Motor Trend Selects 2007 Toyota Camry as Car of the Year1
Toyota Wins with “America’s Mainstream Car”
Motor Trend part of PRIMEDIA’s (NYSE: PRM) Consumer Automotive Group, announced today that the redesigned Toyota Camry, the sixth edition of America’s best-selling car, is Motor Trend’s 2007 Car of the Year. The award goes to the entire Camry range, including the Camry Hybrid. The complete report on Motor Trend’s 2007 Car of the Year will be published in the January issue, available on newsstands December 5, 2006.
“Creating an innovative, engaging automobile with broad mainstream appeal is one of the toughest tasks facing any automaker,” said Angus MacKenzie, editor in chief of Motor Trend. “The Camry is the one car rival automakers all wish they could build. It offers something for nearly everyone–performance, efficiency, and roominess–at a price point most Americans can afford.”
MacKenzie added, “Toyota offers the Camry with a regular four cylinder engine, or a sporty V-6 that enables it to hit 60mph in just six seconds – that’s about as fast as a V-8 musclecar from the 60s and 70s. Buyers looking for ultimate fuel economy can choose the Camry Hybrid, which uses the same innovative hybrid powertrain technology as Toyota’s Prius to save gas.”
The 2007 Field of Contenders
The Toyota Camry bested a field of 27 competitors, comprising six models from the U.S., 10 from Japan, five from Korea, four from Germany, one from the U.K. and one from Sweden.
To be eligible for Car of the Year, a vehicle must be totally new or redesigned, and released in the 12 months prior to January 1, 2007 (cars with modifications such as new engines or that are variants of existing models are not eligible). This year’s field of contenders for Car of the Year included:
Lexus ES 350
Lexus LS 460
Saturn Sky Redline
Volvo C70 T5
America’s Best-Selling Car
MacKenzie went on to say that Toyota, which is celebrating its second Car of the Year award in four years (it won 2004 COTY for the Prius), has achieved something remarkable at a time when the competition has never been so fierce and the marketplace so diversified.
“It is difficult to do a mainstream car well, but Toyota has succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations in creating the 21st century American family sedan. The Camry is a car designed for, and made in, America, with American tastes in mind, and it is now on track to become the first car in nearly three decades to sell 450,000 units in a single year in the United States. The 2007 Camry is the exemplar of not only building the right car, but building it the right way.”
“We should add that the Camry won in a very strong field. There have never been more choices available to American car buyers. That is a fact of life in the 21st century.”
High Marks for Camry Hybrid
Motor Trend judges noted that one of the biggest pieces of news about the 2007 edition of the Camry is that comes in a hybrid version. Featuring Toyota’s latest version of its Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, the new Camry’s gas-electric engine delivers 187 horsepower. But the Camry Hybrid excelled especially in fuel economy.
“One of the criticisms leveled against hybrids is that they don’t live up to their claims of fuel economy,” said MacKenzie. “That’s certainly not the case here. We found that the Camry Hybrid lived up to its stated city/highway fuel economy of 40/38 miles per gallon. In fact, the Camry Hybrid in our long-term test fleet regularly beat the 38 mpg highway rating during commutes–and that was in Los Angeles.”
About the Testing and Evaluation Process
Each year since 1949, the editorial staff of Motor Trend has evaluated eligible vehicles for its “Car of the Year” based on three key categories: Significance, Superiority, and Value. Significance refers to innovation in engineering, technology, design, safety and packaging. Superiority levels the playing field and looks for class-leading levels of vehicle dynamics and performance, build quality and execution, and how well the vehicle performs its intended function. Finally, the all-important Value question asks, “What does this vehicle deliver in relation to what the consumer has to pay to purchase and own it?”