2021 Toyota Camry TRD is legitimately fun to drive

    The Toyota Camry TRD definitely seems sporty.
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    Forgive me, however I could not assist however initially be skeptical concerning the Toyota Camry TRD. Granted, the current-generation Camry is definitely essentially the most aggressive-looking one thus far and Toyota has been making headway in constructing extra partaking vehicles with merchandise just like the Supra. But a efficiency model of the Camry? Really?

    LikeSilky V6Sporty handlingGood seems

    Don’t LikeFlat entrance seatsMushy brake pedalSlow infotainment display screen response

    More visible flashTo give the Camry TRD extra angle, Toyota’s designers developed a physique package that provides a black grille with mesh insert, entrance splitter, aspect aero skirts, trunk wing and rear diffuser. If these aren’t sufficient to alert different motorists on the street that they don’t seem to be coping with a typical run-of-the-mill Camry, then the purple TRD badges will make it clear as day. The complete bundle rides on trick 19-inch matte-finish black wheels.I’ve to say, this Camry TRD boasts some styling aptitude and angle. The entrance finish seems lots aggressive, and all of the black TRD physique extras distinction properly with my take a look at automobile’s Ice Edge paint. The complete factor works effectively with the Midnight Black roof for an impactful two-tone look.

    Inside, the TRD exclusives embrace black SofTex-trimmed seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, purple distinction stitching, a TRD shift knob, TRD gauges, purple seat belts, TRD flooring mats and aluminum pedals. I do want Toyota would have gone one step additional and beef up the entrance seat aspect bolsters. As is, there’s some assist there, however a bit extra could be appreciated to maintain riders higher nestled in place.The remainder of the Camry’s inside is on par with all the pieces within the midsize sedan class. The supplies are good with most main surfaces wrapped and switched, whereas the arduous plastics are properly completed. Passenger house in each rows is beneficiant and there are quite a few slots and cubbies to stash stuff up entrance. Unfortunately, folks within the again must make do with out local weather vents, a middle armrest or energy factors. Trunk house measures in at a roomy 15.1 cubic ft however carrying longer objects within the TRD shall be tough for the reason that second-row seat backs don’t fold down due to a V-brace put in behind for added physique stiffening. 

    Updated technologyLike each 2021 Camry, the TRD receives a brand new floating touchscreen infotainment show that places the controls a tad nearer to passengers, and helps lower glare on the comparatively small 7-inch display screen. Buttons and knobs flanking the display screen allow easy accessibility to the generally used menus and stereo changes, whereas the touchscreen’s structure is simple to navigate. Unfortunately, the system has a noticeable delay when altering between menus.

    A floating infotainment display screen is new for 2021.
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    Standard options embrace a six-speed sound system, satellite tv for pc radio, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot and each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. If you are an audiophile, you possibly can possibility out your Camry TRD with a nine-speaker JBL audio system for a further $1,585.On the lively security entrance, the TRD good points commonplace blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert for 2021 along with an improved Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 Plus bundle. Forward-collision warning can now choose up bicyclists and is best at detecting pedestrians in low-light conditions. Adaptive cruise management, computerized emergency braking, lane-departure warning and street signal help are additionally included.A greater performerMotivation comes from a silky 3.5-liter V6 pumping out 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. As rivals have deserted six-pot engines in favor of turbocharged fours, I applaud Toyota’s resolution to stay with a six for its seamless and linear energy supply. Throttle response is snappy at tip-in and low-end torque is appropriate, although definitely not as muscular as force-induced I4s in rival vehicles. From the center of the rev vary to the 6,800rpm redline, although, the V6 pulls forcefully and sounds candy, emitting a surprisingly good midrange growl by way of a TRD cat-back exhaust. The Camry’s V6 is a easy 301 horsepower operator.
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    An eight-speed computerized transmission routes energy to the Camry’s entrance wheels and goes about its work in a seamless method. Gear modifications are all the time well-timed and there is zero hesitation to go down a cog or two when it’s essential to get transferring. If you wish to use the massive steering wheel-mounted paddles to manually orchestrate the gears, they’re surprisingly aware of downshift instructions. Behavior for upshifts is extra erratic, although — fast to reply at occasions and hesitant at others.When pushed usually, the TRD’s drivetrain returns an EPA-estimated 22 mpg within the metropolis and 31 mpg on the freeway. In blended driving, I noticed 25 mpg, matching the EPA’s mixed gasoline economic system score.The Camry TRD’s greatest modifications come within the chassis division. Thicker underbody and aforementioned rear seat bracing will increase the sedan’s torsional rigidity. A suspension overhaul brings totally different shock absorbers, stiffer springs, a half-inch decrease experience peak and greater antiroll bars. Perch all of that on 19-inch Michelin Primacy MXM4 all-season tires and you’ve got your self a tidy handler.Bigger entrance brakes are one of many TRD’s many efficiency enhancements.
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    At nook turn-in, the TRD’s physique squats barely and confidently corners higher than any Camry I’ve ever pushed. There’s sufficient grip and composure to have a reasonably good time behind the wheel. Of course, pushing the Camry arduous leads to the entrance finish washing out in a gradual method. The trade-off to the firmer chassis is a small lower in experience consolation. Impacts from bumps are felt greater than a typical Camry, however are under no circumstances violent or uncomfortable. The improvement group did an unimaginable job balancing efficiency and experience high quality right here.The brakes are additionally upgraded — and never solely with purple paint on the entrance calipers. The TRD’s entrance clampers are two-piston models as a substitute of single-piston stoppers on non-TRD Camrys, they usually clamp down on bigger 12.9-inch rotors (up from 12). They’re sturdy, scrubbing off velocity in a rush, although firmer pedal suggestions is on my want checklist. The steering is direct sufficient and acceptably weighted, regardless of a small useless spot on middle.This 2021 Toyota Camry TRD pictured right here will value you $34,312.
    Jon Wong/Roadshow
    How I’d spec itThe Camry TRD begins at $33,285, together with $1,025 for vacation spot. As for me, I’d start by checking the field for the two-tone Ice Edge paint and Midnight Black Metallic roof like my tester. It seems nice and is definitely worth the $500 upcharge. Since I take pleasure in my tunes, I’d additionally get the $1,585 JBL audio system to have one thing higher than the usual six-speaker setup. And lastly, $129 to offer rear passengers easy accessibility to a pair of USB ports is a no brainer, bringing the underside line of my best Toyota to $35,499. That’s greater than my $34,312 tester, however I really feel the couple additional niceties are price it.A extra entertaining CamryIn comparison with the bottom automobile, the Camry TRD is definitely a sharper specimen. The physique package is not garish, doing sufficient to visually pump this sedan up, whereas the extra boisterous exhaust and higher dealing with reflexes present a drive expertise that’s certainly extra enjoyable. There is, nonetheless, room for enchancment — some tinkering to the steering and brakes would additional amp up this Camry. All issues thought of, nonetheless, the TRD is a pleasing shock.

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