation is open to different interpretations depending on who’s doing the interpreting and how they view the same facts.

            In this case, the facts as I interpret them based on the info that I have available to me, is that Toyota quality nosedived when they started building them here using American labor and suppliers.

            Add to that the fact that Mr. Toyoda apologized to the American people and Congress for the decline in Toyota quality, plus the fact that my brothers who were in the business also saw an increased workload placed on their maintenance and repair shops, leads me to conclude that American-built Toyota products are not in the same ballpark as Japan-built Toyota products.

            The bottom line is that more FORMER Toyota owners would rather switch than fight and have left the brand.

            The Camry has been America’s best-selling midsize sedan, but how many current Camry owners were former Camry owners?

            That said, I don’t know if we will ever see the quality that was prevalent in imported Japan-built Toyota products ever again.

            Maybe this 2015 Camry will bring a lot of former Toyota owners back into the fold.

            I hope so because I was not impressed with my 2014 Camry rental 4-banger. At certain highway speeds (85mph on cruise) the engine buzzes, and it was very tiring for me during a recent 13-hour long drive to Fallbrook, CA.

          • 0 avatar

            Highdesertcat, you’re absolutely correct and I won’t dispute you at all. To me Fiats are very reliable as are Renaults (even more so). How do I know that? Based on my experience of course! Others are sure to disagree.

          • 0 avatar
            frozenman

            Made in japan: 2008 Subaru Impreza now with 120k miles (new front struts,brake pads and battery,no problems otherwise. 2011 forester with only 48k miles zero issues.

            Made in USA: 2009 Honda Accord with 65k, now on my third set of front rotors. After the first two warped front discs were replaced under warranty I bought ECB premium rotors and pads and installed them myself( thanks You Tube).No further issues. Wonder who is supplying the crap rotors to Honda in USA?

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            The trouble with that analysis is that you’re starting with correlation and turning it into causation. American assembly was certainly one of the larger changes of that timeframe, but by no means the only one. Decontenting, for one.

          • 0 avatar
            b787

            Older Toyotas were definitely more reliable, at least relatively to the competition. But I believe it has more to do with the fact they cheapened their products considerably than with the place of assembly. Toyota has the same standards in the factories around the world, if there is a difference in quality, it has more to do with sourcing different components in different countries.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            HDC is not wrong in the statement that the JDM cars were built to a higher standard of fit and materials. The “decline” when the cars were assembled here was not the cause of the Americans putting it together but by the choices made by Toyota, pure and simple. They chose to cut content, material quality, and allow for looser manufacturing tolerances. A conscious business decision made by Toyota beancounters. In essence, they started doing what GM started decades ago. The fact that the wheel bearings failed on my father’s 2003 Avalon at under 60K is not because an American worker put the suspension together. At least Toyota can say that in aggregate, their reliability still ranked at the top and that was by intent as well.

          • 0 avatar
            jjster6

            1989 Honda Civic Si – JAPAN BUILT – Ate brake rotors like no tomorrow. Otherwise I miss that car so much. I just wanted to throw out an anecdote too.

          • 0 avatar
            Bill Wade

            I bought a V8 2006 Tundra Limited and a V8 2006 4Runner Limited.

            The Tundra rattles, I’ve had brake trouble, the knobs for the HVAC weren’t installed properly and alignment issues. The truck has a bit over 40k on it right now.

            The Japanese built 4Runner has over 200k and I’ve done nothing to it outside of normal maintenance. Dead quiet, no rattles, everything fits properly and nothing needed adjusting.

            I’ll go out of my way to buy Japanese again if it’s an option, at least if it’s a Toyota.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Just as with my Mexican-built Jetta, if the big-wigs in Japan notice that quality is slipping on their American-built models, *they* are ultimately responsible for stepping in to rectify it. It’s not acceptable for a brand—especially a brand purchased for its excellent reliability—to just resign to the fact that its foreign-built cars will never be as good as its domestically-built ones.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Exactly.

            One only has to look at a ’96 Camry and then look at an ’06 Camry.

            The corner cutting, decontenting, and engineering penny pinching bean counter changes are painfully obvious.

            Some of the newly released TDM products, like the FR-S, have interiors so cheap it appears the Dodge Caliber parts found a new home.

            That isn’t the people who put them together fault – it is the bean counters and the management team that follow the decisions fault.

