I Have a Complaint About the Toyota Camry and It's Super Petty

All images by the author
All images by the author
Photo: Kristen Lee

Turn your nose up at it all you want, but the 2019 Toyota Camry is solidly a good car. Especially when you order it with the 300-horsepower engine. It’s the king of the sedans for being reliable and spacious. I only have one complaint about it. And it’s petty as hell.


(Full disclosure: Toyota loaned us a 2019 Camry for a week and threw in a full tank of gas.)

It’s the trunk. Or, more specifically, the trunk latch release button. Nearly all cars have them. You feel around for it on the trunk lid, typically above the license plate until you find it, push it and release the latch that pops the lid open. If it isn’t there, you simply hit a button on the key. Textbook stuff.

Several times, I ran my fingers along the underside of the trunk lid, searching for the button. I could not find one. The only thing my fingers brushed against was the backup camera. So I figured that the Camry didn’t have a button and just used the key instead.


The Camry has such a button, but it is nowhere near where it should be, which is smack in the middle. Think about where you’d reach to find the release button. The middle of the trunk lid, right? Right. Glad we agree.

The Camry’s button, bizarrely, is placed way the hell over on the right side of the trunk lid. I only found it when I opened the trunk and happened to see it.

Illustration for article titled I Have a Complaint About the Toyota Camry and It's Super Petty

Sure, at this angle it’s easy to spot. But who is going to be feeling that far along for a button when there is a perfectly good one on the key in your other hand? Your fingers would graze the license plate lights without success and you’d stop there to use the key instead.

Presumably, Toyota moved the button to the side because the middle space is now being occupied by the backup camera. But was there not a way to engineer them both for center placement? I have no idea.


File this Camry button placement under the Don’t Mess With What Works list. Previous entries include keeping the gear selector lever as an actual lever instead of a stupid dial and giving me a pull-handle for the glove box instead of a touchscreen button.

To be clear, this in no way affects how the Camry drives, handles or is otherwise enjoyed. It is merely the most minor of annoyances.


Thank you for indulging in my pettiness with me today.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.


Auto Guy

Toyota gets a 1/2 point back because it’s on the right-hand side of the trunk, and most people are right-handed.

At least they didn’t reverse the tire pressure sensors.  :-)