A Little Historical Excursus
Toyota Camry’s best-selling and most esteemed brand to date. The second non-American vehicle to create so much buzz, that even the native Ford and Chevy had to mobilize all their might to rival against the Japanese giant (the first one was Corolla). Camry is currently being sold internationally all over the world, with the biggest markets being those of Japan and, of course the United States. The brand was introduced to the world in 1982. And since then, it has gone through a lot of remodeling and redesigning, and currently is in its fifth generation (seventh if you count in the Japanese exclusives).
Toyota Camry Breakdown – From The Very Beginning
So, before we move on with more detailed Camry comparisons, let’s take a quick look at how it all began.
At first, Toyota Camry was a narrow-body car, and only later the company decided to change it into a mid-size sedan. The V10 series was the first generation of Camry. Toyota made a 5-door liftback version of it. The V20 (the second generation) was released in 1986, with a station wagon edition instead of the 5-door model. In 1991 the European and American markets were in need or a larger sedan. So, Toyota produced the wide-body version of the existing V10 model. Up until 1998, the company had been developing different kinds of the same brand for the Japanese and the western market. It was the second generation of Camry, when Toyota decided to win over the market with high-quality materials and extra attention to details. That’s exactly what Mercedes did, and the two had a very intense (and productive for the customers) rivalry.
The Next Big Thing
In 2001, Toyota came to conclusion, that it was time for a big change, and completely redesigned the Camry brand – that was the first major re-modeling ever since the X10. The new edition was called XV30, and was build from the ground up. The beauty with this new Camry was the introduction of heavy computerization, as well as the new K platform, that was Toyota’s newest development at the time. Overall, the new XV30 was significantly better than its predecessor, the XV20. Starting with the XV30, Toyota’s directors decided go go big with the Camry, and make two different designs – one for the American market, and one for the Japanese.
By the way, if you wanna get yourself a classic Toyota Camry, I advise you to go with the XV30. You can easily score one for about 4-5K, and it will serve you with pride and joy. Go to your favorite dealership, or common web-sites, like KBB, Car-Sale, and such, and pick out one you like.
Toyota Camry 2006-2011 – More HP And The Arrival Of Hybrids
The fourth generation, VX40, was introduced to the world at the North American Show in 2006, and went on sale in March that same year. Power-train wise, the big change came in 2010, when the might was increased from 158 to 169 HP. The SE edition was capable of 179 HP, so, that was a big step-up in terms of power. You could go with either a 4-cyl, or a six-cylinder engine. Also in the 2010 edition Toyota added stability control, fancy power locks, and traction control as standard for all trim levels. In addition, the brand had redesigned taillights, and a reshaped fascia. The XV40 Camry was also available as a gasoline-electric hybrid, which became very popular in the nearest future.
Toyota Camry 2011-Present Day
Toyota Camry as we know it today first saw the light of day in 2011, as the XV50, and was available in the United States in September that same year. The interior went through a complete redesign, and the exterior got brand-new sheet metal and a more modern styling.
The fifth generation is available in three engine variations. The first one is the 2.5-lit, 4-cyl hybrid, ranked at 200HP, the second one is the 2.5-lit, 4-cyl gas engine, with a max of 178HP, and finally, we’ve got the ultimate 3.5-lit V6 with 268 HP. Toyota produced a vast number of different trim levels, starting at L and LE, and ending with Hybrid SE. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard to all trim levels, with no option of a manual one.
The 2013, 14 and 15 editions were further perfected with the addition of better materials, fancy technological features, and improved safety systems, including the proximity alarm, the super-safe airbags, and so on. The beauty of the Toyota Camry brand is in its affordability and reliability. And Toyota always manages to keep the price tag roughly the same, and still add the newest features and developments to keep up with the competition. Right now you can get the 2015 Camry SE for just under 25K – that’s more than fair for a modern-day sedan.
So, that concludes our historical trip from the very beginning to the present day. Camry has been around for more than 30 years, and still continues to improve and become even better. The competition is stiff, but, with the latest features, and the soon-to-be-released 2016 edition, Camry has all the chances to further hold on to the number one spot in the middle-class family sedan segment.
Check out this video: Watch the Ultimate 600 HP Toyota Camry Sleeper Debut at SEMA.