            The people on the line put them together – nothing less – nothing more. If Tab A doesn’t fit into Slot B well be design, or is flimsy to save 2 cents per car — that isn’t the workers fault.

          • 0 avatar

            > The people on the line put them together – nothing less – nothing more. If Tab A doesn’t fit into Slot B well be design, or is flimsy to save 2 cents per car — that isn’t the workers fault.

            Naw dude, US domestics cars would’ve been great if only those UAW slobs knew how to operate a screwdriver.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Some of the newly released TDM products, like the FR-S, have interiors so cheap it appears the Dodge Caliber parts found a new home.”

            They aren’t THAT bad. The FR-S’s plastic is at least stereo case grade. The Caliber (and a lot of ChryslerCo products of that era) have an interior that seems like it was designed by someone that only had tin snips and old trashcans to work with.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            APaGttH

            You sort of got my point, and you sort of didn’t. While you’re correct that sometimes the bean-counters and cheapskates are the culprits, what *I* was saying is that if American workers aren’t putting the cars together properly and the company’s North American operations aren’t interested fixing it, the guys in Japan need to intervene. It’s not okay to just say, “Well, I guess our American workers suck,” and shrug your shoulders. No, they need to make sure that *all* of their cars, worldwide, are being built to proper standards. It’s the same as if I were a team-manager and one of my employees caused my team to constantly be late on delivering projects. I would be a poor boss if I didn’t step in and do something, and *my* boss would be a poor boss if he didn’t light a fire underneath me to do something about it…and so on, and so forth. So even if the workers are crummy, it’s because they’re allowed to be. And it should reflect poorly on the Japanese executives as well as the “lazy American workers.”

      • 0 avatar
        Neutron73

        Oh dear….more ridiculous, BS dribble about “american manufacturing”.

        Perhaps, HDC, you would like to answer the riddle of Japanese made batteries not working well in 787s? Or perhaps the quality issues that were discovered in Japanese built fuselage and wing components of the upcoming 787-9?

        Of course, to you and many others, Toyota doesn’t make crappy cars; the people who merely assemble them do, as long as they are American, right?

        Sheesh.. back on topic: WHO CARES ABOUT A NEW CAMRY? That car is about as exciting as a 5 year old Post-It note….

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Thanks, but I stick to topics I actually know something about or have experience with.

          But on the subject of ‘batteries’ , the OEM battery in our 2008 Highlander is still functioning fine in the desert heat AND the winter’s cold, more than six years after it was installed in Japan.

          I wonder how long my OEM battery in my 2011 Tundra will hold out. My experience with other American-made car batteries tells me, not nearly as long.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            HDC, chances are both of those Toyota batteries were made by Johnson controls, possibly in the same factory. The OEM’s do not make their own batteries, they just put their label on them. Your whole Japanese vs American manufactured is way off base

            You’re opinion on what caused the quality to go down on the US vs Japanese made Toyotas might not be cut and dry either. Assembly should have little to do with breakdowns since most of the outside sub assemblies are often sourced from the same supplier regardless of plant. The higher rate of repair they saw was more likely a result of a redesign when assembly moved and cost cutting as part of that. Either case, the blame really still falls in Japan’s lap.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            For replacement batteries I like to go with Interstate. I’ve never had a bad one but have had to jumpstart others who chose different brands.

            I know that there are but a few car battery manufacturers in the US, but the differing stories with them are real.

            As for my opinion, it is mine although there are many others who may have come to similar conclusions based on their own experiences.

            My experience with my 2012 Grand Cherokee Overland Summit has been better than my previous experience with Chrysler-made crap should allow for.

            That said, I don’t relish the thought of keeping it beyond the warranty period. Currently, the Tire Pressure Monitor light appears to be playing cat&mouse with my wife. It comes on, goes off, comes on again, goes off, all through the day even though the tire pressure is spot-on at 33psi (cold).

            Soooooooo, what else awaits us?

            My point about the 2015 Camry was that more former Camry owners maybe coming back to the Camry if the 2015 is executed and done right.

            This because the 2014 and earlier Camry sedans were not Toyota’s best effort.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            You are certainly entitled to your opinion, don’t get me wrong.

            I’m just saying, there is no difference between the two batteries (and Interstate is also made by Johnson controls), both were manufactured by the same company in the same US plant. You can praise Toyota’s so called reliability until you turn blue, but your whole basis for it is from a foundation of emotion vs reality.

