This car is generally recognized as the point when the Toyota completely lost the plot with its corn-fed breadwinner, the Camry. No longer built to be as sturdy, dependable, and utterly reliable as possible, the 2002-2006 Camry was all about cashing in on its hard-won reputation and making an easy buck.
On the surface, the Camry was better than ever. It was bigger, more powerful, faster, cleaner, and even got better gas mileage than its predecessor. It became the best-selling car in America in its first year on sale. Those 434,145 units sold still exert a complete omnipresence on American roads.
Toyota just wasn’t building Camrys as well as they used to and it was only a few years until the house of cards came crashing down with recalls and the whole unintended-acceleration farce. Much as this car was the golden era for the Toyota Camry, when it came to building a quality product, it was the model’s absolute nadir.