We had a think about which the most boring mainstream manufacturer was and asked around a bit too, the unanimous response was Toyota.
Yes Toyota do make some good cars, but theres currently absolutely nothing exciting or remotely fun about the brand or most of their cars. Its not just us that think that either, many of the reviews criticise their cars for not having character and being woefully dull, the new Toyota Yaris gets slammed for being boring.
We know that theyre focusing on the environment but that shouldnt mean all joy is sacrificed. The only exception to their current range is the Toyota iQ, which is quite charismatic thanks to its cutesy styling. No other current model would ever be described by most people as desirable.
Most big car manufacturers have a performance sub-brand; Vauxhall have VXR, Fiat have Abarth, Mercedes have AMG, Mazda have MPS etc. Toyota doesnt. These sportier models may not account for a lot of sales but they do a lot for boosting brand image.
So lets compare Toyota to some other Japanese manufacturers. Honda is broadly similar, but they come out with the odd crazy Mugen tuned model, have the Type R along with adverts that show the emotion behind the brand. Nissan create some dull cars, like the new Micra, but they also have the slightly wild 370Z and the incredible GT-R. Toyota have absolutely no comparable models.
There are lots of other non-premium manufacturers that have a sense of fun about them. Take Skoda; their cars have some character, their adverts are enjoyable (remember the recent Fabia vRS one) and they managed to make an Octavia reach 200mph just for the hell of it.
The styling of the current Toyota range, which at best could be described as unadventurous, doesnt help either. Both Kia and Hyundai were known just a couple of years ago for making some of the most anonymous cars available, but theyve invested a lot into the styling division and theyre being more radical and therefore winning customers simply for daring to do so.
We cant help but think that this lack of emotional appeal is hurting them. We took a look at the Facebook page for Toyota UK, which has 3,400 likes. Which doesnt compare well to Honda UK (13,000), Nissan Leaf UK (13,100) and Mazda (6,700).
We hope Toyota will hurry up and launch the FT-86 sports car that theyve been talking about for so long and showing at endless motor-shows. They need to prove they can make something with a bit of desirability.
Are we being unfair singling out Toyota or are there other mainstream brands that are too boring as well? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
If you're after a used Toyota, we'd recommend checking out Gumtree.