          • 0 avatar
            Turbo-4

            Did they figure out how to stop the rusting Toyotas in Great Lakes region? I just saw a 2007 era Camry with red under it’s door handle as I’ve seen this generation and previous generation rusting oit of every steel stamped hole.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            PonchoIndian, our Highlander was made in Japan.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            HDC, I understand you Highlander was made in Japan. That doesn’t mean the battery was made in Japan…It was probably made in the USA

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            The Motorcraft battery in my Probe lasted 8 years. So did the Motorcraft replacement – 8 years. Ford no longer offered that battery anymore, so off to Sears I went…three years so far…..BTW, it seems the Panasonic batteries that found there way into a varierty of cars, including my Altima are supposed to be awesome…five years for me and counting.

            HDC: The tire warning systems seem to be problematic across the board. The only repairs on my Altima were the TPMS. Every 25K give or take. So three repairs to date and all were TPMS….damn thing blinking on start up drove me nuts. I can’t take permanently illuminated warning lights on the dash…

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        Didn’t we have an article here a couple years ago showing how much cost Toyota had taken out if the Camry over the last 15 years? It would stand to reason that quality has slowly declined over that time. I doubt the quality issues are as much about assembly as they are about design and parts procurement.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          You nailed it. Toyota extensively tore down the Dodge Neon when it came out in the ’90s, as other automakers did. That car created a sensation in the industry because it was simpler to build, with fewer steps and parts, and therefore made its maker more money.

          Toyota took what it learned and put it into the ’96 Camry. The downgrades were subtle but many. Rear seat fabric was cheaper because it got less usage. Separate map light buttons became one switch bar for both lamps. The rear quarter windows were eliminated. Fewer fasteners, of fewers types, were used throughout the car. Triple door seals were downgraded to double. Dual exhaust tips became single on the related (and Japanese-built) ES300. And so on, all through the car. They brought out the resulting car with the slogan ‘The new Camry. Better Than Ever,” riding on the well-earned reputation of the ’92-95, cut the price nearly $2,000 because they profitably could, and have been gleefully counting their money through subsequent cost-cuts ever since. It’s detailed well in Mary Walton’s book “Car” and elsewhere.

          And an aside to highdesertcat and his ilk: You’ll read in vain for any mention here of how the whole cause was evil American workers (like you? Bad case of self-loathing?). Start checking your sources of information for their Rupert Murdoch and Koch Brothers origins. You’re being sold a story that’s deliberately conning you to believe and act in conflict with your own economic best interests. No matter what the Wall Street Journal tells you, the way to prosperity is not for the house slaves to rat out those dirty field slaves.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            …and wrestled the title of best selling mid size car from the Ford Taurus after Ford engineers also took apart a ’92-95 Camry; were amazed at the triple seals and so on; and built the level of quality into the 1996-1999 Taurus; but charged a higher price tag for that quality while at the same time Toyota cut theirs by $2,000. That hurt Taurus sales as much as the ovid styling did; they tried to compensate by releasing the decontented G trim; but the damage was done.

            Still see a lot of 92-95 Camrys and 96-99 Taurii on the road today.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            P.S. to jhefner’s reply below (since my browser won’t let me reply below him): Right on all counts. Fascinating story, and the book’s a terrific read. And of course, Ford’s molten ovoid styling gamble didn’t help matters any, either.

          • 0 avatar

            > P.S. to jhefner’s reply below (since my browser won’t let me reply below him)

            Just fyi, it’s not a browser issue but TTAC site “issue”. Seems the underlying comment system only allows a certain level of nesting before reverting to linear threads, prolly for design reasons.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Don’t you mean the ’97 Camry?

          • 0 avatar
            Rich Fitzwell

            I am hard pressed to think of anything with less value than your political opinions, they run rampant in many of your posts. Do you work because you tend to be posting all day.

            How about this? There is not a dimes bit of difference between the right and the left in this country, and folks like you that take a side perpetuating the big lie are “sheeple”

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Tony very well stated. Some don’t even see the koolaid while eventually it becoming there only source of nutrient.

      • 0 avatar
        Jan Bayus

        My 2008 Malibu doesn’t rattle, neither does my 2007 Outback. For that matter, my Mother-in-law’s 2003 Saturn doesn’t rattle, it is just isn’t a good car. But it doesn’t have a rattle.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam Hell Jr

        My 2011 tC is all Japanese parts, all Japanese assembly, and its two most prolific rattles — subroof subassembly and the windshield pins and lining — actually needed three days to fix under a service bulletin. I’m still hunting some gremlins in the hatchlid, the A pillars, and in the front passenger seatback.

