By on October 13, 2014

 

I was wrong about the 2015 Camry: it’s a handsome family sedan. But not for us, for the Russians.   

This. 

This is how you mildly refresh an existing model.

Yes, Toyota made a uniquely ugly 2015 Camry for us Yankees.  They styled to the lowest common denominator (i.e. every frickin’ cliche in a modern designer’s toolkit) while the “Global” 2015 Camry has an upmarket presense.  It apes the price point where Less is More, the place where Audi survives and thrives.

Sure, the Global 2015 Camry is no Audi. But it’s an object of desire relative to our imminent future of seeing the US-spec model on every highway, clogging our pores with mindless amounts of DLO FAIL for no good reason. Even the fascias are quite fetching, forgoing our Camry’s fake-Audi-Lexus schnoz.

Peep this video:

Now compare to what we get:

Is the grass greener on the other side? Off to you, Best and Brightest.

[Image: Toyota]

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57 Comments on “Vellum Venom Vignette: 2015 Camry Regression Analysis (Part II)...”


  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Can I just say that I think the 2015 NA model looks just fine?

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Just another squash-top bunkermobile of a sedan. Who cares about the styling details, it’s physically discommodious to millions of good credit buyers like me.

    So, CUV.

  • avatar
    ScottE5

    I completely agree, Sajeev. Less is more. More is just … trying too hard.

    Speaking of hard, @ 3:23 in the Russian design video – “New Crotch Wood Finish”?

  • avatar
    Fred

    Nice about the less is more styling is that your 5 year old car still looks like the new model.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    We know it has that same cheap looking 1980 clock on the dash. But, does it come with a GoPro type camera to get some more quality Russian videos?

  • avatar
    cdotson

    I agree that the Russian design is cleaner and more elegant. I believe that design could never have been sold in the NA market simply because it looks more elegant than the current NA market Avalon. That and the current NA market midsize competition is going for a more radical, jaw-dropping (or mouth-gaping if you prefer) appearance.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    It’s got the Australian market Aurion’s tail lights:

    http://www.toyota.com.au/aurion

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Maybe we get the unique Camry look because the US design is crafted to max CAFE mpg and I suppose that drag coefficient is a component of that somewhat dubious calculation.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      You guys are really obsessed with CAFE. I suppose that it’s easier to always blame the government than it is to learn about the business.

      Toyota has been attempting for years to lower the average age of its US buyers generally and of the Camry in particular. This effort began in earnest with the 2006 model, which TMC designed with that goal in mind.

      The American car is more aggressive; rightly or wrongly, TMC thinks that equates to being more youthful.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Agreed. If they really wanted to improve fuel economy (which they don`t have to do for CAFE now) they could update the powertrain (CVT for example). The aerodynamics of the new face are hardly going to help.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      There are regulators in my salt shakers!

  • avatar

    I had an earlier comment (the first comment, actually), but the filter decided it was spam and ate it. Any way you can…un-spam it for me?

  • avatar
    tienbac2005

    Pretty much any globally targeted Camry looks better the one in NA.

    The previous generation Camry (07-11) in the APAC region looked quite classy and sharp as opposed to the blobs of metal we got here. The Australians got it right with the Camry derived Aurion

  • avatar
    210delray

    I don’t mind the DLO fail in the NA version as much as that terrible “underbite” grille. The export version looks much better up front. I’m okay with the rear end on both.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      This. Ours has big grille problems, and has done since 08

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        It’s like the Audi-sized grills weren’t enough. I’ve seen Hondas with body kits that aren’t this stupid-looking up front.

        What’s wrong with a more “traditional” grill? The Impala did it. It looked bland, but sold fine, and didn’t look completely juvenile.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The front and rear fascias of the US model Camry look much less garish than the ones on the Russian car. The faux c-pillar windows on the US model look like something GM would do. I would combine the US car with the Russian car’s C-pillars, but then nobody would even notice the Camry had been face-lifted.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Who knew we’d pine for the beauty of the 2014 Camry?

  • avatar
    oldowl

    Put a headlight in the middle of the grille and call it the Camry Tucker.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    This is what happens when marketing research targets millennials who think a facelift means the car should get an all-new exterior so that buyers can feel like they got something “all-new.”

    Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, cars improve incrementally while the US gets styling exercise failures.

  • avatar

    The vanilla Camry does not even deserve this much debate. Would talk about your toaster?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I disagree, a cell phone is one of the most vanilla things out there and people OBSESS over them. Why not the car equivalents?

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “Apparently there’s no knowledge transfer in discussing car styling details in general..”

      See you in detention, akear.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      GE had some nice retro two slice wide slots, with frozen and bagel option toasters last year. The new 2015 euro model is way to over the top by adding a hybrid low energy option for the caravan users in the UK. But I can see those optional buttons with such a durable design and finish being used by my great grandson in college. But my son has not even been born yet , that is how amazing those buttons are and the durability of on and off switch will last forever.

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        I think that the waffle mode option is likely going to cause a market shift. Because of federal BUTTER standards, though, they cannot offer a Turbo mode anymore.

