2020 Toyota Camry TRD new car reviews

A TRD version of the Camry? Is nothing sacred?

But something to ponder: At $31,170, it’s among the less expensive ways to get a Camry with a V6. And that’s a 301-horsepower V6 backed by an eight-speed automatic. Sorry, but the days of blasting Camrys for being too beige might be over.

First, why a TRD Camry in the first place?

From the release:

“NASCAR fans are very familiar with the TRD-developed Toyota Camrys that compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. They see them on the track, and in the winner’s circle, like when the NASCAR Camrys took the top three spots in the Gander RV 400 at Pocono Raceway on July 28.”

This is more than a TRD badge and some pinstripe, though. The Camry TRD doesn’t get more power–at least according to Toyota–but it does receive a TRD cat-back dual exhaust.

However, some TRD extras that will help performance include TRD dampers, lowering springs that yield an 0.6-inch drop, and upsized front brakes, with two-piece calipers replacing single-piston calipers while rotor diameter increases from 12.0 inches to 12.9. The Camry TRD also receives 19x8.5-inch wheel alloys; according to Toyota, this move sheds 18 pounds of rotating mass.

Just a few colors are offered and, again, from the release: “The Camry TRD is available in solid Midnight Black Metallic, or in one of three two-tone schemes featuring a Midnight Black Metallic Roof and Supersonic Red, Windchill Pearl or Celestial Silver.” An aero kit and rear wing also come standard.

Sporty touches can be found inside, too, with red stitching on the leather-wrapped wheel, TRD embossed seats and a leather shift knob.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

We’ll keep this easy by starting with the stuff that I didn’t care for: the rear wing.

That’s it.

Call me a fan of the latest Camry. It’s the right size, delivers a smooth ride, and when fitted with the V6 is plenty quick.

The controls aren’t too complicated while still offering all of today’s bells and whistles. It features a normal shifter, something that’s become a bit less common these days. So call the interior modern yet just the right dash of traditional. It's perfect for the "get off my lawn" crowd which, I'm realizing, likely includes me.

The Camry perfectly achieves its goal: deliver a sedan for the masses.

Then add in the latest looks. You, too, huh?

Does the world need a TRD version of the Camry? We’ll see what the sales say, but the exhaust note is spot-on, the new wheels look the business, and the blacked-out roof streamlines the look.

The lower springs and tuned dampers still deliver a comfortable ride. Call this the Camry of sedans.

Yes, it’s front-wheel drive. That we can’t change. But that chassis feels poised and confident.

Toyota describes the Camry TRD interior as having “just the right touch of sophisticated luxury,” and I'd second that. It’s sporty without even approaching over the top, although some find the TRD logos a bit strong.

And I didn’t hate the rear wing, but if forced to nitpick one thing, that would be it.

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Comments
irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 3:56 p.m.

I'll be honest, even the normal upper-trim Camrys look pretty good compared to most of the bleh stuff in their class these days.

 That tail is horrible though, looks like a pep boys add-on. Otherwise, looks pretty cool. Nice to see they actually add some real performance stuff to justify the badge (though the general thought of a "TRD" Camry still seems kind of funny). Too bad they didn't add an LSD and a manual transmission availability, which would have definitely gotten them some buy-in from the younger "performance driving" crowd.. The thought of a 300hp Camry at the track passing actual sportscars does amuse me somewhat :)

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
6/17/20 4:09 p.m.

The production engineers know what's what. OLOA Camry

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
6/17/20 4:13 p.m.

Every time I see TRD on a car or truck my brain automatically shouts TURD.

(no offense to Toyota fans, it's just something I can't unsee)

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/17/20 4:30 p.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

I'll be honest, even the normal upper-trim Camrys look pretty good compared to most of the bleh stuff in their class these days.

 That tail is horrible though, looks like a pep boys add-on. Otherwise, looks pretty cool. Nice to see they actually add some real performance stuff to justify the badge (though the general thought of a "TRD" Camry still seems kind of funny). Too bad they didn't add an LSD and a manual transmission availability, which would have definitely gotten them some buy-in from the younger "performance driving" crowd.. The thought of a 300hp Camry at the track passing actual sportscars does amuse me somewhat :)

You really think any "young performance driver" is going to drop $30k+ on a TRD Camry? 