        Mind you, the car has been an absolute tank in terms of drivetrain and operation. But I’m here to tell you there’s no rattle-b-gone magic happening in Japanese car factories.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Actually, this was about the time Toyota started to do major cost-cutting across the board.

        The mid-1980s Camrys had much higher quality parts, as well as nicer interior bits than the past few Camry models which have all been cheapened (even Lexus owners have noticed the cost-cutting when it has come to the interiors of certain Lexus models).

        That Camry model was just as solid as the Lexus ES of the time but it wasn’t good business for Toyota as it cost too much $$ to build.

        The RX is one of the more reliable Lexus models and it is primarily built in Canada.

        • 0 avatar

          > That Camry model was just as solid as the Lexus ES of the time but it wasn’t good business for Toyota as it cost too much $$ to build.

          This is a point worth repeating to the “the ES is just a camry” crowd. Tt might be the same “platform”, but one actually feels like a well-made car while the other uses toy-grade plastics. Surely that matters to those who’re buying a nice place to sit rather than performance or whatever.

      • 0 avatar
        Boxer2500

        Toyota has been building Camries in the US since 1988. The much-loved third generation model (1992-96) came out of the exact same factory as the new ones, and is often held up as the brand’s all-time high water mark for build quality. Any decline in quality since that time is entirely due to cost-cutting, not assembly location.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        Highdesert = anti – American
        Just leave and stop whining about American workers. You probably don’t even have a job.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Nay, lad.

          Highdesert is as quintessential an American as I’ve ever seen on the internet.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Middle-class Americans.

            They are like Jews – filled with self-loathing*

            * I’m a Jew – I’m allowed

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Not the ones who achieved middle-class status through their own toil. Like HDC.

          • 0 avatar

            > Highdesert is as quintessential an American as I’ve ever seen on the internet.

            > Not the ones who achieved middle-class status through their own toil. Like HDC.

            Clawed up with paychecks signed by Uncle Sam only to slags others on the dole. Tis the righteous Murican dream.

      • 0 avatar
        hifi

        The interior is junk. There’s visible plastic flashing and poorly grained finishes through. Should the people assembling the interior have to eyeball and correct these things during assembly? No, It’s junk made of parts designed and supplied by Toyota. If it were engineered properly, it would not have these problems.

        • 0 avatar

          > No, It’s junk made of parts designed and supplied by Toyota. If it were engineered properly, it would not have these problems.

          Technically it’s not engineering nor Toyota per se but bottom bid part suppliers. It all comes down to cost cutting, which is what customers want to pay for: a cheap reliable car.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Other Jap makers aren’t immune either! Even though it’s clear that the new 9th-Gen Accord is better than its predecessor, the cost-cutting is evident! No trunk pass-through in the NA market, no glovebox lights, subpar floormats and even worse carpeting! For some reason, likely co$t-cutting, Honda even specs windshields without the blue tint strips on top! (Civics were always thus–you could count on a nice “step-up” touch on an Accord. No more.)

            Still, there is a difference in “feel” between the Civic and Accord, but they aren’t sweating the details like they did back in the day!

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          The Camry, much like so many Toyotas, should come standard with a cyanide capsule in the glove box, for the inevitable moment when you literally become bored to death.

          I would include the Toybaru FRS in this category, as well, when the realization finally sinks in that you paid 25 grand for a buzzy, cheaply assembled/finished, slow & harsh riding (for no appreciable gain) compact car whose claim to driving “excitement” fame is dependent upon being shod with Prius tires.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      My gf’s 2012 SE started doing this recently, drives me up the wall. It happens when just driving along on the highway, something enters a resonance. Between that, so-so comfortable seats, and some awfully cheap plastics (door cards, lower dash where your left knee rests), I find the interior quite underwhelming.

      Powertrain on the other hand is a dream. Smooth, efficient, peppy. the 6spd is always in the right gear and the 2.5L has as much power as a daily driver ever might need. Lopes along at 2000 rpm at 80mph, slow down to 70 mph and it gets darn close to 37-38 mpg. Suspension tuning is very good, if a bit firm on the SE. Very little body lean or undulations, much tighter than my 2012 Civic LX. Steering is lifeless as it is on every other new car.

