Toyota Camry barges back into recommended list of Consumer Reports

Article by Anita Panait, on December 20, 2013

Consumer Reports has placed the 2014 Toyota Camry back to its recommended list after previously dropping the 2013 model sedan in October.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2014 Camry – enhanced with a strengthened frame -- an “acceptable” rating in a new front-end test, prompting the magazine to re-list the sedan.

"The Consumer Reports recommendation is certainly a big thing for Toyota," said Jake Fisher, Consumer Report’s director of automotive testing. He said that the Camry was the fastest vehicle returning to the recommended list. Only 22 passenger vehicles -- two from a US carmaker – received the highest rating of "top safety pick plus" from IIHS. The new test was designed to persuade automakers to improve protection in such front-end crashes.

The only US vehicles receiving the rating were the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ. Honda, including its Acura brand, got the most top picks with six. Another 17 vehicles, including the Camry and the Chevrolet Spark, received "top safety pick" rating.

"There are a few automakers who are really leading the charge" in vehicle safety, IIHS President Adrian Lund said. IIHS introduced in 2012 the overlap front crash test, which simulates a collision at 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour) wherein the driver's side corner impacts another vehicle or an immobile object like as a tree.

The test has forced carmakers to redesign their vehicles to get a top rating from IIHS.

Camry utilizes an exquisitely simple yet present-day frame, highlighting a more extensive, lower position than past models. The design brings about an "architectural statement" through fresh, accurate character lines, while a more potently curved door cross-section and more delineated rocker panel molding (chrome accented on LE and XLE) allow the Camry to have a more dynamic look.

Headlights demonstrate a more dynamic shape, with a pronounced arc of the main-beam unit fusing into the bumper cover. Fog lights are standard on the XLE and SE grades. The rear lamp clusters wrap firmly into the body sides, with their top sections protruding into the trunk panel.

The Camry LE and XLE include extra exterior chrome trim, and the SE grade debuts its own lower-body design and distinguishable fine-mesh upper grille section. The SE likewise includes three-part lower grille section housing fog lamps, along with black sport trim headlamp bezels. The more noticeable rocker panel moldings on the SE neatly link to incorporated front and rear underbody spoilers, accentuating width, and the trunk lid carries an incorporated spoiler.

Emphasizing the fresh body design are four brand new colors. Two of the colors (Attitude Black Metallic and Clearwater Blue) are new to Toyota in the U.S. Disposition Black Metallic mixes in a bright blue shade for an intriguing take on traditional jet black; Clearwater Blue integrates a silver metallic color to give this tint a glassy, water-like finish.

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