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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All,

Is it likely that Toyota will produce a Camry sportswagon with updated performance and safety equipment? It has been 10 years since the last USA Camry wagon.

Toyota/Lexus/Scion currently does not have a single model to compete with:
  • Audi A4/A6
  • BMW 325/525
  • Mazda 3/6
  • Mercedes C320/E320
  • Saab 9-3/9-5 Aero,
  • Subaru WRX, Legacy GT
  • Volvo V50/70
  • VW Jetta/Passat
We have thoroughly enjoyed our two Toyota wagons but have no interest in:

- Toyota Matrix:
  • Noisy engine, below avg. acceleration.
  • “Awkward driving position.” Tall, long-legged drivers (especially those with larger shoe sizes) may find that they cannot stretch out their left leg as the left front wheel well juts too far into the driver's space.
  • Reduced cargo capacity due to "stylish" roofline.
  • Not on IIHS Top Safety Pick Awards List.
- Any SUV:
  • Higher center of gravity
  • Less agile
  • Higher potential for rollover
  • Higher Cd
  • More weight = slower acceleration, longer braking distance
  • Lower MPG
  • Mechanically more complex
  • Larger rear blind spots
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Please note: Original question has been revised.
Thanks!
 

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Hi chasman,

I don't drive a wagon and never drive one before(currently driving 02 Camry XLE V6), and I don't know if Toyota is going to make a Camry sportswagon or not. But I THINK Subaru Legacy Wagon or Outback XT might have what you want.

To be honest, I never drive a Subaru before(well...once within few mins, and it was 90s subaru legacy non-wagon), I saw these information from other forums.

- Any SUV:
  • Higher center of gravity
  • Lower center of gravity for Subaru
  • Less agile
  • More agile
  • Higher potential for rollover
  • Should have lower potential for rollover than SUV(due to lower center of gravity)
  • Higher Cd
  • 0.32 for wagon and 0.34 for outback, not sure which SUV you comparing to.
  • More weight = slower acceleration, longer braking distance
  • Not sure
  • Lower MPG
  • Not lower MPG due to turbo charged+AWD(there's non-turbo with less power)
  • Mechanically more complex
  • Not sure
  • Larger rear blind spots
  • Not sure(should be less than SUVs)
If you are also looking for ground clearance, I heard Outbacks have same ground clearance with some of the SUVs. The 06 Legacy has won IIHS Top Safety Picks 2006(legacy wagon should be the same, but I could be wrong). You can check out nasioc.com or legacygt.com for more information.

It's the best alternative I can think of...I know there are more choice out there.

Talking about Toyota...personally, I think Toyota(stock Camry) lack of power and handling(No offence to Toyota lovers. I know it'll be changed soon, and I still LOVE my 02 Camry by the way. They are sooooooo COMFORTABLE and QUIET which I like a lot.)


Hope you will find the car you want. :)

Jerry
 

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Sorry, didn't see the edited one when I posted. Now I see you have legacy GT in the list.:D I would also consider reliability issues with those cars. I saw VW's reliability isn't good somewhere, but again...I could be wrong.


Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Most Well-Rounded Wagon: Toyota's Answer?

Thanks for the reply Jerry!

I would also consider reliability issues with those cars. I saw VW's reliability isn't good somewhere…
Reliability of some of these models may be a consideration. However, what good is a reliable car that doesn't provide sufficient fit/comfort and/or protection for your family/loved-ones?

What wagon does Toyota offer that competes in the areas of fit/comfort, accident avoidance/performance, crash protection, versatility, and fuel efficiency?
 

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幻影
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I highly doubt Toyota will ever make a gen 6 camry wagon. There is a reason Toyota does everything they do, and they decided to get rid of Camry wagon's in the States because of declining sales. If anything, Toyota should make a wagon on the IS platform and market it as a Lexus.

Wagons are defninitely out of date, and calling any Camry a "sport wagon" isn't gonna work. With the models you mentioned above, when I think of them, the first thing that pops up into my head is power, performance, and style. When MOST people think of a Camry, I doubt they will ever think of power, performance, or style. The past 5 generations of the camry have been mid-sized family crusiers. The Camry didn't have a nice suspension or a lot of horsepower because, face it, most people aren't going to drive like Michael Schumacher on the way to the grocery store.

