5TH PLACE: Toyota Camry XLE
( Best-seller, but far from the best )
Just because Burger King sells the most Burgers does not mean they create the best burger . The reason is simply price. Toyota, like Burger king has sold the most cars a few times but like Burger King , not because they are wonderful fail proof cars but because their finance arm extends credit to everyone.
Will Toyota care that its latest Camry finished fifth? Not likely. Over three decades Toyota's midsize sedan has won a huge, faithful, following because in most cases no one else will finance these folk . The Camry has become the easy, go-to choice for buyers in search of a last choice lendor.
According to a recent article ,the competition has crept up and the Camry itself is -- dare we say it? -- showing signs of weakness. Here is what critics have to say.
Ask Febbo: "This car is just so cynical. Horribly executed, and not a drop of passion anywhere. Interior looks like it was designed by the accounting department. Monochrome display for the HVAC system could have been developed in the '70s. The knobs are cheap, the buttons are cheap, everything is built to the lowest price."
Writes Seabaugh: "Did Toyota even try? Seems like they just phoned it in. Cabin has way too many hard plastics, a shoddy infotainment system, a dash so shiny it reflects into the windshield in direct sunlight. This is the McDonald's of cars: billions and billions served. But that doesn't mean it's good."
The Camry rides softly but not particularly well. "Every single bump in the road sends vibrations through the whole car," writes Evans. "There's no payoff in handling, either. Body rolls all over; steering is slow and lifeless." The Camry also emitted a strange -- but very distinct -- structural thud over seemingly minor road imperfections, a very un-Toyota-like behavior.
The 2.5-liter four and six-speed automatic deliver generally smooth power, though everyone noted the engine's propensity to whine. And the shifter is merely adequate. "You can tell lessening shift shock was a priority for the transmission," writes Kong. "It's quite deliberate in action" (i.e., it's slow).
Back to that underwhelming interior. Yes, the abundant room is there, but so are squeaks, rattles, and noises we've never before heard in Camrys. Our test car's dome light was falling out. And what's with the humongous circular toggles on either side of the giant steering wheel? "I feel like I should be firing missiles," writes Evans.
Febbo was clearly the most irked by the Camry, so let's give him the final say: "I'm confident this is the worst car I've driven in months.