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2021 Toyota Camry TRD review: Flash with some performance sizzle

The Toyota Camry TRD certainly seems sporty.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Forgive me, but I could not support but in the beginning be skeptical about the Toyota Camry TRD. Granted, the recent-era Camry is unquestionably the most aggressive-on the lookout one particular to date and Toyota has been building headway in constructing far more partaking autos with products and solutions like the Supra. But a effectiveness version of the Camry? Genuinely?


  • Silky V6
  • Sporty managing
  • Good seems

Will not Like

  • Flat front seats
  • Mushy brake pedal
  • Slow infotainment monitor reaction

Far more visual flash

To give the Camry TRD far more mind-set, Toyota’s designers produced a physique package that provides a black grille with mesh insert, front splitter, aspect aero skirts, trunk wing and rear diffuser. If individuals are not adequate to notify other motorists on the road that they are not working with a common operate-of-the-mill Camry, then the pink TRD badges will make it very clear as day. The total bundle rides on trick 19-inch matte-complete black wheels.

I have to say, this Camry TRD boasts some styling flair and mind-set. The front end seems plenty aggressive, and all the black TRD physique extras distinction properly with my test car’s Ice Edge paint. The total point is effective effectively with the Midnight Black roof for an impactful two-tone look.

Inside of, the TRD exclusives involve black SofTex-trimmed seats, a leather-based-wrapped steering wheel, pink distinction stitching, a TRD shift knob, TRD gauges, pink seat belts, TRD ground mats and aluminum pedals. I do desire Toyota would have gone one particular action additional and beef up the front seat aspect bolsters. As is, there’s some help there, but a very little far more would be appreciated to continue to keep riders better nestled in put.

The relaxation of the Camry’s interior is on par with every thing in the midsize sedan class. The resources are wonderful with most significant surfaces wrapped and switched, though the tricky plastics are properly finished. Passenger room in the two rows is generous and there are quite a few slots and cubbies to stash stuff up front. Sad to say, people in the back will have to make do devoid of local weather vents, a center armrest or electrical power details. Trunk room actions in at a roomy cubic toes but carrying extended objects in the TRD will be challenging because the 2nd-row seat backs do not fold down since of a V-brace mounted driving for extra physique stiffening. 

Up-to-date technological know-how

Like each 2021 Camry, the TRD gets a new floating touchscreen infotainment show that puts the controls a tad nearer to passengers, and helps lessen glare on the somewhat smaller seven-inch monitor. Buttons and knobs flanking the monitor permit straightforward entry to the normally applied menus and stereo adjustments, though the touchscreen’s layout is straightforward to navigate. Sad to say, the method has a apparent hold off when modifying concerning menus.

A floating infotainment monitor is new for 2021.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Normal capabilities involve a six-pace sound method, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot and the two Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile connectivity. If you are an audiophile, you can option out your Camry TRD with a 9-speaker JBL audio method for an added $one,585.

On the energetic basic safety front, the TRD gains conventional blind-place monitoring and rear cross-targeted traffic notify for 2021 in addition to an enhanced Toyota Safety Sense two.five As well as bundle. Ahead-collision warning can now decide on up bicyclists and is better at detecting pedestrians in lower-mild situations. Adaptive cruise handle, automated unexpected emergency braking, lane-departure warning and road signal aid are also provided.

A better performer

Determination will come from a silky 3.five-liter V6 pumping out 301 horsepower and 267 pound-toes of torque. As opponents have abandoned six-pot engines in favor of turbocharged fours, I applaud Toyota’s decision to stick with a six for its seamless and linear electrical power delivery. Throttle reaction is snappy at tip-in and lower-end torque is appropriate, while certainly not as muscular as force-induced I4s in rival autos. From the center of the rev vary to the six,800rpm redline, while, the V6 pulls forcefully and seems sweet, emitting a incredibly great midrange growl via a TRD cat-back exhaust. 

The Camry’s V6 is a easy 301 horsepower operator.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

An 8-pace automated transmission routes electrical power to the Camry’s front wheels and goes about its do the job in a seamless fashion. Equipment improvements are often effectively-timed and there’s zero hesitation to go down a cog or two when you have to have to get moving. If you want to use the big steering wheel-mounted paddles to manually orchestrate the gears, they are incredibly responsive to downshift instructions. Actions for upshifts is far more erratic, while — rapid to reply at periods and hesitant at many others.

When driven usually, the TRD’s drivetrain returns an EPA-approximated 22 mpg in the metropolis and 31 mpg on the highway. In mixed driving, I observed twenty five mpg, matching the EPA’s mixed fuel economy score.

The Camry TRD’s largest improvements occur in the chassis section. Thicker underbody and aforementioned rear seat bracing increases the sedan’s torsional rigidity. A suspension overhaul delivers unique shock absorbers, stiffer springs, a 50 %-inch reduce journey height and even bigger antiroll bars. Perch all of that on 19-inch Michelin Primacy MXM4 all-year tires and you have oneself a tidy handler.

Even bigger front brakes are one particular of the TRD’s several effectiveness enhancements.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

At corner turn-in, the TRD’s physique squats somewhat and confidently corners better than any Camry I’ve ever driven. You will find adequate grip and composure to have a rather great time driving the wheel. Of study course, pushing the Camry tricky final results in the front end washing out in a gradual fashion. The trade-off to the firmer chassis is a smaller lessen in journey ease and comfort. Impacts from bumps are felt far more than a conventional Camry, but are in no way violent or unpleasant. The improvement group did an incredible career balancing effectiveness and journey high-quality listed here.

The brakes are also upgraded — and not only with pink paint on the front calipers. The TRD’s front clampers are two-piston units rather of solitary-piston stoppers on non-TRD Camrys, and they clamp down on greater 12.9-inch rotors (up from 12). They’re sturdy, scrubbing off pace in a hurry, while firmer pedal feed-back is on my desire list. The steering is immediate adequate and acceptably weighted, irrespective of a smaller useless place on center.

This 2021 Toyota Camry TRD pictured listed here will charge you $34,312.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

How I would spec it

The Camry TRD starts at $33,285, like $one,025 for vacation spot. As for me, I would get started by checking the box for the two-tone Ice Edge paint and Midnight Black Metallic roof like my tester. It seems fantastic and is value the $five hundred upcharge. Due to the fact I love my tunes, I would also get the $one,585 JBL audio method to have one thing better than the conventional six-speaker set up. And last but not least, $129 to give rear passengers straightforward entry to a pair of USB ports is a no-brainer, bringing the base line of my suitable Toyota to $35,499. That is far more than my $34,312 tester, but I truly feel the couple additional niceties are value it.

A far more entertaining Camry

In comparison to the base car or truck, the Camry TRD is unquestionably a sharper specimen. The physique package isn’t garish, undertaking adequate to visually pump this sedan up, though the far more boisterous exhaust and better managing reflexes give a push knowledge that is without a doubt far more entertaining. There is, even so, place for improvement — some tinkering to the steering and brakes would additional amp up this Camry. All matters considered, even so, the TRD is a enjoyable shock.