I do not think that the image of the Camry is gonna to go from "plain vanilla family sedan" to "European sport sedan" with the new generation, and therefore, marketing a new "sport wagon" based on the Camry would not be practical for Toyota.

As for wagons, Toyota only offers the underpowered Matrix/xA, and the xB. Wagons really aren't Toyota's thing, and its not like they need to sell wagons to compete with other automakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Most Well-Rounded Wagon: Toyota's Answer?

Thanks for the detailed reply Phatfantom68!

"If anything, Toyota should make a wagon on the IS platform and market it as a Lexus."
They did just that from 2002-2005 - the Lexus IS300 Sportcross. It didn't sell well as it was more of a hatchback. It didn't have the interior space of a wagon. It was also very expensive to insure as minor fender benders typically caused significant repair costs. http://www.kbb.com/kb/ki.dll/ke.kb.sp?kbb&&395&article_insuranceA;article

"Wagons are definitely out of date...."
Apparently, Audi, BMW, Mazda, Mercedes, Saab, Subaru, Volvo, & VW do not think so. After Katrina $3/gal gas, SUV sales have significantly declined. See Links:
"The Decline of the SUV
Sales of the SUV -- once heralded as the savior of the American car industry -- plummeted this past year to their lowest level since 1998. And most industry analysts said this could be the end for the SUV's popularity -- marking a huge shift in auto trends." http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=automotive&id=3794787

http://www.politicalgateway.com/news/read.html?id=5779
With the uncertainty of Iran's nuclear program currently a top news story, expect to see gas prices rise again. See Links:
http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/business/13679428.htm
http://www.forbes.com/business/manufacturing/feeds/ap/2006/01/20/ap2464764.html


"... calling any Camry a "sport wagon" isn't gonna work.
Agreed. It will need to actually be a sportwagon. Attempting to market styling without substance will have a low probability of success. Such a new model would need to have genuine agile performance.

"When MOST people think of a Camry, I doubt they will ever think of power, performance, or style. The past 5 generations of the camry have been mid-sized family cruisers."

"I do not think that the image of the Camry is gonna to go from "plain vanilla family sedan" to "European sport sedan" with the new generation, and therefore, marketing a new "sport wagon" based on the Camry would not be practical for Toyota."

Simply because past generations were "family cruisers" does not mean that all future generations must follow the same uninspiring path. It may be helpful to choose a different name better suited to such a sportswagon to distance the new model from the Camry's stogy image.

Wagons really aren't Toyota's thing, and its not like they need to sell wagons to compete with other automakers.
I'm sure Subaru, Volvo and others greatly appreciate Toyota giving away this segment of the market to them.

So, what will be Toyota's answer for those who seek a well-rounded wagon?
 

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They are going to have an IS wagon, like the Sportscross of the previous gen IS. Toyota not has a 20% stake in Subu, so maybe we will see some subie creep into Toyota's stable. We will see.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Future Sportcross?

drunken_panda said:
They are going to have an IS wagon, like the Sportscross of the previous gen IS. Toyota not has a 20% stake in Subu, so maybe we will see some subie creep into Toyota's stable. We will see.
Per the following April 15, 2005 article:
http://www.autocar.co.uk/News_Article.asp?NA_ID=214571
"In the nearer future, Lexus is also planning an estate version of the new IS and, in two to three years’ time..."

12-28-2005 News item:
http://my.is/forums/showthread.php?t=277239&highlight=wagon

If memory serves me correctly: GM sold its 20% stake in Subaru. Toyota purchased half of that stake - 10% of Subaru.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Toyota/Subaru Wagon? Toybaru?

drunken_panda said:
Toyota not has a 20% stake in Subu, so maybe we will see some subie creep into Toyota's stable. We will see.
Hi drunken_panda,

I would not be surprised either. See below:
"Toyota to outsource redesign to Fuji Heavy"
November 9, 2005
Reuters
http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/09/Autos/toyota_fuji_redesign.reuthttp://www.theautochannel.com/news/2005/11/08/147791.html

Has anyone heard which "existing Toyota model" will be redesigned by Fuji/Subaru?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Highlander vs Camry

Hi All,

FWIW, the info below shows how the Highlander SUV (based on the Camry drivetrain) compares to the Camry:

Per CR's performance comparison chart:

04 Highlander V6 auto 5 230hp 3.3L V6 19 mpg
8.8 sec1
16.9 sec @ 83 mph
137 ft2
48.5 mph3
02 Camry V6 auto 4 192hp 3.0L V6 20 mpg 8.7 sec
16.8 sec @ 84 mph
128 ft
51.0 mph
1 = 0 to 60 mph
2 = 60 to 0 mph
3 = Maximum accident avoidance maneuver speed

The Camry is the better choice for both braking distance (9 ft shorter) and maximum accident avoidance maneuver speed.

