For 1995 the Ford Taurus was once again the best-selling passenger car in America. One reason for this sales success was the fact that 1995 was the last year of this body style. The Taurus would get a full redesign for the next year. Perhaps one of the most unique things about the 1995 Taurus was that it still offered a manual transmission as an option.
Aside from that, the 1995 model year remained largely unchanged but the SHO model was prominently featured as Tim Allen’s ride in the Disney movie “The Santa Clause.” Just goes to show that even a Hollywood man can appreciate the stellar SHO model. This would be the final year of the popular SHO until it was released in the next generation of Taurus cars.
In what was perhaps one of the most radical redesigns in history, the 1996 Ford Taurus made a big splash. The oval styling was universally panned by critics in the automotive press, but consumers seemed to take to the new Taurus well. As with most of the new cars that came out in 1996 automakers were continuing to move away from the boxy designs of the 1980s.
The 1996 Taurus model was available in a wagon and a sedan, and the wagon was vastly improved over the previous model. Sadly, the manual transmission was gone and the Taurus wouldn’t get another manual option in the future. Few car releases have been as critically panned and documented as the 1996 Ford Taurus was.
The 1997 Toyota Camry was more comfortable than ever, offering a newly designed exterior and plenty of options. Gone was the 2-door from the lineup, which would eventually become the Camry Solara. The wagon model was also gone and the Camry was firmly planted as America’s top new choice for a family sedan.
From a design standpoint, the reliability of this generation of the Camry cannot be denied. The car did far better than you’d expect considering the stiff competition that was available this year. The 1997 Camry was also one of the most reliable models on the road as you still see them today.
When 1998 rolled around, the Toyota Camry was largely unchanged, but it offered a decent amount of value for the price. There were still two transmission options available and the spacious interior was a hit with consumers. Few cars have been able to rival the success of this Camry generation and there is good reason for that.
If you were lucky enough to get the LE, then you had an abundance of luxury options to choose from. Leather seating, wood trim, and even a sedate exterior made this generation of the Camry one of the most popular family sedans of all time.
The Toyota Camry retained its crown as the top-selling passenger car for 1999. The 3.0L V6 was still the most highly sought-after engine in the lineup, although the four-cylinder offered a reasonable amount of power and reliability for the price. 1999 brought a lot of new changes in paint color and trim choices, but the car was largely unchanged from the previous edition.
Toyota would inject new advertising campaigns into the brand and try to pivot consumer interest toward the value-oriented models. Whichever model you went for, the Camry was among the best deals in the passenger car market. A big change for this year was the arrival of the Solara convertible model.
For the year 2000, the Toyota Camry was once again the best-selling passenger car in the country. Toyota did an exterior refresh on the car that included new headlights and taillights as well as a more rounded front fascia. From a performance standpoint, the Camry wasn’t going to win any races but the sturdy build quality was an important aspect.
Toyota has done a great job of not making the redesigns of the Camry too radical, and the 2000 model is an example of that. The new exterior design of the car looked a lot better and still kept to the traditional styling that has made the Camry such a popular choice over the past few years.
The Honda Accord had spent quite a few years as the runner-up to the Camry, but in 2001 the tides had turned. 2001 was a great year for Honda and there were a lot of memorable models including the Integra Type R. The 2001 Honda Accord was a comfortable and modern family car that offered all of the safety and security that you’d expect out of Honda.
On top of that, the car is notoriously reliable which has helped to keep the resale value up. Few cars have managed to keep the notoriety that the 2001 Honda Accord has. Consumers just seemed to have gravitated toward this generation of the Accord in a way that they didn’t with other generations.
When 2002 rolled around, the Camry was once again redesigned, and this time it incorporated a ton of unique features. The new styling of the 2002 Camry ushered in a new generation of style for the Toyota sedan, the dimensions were also a lot larger. The Camry had lost that “cheap” aesthetic to it.
