Does every car need to be exciting?
I was online researching last week when I came upon the news that Toyota was adding some options to the new 2019 Camry. Nothing too newsworthy, until you actually take a look at what the package is. It’s a “performance” packages The problem with this, is that this isn’t a performance vehicle; it’s not even remotely sporty. So why saddle it with the expectation of being sporty?
The Camry isn’t designed for sport, and never has been. The recent refresh of the design was designed to shed the boring, bland image its had over the past two decades, and this “performance” package is an extension of this.
My question is, Does every car need to be exciting?
For me, the answer is no. Not everyone shares my love of cars, and most people would trade a firm suspension and tight bucket seats for a comfortable ride and relaxing seating position. The Camry is the #1 selling vehicle in North America, so, as much as we enthusiasts lament the possibility of having to drive the Camry, Toyota didn’t need to spice up its’ image. In the US alone, a Camry was sold every 82 seconds last year! People buy the Camry because it’s affordable, reliable, and practical. This recent redesign combined with this new package may actually help in alienating their core customers, and drive them into the hands of other brands.
Now, all of this talk could be for naught. Maybe Toyota designed a beautiful, engaging sports sedan that happens to also be practical? Sadly, it didn’t. The redesign is just an extreme face on an otherwise pedestrian vehicle. The “performance” package doesn’t actually add anything other than cosmetic changes to make the Camry look sportier. Which is exact the antithesis of it’s character.
Personally, it feels like Toyota is trying to figure out what it’s new identity is supposed to be. They used to be known for extreme precision and reliability, making vehicles that were practical like the Camry used to be, but they’ve also made legendary sporty vehicles like the AE86 Corolla, The MR2, the Celica GT4, and the Supra. It seems in an era where everything should be all things, that Toyota wasn’t satisfied with the Camry as it was, but these recent changes feel like the company is lying to it’s customers, trying to pretend the Camry is something it’s not.
And in the end, lying to your customers does you no favors.
What’s your opinion on this, do you think every car needs to be exciting, or is it alright for cars to have other purposes, as long as they do them well?
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