Additionally, per CR Model Overview:

2004 Limited 4-door SUV AWD, 3.3-liter V6, 5-speed automatic​
  • Below avg economy - 19 MPG
  • "Lows: Agility"
  • Below avg headlights
  • Avg emergency handling
Per CR Test Report:
"The Highlander isn't as nimble as some competing models, such as the BMW X3 or Subaru Outback. Body lean is noticeable but not excessive. The light steering is precise and responsive. At its handling limits, the Highlander feels a bit clumsy but secure thanks to its ESC. It reached a modest speed in our avoidance maneuver.

"The low-beam headlights had good intensity but reached only a fair distance..."

"...but taller drivers found thigh support lacking. The roomy rear seat has ample knee and head room, though some wished for more thigh support."
---------------------------
Plus, active head restraints are not standard or even optional.
 

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if they do make another wagon they need to follow in the steps of the gen3 camry they were bigger then the accord wagons. my car is a beast as is and can you imagine one with awd 3.3l engine and also a hybrid model?!?!?! that would be sick.

can someone try to photoshop the gen 6 camry into a wagon?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Photoshop Camry Sportwagon?

Hi 2wickedtoyz,

2wickedtoyz said:
can someone try to photoshop the gen 6 camry into a wagon?
Great idea! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
"And we want more."

The following quotes may be of interest for those who think interest in Camry wagons has declined:

TWHansen
"Gen2 Camry Wagon Czar"

My name is Tim Hansen. I'm a filmmaker from Milwaukee, WI and the proud owner of several 1987-1991 Toyota Camry station wagons. In fact, we've had over a dozen.
30 MPG, tons of cargo space, a hint of style, and best of all, it's a Toyota (so you can practically weld the hood shut)
Between my friends and I, we've owned over 16 Gen2 Camry Wagons. And we want more.
 

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well see toyota was planning to bring the caldina to US if matrix sales was good but matrix sale wasn't so great so we're never going to get a sporty wagon... FYI caldina is a 3sgte(265hp one) powered all wheel drive wagon in japan which looks a lot like the matrix. they were introduced almost the same time. matrix's sale figures pretty much sealed the coffin for the sporty wagon from toyota.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What did they expect?

Hi atobe,

atobe said:
well see toyota was planning to bring the caldina to US if matrix sales was good but matrix sale wasn't so great so we're never going to get a sporty wagon... FYI caldina is a 3sgte(265hp one) powered all wheel drive wagon in japan which looks a lot like the matrix. they were introduced almost the same time. matrix's sale figures pretty much sealed the coffin for the sporty wagon from toyota.
I'm not at all surprised the Matrix hasn't sold well. Comments in red are from CR's Model Overview & Test Report.
  • Below average acceleration - "0-60 mph, sec. 12.0"
  • "Noise suppression is mediocre, and some drivers tired of the booming engine noise."
  • "The standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder drones loudly and performs modestly."
  • "But the Matrix needs to be revved a lot to deliver its power."
  • "The optional AWD system (available only with the automatic) works well but hurts acceleration and fuel economy."
  • “Awkward driving position.” "The driving position is so-so because the steering wheel is positioned too far forward."
  • Tall, long-legged drivers (especially those with larger shoe sizes) may find that they cannot stretch out their left leg as the left front wheel well juts too far into the driver's space
  • "Stability control is optional, but is hard to find."
  • "Avoidance maneuver maximum speed, mph 51.5"
  • "Low-beam headlights lacked distance."
  • "The small rear window, large rear head restraints, and tapered side windows obscure rear visibility."
  • "Cargo volume, cu. ft.28"
  • Reduced cargo capacity due to "stylish" roofline defeating the functionality and the reason for having a wagon in the first place.
  • Not on IIHS Top Safety Pick Awards List.
What did they expect? For a wagon to be useful it needs to have a reasonable cargo volume. The typical American is taller / larger than the average Japanese person. And we tend to be impatient especially when it comes to acceleration on crowded metropolitan roads. Lastly, a number of CR's comments are safety related.