    • 0 avatar
      Jan Bayus

      That is the most annoying problem. The dealer has “fixed” it a few times.

  • avatar
    morbo

    Instead of trying to ‘spice up’ the Camry or make it more exciting, Toyota should play to their strengths.

    “Introducing the 2015 Camry, now even more bland and reliable. 50 shades of grey, from off-white through dark steel grey, now available. Our interiors are now 37% beigeier than the competitions! Buy the new 2015 Camry. We know you don’t care about your commuter car, buy the most commuteriest car possible”

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      My new neighbors just moved in and they both drive the next to most recent generation of the Camry. One is an LE and the other an XLE.

      He’s an insurance salesman, and I’m not sure what she does. I don’t know if this means they are utterly devoid of originality, or if they’re just interested in driving what everybody else drives.

      • 0 avatar
        Scott_314

        Meh, for people not into cars the Camry is a smart choice. And lets face it, cars are mostly a waste of money, so not being into cars is probably being smarter than we are :).

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I hear spice gives Morbo gas – especially spicy kittens.

      Greetings to your belligerent and numerous children.

  • avatar
    Cirruslydakota

    Sweet, an updated Camry!

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………….

  • avatar
    whynot

    I’m guessing it will just have the Corolla face and taillamps stretched and grafted on to the body.

    • 0 avatar
      fredtal

      Yea we all know the Camry is dull, but that’s what it’s suppose to be. Along with being comfortable, quiet and reliable. All the SEs I’ve rented have confirmed that. Everyone I know who has them confirms it. If all you want is mid-size transportation then I don’t see anything wrong with it.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        Neither do I. I personally think the exterior of the new Corolla looks pretty good (and suspect that if it was from a different company people would be more positive to the styling).

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    change the title to say “Toyota Announces Their Most important New York Auto Show Debut”

    Other than Toyota, rental agencies, maybe grandma and the required Toyota Fanbois, I don’t think anyone cares even a little.

  • avatar
    gtrslngr

    If the barely ‘ updated ‘ Camry is the highlight of the NY Auto Show …. well then …. all bets are it’ll be even more vapid and boring than last years [ and the year before .. and the year before .. and the year before ] was . *

    Wake me when something of GENUINE interest shows up …. till then … pardon me … but …

    ………zzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    * Truly .. all of the Auto Shows lately have become ” Much Ado About Nothing ” … nothing at all as a matter of fact

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    After renting a 2014.5 for a weekend we can see many areas where this car needs work.

    Starting with the terrible seat material chosen for the SE model. It is so harsh our legs were breaking out where the back of our legs rubbed against the seat fronts. The smell inside this fresh entry was toxic and we always needed the windows down. The headliner was wafer thin and hollow sounding unlike any other rental mid size we had and worse the center HVAC vents could be pulled out of the dash with either your pinky or they fell out going over an aggressive railroad track in our laps. The all black and fake silver was dreary and several interior pieces were out of alignment. Highway MPG on our 7K example never reached it’s rated 35 and the best we saw was 32 on the open road going 70 MPH! The 2.5 is smooth and quiet enough around town and gets a good jump off the line but soon runs out of steam and sounds strained and harried.

    The lack of features this car didn’t have was very disappointing for a vehicle costing over 25k. Most every other mid level sedan has a power seat, lighted visor mirrors, retained accessory power, dual zone or automatic climate controls, a better working bluetooth hands free system, remote start, XM radio, telematics system, rear seat air vents, etc but not the SE level Camry. Oh and the steering badly needs work. It is so numb and lifeless. Even my 2013 Impala feels better in the steering and handling department. We were also surprised how much wind noise this particular car generated going 70. Enough where we had to turn the mediocre stereo up to compensate.

    The thing that worried us most was that one morning the car wouldn’t start. It clicked as if the battery was dead. Nothing was left on and this car was nearly brand new. I put a battery charger on it for an hour and it finally fired up and seemed fine after that but still this was worrisome and could have left us stranded!

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Gf’s 2012 SE averaged 32-34 (hand calculated) per tank over the course of a roadtrip from OH to FL, driving 75 mph most of the time but occasionally doing 77-80 mph through some parts of Georgia. Liberal use of A/C throughout most of the Southern leg of the trip. I’d argue the engine has plenty of punch for any sort of acceleration at just about any speed, unless you’re used to 250+ hp V6s and V8s.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Previously when you told this story, you added on at the end that you complained about lack of features so much that they gave you a free rental (to get you to GTFO of the office and go away).

