2020 Toyota Camry- Aiming for Above Mr. Average

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The macrocosm of automobile enthusiasts has many layers. Some car nuts get off with hydraulics that bounce their rides several feet in the air. Some raise their trucks high enough to look eye-to-eye with the Rocky Mountains whilst crushing any obstacles in-between. Some lunatics on the outer fringes add more speakers than a Drake concert or cover their cars in sod, or some type of modern art. And when you think about it, performance cars that can do 0-60mph times in less than three seconds are stuck in the same bumper-to-bumper LA traffic. They just like to make a grander entrance. But there’s one undeniable group of car enthusiasts that outnumbers the rest of them; the Toyota Camry owners.

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2013 Toyota Camry- The American Idol

IMG_20130420_081220Riddle me this: what is the Japanese word for “crown” and if you look outside your window towards the street at this very moment, you’re likely to see at least one?  Take a good look out there.  Give up?  It’s the Toyota Camry.  With the exception of 2001, the Camry has been the best-selling car in America every year since 1997.  It’s a title that every automaker wants to claim but only one can.  The popularity of this car is astonishing and as sure as the sun rises in the east, it has comfortably outsold its rivals from Honda, GM, and Ford annually.  Since its introduction in 1982, there have been over nine million sold in the US and 308,000 found homes in 2011 alone.  To put that in perspective;  that’s more sales in the same year than the entire lineups from Audi, Volvo, and Mini combined.  Interestingly enough, even though the Camry sells like hotcakes in the US and Australia, it’s not a volume seller in its home market of Japan and was even discontinued in Europe almost a decade ago.  Fellow auto journalists love to belittle the Camry, accusing it of being soulless and bland, and having no excitement to offer.  So what gives? How has a car that is condemned by enthusiasts and consumers in other markets found the elusive recipe to success in America?  It was time to find out.

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