Bottom line
: Toyota needs to make a more competitive well-rounded wagon.
 

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chasman said:
Bottom line: Toyota needs to make a more competitive well-rounded wagon.
No, they don't. I like them as much as you do, but face it, man, we're the odd ones out. Wagons are still not cool, no matter what the two of us and the filmmaker guy think. The average American still thinks about the Griswold Family Truckster when he hears the words "station wagon".

I've been beating my head against the wall for years wondering why so many millions of people don't think more like I do. But no matter how frustrated I get, my logic (which parallels yours) has no damned influence on what the unwashed masses want to spend their money on and be seen in.

Wagons don't sell, so they get dropped. Same thing that happens to sports cars - we bitch about not getting them, but when we have them, we don't buy them. The fact is that's a very small proportion of the buying public that actually wants wagons, sports cars, minimalist hatchbacks, diesels, rotaries, carburetors, iron cylinder heads, rear wheel drive, metal bumpers, manual transmissions, and positive ground electrical systems. This sounds sarcastic, but I have intelligent (but eccentric) friends who are convinced that manufacturers are shooting themselves in the foot by not offering these things. They're intelligent, but they're really, really wrong. Toyota's in business to sell lots and lots of cars, and niche cars don't sell in volume.

Enjoy your gen2 and keep it alive. We do. If you're in the market for a new car, I suggest either waiting for the IS wagon (*if* it pans out) or checking out Subaru's offerings.

Cake, eat it too, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Everything goes in cycles - "The Decline of the SUV"

Hi te51levin!

atobe said,
matrix's sale figures pretty much sealed the coffin for the sporty wagon from toyota.

I replied that if Toyota wants to sell wagons, and they must since they make the Matrix, they need to make a more competitive well-rounded model & listed the shortcomings of the Matrix.


"...no matter what the two of us and the filmmaker guy think."
Hey, don't forget about 2wickedtoyz, the "Gen3 wagon specialist'!

"Wagons don't sell"
Don't tell that to Audi, BMW, Mazda, Mercedes, Saab, Subaru, Volvo, & VW.

"The fact is that's a very small proportion of the buying public that actually wants wagons, sports cars..."
Then why has Lexus been chasing the ubiquitous BMWs for years? I suspect Toyota's models haven't sold as well as BMWs because they were not as well-rounded, not as competitive. Not the "benchmark."

"Toyota's in business to sell lots and lots of cars...."
Toyota will need something to replace declining SUV volume:
"The Decline of the SUV

Sales of the SUV -- once heralded as the savior of the American car industry -- plummeted this past year to their lowest level since 1998. And most industry analysts said this could be the end for the SUV's popularity -- marking a huge shift in auto trends." http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?sec...ive&id=3794787
http://www.politicalgateway.com/news/read.html?id=5779

"Enjoy your gen2 and keep it alive."
Since Toyota currently doesn't make a well-rounded, competitive sportwagon I guess we'll have to.

"...I suggest either waiting for the IS wagon (*if* it pans out) or checking out Subaru's offerings."
Whoever makes a well-rounded wagon first: Honda, Subaru, or Toyota. Time does not stand still.
 

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幻影
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I replied that if Toyota wants to sell wagons, and they must since make the Matrix, they need to make a more competitive well-rounded model & listed the shortcomings of the Matrix.
Even if they made a more well-rounded model, a Toyota is still A Toyota. Toyota has proven that they cannot do wagons that are as appealing as other automakers. As an analogy, think back to the 80's and 90's when the Big 3 really fucked up their quality and turned thousands of people away from buying "American" cars. My dad, nor I, care how much they improved their quality and blah, blah, blah; we still aren't gonna buy an "American" car. The same goes with Toyota wagons: people have been turned away from the Matrix, and they prolly won't make their first choice Toyota when they want to shop for another wagon.



