Next-gen Toyota Camry Headed for Detroit, Hopes to Rekindle the Midsize Fire

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
next gen toyota camry headed for detroit hopes to rekindle the midsize fire

Midsize cars just don’t excite like they used to. North American buyers have happily made the switch to voluminous crossovers and SUVs, turning the once top-ranked segment into a raisin on the vine.

Toyota hopes to change that, announcing that next month’s North American International Auto Show will reveal the next generation of the first midsizer off anyone’s lips — Camry. Perhaps realizing that name recognition and safe styling is no longer a surefire plan for sales dominance, the automaker has scheduled its uber-sensible sedan for an image makeover.

Going by a teaser photo released by Toyota yesterday, the 2018 Camry adopts much edgier styling cues. Forget about the rounded-off beige boxes of the 1990s (though they’ll always have a place in this writer’s heart).

While we don’t have the whole picture here, the vehicle’s aggressively reshaped rear bumper (complete with air vents, faux or functional) and sweeping character line merging the C-pillar and trunk lid could cause palpitations and feelings of confusion in traditional Camry buyers. Spy photos suggest an even wider grille up front.

“For years, we’ve had a reputation for high-quality, durable products that were perhaps somewhat conservative in design,” said Bob Carter, Toyota’s U.S. sales head, in a Bloomberg interview. The time is right to shake things up, Carter said, as the midsize sedan segment needs a boost.

“But perhaps now we’re going to see some real innovation that should sustain it, and who knows, bring some growth back,” he said.

The upcoming Camry won’t be alone at NAIAS. Expected to join it is the 2018 Honda Accord, and the next-gen Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Altima could also make an appearance. Crossover popularity aside, Toyota still needs to keep its midsize rivals at bay.

Riding on the global TNGA platform that underpins the Prius, the 2018 Camry could ditch its optional V6 in favor of a turbo four-cylinder. It could also drop weight through the use of aluminum — strategies already adopted by other models in this segment.

[Image: Toyota]

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  • Xtoyota Xtoyota on Dec 02, 2016

    Just wait....the grill will be a beautiful copy of the Lexus current grills All Toyota grills are UGLY

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Dec 04, 2016

    I'm seeing current-gen Forte and I don't think I like it. The last midsizer that I owned, my part-time use Century notwithstanding, was an 06 Grand Prix. In retrospect that was a bit goofy looking, They're not showing enough of this to be sure, but Toyota hasn't been anything less than vomit inducing for years. Then again,I don't want a midsizer as a primary vehicle, nor do I need one. Styling being subjective, I prefer the Mazda6 (as far as vehicles I could reasonably expect to afford) and bought a Mazda3; the 7/10s Mazda6.

  • MaintenanceCosts We need cheaper batteries. This is a difficult proposition at $50k base/$60k as tested but would be pretty compelling at $40k base/$50k as tested.
  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?
  • Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...
  • Greg Add me to the list: 2017 Sorento EX AWD w/2.0 Turbo GDI 68K miles. Changed oil religiously with only synthetic. Checked oil level before a rare long road trip and Ievel was at least 2 quarts down. That was less than 6 months after the last oil change. I'm now adding a quart of oil every 1000 miles and checking every 500 miles because I read reports that the oil usage gets worse. Too bad, really like the 2023 Tuscon. But I have not seen Hyundai/Kia doing anything new in terms of engine development. Therefore, I have to suspect that I will ony become a victim of a fatally flawed engine development program if I were to a purchase another Kia/Hyundai.