Filed under: New York Auto Show , Sedan , Toyota With a dozen years atop the nation’s best-selling car charts, you might think that there wouldn’t be a lot of incentive for Toyota to rework its Camry , particularly so early in the life of the current model. But despite its unassailable sales totals, the midsize sedan has come in for substantial criticism for its milquetoast dynamics, piecemeal interiors and bland design. As part of CEO Akio Toyoda’s mantra to build more exciting cars, the 2015 Camry has arrived with a fresh new look and content that goes far beyond the Japanese automaker’s typically slight mid-cycle redesigns. Featuring some 2,000 new parts, the 2015 Camry casts a 1.8-inch longer shadow and stretches across a widened track (0.4 inches). And it won’t be just the widened track that should help deliver a more dynamic performance – Toyota is citing a stiffer chassis thanks to additional spot welds along with a rejiggered suspension, retuned electric power steering and a new two-stage brake booster for improved braking feel. A new XSE trim promises the sportiest performance yet, including model-specific shock absorbers and springs, stiffer bushings, unique stability control programming and 18-inch wheels to go along with a unique front end treatment featuring mesh grille inserts and a revised fascia. But Camry sales have rarely been driven by performance – millions of the things have been purchased due to the family sedan’s ironclad reputation for attributes like reliability, strong resale value, comfort and ease of use. The latter two aspects often help secure the former, and to that end, Toyota has made a lot of changes to the Camry’s interior, both seen and unseen. Visible changes include a redesigned gauge cluster with a new 4.2-inch TFT display, richer materials, a redesigned center stack and a console tray with available wireless charging. Hidden alterations include 30-percent more sound insulation to help deliver a serene ride.
Filed under: Car Buying , Acura , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Subaru , Toyota We often mock Toyota for building boring, soulless cars, but a new study by Consumer Reports suggests that regardless of whether that’s true, the company has some of the best used cars on the market. In its report on used cars from 2004-2013, the Japanese automaker had 11 vehicles among its brands on the list – more than any other automaker. CR breaks the list down by cost and vehicle size, and Toyota has at least one entry at every price point and in nearly every segment. To score a recommendation, a vehicle had to perform well in the magazine’s initial tests and score above-average reliability results. It also tried to only suggest cars with electronic stability control. Of the 28 recommended vehicles, Honda / Acura had the second most mentions at six, and Ford , Hyundai and Subaru managed two each. The Detroit brands also made it to the list, but not in a positive way. Consumer Reports compiled a list of 22 vehicles it wouldn’t recommend because “they have multiple years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability.” General Motors had the most unrecommended models on the list at six, but Chrysler and Ford weren’t far behind, with five cars each from their brands not making the grade. The full list of recommendations is available on CR ‘s website . Toyota tops Consumer Reports best, worst used car values originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Mar 2014 17:14:00 EST.
Filed under: Chicago Auto Show , Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota For drivers who want to benefit from the increased efficiency of a hybrid sedan but who don’t want to look like they’d rather be hugging trees, Toyota has just announced its 2014.5 Camry Hybrid SE Limited Edition . The SE LTD combines the exterior bits and pieces that make the SE look sportier than other Camry models with the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, electric motor and nickel metal hydride battery pack of the Camry Hybrid. That means the Hybrid SE offers up 200 combined system horsepower to the front wheels, and we’d expect it to be rated at the same 40 miles per gallon city and 38 highway of the Camry XLE Hybrid. Only 5,000 units will be produced between February and June of 2014, with an asking price of $27,845, which is about $700 more expensive than the base Camry Hybrid LE or $2,620 less than the Hybrid XLE that Toyota says shares a similar level of equipment. Sounds like a fair shake to us. Scroll down below for the complete press release. Continue reading Toyota Camry Hybrid SE adds a dash of limited-edition sport Toyota Camry Hybrid SE adds a dash of limited-edition sport originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Feb 2014 14:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Minivan/Van , Sedan , Truck , Recalls , Safety , Toyota When we reported yesterday on Toyota’s stop-sale order of certain 2013 and 2014 models due to an issue with the fabrics on models with heated seats not conforming to flammability regulations, one of our many questions was how many vehicles were affected? More importantly, how many of those cars have already found homes? Kelley Blue Book has the troubling statistics. Every 2013 and 2014 Avalon features heated seats. 6.2-percent of 2013 and 4.5-percent of 2014 Camry sedans, meanwhile, were sold with heated seats. That doesn’t seem as bad as 100-percent of the larger Avalon, until you consider the Camry’s huge volume – the 5.6-percent average still accounts for a lot of cars. Sienna minivans are heavily affected as well, with a total of 37-percent of 2013s and 46-percent of 2014s fitted with butt warmers. The stop-sale only affects 7-percent of 2014 Corolla models, but like the Camry, that number is rather misleading due to the sheer volume of cars Toyota moves. You can see the entire breakdown of percentages by clicking on the inset image. According to Karl Brauer, a senior analyst for KBB, this problem comes at the worst possible time.
