2021 Toyota Camry TRD review: Flash with some performance sizzle

Nancy J. Delong

The Toyota Camry TRD undoubtedly seems to be sporty.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Forgive me, but I couldn’t help but initially be skeptical about the Toyota Camry TRD. Granted, the present-technology Camry is unquestionably the most intense-wanting one to day and Toyota has been earning headway in developing extra partaking autos with products and solutions like the Supra. But a efficiency model of the Camry? Seriously?


  • Silky V6
  • Sporty handling
  • Great seems to be

Will not Like

  • Flat entrance seats
  • Mushy brake pedal
  • Slow infotainment screen reaction

Extra visual flash

To give the Camry TRD extra mind-set, Toyota’s designers created a human body package that adds a black grille with mesh insert, entrance splitter, facet aero skirts, trunk wing and rear diffuser. If these usually are not enough to inform other motorists on the road that they usually are not working with a common operate-of-the-mill Camry, then the crimson TRD badges will make it very clear as working day. The full package deal rides on trick 19-inch matte-end black wheels.

I have to say, this Camry TRD offers some styling flair and mind-set. The entrance stop seems to be loads intense, and all the black TRD human body extras contrast nicely with my examination car’s Ice Edge paint. The full detail will work properly with the Midnight Black roof for an impactful two-tone visual appeal.

Inside, the TRD exclusives involve black SofTex-trimmed seats, a leather-based-wrapped steering wheel, crimson contrast stitching, a TRD change knob, TRD gauges, crimson seat belts, TRD flooring mats and aluminum pedals. I do would like Toyota would have absent one phase additional and beef up the entrance seat facet bolsters. As is, there’s some assist there, but a minimal extra would be appreciated to keep riders improved nestled in place.

The relaxation of the Camry’s inside is on par with anything in the midsize sedan class. The materials are nice with most major surfaces wrapped and switched, whilst the really hard plastics are nicely completed. Passenger place in both equally rows is generous and there are various slots and cubbies to stash stuff up entrance. Regrettably, men and women in the again will have to make do with no local climate vents, a middle armrest or electric power details. Trunk place steps in at a roomy 15.1 cubic feet but carrying extended objects in the TRD will be hard considering that the second-row seat backs do not fold down because of a V-brace installed behind for extra human body stiffening. 

Updated know-how

Like every 2021 Camry, the TRD receives a new floating touchscreen infotainment exhibit that puts the controls a tad nearer to travellers, and helps minimize glare on the comparatively smaller seven-inch screen. Buttons and knobs flanking the screen help quick accessibility to the generally made use of menus and stereo adjustments, whilst the touchscreen’s structure is quick to navigate. Regrettably, the technique has a visible delay when transforming among menus.

A floating infotainment screen is new for 2021.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Normal functions involve a six-speed sound technique, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot and both equally Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile connectivity. If you are an audiophile, you can possibility out your Camry TRD with a 9-speaker JBL audio technique for an added $1,585.

On the active protection entrance, the TRD gains normal blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic inform for 2021 in addition to an improved Toyota Security Sense two.5 In addition package deal. Forward-collision warning can now pick up bicyclists and is improved at detecting pedestrians in low-light situations. Adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and road indication support are also included.

A improved performer

Inspiration comes from a silky 3.5-liter V6 pumping out 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. As competition have deserted six-pot engines in favor of turbocharged fours, I applaud Toyota’s selection to adhere with a six for its seamless and linear electric power shipping and delivery. Throttle reaction is snappy at suggestion-in and low-stop torque is suitable, nevertheless undoubtedly not as muscular as power-induced I4s in rival autos. From the center of the rev vary to the 6,800rpm redline, nevertheless, the V6 pulls forcefully and seems sweet, emitting a shockingly fantastic midrange growl through a TRD cat-again exhaust. 

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

Jon Wong/Roadshow

An eight-speed automatic transmission routes electric power to the Camry’s entrance wheels and goes about its get the job done in a seamless manner. Equipment alterations are usually properly-timed and there’s zero hesitation to go down a cog or two when you will need to get shifting. If you want to use the huge steering wheel-mounted paddles to manually orchestrate the gears, they are shockingly responsive to downshift commands. Habits for upshifts is extra erratic, nevertheless — speedy to reply at occasions and hesitant at some others.

When driven usually, the TRD’s drivetrain returns an EPA-approximated 22 mpg in the town and 31 mpg on the freeway. In blended driving, I observed twenty five mpg, matching the EPA’s put together gasoline economic system ranking.

The Camry TRD’s largest alterations arrive in the chassis department. Thicker underbody and aforementioned rear seat bracing raises the sedan’s torsional rigidity. A suspension overhaul brings distinct shock absorbers, stiffer springs, a half-inch lower experience peak and larger antiroll bars. Perch all of that on 19-inch Michelin Primacy MXM4 all-year tires and you have on your own a tidy handler.

Larger entrance brakes are one of the TRD’s quite a few efficiency enhancements.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

At corner transform-in, the TRD’s human body squats a bit and confidently corners improved than any Camry I have ever driven. You can find enough grip and composure to have a fairly fantastic time behind the wheel. Of system, pushing the Camry really hard benefits in the entrance stop washing out in a gradual manner. The trade-off to the firmer chassis is a smaller minimize in experience ease and comfort. Impacts from bumps are felt extra than a normal Camry, but are in no way violent or not comfortable. The improvement workforce did an amazing occupation balancing efficiency and experience high-quality here.

The brakes are also upgraded — and not only with crimson paint on the entrance calipers. The TRD’s entrance clampers are two-piston models alternatively of single-piston stoppers on non-TRD Camrys, and they clamp down on more substantial twelve.9-inch rotors (up from twelve). They’re potent, scrubbing off speed in a hurry, nevertheless firmer pedal comments is on my would like checklist. The steering is direct enough and acceptably weighted, regardless of a smaller useless spot on middle.

This 2021 Toyota Camry TRD pictured here will price tag you $34,312.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

How I would spec it

The Camry TRD starts at $33,285, such as $1,025 for vacation spot. As for me, I would start off by examining the box for the two-tone Ice Edge paint and Midnight Black Metallic roof like my tester. It seems to be excellent and is truly worth the $five hundred upcharge. Due to the fact I take pleasure in my tunes, I would also get the $1,585 JBL audio technique to have one thing improved than the normal six-speaker setup. And last but not least, $129 to give rear travellers quick accessibility to a pair of USB ports is a no-brainer, bringing the base line of my ideal Toyota to $35,499. That’s extra than my $34,312 tester, but I come to feel the few further niceties are truly worth it.

A extra entertaining Camry

In comparison to the base vehicle, the Camry TRD is unquestionably a sharper specimen. The human body package isn’t really garish, executing enough to visually pump this sedan up, whilst the extra boisterous exhaust and improved handling reflexes give a push encounter that is without a doubt extra enjoyment. There is, nonetheless, home for advancement — some tinkering to the steering and brakes would additional amp up this Camry. All items viewed as, nonetheless, the TRD is a pleasant surprise.

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