Car of the Day

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Camrys Have a Problem

May 20th, 2008 · 8 Comments

I have a small problem.  I don’t care for the Toyota Camry.  And when I say “I don’t care” I really mean “I wish I had a Spy Hunter style missile launcher to destroy them.”


If there was a Camry Haters Anonymous I would attend the meetings and introduce myself with “Hi, my name is Gary, I’m a Camry Hater.”


Why do I hate the bestselling car in America?  It is kind of a long story.  I recognize that a Toyota Camry is a well made car.  If you own a Camry, I mean no personal offense, but the Camry has no soul. 


A Camry wasn’t made for people who like cars.  A Camry has no idea of what is fun about driving.  A  Camry represents what would happen if Consumer Reports ruled the world. 


If you have no passion about driving or cars, if you only care about getting from point A to point B, if you think of your car and your dishwasher in the same thought, then the Camry is right for you. 


A Dishwasher and a car in the same thought? There isn’t a “The Truth about Dishwashers” website for a reason.  A dishwasher is a dishwasher.  It is a simple appliance that makes your life easier.  People aren’t enthusiastic about their dishwashers.  Even the yahoos at MTV don’t have a “Pimp My Dishwasher” show to further help the youth of America’s brain to leak out of their collective ear. 


Paul Walker and Vin Diesel won’t be starring in a film entitled the “The Clean and the Cleanliness”, that highlights the underground world of dishwasher racing.  We won’t hear cheesy lines like “I clean my dishes in a high speed, no spot cycle, in those ten minutes or less I’m free.” or “Ask any dishwasher, any real dishwasher, it doesn’t matter whether you clean your dishes with a drop or a gallon, clean is clean!” 


That is because a dishwasher is a freaking appliance! There is nothing to be passionate about, it is just an appliance. 


And that is my problem with the Camry, it is an appliance.  It has no sporting soul.  It’s not that “fun-to-drive” is low on the Camry’s priority list; it is that “fun-to-drive” isn’t even on the list, or on the list next to the list of good things about a Camry.


This hatred for the Camry is contagious to other cars that are related to the Camry. 


Whenever I see a Lexus ES, I don’t see Lexus’ excellent entry level luxury sedan.  I don’t see a car that is an amazing combination of value, quality and luxury.  I see a tarted up Camry!  I see Toyota tricking people in buying “Fancy Camrys”.  I’m ticked at Toyota for tricking these people into buying a dressed up Camry. 


When I see a Toyota Avalon I simply see a bloated over-sized Camry.  The Corolla is simply a mini-Camry wannabe.  A Highlander? I don’t see Christopher Lambert on his quest to be “The One.” I see a Camry SUV. 


And the worst offender, the worst pretender, the most confusing vehicle of all is the Toyota Solara.  I seriously can’t believe that people buy this car.  I would rather eat glass than own a Solara. 


I just want to grab the Solara owners and ask them “what were you thinking?”  Were they even thinking?  The Toyota Solara is an automotive oxymoron.  It is the sporty Camry.  I can’t imagine someone being a the car lot looking at a Camry thinking “this is a fine car and can probably do a fine job of cleaning my dishes, I wonder if there is a bloated coupe version of this car with a lame name?” 


Do they even know that they just bought a Camry coupe?  Or are they unsuspecting victims thinking they bought the cool Toyota coupe? 


Because the Camry appeals to the people who don’t care about the joy of driving it attracts a disproportionate amount of bad drivers.  The next time you on the road and there is an obliviot (oblivious idiots) doing a famous job of horrible driving, more often than not it will be a Camry or Camry-base vehicle. I’m talking about cars doing a 14-point turn on a 2 lane road, cars backing up the entrance ramp, cars sitting through green lights and driving 15 miles under the posted speed limit. 


So that is my cross to bear.  I hate the bestselling car in the country and am forced to see them everywhere.   And if you hear of some horrible Camry hate crimes I promise it wasn’t me.


PS – There is one exception to my blanket Camry hate and that is the new V6 SE it has a bit of soul and some respectable performance numbers.

Tags: Camry · Toyota

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 dclawyer // May 21, 2008 at 6:22 am

    I am right with you. And a new reader. Now what do you like that’s affordable? That’s what I’d love to read about.

    Very funny post!

  • 2 garythepowers // May 21, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Funny you should ask. That will be covered in tonight’s article.

  • 3 dclawyer // May 21, 2008 at 7:55 am

    I look forward to your article for two reasons: 1) I am in the market for a new car; and 2) reviews that tell me how wonderful a car I can’t afford is are a lot less interesting than reviews telling me how nice a car is that I can afford.

  • 4 frank // Aug 25, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    You need to be made aware of the fact that people age and when they do, the delights of a taught suspension and nimble handling become secondary to being able to get out of the car after a long trip without buzzing ears and having been bent into a quivering pretzel. Camry fits the bill perfectly. I’m sure there are other large cabin luxury options that compare but not in the same price range, and not with the same gas mileage.

  • 5 garythepowers // Aug 28, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I’m aware that as people age their vehicle selection changes. Comfort may become a higher priority over all out sportiness.

    The only the Camry fits the bill perfectly for is for people who want to drive an appliance. It may be well built, it may be comfy, but it’s fun to drive factor sits squarely at zero. Zero! Take a look around at everyone driving Camrys. Sure it is a top selling car. But it is being sold to people who just want a point A to point B appliance. Boring!

  • 6 The Mod Squad | Car of the Day // Sep 16, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    […] People aren’t buying Camrys to mod them and make them better.  They are buying them to go from point A to point B.  The entire automotive enthusiast world is lost on them.  Camry drivers are really looking for a good selection of beige and other dirt-ish colors so they don’t have to wash their car.  I’ve actually heard Camry owners beam about their slop-brown colored car by saying “oh yeah, and you can’t even tell when its dirty.”  To which I think, “Great, a car that looks dirty all the time.”  I’m going to stop my Camry rant now.  (If you want to read more Camry ranting go here.) […]

  • 7 Kevin // Sep 17, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I knew there had to be like-minded people in the world. Because the Camry and its progeny aren’t fun to drive and cater to people who merely need transportation appliances, the dun-colored rolling testaments to mediocre aspirations are always driven by people who don’t give a crap about (a) how they are driving (b) rules of the road, and (c) anything else. They’re always in my way, parking over the lines in the lot, and driving around with big scrapes and dents. I’ve got a blanked-out switch in my Volvo that has become the “Anti-Camry Button”, which I diligently press whenever I’m bungled by a bad Camry driver. It’s among the most-used controls in my car.

  • 8 garythepowers // Sep 17, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    The “anti-camry” button, that is perfect. Maybe one day it will actually work and a Camry will vaporize before your eyes.