2012 Toyota Camry SE: Ugly, But...
February 27, 2012
Today we ran an article called The 100 Most Beautiful Cars of All Time. And no our long-term 2012 Camry did not make the list. In fact there's only one Toyota on the list, the 1967 Toyota 2000GT.
Those with an eye for cars won't find this surprising. Toyota has never been confused for a boutique design house. Sure the Supra had its moments and the Lexus LFA has its following, but the fact is that for the most part Toyotas fail the "I saw one and I just gotta have it" test.
What might surprise you is that two other midesize sedans in the Camry's pricepoint are on the list, the Volkswagen CC and the yet to go on sale 2013 Ford Fusion. Some commentors are already calling us fools for leaving off the Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata.
My point is that a midsize affordable four-door no longer needs to be unattractive, which our 2012 Camry undeniably is. Toyota can't seem to figure that out. Although our Camry's dark color hides much of its homeliness, anybody that finds its shape appealing needs a new set of bifocals.
But ugliness is not new to the Camry. Once simply innocuous, the Camry made a turn from just boring to downright ugly two redesigns ago when its snout took on the shape of a sick rhino. The new 2012 Camry looks better than that, but not much.
Shame really, because this is the best driving Camry since the mid-1990s. I've driven it many times over the last few months, and I still cannot find something to complain about. It isn't even boring, which has been the dig on Camry's since the Reagan administration. Fact is, I like driving this car as much as or more than driving our long-term Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata. Yeah, I'm surprised too.
But this Toyota really is that good, regardless of what our Executive Editor Michael Jordan says.
Now, if they could just fix the way it looks.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 4,146 miles