ERLANGER, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2014)
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Safety , Toyota All is right again in the Toyota kingdom. The Japanese manufacturer’s bread-and-butter sedan, the Camry , has been put back on Consumer Reports’ “Recommended” vehicle list, following improved performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crash testing. You’ll recall that the 2012 and 2013 Camry were infamously booted from the list due to “Poor” ratings in IIHS’ notoriously tough small-overlap crash testing. Toyota vowed – just last week actually – to fix the ratings. As the Toyota brand’s head, Bill Fay, said last week, “It’s still a five-star car. It still does very well in all the IIHS tests. It did not in [the small overlap frontal crash test], and we’re busy making the necessary adjustments so that we can address that.” Now, though, those redesigned cars have been tested, earning an “Acceptable” rating in the overlap testing. According to Consumer Reports , Camrys built from November 2013 on feature new internal structures that improve the car’s crash test scores enough to make it a “Recommended” buy. IIHS has also elevated the car back to a position in its Top Safety Pick category, although it falls short of the new gold standard, the Top Safety Pick + rating. Toyota also made changes to the structure of the Prius , another model that failed to score well on small-overlap testing.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota With competition from Ford , Chevrolet , Honda , Hyundai , Kia , Mazda and Nissan mounting, Toyota is getting set to unveil a refreshed version of its Camry sedan a mere two years after it was fully redesigned. According to a report from Bloomberg , Toyota’s move to freshen the still young Camry comes as it seeks to retain its US sales crown in the midsize segment . That desperation has lead to increased incentives and fleet sales in a bid to keep its title, all while trying to keep pace with a slew of very competent competitors . “It’s safe to say we’ll be doing something with it,” Bill Fay, group vice president of the Toyota brand in the US, told Bloomberg during last week’s LA Auto Show . “We’ll be paying significant attention to Camry next year.” Fay wasn’t willing to offer hints about what that “attention” would yield, but with a new Hyundai Sonata debuting in New York and increased production of the strong-selling Fusion both on the horizon, it’s possible the Camry could be in a bad way if tweaks aren’t made to keep it competitive. We can think of some things that’d help the Camry – more luxury features and technology along with a more fashionable exterior, to name a few – but what do you want to see Toyota do different? What would Toyota need to do to the Camry to make you think about buying one? Let us know in Comments. Toyota Camry to get ‘significant’ attention in 2014? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 24 Nov 2013 15:45:00 EST.
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Plants/Manufacturing , Subaru , Toyota Subaru may be set to end production of the Toyota Camry at its Lafayette, IN facility by 2017, according to a report from the Louisville Journal-Courier and a CBS affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina . Speaking to the plant’s Executive Vice President Tom Easterday, the whole affair sounds like a done deal. “Based on changes in Toyota’s production plans, they have decided that the award-winning Camry production contract will not be renewed,” Easterday said. Easterday was quick to emphasize that just because Camry production would end, doesn’t mean jobs will be lost. “There will be no loss of jobs at SIA as a result of this,” he said, before adding that the loss of Camry production will have no impact Subaru’s $400 million investment to ready the plant for Impreza production in 2016 . That said, adding a promised 900 jobs may take longer than originally planned, as Camry production staff are set to be retrained on Subaru production. SIA currently has the capacity to produce 100,000 Camrys per year, and began production of the family sedan in 2007 alongside production of the Subaru Outback , Legacy and eventually, the soon-to-be-discontinued Tribeca . We spoke via email with Toyota spokesperson Curt McAllister, who said, “We are not in position to discuss production plans at this time.” Subaru has not responded as of this writing, but we’ll update this post as soon we hear something. Subaru Indiana plant to stop building Toyota Camry originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Nov 2013 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Aftermarket , Motorsports , SEMA Show , Sedan , Performance , Toyota , Racing We weren’t quite sure it was possible, but NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman and the other folks behind this Toyota Dream Build Challenge vehicle (check out the other cars in the challenge ) have made the Camry , a versatile but vanilla family sedan, into a performance car to be reckoned with. And by stripping it (literally) of its versatility and injecting some spice into it, this rally-spec Camry does indeed appeal to the enthusiast crowd. The appeal starts with the CamRally’s vintage Toyota racing colors of red, orange and yellow painted on a widened body. Those wide fender flares and rocker panels, paired with the revised front and rear fascias (and massive rear spoiler), lend the car an aggressive look without being tacky, and enhance the aerodynamics. But peel back the skin and you’ll find plenty of performance upgrades to back up the looks. While Toyota doesn’t say how much horsepower it makes, the CamRally’s V6 is turbocharged, and we assume the car’s brake upgrade is indicative of the engine’s increased output. The stripped interior only contains what’s needed for rally racing, including bucket seats, a motorsport steering wheel covered in Alcantara, a carbon-fiber dashboard and a roll cage. At 10:00 AM PST, the winner of the Toyota Dream Build Challenge was announced, and while the CamRally didn’t take top honor (the Let’s Go Moto Tundra received the most votes), it’s still a winner in our book. Head on over to the photo gallery to see the coolest Camry around. Toyota CamRally is vanilla spiced originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Nov 2013 17:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota , Earnings/Financials A jury has decided that faulty software was to blame for a crash involving a 2005 Toyota Camry that killed one woman and injured another. This is the first time Toyota has been found liable by a jury in a lawsuit involving sudden acceleration claims. Toyota has maintained that driver error is the most likely cause for cases of sudden acceleration. Shortly after the jury in the case, which took place in Oklahoma and centered around a crash that injured 76-year-old Jean Bookout and killed her passenger, Barbara Schwarz, reached a verdict that would see Toyota paying $3 million in compensatory damages, a confidential settlement was reached. The jury, which had found Toyota liable for “reckless disregard” for public safety, had yet to decide what punitive damages Toyota would face. Toyota said in a statement, “While we strongly disagree with the verdict, we are satisfied that the parties reached a mutually acceptable agreement to settle this case. We will continue to defend our products vigorously at trial in other legal venues.” This verdict could have widespread implications for several more cases that have yet to be heard in court where lawyers are expected to argue that software was to blame for sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. These cases fall into a different legal category than the ones Toyota settled for $1.4 billion earlier this year. Toyota’s brief statement can be found below . Continue reading Toyota settles for $3M after being found liable in sudden acceleration case Toyota settles for $3M after being found liable in sudden acceleration case originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Oct 2013 09:55:00 EST.