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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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) 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. 

octavious
octavious Dork
6/17/20 6:08 p.m.

I see all Camrys in beige no matter the year or trim level. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 6:12 p.m.
octavious said:

I see all Camrys in beige no matter the year or trim level. 

Obviously the key would be to get JDM badging so you can tell your friends you have a "Toyota (er...Daihatsu) Altus"

Justjim75
Justjim75 Dork
6/17/20 6:38 p.m.

Who wants a 300 hp, lsd, fwd automatic?

tremm
tremm New Reader
6/17/20 6:47 p.m.
Justjim75 said:

Who wants a 300 hp, lsd, fwd automatic?

Boy there's a lot of delusional people on this forum. Go fetch the NA sales numbers of manual vs automatic passenger cars.

What a bunch of whiners. Good job Toyota. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
6/17/20 6:59 p.m.

In reply to Justjim75 :

The answer to that is "lots of people" which is why Toyota sold 337k Camrys last year. Granted not all of those are 300hp but that's a hell of a lot of Camrys which makes me think that buyers think they suck a lot less than forum members do. 

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
6/17/20 7:10 p.m.

I often joke how my 22 year old performance car is slower than a new Camry. Now it's considerably slower!

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
6/17/20 7:33 p.m.

Its been 5 hours and no "grounded to the ground" comments?  I'm ashamed of you guys.

 

Edit: 4hrs.  GRM time is 1 hr behind for me.

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 7:53 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

I was still giggling about the fact that Toyota is literally calling their cars TuRDs :)

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 7:57 p.m.
Justjim75 said:

Who wants a 300 hp, lsd, fwd automatic?

I'll take a well-sorted modern auto with manual shifter buttons over an old stick.  Anyday.

if I didn't have kids, I'd probably have an NC with an automatic.  Would make for a great weekend car and commuter.  The 6-speed auto is very responsive and blips the throttle downshifts.  You can use the buttons to shift up or down faster than you can with a manual.  So you have more cycles to devote to actually driving.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/17/20 8:09 p.m.

I saw one in the showroom when I was buying my truck, and I was absolutely shocked at how bad the transition is between the black paint on the roof and the main color of the body. There is absolutely zero smooth transition. It's as if Toyota shot the whole car in the lower color and then just laid down some blue masking tape and newspaper, then followed with a dozen coats of black on the roof and then a couple of coats of clear.

It's all I can think of whenever I see one of these things.

Justjim75
Justjim75 Dork
6/17/20 8:25 p.m.

In reply to tremm :

berkeley you too.  

Why dont YOU fetch the number of forum members that dont own a RWD, Manual Trans or both?  

I made light hearted statement to be humorous and you want to be a complete douchebag?

 

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/17/20 9:04 p.m.

About a month ago, when I was picking up a replacement for a 17 year old piece of rubber window trim for my 4Runner, I saw a TRD Avalon. I posted it in the TIL thread, since I learned that Toyota was making a TRD Avalon that day.

It seems like at leastof the TRD trim items (wheels, 12.9 brakes, maybe dampers?) are shared between the Camry and Avalon.

I'm wondering who is going to buy a TRD Avalon more than I'm wondering who is going to buy a TRD Camry.

I suspect the black cars are going to be more in demand than the others.



And yes, I knew the car wasn't centered in the fame when I took the picture. It was a quick snap walking out of the dealer.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/17/20 10:31 p.m.

I think the market for these is people who were going to buy a Camry anyway, and get upsold to the sportier version. Same as all the other TRD stuff. I don't think people are seriously cross shopping TRD 4Runners against Rubicons very often.

This TRD Camry may not have much potential for serious motorsports, but it sure looks like a nice package for a fun, practical car. Then again, I was on the track this week with a guy who was driving a Jetta with Hoosiers, and was slaying it. I would buy one of these way before I bought a late model 5 series. Kudos to Toyota. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 10:43 p.m.
buzzboy said:

I often joke how my 22 year old performance car is slower than a new Camry. Now it's considerably slower!

I constantly joke that my red Porsche can literally get beaten by a new Corolla off the line. Or by my tow rig. 

 

doc_speeder
doc_speeder HalfDork
6/17/20 10:54 p.m.

I'm just going to say that I like the current Toyota trend that seems to be shared by the Camry and Corolla of larger glass/greenhouse.  The TRD styling is a bit over the top, but I can't really say I hate it.  Without the rear spoiler I think I'd kinda dig it.  If Toyota can take a ho-hum family car that is still super quiet and safe and add a bit of style and make on/off ramps more fun why is that a bad thing?  And I'm no Toyota fan boy.  Savagegeese on YooToob has a really good review on this car.

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/18/20 4:59 a.m.

I mean, if you need a 4door car and don't want it to suck your soul out, you could do a lot worse than this. My S197 GT is only rated for the same power which I'm going to believe is justification for a supercharger. 
 

20 years ago when we moved here the neighbor had a stripped down car in his garage. I asked what it was and he said "it's a Camry. But it's a RACING Camry. " And now you can buy them from the factory instead of building them. What a brave new world. 

300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
6/18/20 5:43 a.m.

I still can’t get past the cowcatcher front end that Toyota Motor has embraced across their product line. I mean, just how many wandering cattle does anyone encounter in Suburbia these days?

John Brown (Forum Supporter)
John Brown (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/18/20 6:08 a.m.
nderwater said:

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)

I would rur TuRD stickers on The Sh!tbarge for sure.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/18/20 6:26 a.m.

