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History of The Toyota Camry

Updated on June 23, 2012

History of The Camry

Since its inception in 1982, few automobiles have been as popular with consumers as the Toyota Camry. The car’s name means crown in Japanese (The Japanese, like some other Asians, use characters instead of alphabets in their written language – the name kanmuri, which means crown, was translated to Camry). Toyota has used the word crown synonymously with some of their other products. Another example: “Corolla,” which is the Latin word for crown.

From 1980-1982, the Toyota Camry was known as the “Toyota Celica Camry,” but was quickly renamed the “Toyota Camry” in 1982.

First Model 1982 – 1986

It’s difficult to believe that the Toyota Camry as we know it today, was a direct descendant of this vehicle. Nevertheless, this Camry was much more Japanese in looks as well as everything else than the current model Camry. This original Camry also had a hatchback type model in their lineup known as the “liftback.” The engine offered was a 1.8, 4 cylinder engine with 74hp, or you could opt for the whooping 2.0, 4 cylinder engine with 91hp. The vehicle was known by different names, depending on the country you were from.

Second Model 1986 - 1990

This was the first of the Toyota Camry model that started to look more like it does nowadays. It was somewhat larger, and for the first time received a 2.5, V6 engine with 158hp under its hood. A major move on the part of Toyota , considering that the first models all had less than 100hp engines. A wagon was also added to the lineup.

Third Model 1990 – 1994

For the first time in the Toyota Camry’s history, the vehicle looked more expensive than it actually was. The 1991 model put the Camry in the big leagues with its exceptional cues to other more expensive vehicles in its class. The new 4 cylinder engine grew to 2.2, and the V6 grew to a 3.0, so horsepower increased on both models.

Fourth Model 1994 – 1998

This model didn’t quite get a full facelift until about 1997, and stayed this way until 2001. Although the engine size remained the same as in the previous model, horsepower increased on both engines.

Fifth Model 1998 – 2001

Except for a couple of things, there were no big changes in the looks department between this model and the previous one.

Sixth Model 2001 – 2006

With this model, Camry stepped up into the big leagues. This model fully loaded was over $30,000. It also increased in size to the previous Camry models by a few inches. A 2.4, 4 cylinder engine was added with 154hp; furthermore, a new and more powerful 3.3, V6 was introduced with 210hp, making it the most Camry to date.

Present Model 2006 – 2011

This is probably the best looking and most expensive of all the Toyota Camry models to date. It has sports cues and very nice looking creases. The 2011 engine has a 3.5, V6 horsepower which produces 268hp engine.

Final thoughts:

Few vehicles are as popular, or as loved by their owners as the Toyota Camry is. Even today, with all of the different vehicles to chose from, a great deal of Camry owners return back to Toyota for more of the same....


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    • profile image 4 years ago from upstate, NY

      I had a 1987 Toyota Camry that I finally junked last year because of rust. It only rusted because I live here in upstate New York where everything rusts and I seldom washed the undercarriage. I think it might be the most reliable car ever made, in the entire time i've own mine, there wasn't one issue other than routine maintenance. I understand the Camry wins the distinctive honor of being the car stolen most often in America.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Sunshine626, and thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Yes, for a few dollars more---if you can afford it of course, the Camry is probably a better choice. Corolla's are wonderful little cars though.

      Take care and thanks again.


    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I'm a Toyota fan. I prefer the Corolla, but after reading this hub I could see myself upgrading to a Camry!:)