There are days when words come easy. When the prose flows like a fine wine. Days when my creativity is as frantic and frenetic as a Toyota GR Yaris being chased along a B-road by a swarm of bees high on Red Bull and Hennessy.
Friday was one of those days. I wrote the story on MOT Pickers in an hour, sandwiched between two pieces of paid work. It's not worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, but it's an accurate snapshot of the way my mind works.
Today wasn't a Toyota GR Yaris kind of day. No bees are buzzing. The Red Bull and Hennessy remains on ice.
So it's perhaps appropriate that today was the day when news broke about the 2021 Toyota Camry. If the GR Yaris arrived with a bang, the Camry's entrance was more of a whimper. A case of Uber and out, if you like.
“Reassuringly bland. The Camry from Toyota,” is how Aidan Walsh put it on Twitter. Harsh? Probably. Fair? Most certainly.
Even Toyota UK was struggling for inspiration. ‘TOYOTA ADDS MORE TO THE WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL SALOON WITH STYLING, EQUIPMENT AND SAFETY UPGRADES ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2021 CAMRY HYBRID.’
That's a mighty long headline. A case of chucking magnetic letters against a fridge until something sticks. Perhaps ‘2021 Toyota Camry: HEY IT'S YOUR UBER DRIVER... AM OUTSIDE’ wouldn't cut it.
Twist and Shout
I wanted to write something on the new Camry. It's arguably one of the most PetrolBloggy new cars you can buy. A four-door saloon in a world of crossovers. A shark in a tank of pufferfish.
But instead of writing, I spent 20 minutes looking at the images. Majestic, isn't it? A touch elegant, perhaps. Sharper than before, like the Camry has spent 2020 working out with Joe Wicks on Zoom.
Those alloy wheels are far too nice to be consigned to a lifetime of being under-appreciated by boozed-up weekenders on their way back from pound-a-pint dive bars. They're 18-inch alloys with slim and twisted spokes with contrasting bright machined and dark finishes, in case you're interested/bothered.
On the inside, 2021 Camry owners will get a choice of beige or black leather upholstery with a stylish herringbone perforation pattern to allow for seat ventilation. Connoisseurs will choose beige, although a velour option would have been nice.
Apples and Pairing
Arguably the biggest news is the introduction of an improved infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It brings the Toyota Camry into the 21st century.
I had a brief drive in the UK-spec Toyota Camry in 2019. It was all very... pleasant. I'd like to say that, like a true road tester, I have a Moleskine notebook full of driving impressions. I can't say that, because I'm not a true road tester. However, I do remember two negative things about the Camry: the styling and the infotainment system.
With those negatives out of the way, Toyota has moved the 2021 Camry to within an inch of perfection. It's the ideal car for those days when you want to switch on and turn off (hat tip to Hilton Holloway, Car, January 1997).
Not every day can be a GR Yaris kind of day. For those days when inspiration, creativity and motivation are in short supply, the Camry is just the ticket (to ride).