2017 Toyota Camry XSE

The Toyota Way is a set of principles that guide the company, a set that has, at its basis, two fundamentals, which are “Respect for People” and “Continuous Improvement.” Arguably, the former helps realize the latter.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in Georgetown is where the Toyota Camry is built. The women and men there have been building Camrys since 1988. Georgetown is Toyota’s largest vehicle production plant in the world. And the Camry has been the best-selling car in the U.S. for 15 years running.

So here’s the thing. For a long time, some people have decried Camrys as being “appliances.” On the one hand, that’s because the cars were not particularly stylish (some would argue not even styled). On the other, it is because the Camrys tended to be so reliable such that they were in the Maytag lonely repairman space.

As you’ll see below, there is something to be said for the appearance of the Camry through the ages, and that something is not necessarily positive.

But there is that pillar of Continuous Improvement. Which is evident in the images. Generation by generation, they’ve gotten better. It isn’t just the appearance that’s improved. Realize that when you’re operating under the idea of kaizen, if you’re working on the interior, you improve that (and if you’re working on the knobs of the interior, you improve those), and if you’re working on the structure, you make sure the body-in-white is all that it can be.

This 2017 Camry is a fine vehicle. That it continues to lead in sales is not surprising. It is no longer visually an appliance, not by a long shot. Presumably, however, it is an appliance in terms of reliability. Which is pretty much why you buy a family car. The styling is a bonus.

Engine: 3.5-liter V6, 268 hp// Transmission: 6-speed automatic//Seating: 5// Passenger volume (w/moonroof): 101.3 cu. ft. // Fuel economy: 21/30/24 city/highway/combined mpg