        The 4 slice models have a new, updated grill that will likely be difficult to clean.

        Personally, I think the 2 slice is all that I need. I have a 1998 model that has over 140k slices on it. I don’t get the people that buy these new. Within 1 year, they’ll have depreciated to nothing, and I can buy one for $25 at a yard sale.

        People and their toasters…

    • 0 avatar

      I LOVE my toaster. Shiny chrome, classic design. I had a newer design toaster oven, but even though it could make more things, it didn’t get that golden brown all over the white bread, while still being wide enough for a bagel.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Sajeev, Thanks for bringing this abomination of a redesign to our attention via a comparison with its overseas cousins. I was wondering when someone would call Toyota out on the styling mess that is this car. And, yet, even the B&B can’t get very exorcised over this given the comments registered thus far. (The worst comment is that it looks like something GM would have done years ago – poor GM can’t get a break.) Nevertheless, this Camry is a God-awful mess, and a cheap and cynical way to keep vanilla looking new.

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    The global Camry doesn’t look anywhere as nice in real life as in the press photos. The garish chromed grille makes it look like a cheap Chinese car. The previous model looked much better.

  • avatar
    zach

    Wait, so the 2015 Cammy doesn’t have the weird plastic inserts in the C-pillar window?

  • avatar
    zach

    If my 4th gen ever dies, I want the current NA generation, I like sharp angle/wedge shapes.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Looks like God got really mad at the global Camry and said:

    “Smart-ass Japanese phlegm wagon, I’ll kick your teeth in and sell you to Americans!”

    And She meant it.

  • avatar
    SpinnyD

    “The Camry is too bland and boring”
    “The Camry is too Aggressive”

    make up your minds!

    Meanwhile we will sell every one we make, and we make a lot. – Toyota.

  • avatar
    JD321

    The 2015 Camry is what happens when you disobey child labor laws :)
    It takes a mental child to come up with this kind of design…And know-nothing MBA goofs in charge to sign-off on it. Hint: When the Internet Brats call your product “Boring” – Translation – It is a good product – if you are an adult.

    This one should knock it off the best selling car podium.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Honda and Ford would like to thank you, Toyota. You just keep making the job of selling selling Accords and Fusions easier.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Dear American Toyota;
    While your efforts will doubtlessly meet the letter of the directive to lower the average buyers age, I’m pretty sure “by scaring off older buyers even faster than younger buyers” wasn’t what the mothership had in mind. Best of luck in your new adventures.
    American Car Buyers

  • avatar
    George B

    Sajeev, does the Camry occupy a more upscale position in the Russian car market than in the US? The video for the Russian model markets the Russian Camry as an upscale sedan while the American Camry is positioned below the Avalon and Lexus ES. I wish the American Toyota Camry had more restrained styling, but maybe the American car model that occupies the more tasteful part of the market is Lexus ES while the American Camry is being positioned as a family car for a younger potential customer.

    Contrast Toyota and Lexus television advertizing in the US. Toyota ads yell sale, sale, buy now at the potential customer while Lexus ads promote the merits of the car in a calm voice with speech patterns associated with upper middle class.

    • 0 avatar

      If Google translate is correct, the 2014 Russian Camry starts at $23,745 and our 2014 starts at $22,425. It also has a more traditional chrome grille, which usually implies a sense of wealth in terms of GLOBAL car design. Designers, feel free to correct me.

      Considering the differences in standards of living, it’s a safe bet that the Russian Camry goes to a more premium buyer than here. Economists, feel free to correct me.

  • avatar
    wheeler

    Anything was an improvement……

  • avatar
    is_lander

    I have two words: planned obsolescence. We will see the Russian version, or something similar towards the end of the design run… (yeah right!) I feel like Toyota and their peers remove the nice trim and save it for later. Their competitors don’t seem to do it as much. Trying to catch up in volume sales maybe?. In my last trip to Asia, my uncle summoned his driver to take my family to the mall. We climbed into the most upscale Camry I have ever seen. It was like climbing into a nice Town car limo service in New York. (Not quite Panther love, but still a nod to our author) It might as well have an “L” on it instead of the “T”. I still refuse to buy a Camcord. But on the other hand, our minivan is just a tall Camry.

  • avatar
    hifi

    I don’t think any Camry anywhere looks good. Perceived quality only goes so far. They all look like junk.

  • avatar

    Maybe the Camry is just rubbish. Off hand I can’t think of anything it does better the the 200. It certainly doesn’t handle better. Why can’t America start hating the Camry like the rest of the world. The European know crap when the see it!

    What a f**king disgrace!………….

  • avatar

    double post – see above

  • avatar
    mechaman

    Sajeev, you nailed it. Since the first shots of this, er, car, came out, I’ve been ranting about how ugly it is – my wife told me to calm down: maybe you’ll like it better when you see one on the street, she said. Well, I did. Didn’t change a thing. Just hope that other makers don’t think imitating it would be a good idea. Hyundai, are you listening? The best thing about it is that so far, in Chicagoland anyway, the ’15 Sonata outnumbers it greatly, even though it, and the Subaru Legacy, mimic the Fusion shamelessly ..

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