Don't tell that to Audi, BMW, Mazda, Mercedes, Saab, Subaru, Volvo, & VW.
Now lets take a moment to study these samples for a second... Each brand listed is a luxury badge, except for Mazda, which is a sportier badge. Toyota is not luxury, and most people don't view most Toyota vehicles as "sporty" either. These manufacturers for the most part have been making wagons for decades, and have established a large customer loyalty for their wagons. Toyota never established a large loyalty for their wagons.

Then why has Lexus been chasing the ubiquitous BMWs for years? I suspect Toyota's models haven't sold as well as BMWs because they were not as well-rounded, not as competitive. Not the "benchmark."
Let's get this straight here, Lexus and Toyota are different badges under the same ownership. If you roll up somewhere in a Lexus, no one is gonna tell you its a Toyota, and if you roll up in a Camry, no one is gonna say its an ES. As for Lexus, it is a luxury badge that focuses on selling more refined products to a smaller market, meaning they go heads up against BMW when it comes to selling sports cars and other niche-type vehicles. Whether Lexus is selling as well as BMW is a whole another topic by itself, so I'll leave it at that.

Toyota will need something to replace declining SUV volume:
"The Decline of the SUV

Sales of the SUV -- once heralded as the savior of the American car industry -- plummeted this past year to their lowest level since 1998. And most industry analysts said this could be the end for the SUV's popularity -- marking a huge shift in auto trends."
The declining sales of SUV's are not a problem exclusive to Toyota. The general public is starting to buy more crossovers and more cars, and those in the market for SUV's have a huge selection. Toyota's SUV's are not the best-looking, cheapest, technologically innovative, or most powerul in the segment, which explains Toyot's decline in sales.

Since Toyota currently doesn't make a well-rounded, competitive sportwagon I guess we'll have to.
Toyota doesn't make a competitive "sportwagon" and I high doubt they will within the next decade. Unless the public demands sportwagons, Toyota isn't gonna make them; it's as simple as that.

For example, unlike the Land Cruiser, Toyota doesn't have any "legendary" names in the wagon market, and they sure won't be making as much profit off a wagon as they would a Land Cruiser, which is the reason why wagons were discontinued and the Land Cruiser is still made.
Whoever makes a well-rounded wagon first: Honda, Subaru, or Toyota. Time does not stand still.
Subaru already makes "well-rounded" wagons, which is the reason why people buy them. Honda is not going to make a wagon in the near future, and neither is Toyota. It is not Toyota's job to cater to a minority of car-buyers. Automakers are good at what they do, and the luxury automakers mentioned earlier cater to this wagon-craving minority, and have gotten good at it too.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Honda, Subaru, Toyota: Who First?

Hi Phatfantom68,

Thanks for the well-done & detailed reply!

Phatfantom68 said:
Subaru already makes "well-rounded" wagons, which is the reason why people buy them. Honda is not going to make a wagon in the near future, and neither is Toyota.
It is a shame that the Accord & Camry wagons have been discontinued in favor of (what used to be more profitable) SUVs. They were both cost-effective & reliable. If they still existed and were given updated performance & safety improvements we would already own a new car.

chasman said:
Whoever makes a well-rounded wagon first: Honda, Subaru, or Toyota.

All Honda/Acura has to do is import the UK Tourer (TSX wagon). It already exists:

http://www.parkers.co.uk/imagecache/file/300/archive/Honda/Accord%20Tourer%20(03-)/lhd2f2-.jpg
http://www.thisisthenortheast.co.uk/the_north_east/autobytes/images/cars/ghi/hondaaccordtourer.jpg
http://www.carpages.co.uk/honda/honda_images/honda_accord_tourer_07_08_04.jpg
http://images.newcarnet.co.uk/faa_pic1/ho_accord_03_e.jpg

Subaru Legacy: Not bad, but still needs additional refinement: "..at its handling limits it tends to slide its tail without much advance notice," no ESC, less than average fuel efficiency - 18 MPG (due to AWD), 140 ft braking distance. (Per CR)

Toyota Camry Wagon:
Our FWD Camry has consistently provided us with 25 –30 MPG! If SUV demand continues to decline, Toyota could switch gears quickly. Toyota brought the Scion tC to market in only about a year.

David I. said:
If the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry came in wagon trim, I'd buy one in a heartbeat.
 
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