      Your constant hyperbole is as tiring as the car was to drive.

      Previously you also left off the part about it not starting. So the story of this rental changes depending on when you are telling it.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        Not that I think you are often, but I bet you are a blast when invited to parties

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I mean, tell the truth of the story. Don’t rearrange and omit/include/invent as it suits you. The story is clearly nonsense. You, someone willing to complain about the -features- lacking on a rental car, a -rental- which you picked, said nothing to them about vents which fell out or a battery which failed to start the car?

          Come on man, these things don’t add up.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            It’s not my story man. I haven’t rented a car in years.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            At least they have free wi-fi in the institutions these days.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            You must not be the sort of discerning aficionado of fine cars that would lay down their own hard earned money on a 2013 Impala, the very epitome of design, quality, and road manners.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            No problem…

            I might be in an asylum but my meds are working well enough to know my own name 90% of the time.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          Ahh, once again, I am not ponchoman49. For a guy who likes to be anal about other’s spelling mistakes and misuse of words you sure do have a problem with reading comprehension!

          I’m not sure who likes to try to toot their own horn more, Corey or CJ

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I wonder if the Camrys destined for rental lots have “RENTAL” stamped on them at the factory while on the assembly line, for your story is more common than you think.

      However, I know from around our neighborhood, Camry owners have their less-than-perfect stories to tell, too.

      Clearly, something’s changed from how they may have been at one time. One thing is for certain, though, the 2004 Impala I bought new and owned for over 8 years was as trouble-free as our 2002 CR-V EXCEPT for rear rotors – an easy & cheap fix, but mostly taken care of under warranty.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The current Camry *is* the 2004 Impala…cheap as hell in terms of fit-and-finish, but with bulletproof mechanics.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        The Camry L is a rental grade specific trim.

        Toyota put over 65K Camrys on rental lots last year. In terms of total numbers (not percentage of total volume) no other passenger car came close.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Toyota also sold over 300,000 Camrys to retail customers last year. In terms of total numbers, only the Accord was better. What does that say for every other sedan on the market? I suspect you fabricated what you wrote anyway. Altima? Focus? Fusion? Avenger? 200? Accent? Captiva? Malibu? It seems odd how few Camrys I’ve seen in rental fleets here in San Diego, one of the larger rental car fleets in the world.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The Camry has been losing market share even as Toyota has relied more on fleet sales and has been very aggressive on pricing.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            If I fabricated it, than TTAC fabricated it. I’m just quoting from the information in the Accord is king story – but hey, let Jack know you think his editorial staff is a pack of liars.

            You answered your own question with your “defense,” but you can’t even see it.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Cj go sit in a new Camry. The cloth seats look and feel like its from a worn out crushed velour from the 80′s. In the hot Florida sun it almost feels slimy. The dash looks like it has a built in carpet dash without the carpet.
            But would like say the corolla is not that bad of a car. Looks and drives better then the mole cricket Civic.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I didn’t know there *was* an L. Every time I got a Camry as a rental, it was always an LE, sometimes an SE.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    You meet the nicest people in a Camry.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Do you people forget that those Toyotas from the mid 90′s were also built here and by all accounts they were much better than the stuff built today, so the auto workers forgot how to build quality cars? ditto for Accord and Civic.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I own a 99 Corolla, my friend owns a 97, his interior is impeccable, no broken anything, headliner intact, mine is a different story and I have not abused that car at all, it has just broken off or become unglued by itself, heat humidity etc.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      ~98 was about where all the foreign car companies’ cost cutting came to bear. Whew, you could see it everywhere. In Japan, I believe 97 or 98 was the first year of the new gen of the Camry, as well as the Accord… the latter of which had the time bomb 4AT with the V6 and just a generally decontented Fisher Price feel. Nissan had begun long before with the cheapened Maxima and Sentra, and I believe 98 was the first year of the 2nd gen Altima which was mechanically solid but dynamically and subjectively terrible. Mazda was in trouble. MB & Porsche unveiled a whole fleet of new cars that proved to be unable to stay on the road w/o major repairs after decades of solidity and overengineering. Etc. etc.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        6th-Gen Accord felt “premium,” but by that time, co$t-cutting was evident! (This was a couple years before the Civic lost the SLA wishbones for MacStruts up-front.)

