Two of most popular selling sedans on the market- the best selling Toyota Camry and the attention-seeking Hyundai Sonata are undergoing image makeovers, in hopes of enticing a new crop of buyers. They've more than made their mark when it comes to their existing fan bases- the Camry has been a huge seller for a long time, and now they're seeking a broader audience to scoop up more of that very lucrative mid-size sedan market with revised 2015 models.
While the Camry is popular, it's a good, reliable car, it's also seen as frumpy as a consequence. It's huge, loyal following seems to be okay with that- each generation of the Camry until now seems to scream safe and modest. There are over 6.6 million Camrys on the road. It has been the best selling car in the U.S. for the past 12 years.
The Toyota Camry had a full makeover only three years ago. It's design was typically... boring. In fact, after the redesign, the best selling Camry model was the one with the sporty SE package. This did not escape Toyota's attention.
Now at midcycle, it's taking on a sportier look to appease fans who clearly want some spice with their nice. There is nothing new to be found under the hood, but the changes include a retuned suspension, more high- tensile steel, a restyled interior and a two-stage brake booster.
"Beyond the cosmetics of a more emotional design, the car drives like a new vehicle," said Bob Carter, Toyota Motor Sales senior vice president of automotive operations.
Hyundai is also looking to expand it's reach among consumers. It's 2015 Sonata is going more upscale, a big change from the flamboyant, discount model that arrived five years ago. Now that people are able to say the words Hyundai and sophisticated in the same sentence, much of the automaker's line is getting more serious and refined. This gives them access to a new pool of customers, and also helps to avoid competition in the discount market if and when China gets their cars into the North American market.
The new Sonata retains most of it's powertrain and platform, but has been retuned for more torque and better suspension and steering. The subsequently better ride and handling will help it to be taken more seriously by their new target market. Inside, lower levels of road noise and softer feeling materials boost the luxe factor. It's got more features too- both high tech and safety related, while retaining it's attractive low price.
Traditionally an exceptionally lucrative and competitive market, the mid-size sedan segment is facing competition from crossovers lately, causing sales to drop by 8 percent so far this year.
Both new vehicles have been unveiled at this year's New York auto show.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca