NEW YORK – Shaken by the advances of newer, sportier rivals, the Toyota Camry is trying to shed its vanilla reputation.
The redesigned 2015 Camry, unveiled Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show, is longer and wider, with a large, aggressive grille and chiseled sides. Toyota says it changed every exterior piece but the roof.
The Camry has been the best-selling car in the U.S. for the last 12 years, supported by loyal buyers wedded to a dependable family car. But Toyota acknowledges that tastes have changed, and buyers of midsize cars want more style, comfort and performance to go with the reliability.
U.S. Toyota division chief Bill Fay said the company started redesigning the Camry almost immediately after a new version went on sale in 2011. Fay said the company knew it needed a more daring style after competitors like Hyundai and Ford offered newer, more striking designs.
Everyone was raising the stakes a bit. We had to make sure we could keep this competitive, Fay said Wednesday at the show.
Inside the updated Camry, which goes on sale in the fall, there are softer materials and a wireless charging system. The body is stiffer and the suspension and steering were retuned for more responsive driving. Even the carpet and side mirrors were redesigned to make the car quieter.
The average Camry currently sells for $23,965, according to Kelley Blue Book.