You're free to disagree, but I see them as simply explaining one reason why today's Camry, in general, is not as highly regarded as the 3Gen model, which, IMO, clearly earned the respect it got. Same with the Lexus ES...the superb 4Gen model, IMO, set the standard for the car's history, which (also IMO) has gone downhill since then.
The 92-96 Camry didn't have close to the competition it had today, the Taurus basically, the Accord didn't even have an V-6 and everything else probably doesn't run today .
In the 90s, the Camry/Accord/Taurus played annual musical-chairs for the title of best-selling car in America (outside of pickup trucks). The Camry did have strong (and repeated) competition from those other two sedans...and, of course, wagon versions of the Accord/Camry were sold through 1996. Wagon versons of the Taurus continued right up to the end of the last- eneration model.....sometimes known (in a mildly restyled form) as Freestyle or Taurus X. Coupe versions of the Camry ended in the American market, at least from what I can remember, with the 1996 model.
One thing to remember about Accord sales, they include coupes.
True. But that's because history has shown that the Accord is somewhat more popular than the Camry with sport-oriented drivers and/or those who would prefer two doors instead of four. Both the Camry and Accord, though, are getting a lot of competition these days not only from newer Chevy Malibus but (as you note) the perky new Ford Fusion.
The Accord coupe, in top-line versions, also offers something increasingly rare in today's auto world, especially in mainstream cars......a V6 with a traditional 3-pedal manual.
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3rd Gen Camry was great and the Exterior styling still looks good today. The jellybean shape has aged well. The build quality was superb as with ALL Lexus/Toyota cars during those years.
2013 F10 535i MSport - Alpine White / Black Previous
2012 F10 528i MSport - Jet Black / Black
2009 E92 335i MSport - Alpine White / Coral Red
2005 GS300 - Blue Onyx Pearl / Tan Interior _18 x 8.5 OZ Vela III / LSportline Adjus Susp /JP Rear Spoiler / TTE Front Lip & Grill / L-Tuned Exhaust
2002 GS300 - Blue Onyx Pearl / Tan Interior
Now, mind you, if the Camry loses it's spot, it only will make it better for the consumer. Maybe not for ToMoCo ( ), but surely better for the consumer.
The market dictates demand. If the Camry does not provide what the market wants, it will lose it's title as America's top selling car.
What does the market demand? For example, the CRV with it's 4-banger outsold the Rav4 (including it's defunct V6 variant) for the past several years; if fact, it's the best selling crossover/SUV on the market besting all other make and model in every drivetrain and powertrain variable. The CRV does so with better quality materials, precise engineering, fuel efficiency, cost effectiveness, space/cargo efficiency, balance, comfort, durability, and ease of maintenance; all the while negating sportiness and "excitement". The Camry needs to go back to such roots.
The RAV4's interior is far better than the CRV's.
I do agree with everyone that the 3rd Gen Camry's exterior still looks modern today. My mom had a '94 XLE V6 and loved it. I still think this is the best though!