When you’re talking about reliability from a vehicle, it’s hard to beat the Toyota Camry. Since it was introduced to the United States market during the 1983 car season, the Camry has undergone several changes to keep up with the times. For example, it’s pretty hard to imagine Kyle Busch racing in the Quaker State 400 in a first-generation Toyota Camry, but not only has his No. 18 Camry run the Northern Kentucky race, it’s taken home the checkered flag in 2011 and 2015.
Yet while the Camry has gotten much faster since its earliest days in the 1980s and switched both size and bodies, going from a compact to a midsize and experimenting with a short-lived coupe body (which became the Toyota Solara), the one thing the Camry has never sacrificed is its reliability. Camry has always had the reputation of a problem-free car, but recent years have taken that to another level, as the most recent version of the Camry has the fewest problems of any generation yet.
As the Camry has aged, it hasn’t lost its luster with American car buyers. 2018 might have been a down year for sedans like the Camry, but 343,439 units were sold that year, making it the top selling sedan in the United States as well as the seventh-best selling vehicle of any kind for the year.
Why has the Camry been so successful over the past three decades? Mostly, it’s due to four main factors that have been consistent with any modern Camry: It’s efficient, reliable, safe and fun to drive.
A sedan actually being fun to drive instead of just being a car that gets you from Point A to Point B? Believe it or not, it’s true, and it’s one of the main reasons that the Camry has remained a top seller. New engines that push past 300 horsepower and red leather seats mean that the Camry offers an enjoyable driving experience that the car enthusiast can enjoy on some of America’s best highways, without sacrificing the safety features and reliability that have come standard on Camry for the past few decades.
In other words, this is the kind of car that the car enthusiast who has a family to think about can really enjoy. No longer do drivers have to choose between safety and fun when they opt for a sedan. The Camry gives them the chance to genuinely enjoy both.
A Car Drivers Can Trust
When it comes to safety, Toyota has built a sterling reputation. With more drivers coming onto the roads every day and more distractions than ever before, safety has become even more valued for today’s drivers. As it has in the past, the Camry continues to deliver top-rated safety. In 2017, the IIHS released its top safety picks for the year, naming nine Toyota models to its coveted list. Only one vehicle managed to get two of its models on the list — the 2017 and 2018 Camry.
As Toyota has pushed out their new models, safety has taken an even greater importance on the 2019 Camry. Blind spot detection gives drivers an extra set of eyes on the road to help prevent crashes, and 10 airbags keep drivers and passengers safer should the worst occur on the road. There’s no way to completely prevent accidents, but the Camry offers drivers its best protection if one happens.
More Driving, More Fun, Fewer Stops
Size doesn’t have to mean stopping more frequently, and the Camry put that myth to rest in 2019 by reaching 41 miles per gallon on the highway — and that’s the standard version as opposed to the newer hybrid of the 2019 model. Even compared to the 2014 model, the increase in fuel economy represents a gain of six miles per gallon at maximum efficiency. At 16 gallons per fill-up, that’s a difference of 96 miles without stopping. In some cases, that’s an extra round-trip for a family destination on every single tank of gas.
The newest model of the Camry also adds something drivers have wanted for years: functionality with Apple CarPlay. Camry has long had compatibility with Bluetooth in its console, but the addition of CarPlay makes it clear that Camry has gone all-in on increasing the enjoyment that drivers and passengers get while they’re on the roads, all the while staying true to what made the Camry so attractive to them in the first place.
At its core, Camry is all about reliability, but there’s no reason that reliability has to mean sacrificing the things that make driving something that 16-year-olds anticipate from the day they get their learner’s permit. Put simply, there’s a reason that more than 300,000 Camrys find their way to American roads every year, and with the model’s recent additions to keep it in line with new technology, that shouldn’t change any time soon.