Sports cars may be what bring customers into showrooms, but that's not what they leave with. That honor goes to less exciting cars – like the Toyota Camry, which has just gotten a little more exciting.
Revealed at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show is the all-new version of Toyota's mid-size sedan. The popular (if lackluster) model took a stylistic step forward when the current model launched in 2011, and another stride when the facelift arrived in 2014, but takes a much bigger leap with the introduction of this latest iteration.
Adopting the Japanese automaker's “Keen Look” design language, the new Camry looks sportier – for a Camry (though it's still hardly what we'd call a design leader). It sits lower to the ground and with a lower hood to cut a sleeker profile without sacrificing interior space.
The relatively sportier theme continues inside with a more driver-oriented cabin space, and promises a more upscale look and feel with premium, soft-touch materials and more ergonomic seats. It naturally also incorporates new infotainment features, including a 10-inch head-up display, seven-inch instrument display, and eight-inch center touchscreen.
Based on the Toyota New Global Architecture, the new Camry uses more high-strength steel and new molding technologies to improve structural rigidity without adding too much weight. That ought to make it both handle better and safer as well, aided by all the active safety features Toyota could throw at it – including standard pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning (and correction), automatic high-beam assist, and ten airbags.
The best-selling car (though not the best-selling vehicle) in America for 15 years running, the Camry enters its eighth generation with three engine options – and bucking the trend, none of them are turbocharged. There's a 2.5-liter four and a 3.5-liter V6, both mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. And this being a Toyota, of course there's a hybrid powertrain – based on the 2.5 and paired with a CVT.
Buyers will also be able to choose between four trim levels, dubbed LE, XLE, SE, and XSE, with the latter two adopting a sportier appearance. Whether the more athletic look will be enough to lure new buyers remains to be seen, but one way or another the Camry isn't likely to be knocked from its perch any time soon.