        The nadir for the Accord was the 8th-Gen–big, bloated, crap interior. Lousy brakes, oil-leak problems, more rattles than usual for a Honda.

        I’m willing to pay another $200 for a new car if the maker would put it together as they had in the past, if that’s what it takes! Otherwise, even with all the cool stuff on new cars, you sometimes feel like you’re buying more and getting less!

  • avatar
    zach

    I like the look of the current Camry, then again I have an ’01 Camry, I guess the “wedge” shape is more my thing, having said that my ’01 is painfully boring, and it’s even silver metallic, I’ve had a 94 Camry as well, the interior of the ’01 was obviously cost cut, but it does not have a rattle or squeak in any kind of climate, I also drove a 2000 Sentra for 250,000 miles and the interior in that car was acutually better looking and fit just as well or better than my current ’01 Camry. my Camry has barely 100K miles and I seem to have multiple oil leaks all of a sudden, but the Camry is quiet and very predictable , it’s most at home on the interstate going 65-70MPH, it seems the happiest there, One question..my ’01 Sentra had a trunk release button on the remote, the Camry does NOT, why Toyota?!

  • avatar
    tonycd

    I will say this for the crappy seat fabric: visually, because of its sheer size and visibility, it’s the one thing on the whole car that most loudly screams “cheap.” Any facelift can start right there. I can’t believe how cheesy it is; I think people have their faces stuffed into more luxurious upholstery after drunk driving arrests.

  • avatar
    Chopsui

    Important or not, the only thing anyone’s going to be talking about at the NY show is the Mustang.

    Possibly the new Miata if they introduce it.

  • avatar
    siuol11.2

    Toyota quality isn’t near what it used to be either. I purchased a low-miles ’04 Camry as my last car thinking it would be a trouble free ride- what a mistake that was! It doesn’t even drive straight, and the dealer never bothered to implement the TSB’s for it all the times it came in for regular service.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    I hope Toyota will modify the rear lights to LED. It’d probably add a bit more pizazz to the overall sporty design. Also, if LED headlights are standard on the Corolla then it may make sense to offer HID or LED on the Camry. Koito now has a plant here in the US (North American Lighting NAL) so I’m sure Toyota can offer it on more vehicles. Toyota models in Japan, from cheap to lux, are all LED or HID so why not US models?

    I’ve seen some complaints about the interior fit and finish. I didn’t find this to be true but I did notice how Toyota is cutting costs as much as possible. Looking closely, you’ll probably notice some parts look awfully bland or unfinished. Some of the gaps between panels didn’t look like it was crafted by Toyota. I was disappointed because Toyota is known to hold the tightest tolerances when it comes to fit and finish. The seats, functions, controls, buttons and feel were ok but comes short to the Honda Accord.

    Engine was smooth just as well as the transmission. The handling is much better than before.

    Overall, I think the Camry is another winner for Toyota. The volume of new and old Camrys on the road speak volumes!

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      That’s one thing that Honda HASN’T cheaped-out is the feel of the switches and those types of bits. (Well, one exception — the radio volume control’s detents are a little weak.)

      And agreed that if you’re going to offer high-end lights on your small car, offer it in the volume-seller as well!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Is this TTAC? There is a stunning amount of Camry hate here.

    Sure it’s an appliance, and the corners have been cut and one can build a strong argument that it is no longer king of the class – but come on – the Camry isn’t THAT bad.

    I’ve said before, we live in a golden age right not of reliability, choice, power, and efficiency. The Camry has lost its luster in part to Toyota bean counters back in Japan, a weak exchange rate (now corrected) that motivated Japan to squeeze the budgets more, and improving competition storming the fort so to speak.

    Yes, it is a bland, soulless toaster on wheels with numb steering and brakes with soft pedal feel and cushy ride. But it is certainly class competitive.

    • 0 avatar

      In my case it’s not hate, it’s that I think like you. My opinion of the Camry was never so great, but I find your description very apt. With as many choices out there as there are and being that the main raison d’être of the Camry is under attack, why settle on it? Because it was supposedly best in class 20 years ago? Plus some Toyota defenders are peculiarly aggressive (and by now defensive) so, I confess, it can be kind of fun to aggravate them!

  • avatar
    SpinnyD

    It’s more than a mid-model refresh, At least it’s more than I have ever seen for a mid-model refresh, practically a whole new body. I don’t like the grill though, too big like the corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Honda completely re-did the back-end of the Accord Sedans for the 7th-Gen MMC, but looking at the cars side-by-side (as I could–my Dad had a 2005, I had a post-MMC 2006), you could see where all the “hard points” were similar.

