See that little side window there on the new 2015 Camry? That's not a window, that's just black plastic. That's some cheapo, bargain-basement, Dodge Avenger bullshit.
The Camry is Toyota's massive volume seller here in America, with hundreds of thousands of these cars getting snatched up every year. It's the best-selling car in the country, dammit. If you are wondering what you're neighbor's driveway is going to look like in the near future, here you go.
And that's a shame, because this car looks like it was designed with the same sizzle-not-steak approach that you'll find on 1970s Detroit land barges and no-credit shitboxes like the Dodge Avenger. Or the old Dodge Stratus. Or any other plastic also-ran midsizer from Dodge, really.
And it all comes down to this fake side window.
It doesn't look like a window. It doesn't look like anything good. It's meant to make the car look different from the model it replaces, but it doesn't really work. Is it just supposed to make the car look worse? Worse is different, I guess.
I should say that I have talked about this before with the P1, and fake widows apparently fill me with a deep, soul-filling rage.
The weird thing is that the fake window looks like it's supposed to differentiate the 2015 car from its previous generation, but that car was hardly changed since its previous generation. And that car was hardly changed since its previous generation And that car was hardly changed since its previous generation. Line up a Gen 5, 6, and 7 Camry (as Curbside Classic did) and you'll see how similar these cars are, right down to the platform. The roofline (along with all the other body lines and interior layouts) is the same as it's been since 2006, and that model was barely any different since the debut of the 2002 model.
I can understand it, though. Toyota didn't want to spend the money to really redesign the Camry this year, because why would they? They're raking in the cash with the current model, so it must make sense to the ultra-conservative board of directors or whoever just change around the lights and the bumpers a bit and get it back in the showrooms as a 'new' car. It's worked for at least a decade now, why wouldn't it work now?
And this is exactly the kind of thinking that worked for Detroit through the '50s, '60s, and '70s. But it didn't work once Japanese carmakers like Toyota came in with genuinely redesigned products every few years, with dramatic gains in power, reliability, and comfort.
But now Toyota is a loafing giant in the car world, and it figures it can just get by with a little flair tacked on to an old product, in the form of a window that's not even a real window.
That it's fake is what really gets me. I mean either do a window, or don't. Don't try and pass off plastic for glass, the rehashed for the groundbreaking, the old for the new.
Photo Credits: Brian Williams/Jalopnik