'Flashy' is one word to describe the TRD model of the 2020 Toyota Camry
'Very flashy' are two words that describe it better.
With an emphatic spoiler supported by two struts, twin polished stainless steel exhaust tips at the rear corners, two mesh grilles in front, sleek flared red sides with black extended rocker panels, plus 19-inch matte-black wheels controlled by red-painted calipers, the Camry looks the part of a sportster. Even though a sedan, the TRD doubles as a sportster . The sport theme is enhanced by a throaty exhaust.
In the cabin, black leather trim has red stitching from one side to the other. Black leather seats (power and heated in front) come with horizontal red stripes. Seat belts are red.
For more color, a $500 option includes two-tone black metallic roof and rear spoiler plus black side window trim and side-view mirror caps.
The 3.5-liter, 301-horsepower TRD is the least expensive V6 Camry being sold today. The manufacturer's asking price is $31,040. Other Camry models are the 3.5-liter V6 XLE and XSE models and 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower four-cylinder L, LE, XLE, SE and XSE models. In addition, there are three hybrid models.
Performance is the name of the game for the TRD. A recently tested TRD V6 engine displayed good power and will compete with other midsize sedans exhibiting a sport motif such as the 252-hosepower Honda Accord Sport or Mazda's turbocharged 250-horsepower four-cylinder Mazda6. The TRD powerplant is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Shifters behind the leather-clad steering wheel offers the feel of a stick transmission. The TRD offers three drive modes, Eco, Normal and Sport Drive.
In Sport Drive, the TRD can zip from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds, which will not set a performance record but this sedan is not a compact racing coupe. Disc brakes are larger than the norm for a Camry measuring 12.9 inches in front and 11.06 inches in the rear. Front discs are controlled by two calipers and those in the rear are assisted by a hydraulic brake booster.
Besides the TRD, Camry for 2020 also will add Android Auto and Amazon Alexa to its list of standard fare which includes Apple CarPlay plus hands-free telephone usage via voice commands.
Members of the Toyota Racing Development group (TRD is the acronym), designed the mechanics of this sport sedan which is why the springs are stiffer, front and rear stabilizer bars are larger and shock absorbers are new. To add stability, a V-brace was installed behind the rear seats. The brace naturally eliminates the ability to fold down the seats for access to the trunk and more storage space.
A recently tested TRD rode like a charm. Occupants definitely get a feel for the road while listening to a throaty response from the exhaust system. Front seats are firm, wide enough to support bulky frames. Unlike sport coupes, this sport sedan offers decent rear seat leg room. At least they are functional. The official leg room measurement is 38 inches, which is about the same or better than competitors in the midsize sedan market. During the test week, shorter (two five-foot, eight-inch children) passengers stretched out in relative comfort.
Other than color and sport dynamics, the TRD remains a Camry with all the luxuries of top trim models. They include power driver's seat, heated front seats, power exterior mirrors, locks and windows plus smart key system with pushbutton start, cruise control, intermittent wipers, navigation, air conditioning, satellite radio in addition to AM and FM bands, USB port, two USB charging ports and a seven-inch color touch screen.
Besides the normal safety equipment of airbags, antilock brakes, child seat latches, traction and stability controls and backup camera, all Camry models come with Toyota Safety Sense. TSS includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection (low speeds), radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, brake assist and brake-force distribution.
Toyota tweaks its warranty. Besides the normal three years or 36,000 miles on basic items, and the five years or 60,000 miles on the powertrain, the company offers ToyotaCare. This is a free maintenance program provided by the factory at local dealerships and is good for two years or 25,000 miles. The program also includes 24-hour roadside assistance for battery jump-starts, lockout protection, emergency fuel delivery, tire service, towing and winching.
Vehicle: TRD model of 2020 Toyota Camry
Type: midsize, front-wheel-drive, four-door sport sedan
Engine: 3.5-liter, 301-horsepower V6
Transmission: eight-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel tank: 15.8 gallons
Weight: 3,572 pounds
Leg room: 42.1 inches front, 38 inches rear
Wheelbase, length, width, height, ground clearance in inches: 111.2, 192.7, 72.4, 56.3, 5.7
Turning circle, curb-to-curb: 38 feet
Trunk: 15.1 cubic feet
Tires, wheels: 19-inch
Brakes: discs, 12.9-inch ventilated front, 11.06 solid rear
Suspension: struts, coil springs, shock absorbers, stabilizer bars
Assembly: Georgetown, KY
Warranty: three years or 36,000 miles, five years or 60,000 miles powertrain, free scheduled maintenance two years or 25,000 miles