Toyota has manufactured and sold 15 million Camry models across 100 countries since it debuted way back in 1983. It’s a number that’s nearly unfathomable. If all of those polite four-doors were still roaming the earth, there’d be one for every man, woman and child in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. combined, and you’d still have a almost a million vehicles left over. Even more eye-widening is Toyota’s claim that of the Camry models built and sold over the last 15 years, 90 percent are still happily enduring a daily commute on nearly every corner of the planet. By sheer volume and longevity, the Camry is nothing short of an engineering and manufacturing wonder.
Almost by default, the Camry has grown to become the vehicle by which all other mid-sized creations must measure themselves, and over the past two years, Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen have unveiled products designed specifically to lure buyers from the Toyota model’s swollen ranks. In response, Toyota City has turned out the seventh-generation Camry – a model that’s been altered with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it delicacy. But as millions of current Camry owners will tell you, that may not be a bad thing.
Catch the 2012 Toyota Camry from the corner of your eye and chances are good you’ll have a hard time telling it from its predecessor. The latest generation carries itself with dimensions identical to the 2011 model. Total length, wheelbase, width and height are all carried-over dimensions, resulting in a familiar profile. Even so, the company’s engineers and designers have cloaked the sedan in entirely new sheetmetal from stem to stern. A completely new nose incorporates a refreshed headlight design with an integrated chrome grille. The assembly splays from fender to fender with the goal of giving the vehicle the impression of greater width without actually stretching the model’s track.