Well guys, what a surprise for me this week! When the 2020 Toyota Camry TRD arrived in my driveway -- I knew right away it was something special. With its sporty looks in Supersonic Red and two-tone midnight black roof and spoiler - how could it not be, right? Turns out, I was right.
Yes, I’m here to report that thanks to Toyota Racing Development, the Camry is officially no longer boring. The TRD elevates its status in a way, well, I just never thought possible. I’m not just talking about looks either. This is the best handling Camry ever -- the most engaging and enjoyable to drive and one that flat-out changes the Camry’s game. I say that not only as the previous driver of a 90’s Camry, but as the more recent driver of my parent’s stylish (but not as exciting to drive) 2020 XLE model.
This is the first-ever Camry to wear the TRD badge that you find on some of the brand’s sportier models and its off-roaders. Designers did everything right. It’s track-inspired styling features a gloss black front grille with a sport mesh insert along with black-housing Bi-LED combination headlights. It rides on exclusive matte-black 19-Inch Alloy Wheels and a Calty-Designed Aero Kit that includes the black front splitter, side aero skirts, trunk lid spoiler, and rear diffuser.
Add to it red pinstriping, red-painted brake calipers, color-keyed sport side rocker panels and red TRD badging and it’s clearly a sedan that wants to send a message. If you weren’t sure of that already, just look at polished stainless steel TRD-tuned cat-back dual exhaust in the rear.
The TRD Camry is powered by Toyota’s 301-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters and sport mode. The powertrain delivers 267 lb.-ft. of torque. Power and acceleration felt great especially in Sport mode.
Ride and Drive
What sets the ride and drive apart from the lineup are all the TRD-modified chassis changes and other enhancements that lower the center of gravity. You can really feel and appreciate the improvement in the body control, handling and steering position. The TRD’s chassis is stiffer and unique specially turned TRD shock absorbers developed to control vehicle vertical and roll movement lower the TRD Camry by 0.6 inches. Brake performance is enhanced too with larger front brakes than on XSE grades and the TRD also features TRD’s Active Cornering Assist. The TRD’s alloy wheels are a half-inch wider than the XSE wheels, and lighter, too. A TRD-tuned front and rear suspension features thicker underbody braces. The Camry TRD’s smooth ride is quite impressive.
The Camry TRD cabin looks sharp in black with comfortable sport SofTex-trimmed front seats with red-striped fabric inserts. A power driver seat has lumbar support. Red seat belts look great in here, too. With a mix of soft touch and plastic throughout the cabin, you’ll also see textured metal trim and red stitching on the black leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob features. You’ll find quite a bit of TRD badging, too, including a large TRD logo on the front seat headrests and on the red-lined floor mats.
The center console hosts your gear shift knob, cupholders and buttons for Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes, along with a Brake AutoHold and the electronic parking brake. A medium sized center console bin houses 2 USB ports. The TRD is equipped with a 6-speaker sound system.
There is only one-zone climate, but wow does it work well. Camry’s have some of the best A/C I’ve ever experienced. Great if you live in hot weather. It’s also roomy in here, including in the second row, as you’d expect of a Camry. There is plenty of trunk space, too.
I’d love to see a larger digital display and multimedia touchscreen in the Camry TRD. A small-ish 4.2-inch digital display with TRD startup animation sits between a red-illuminated tachometer and odometer. A 7-inch multimedia color touchscreen houses Toyota Entune and is surrounded by a glossy black area with controls for the menu, audio, phone and apps. Apps include Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Voice recognition works well when tuning into radio stations. Entune is responsive and has some great-looking graphics, but at times the multimedia screen was more reflective than I’d like. There are 3 USBs ports total.
The Camry TRD comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense-P that includes pre-collision with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, full speed radar cruise control and lane departure alert with steering assist. I was surprised to see that blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert aren’t offered as an option on the TRD trim.
What You’ll Pay
This Camry TRD MSRP’s $32,895, and the TRD ride and drive quality elevate to a higher price point in my mind. However, given that this model did not have some features like a leather interior, panoramic moonroof, wireless charging or blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, it’s priced just right.
2020 Toyota Camry TRD Review
- What I liked most: The un-Camry-like sporty handling.
- What I would change: Give the TRD the lineup’s larger driver display and multimedia screens.
- MSRP: Base $31,040 base; as equipped $32,895.
- Official color: Supersonic Red with a two-tone midnight black roof.
- Fuel economy: 22 city/31 highway/25 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 6,106.
- Spare tire: Temporary.
- Weight: 3,572.
- Length-width-height: 194.6” long/ 73.1” wide/ 56.3” tall
- Fuel-tank capacity: 15.8 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
- Towing capacity: N/A
- 2020 Camry TRD in a few words: The best handling Camry ever.
- Warranty: 36 month/36,000 Basic; 60-months/60,000 Powertrain/60- months/unlimited Corrosion.
- Final assembly location: Georgetown, Kentucky.
- Manufacturer’s website: Toyota