I suspect the few buyers this does get are going to be the "I have a wife and kids and can't afford a BMW" types. 

MrChaos
MrChaos GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/17/20 4:37 p.m.

these are the same camry's that dont run if you try to pull the abs fuses to disable the traction control.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
6/17/20 4:44 p.m.
z31maniac said:
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

I'll be honest, even the normal upper-trim Camrys look pretty good compared to most of the bleh stuff in their class these days.

 That tail is horrible though, looks like a pep boys add-on. Otherwise, looks pretty cool. Nice to see they actually add some real performance stuff to justify the badge (though the general thought of a "TRD" Camry still seems kind of funny). Too bad they didn't add an LSD and a manual transmission availability, which would have definitely gotten them some buy-in from the younger "performance driving" crowd.. The thought of a 300hp Camry at the track passing actual sportscars does amuse me somewhat :)

You really think any "young performance driver" is going to drop $30k+ on a TRD Camry? 

I suspect the few buyers this does get are going to be the "I have a wife and kids and can't afford a BMW" types. 

Or the "I don't want to buy a car that will depreciate to nothing and be riddled with dealership trips in the first four years of its life" crowd. 

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/17/20 4:53 p.m.

Not a NASCAR fan at all, so I'm curious how much Toyota's participation has driven sales for them. Having watched a few races over the years there was never a point where I looked at one of the Ford or Chevy cars and thought its performance related in any way to a car I might be able to buy from that manufacturer.

So all the heavy breathing in the Toyota press release seems a bit misplaced. I'm impressed that Toyota is continuing to offer sportier options but the Camry isn't the one I'd go for. Release a TRD Supra or Corolla and then I'll pay attention.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
6/17/20 5:04 p.m.

My question is does it suck to drive or not? I have a thing about companies tarting up cars to make them look race but doing nothing about the way they drive. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
6/17/20 5:42 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

Short lived Nissan Sentra Nismo was one.  

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 5:56 p.m.
z31maniac said:
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

I'll be honest, even the normal upper-trim Camrys look pretty good compared to most of the bleh stuff in their class these days.

 That tail is horrible though, looks like a pep boys add-on. Otherwise, looks pretty cool. Nice to see they actually add some real performance stuff to justify the badge (though the general thought of a "TRD" Camry still seems kind of funny). Too bad they didn't add an LSD and a manual transmission availability, which would have definitely gotten them some buy-in from the younger "performance driving" crowd.. The thought of a 300hp Camry at the track passing actual sportscars does amuse me somewhat :)

You really think any "young performance driver" is going to drop $30k+ on a TRD Camry? 

I suspect the few buyers this does get are going to be the "I have a wife and kids and can't afford a BMW" types. 

I mean, is there another $30k sedan out there with 300hp and an LSD? (and...Toyota reliability)?....

When I was in my 20s, I drove a Maxima, as did a ton of people my age. Why? Because it had the power, it had the LSD, it had the style that the Camry/Accord didn't have then. No reason Toyota couldn't flip the script on that, since the Maxima is an old-people's car with CVT now and the Accord is very nice and a favorite of 60-something suburbanites, but totally unremarkable style-wise.  

BMW buyers are predominently about the image, because there is absolutely nothing special about the driving dynamics, reliability, or interiors of most of the "affordable" BMWs...IMO. And let's be real. Most of the people buying in that category woud'nt know FWD from RWD if it bit them in the ass, and don't care. None of them will buy a Camry. They'll buy a used BMW if they can't afford a new one, because they want to say they have a BMW. They don't actually care about the car itself that much.  I actually race BMWs, and woudn't even give a passing thought to actually buying a new one. But I certainly WOULD give a passing thought to buying a 6MT, LSD-equipped 300hp Camry. And yeah, I'm in my low 40s, which is the demographic car-makers car about (by "young" i meant "younger demographic, not old people" - though maybe that's wishful thinking on my part lol.  And I actually buy brand-new cars, which is the demographic that matters most to manufacturers . 

So yes, I'd consider a $30k Camry 100 times more than I'd consider whatever garbage BMW is putting out in the gutter of their price range. 

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