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2008 Toyota Camry Base / CE
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I think the industry definitely requires coaxing to improve safety and fuel economy, but the rules haven't always been implemented properly. For example, the first generation air bags were designed to protect a rather large UNBELTED male. This resulted in unnecessary injuries to many smaller-sized people from overly forceful airbags (and I'm not totally convinced that this problem has been completely addressed). Also, the current efficiency rules are resulting in fewer non-turbo options and more reliability issues.

As far as having what we want, I'd say no, we're not even close. I want a manual transmission, and I want to be able to select the individual features I want in my car (for example fog lights and a CD player).
Unfortunately for you, what you want is not what everyone else wants and despite the internet we unfortunately don't have a portal to just order and build a vehicle like they did back in the day with paper and a salesperson assuming that is what they used to do before the 90s.
 

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Unfortunately for you, what you want is not what everyone else wants and despite the internet we unfortunately don't have a portal to just order and build a vehicle like they did back in the day with paper and a salesperson assuming that is what they used to do before the 90s.
It's not just unfortunate for me. Assembling options in expensive packages makes things more costly and complex for everyone.
 

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2013 Camry LE
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296 Posts
I find it unfortunate how they tier the different packages/options. Imagine for instance packages/options A, B, C, and D. If you want option B, you need to buy option A also. If you want option C, you need to pay for options A and B in addition to C. Oh, and if you want option D, you also must pay for options A, B and C. So if I just want option D, I need to buy all of them to get what I want.
 

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2008 Toyota Camry Base / CE
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14,489 Posts
I find it unfortunate how they tier the different packages/options. Imagine for instance packages/options A, B, C, and D. If you want option B, you need to buy option A also. If you want option C, you need to pay for options A and B in addition to C. Oh, and if you want option D, you also must pay for options A, B and C. So if I just want option D, I need to buy all of them to get what I want.
While it may suck, there are multiple ways to make the options more convoluted than they already are.
 

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2021 Toyota Camry XSE V6
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541 Posts
While it may suck, there are multiple ways to make the options more convoluted than they already are.
They are limiting package option combos now. My XSE V6, bought in April 2021 has two tone windchill pearl and midnight black exterior, red leather interior, cold weather package, driver’s assist, and built-in navigation; however, now on Toyota’s online configuration tool, you can’t add the cold weather package to that same XSE V6 with two tone WCP+MB exterior and red leather interior while keeping driver’s assist and built-in navigation. As soon as you choose to have the driver’s assist package or driver’s assist+nav package, it will remove the cold weather package and vice versa. It seems they don’t include cold weather package with the other two any more. I don’t know why they decided to limit the packages this way.
 

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They are limiting package option combos now. My XSE V6, bought in April 2021 has two tone windchill pearl and midnight black exterior, red leather interior, cold weather package, driver’s assist, and built-in navigation; however, now on Toyota’s online configuration tool, you can’t add the cold weather package to that same XSE V6 with two tone WCP+MB exterior and red leather interior while keeping driver’s assist and built-in navigation. As soon as you choose to have the driver’s assist package or driver’s assist+nav package, it will remove the cold weather package and vice versa. It seems they don’t include cold weather package with the other two any more. I don’t know why they decided to limit the packages this way.
And they call this progress? All options should be ad hoc, period. Sure, put cars on the lot with the most popular options for people to buy on the spot and give people who know what they want the option to order exactly what they want and wait for it. I hate having someone dictate what I "need" when I know darn well what I actually need and want.
 

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Camry Freak
Camry & Accord
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It's not just unfortunate for me. Assembling options in expensive packages makes things more costly and complex for everyone.
More expensive for the customer who is insistent on getting one particular option that's only offered in a higher trim level or grouped with other options... but a lot more cost effective for the manufacturer. When you are mass-producing cars, it can save a ton of money to do it this way instead of making cars with tons of different option packages, different options, and so on at the factory. It's a lot more efficient to produce less variants of a car. The Camry is already available in five different trim levels with three different powertrains. That works out to be eleven different trim and engine combinations that have to roll down the assembly line.

Add in the various option packages available- and that number expands even further. Some really popular options remain available independently, but it seems like over the past decade or so more and more manufacturers- Toyota included, have moved to group options in packages or into different trim levels in order to be more efficient- likely to streamline the manufacturing process. Even when individual options are available- it's often that all car models actually produced have them or they don't. For example, before I bought my 2019 Accord, I tried to locate a Camry XLE V6 or XSE V6 without the two option packages that push the price to nearly $40,000. Nope. Not a single dealership in my state had a V6 without those option packages. Same thing when I bought my 2021 Accord two months ago. First, V6 Camrys were pretty much extinct in my neck of the woods at that point...and the few that did exist were fully loaded XSEs or TRDs.

Any mainstream car maker does it the same way- at least in this market. Trucks are a bit different, but for midsize sedans, most car makers have streamlined the process this way years ago- or even decades ago. Honda hasn't offered a dealer-installed option on an Accord or Civic... or even their SUVs in a long time- I can't actually think of a time when they did- at least going back to the late 90s. You have a handful of trims to choose from... and the only 'options' that are available are the accessories offered at the dealership.

I wanted a heated steering wheel on my 2021 Accord- and I would have much rather have had it installed at the factory- rather than having the local dealership tech install it... but no dice. Luckily, whoever installed it didn't screw anything up when installing it.
 
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2008 Camry SE V6
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69 Posts
2015, 2016, and 2017 Camrys in the XLE and XSE trim had LEDs in the lower bumper-mounted lights in addition to the turn signals that are down there. The LEDs acted as DRL on those models (lower trim levels used the high beams at a lower intensity as their DRL). At night, the LEDs stay on. I'm not sure if they are considered fog lights or not. Looking at the 2016 manual, I didn't see a fog light on/off switch described for any model.
Yeah, I don't think they were genuine "fogs"....looks like an additional "LED lighting layer."
 
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