Now the Camry was a thoroughly modern family sedan that offered a comprehensive bargain. The fierce rivalry between the Camry and the Accord would go on well into the future, and the Camry ended up being the best-selling car for the next three years in a row. Rather then bore you with repeated entries on the list, we’re just going to include the sales numbers for the next three model years.
For the 2006 model year, the redesign of the Camry proved to be a very powerful one for Toyota. The car was completely redesigned from the ground up with a hybrid model in the mix as well. Aside from that, the Camry is also a much more powerful sedan than it was before with a lot of new driving characteristics.
The Hybrid model was a step in the right direction as gas prices were beginning to soar. Toyota kept the design minuscule but continued to build on the popularity of the newly redesigned Camry model. The hybrid model proved to be a very popular addition to the Camry lineup and one that many drivers don’t regret.
The Camry was once again the best-selling passenger car in the country in 2007, but this time it had some stiff competition on its heels. The Honda Accord was also selling like hotcakes and the Corolla/Matrix twins were also selling well. The 2007 model continued to build on the popularity of the brand with the LE model being the height of the product line.
While you’d never think that the Toyota Camry is a youthful product, Toyota did do a great job of advertising the car as such. For what it offered the Camry continued to be the perennial sales leader of the automotive industry, and to this day still remains a powerful brand name drivers equate with quality and refinement.
Believe it or not, the F-Series truck actually bested the Toyota Camry for the 2008 model year in the middle of a recession. The Ford F-Series was the best-selling passenger vehicle in the United States for the 2008 model year, with a staggering 515,513 units sold.
When you put that number into perspective it’s easy to see why you still see the 2008 F-150 on the roadways. There were a lot of these darn trucks that were sold, and the value is up there among the best. Ford had a product that people gravitate toward, and it makes a difference because the product continues to sell very well to this day.
Once again for the 2009 model year, the Ford F-Series has been crowned the champion of the sales world. Topping in at 413-625 units, an all-time best for the brand. The meteoric rise of the F-150 was part of a larger transition to full-sized trucks and SUVs instead of passenger cars. 2009 was a special model for a number of reasons, the first of which was the fact that it was the precursor to the SVT Raptor.
As we know the Ford Raptor has quickly become one of the best-selling pickup trucks of all time. But the 2009 model was also instrumental in adding a lot of unique luxury features to the F-150 that were firsts for the time period. Pickup trucks were becoming more of a luxury-based vehicle and the interest in these trucks continued to grow.
2010 was a big year for the F-150 as Ford continued to inject new life into the tried-and-true brand. The SVT Raptor hit the roads and the truck became a smash hit with the 6.2L V8 engine and a number of unique features. Ford was reinvigorating the brand and one of the ways that the company did that is with the Raptor brand.
Another interesting feature for this year was the unique Trailer Brake assist, all of which could be done at the touch of a button. Seeing the momentum of the F-150 was instrumental to the rest of the industry following the shift back toward pickup trucks and SUVs.
For the 2011 model year, the Camry was once again at the top of the automotive industry’s food chain. The redesign was instrumental in picking the steam back up for the Toyota-based family sedan. Toyota overhauled the styling to match a new set of buyers who were looking for a youthful sedan with great features and looks.
The 2011 model year introduced a sportier appearance with ground effects and a revised grille. From the outside looking in, this was one of the best looking Camry models in the brand’s history. No family sedan is going to be a champion on the race track, but it was nice to have a sportier appearance anyhow.
2012 brought a number of changes to the vehicle industry, and the Ford F-Series became the best-selling vehicle in the United States once again. For 2012 the Platinum package was unveiled, to replace the Lincoln Mark LT’s slot in the pickup truck market. The Platinum ended up being one of the most popular trim packages for the F-150 of all time.
Customers were looking for a more luxurious pickup truck and Ford was continuing to innovate with the F-150. The Platinum is still one of the most popular trim packages on the F-150 to this day, the combination of versatility and luxury was enough to resonate with car buyers.