      If this is the case, this bears watching!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    On the subject of union and UAW hatred, Bill Ford stated today that the UAW saved Ford from going bankrupt during 2008 – 2010.

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/ford-exec-unions-helped-save-us-during-our-darkest-hour.html

    “…Over a many-year period, they were asking for more, but we’re the ones who gave it,” Ford noted. “But then when we got into a really tough period, I sat down with Ron and I said, ‘Ron you have to help me save the Ford Motor Company’ so we didn’t have to go through bankruptcy, so we didn’t have to get a federal bailout. And he did that…”

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      So Ford is thanking the UAW for pushing GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy while “saving” his company.

      I wonder how many shopkeepers thank the mafia for their help.

  • avatar
    ajla

    There seems to be some kind of weird rivalry on TTAC between the Camry and the 3rd gen W-body.

    The faster you both accept that your cars are inferior to the Avalon and H-body, the better things will be.

  • avatar
    J.Emerson

    Guys, it’s fine. Toyota can totally afford to buy its way to the top of the midsize sedan segment. After all, they have hundreds of thousands of highly profitable pickups and full size SUVs to oh wait nevermind.

    Price leadership matters for Toyota in this segment, more than anyone else besides Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      I think the Fusion will ultimately end up like the 2nd gen Taurus – fleet. Because Ford has all that capacity and the Fusion fails to win any competitive tests.

      I remember reading that Ford assigned the new Fusion the same depreciation rate as the Accord – to me that’s something that has to earned and the Fusion hasn’t come close.

      As for price, the new Altima is pure KMart blue light special – I just wonder if all those cheap Altimas sold to the credit-impaired won’t come back to haunt them like it did to Mitsubishi. But it sure is moving the metal.

      The ultimate test is time – GM, Ford and Chrysler have had disposable names for their products w/ a few exceptions. Camry and Accord have been around for 30 years so I expect to see them in 10 years. The others, not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      I think the Fusion will ultimately end up like the 2nd gen Taurus – fleet. Because Ford has all that capacity and the Fusion fails to win any competitive tests.
      remember reading that Ford assigned the new Fusion the same depreciation rate as the Accord – to me that’s something that has to earned and the Fusion hasn’t come close.

      As for price, the new Altima is pure KMart blue light special – I just wonder if all those cheap Altimas sold to the credit-impaired won’t come back to haunt them like it did to Mitsubishi. But it sure is moving the meta I l.

      The ultimate test is time – GM, Ford and Chrysler have had disposable names for their products w/ a few exceptions. Camry and Accord have been around for 30 years so I expect to see them in 10 years. The others, not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      I think the Fusion will ultimately end up like the 2nd gen Taurus – fleet. Because Ford has all that capacity and the Fusion fails to win any competitive tests.

      I remember reading that Ford assigned the new Fusion the same depreciation rate as the Accord – to me that’s something that has to earned and the Fusion hasn’t come close.

      As for price, the new Altima is pure KMart blue light special – I just wonder if all those cheap Altimas sold to the credit-impaired won’t come back to haunt Nissan like it did to Mitsubishi. But it sure is moving the meta I l.

      The ultimate test is time – GM, Ford and Chrysler have had disposable names for their products w/ a few exceptions. Camry and Accord have been around for 30 years so I expect to see them in 10 years. The others, not so much.

  • avatar

    It’s not such a bad car, I drove a rental 2014 SE as my Mazda 3 was in warranty service, to be honest, I almost leased one as I was in the market for a new car to replace the 2011 Mazda, at the end, I leased the Accord Sport, it felt so much better than the Camry, again, I don’t think anybody makes bad cars anymore but in each segment you need to test them all and I thought the Accord felt the best, I just love the S mode, it feels so responsive for city driving, al in all, the CVT is just great.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    I’m looking forward to the 2015. I hope the XLE gets the SE body, I hope all models get Sirius XM standard, and I hope the V6 stays and a CVT doesn’t make a debut.

  • avatar
    wheeler

    Ah yes, a refresh…following so much negative feedback about the hard on the eyes body design. Perhaps they will not only apply a new face, but possibly even turn the tail end, right side up.
    Couldn’t they steal a designer or two from Nissan or Mazda, when no one is looking?


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