Toyota Camry is one of the brand’s best-selling family sedans and it has come a long way. In the spirit of throwback, we will look at the history of one of Toyota’s iconic sedans. Unlike the old corolla, the Camry is pretty much younger. The Camry is just 37 years old and it has become one of the automobile’s trendsetters in the family-sedan class.
1st Generation (1982-1986)
There was a Camry in 1979 but it was a Celica derivative called the Celica Camry. It was more or less the Celica sedan so it wasn’t added to the list. The true Camry made its debut in 1982 and it was available in a 4 door sedan and a 5 door liftback. The Camry was made to be the rival to the Honda Accord and it offered no V6, only 1.8 and 2.o 4 cylinder engines.
2nd Generation (1986-1992)
The second generation Camry made its mark in its 1986 debut, and it was that year a V6 was introduced for the 1st time. This version of the Camry was available in a sedan and a station wagon variant. This model also gave rise to one of Lexus‘ first cars the ES250. It was available in the same regular 1.8 and 2.0-4 cylinder engines but also added two new V6 engines. The first of the v6 was the 2.0 litre and then the 2.5 which was the engine fitted to the Lexus ES250. 4WD models were available in the station wagon variant as an optional feature.
3rd Generation (1991-1996)
The Camry of the early 90s was really a show stopper when it first debuts. It was more robust and seriously modern with new features and engines were fitted to it. Features like driver and passenger airbags were fitted. A new 2.2 litre 4 cylinder engine and a 3.0 V6 were the engines of choice, and they were powerful at that time. This model was available in a sedan, wagon and a new 2 door coupe. This particular model of Camry increased its popularity significantly.
Related post: Toyota Corolla Over The Years (Photos)
4th Generation (1997-2002)
The 4th generation Camry was one of the best at that time and it was big spacious and luxurious. It was tagged tiny light in Nigeria due to its slim headlamps. It still maintained its 2.2 litre 4 cylinder engine and a 3.0v6 too. This Camry was available in Europe as the ones before it. the wagon variant was sold only in Japan as the Mark II Qualis. A coupe variant debuted in 1999 but shares no identical looks to the sedan but still based on it and was called the Solara.
5th Generation (2002-2006)
The Camry of the 5th generation is among the largest of all the Camry models ever built. It was tagged “big daddy” or “big for nothing” in Nigeria. This was mostly the fact that the interior of this car was plain and a bit empty. The engine grew from a 2.2 litre to a 2.4 litre inline 4 cylinder engine. The 3.0 v6 was still retained until 2004 when a new 3.3 v6 with 225hp was launched. The wagon variant was dropped completely due to its lack of popularity and the rise of the SUVs. The 5th generation Camry used Toyota’s K platform which was used in the Sienna and Highlander vehicles. A 5 speed automatic transmission was fitted for the first time.
6th Generation (2006-2011)
This Camry was given the moniker “Voltron” due to its robustness. The 6th generation Camry was a big improvement from the 5th generation model. It had new features like up to 10 airbags and some models had a hybrid system just like the Prius. Toyota had a new 6-speed automatic transmission fitted to the Camry alongside the regular 5-speed auto and manual. Hybrid came with CVT only. The engines still remained the same except for the new 3.5 v6 and a new 2.5 inline 4 that appeared in 2010 upwards.
7th Generation (2011-2019)
The 7th generation Camry took from its styling cues from the 5th generation with its more boxy approach in design. Engines were carried over from its predecessor and the transmission remained unchanged. This generation of the Camry was the longest of all because instead of a new model Toyota just did an aggressive mid-cycle restyle in 2014. This new restyle had a resemblance to the 6th generation in design.
8th Generation (2017-Present)
The current generation of the Toyota Camry is way ahead of its predecessors. It comes in a new transmission and a new TGNA platform but still retains its reliable engines from the previous models but slightly upgraded. Featuring a new 8 speed Direct Shift automatic for the petrol engine and also a new e-CVT for the hybrid models. The regular 6-speed automatic is standard. A fun fact is that this model of the Camry is now global as it is sold in the European market after almost 20 years.
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