What interesting times we live in.  I really like the styling of the 300 horsepower Camry, honestly more than the styling of the new Corvette.  And how about that turbocharged and all wheel drive Kia!  

 

I see Camrys all the time around here, I think they look great.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
6/18/20 6:50 a.m.

I think I like the styling of the Accord more, but the Toyota V-6 is very good.

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/18/20 7:00 a.m.

Two of my children currently lust after new Camrys.  They are 21 and 23, respectively.  Both have cool cars -- a FiST and a supercharged Miata.

I'd say Toyota knows what they are doing.

 

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/18/20 8:06 a.m.

I like it!  But I'd like it more with a body-color roof and wing delete as no-cost options.

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/18/20 8:12 a.m.

300hp is getting near normal for sedans these days.  It's a different way of thinking when you see a sedan that can pull on an old Mustang or Camaro. 

Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
6/18/20 8:25 a.m.

300hp + LSD = good.  Of course, the Kia Stinger starts just a couple of grand more, will get cash on the hood, is RWD and, most importantly, is not atrociously ugly like this monstrosity.  Toyota's designers are high as heck (and are apparently passing their stuff to BMW designers given the new BMW grilles).

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
6/18/20 8:30 a.m.

Looks like Toyota took feedback and is reacting to the market..  

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
6/18/20 8:32 a.m.
Dave M (Forum Supporter) said:

300hp + LSD = good.  Of course, the Kia Stinger starts just a couple of grand more, will get cash on the hood, is RWD and, most importantly, is not atrociously ugly like this monstrosity.  Toyota's designers are high as heck (and are apparently passing their stuff to BMW designers given the new BMW grilles).

The last time I walked into a Kia dealership I had to burn the clothes I wore because I couldn't wash the stink off. Kia makes attractive cars these days, but their dealership network hasn't quite caught up.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
6/18/20 8:44 a.m.
ZOO (Forum Supporter) said:

I'd say Toyota knows what they are doing.

 

I had four work cars x 2 years each for sales.  Two Impalas and two Venture vans.   Once I rented a Camry for a 4-hour banzai run to Muncie and back the same day. 

My first thought was - did the engineers at GM ever drive a Camry?  I'd rock it.  
 

 

Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
6/18/20 8:57 a.m.
MrFancypants said:
Dave M (Forum Supporter) said:

300hp + LSD = good.  Of course, the Kia Stinger starts just a couple of grand more, will get cash on the hood, is RWD and, most importantly, is not atrociously ugly like this monstrosity.  Toyota's designers are high as heck (and are apparently passing their stuff to BMW designers given the new BMW grilles).

The last time I walked into a Kia dealership I had to burn the clothes I wore because I couldn't wash the stink off. Kia makes attractive cars these days, but their dealership network hasn't quite caught up.

Fair enough, although around here, Toyota dealerships are maybe 90% of the gross as well.  But yeah, Kia, Dodge and Nissan stores are the worst.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
6/18/20 9:53 a.m.

OK we still haven't answered the question of what's it like to drive. It makes power but does it have dead steering and appliance feedback brakes etc? Is it a joyless soul suck box? So is it beige or not?!!!

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/18/20 10:30 a.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:
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. 

Yeah, I get that. I just found the "young, performance, FWD, Camry" an interesting set of demographics for which I'm curious if there is a strong demand. I guess Toyota will find out!

I also buy new cars, 3 of the last 4 have been "performance cars." '10 Speed3, '13 Mustang GT Track Pack, '15 BRZ. 

We will see what happens next year. I might buy another new car for the first time in a few years, but there isn't really a need. My lady has an '18 Mazda 3, I've got the NC. We don't have kids, so we've really got everything covered.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/18/20 11:28 a.m.

I'm a RWD, stick shift fiend, and I don't hate that car. Except that black one with the black rims. Further proving black cars with black rims look like ass.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
6/18/20 12:52 p.m.

I don’t hate the idea. It looks ugly from the front and with the wing, but a reliable 300hp sedan sounds great, but I haven’t driven one.

Peabody
Peabody UltimaDork
6/18/20 1:05 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

Is it a joyless soul suck box? So is it beige or not?!!!

I'd put money on it. It may not be beige on the outside but it will be on the inside. I've often wondered just how Toyota manages to so successfully engineer the fun out of an automobile.

True story, just after reading this thread this morning we had to go into town. Our country roads have become so busy with city people that if you get stuck behind a slow poke you could very well be there for the whole trip because you can't pass.  As we turned on one of the main roads I noticed a newer Camry ahead,  said oh no, and explained to my wife how I thought Toyota drivers are the worst. Sure enough he was flirting with the speed limit the whole time and we were part of a 15 car convoy stuck behind him, but after about 10 minutes I saw my chance and went for it. On the way back out of town, same road, we were at the back of a similar convoy going 10-15 km/hr under the limit. At the front, an older Camry.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
6/18/20 1:09 p.m.

I wish they could separate the vents in the back bumper from the taillights by an inch. Visually, having the taillight branch out into a vent like a tributary to a lake doesn't work.

I'm also disappointed that they don't have a manual option. I know they don't sell well, but having such an option would go a long way towards making it seem like they were trying with this car. I've heard claims about some sort of magical modern automatic transmission that is as good to drive as a manual, but I have yet to actually find one of these. (Note - so far I haven't driven anything with a DSG type design, only conventional planetary / torque converter designs.)

And yes, I want to hear about if the suspension tuning actually paid off, or if this is really just another tape package.

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