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Toyota News: Toyota Introduces Camry and Avalon with All-Wheel Drive


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Toyota announced today that the Toyota Avalon and Camry would be getting an all-wheel drive option. It's the first time the Camry has offered all-wheel drive since 1991 and the first ever for Avalon.  AWD will be available as a standalone option on Camry LE, XLE, SE, and XSE trims and on the Avalon XLE and Limited trims.

In both models, the car is powered by a 202 horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and an 8-speed automatic. Camry XSE AWD and both Avalon AWD trims get 205hp with their dual exhaust. 

The AWD system is borrowed from the Toyota RAV-4 and is called Dynamic Torque Control AWD. It is designed to help with traction in slippery weather but not drag down fuel economy when the weather is clear. The AWD system can direct up to 50 percent of the torque to the rear wheels.  When AWD isn't needed, the system can disengage the drive shaft from the differential to lessen the drag on fuel efficiency. 

Neither of these cars was originally planned to have AWD, but given the flexibility of the TNGA architecture they and the RAV4 all ride on, Toyota's R&D department in Saline Michigan was able to modify the cars for this new option.  The body of the Camry and Avalon was combined with the drivetrain of the RAV-4. Floor structure modifications were required, plus the use of an electronic parking brake.  The gas tank was modified, and despite of the addition of a rear differential, the trunk floor height remains the same.  The addition of AWD adds 165lbs to the Camry while the Avalon's weight remains the about the same as the FWD V6 model. 

Camry AWD will be arriving for model year 2020, while Avalon AWD arrives in 2021. 


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No. Ford Fusion had an AWD option on the 2.0. For 2019 they had a 2.0 AWd se package that was a great deal. Ford’s had 2.0 AWD available on the fusion the entire time.  I took a hard look at getting o

It's not a 'short term trend', folks; it's a market shift. And it's been the better part of 50 years in the making.  Trucks/SUVs are 72% of the USDM and still rising.  Sedans WILL continue to bleed ma

This is great news to try and keep the sedan alive but it feels like a slight miss without the V6. 

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Very cool, Appreciate the details about the AWD system as in the past I have not been impressed with weak AWD systems coming out on sedans, this seems to be very competitive. Should help in the winter states.

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18 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

This is great news to try and keep the sedan alive but it feels like a slight miss without the V6. 

In the Camry, most are sold as 4-cylinders anyway, so I don't think the V6 will be missed.  The Avalon though, I think that's a miss without the V6.

18 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

I wonder why Toyota is adding AWD as an option on their two most successful sedans.  Where is the demand for another AWD sedan?

Demand in northern climates? Trying to take some more market share from Honda/Hyundai/Kia? It sounds like it was low cost R&D to pull it off. 

4 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Very cool, Appreciate the details about the AWD system as in the past I have not been impressed with weak AWD systems coming out on sedans, this seems to be very competitive. Should help in the winter states.

What weak AWD systems would they be? Most are just lifted straight out of crossovers like this one is. 

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7 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

What weak AWD systems would they be? Most are just lifted straight out of crossovers like this one is. 

This is a while back, probably at least 10 years, but I remember the few cars that had AWD systems barely really put much to the rear wheels and if you wanted AWD you moved to a CUV/SUV implementation. I am just glad to know they were able to take what has been successful in the RAV4 and offer it in the sedans. This should make for a great option for those wanting or needing AWD.

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11 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

In the Camry, most are sold as 4-cylinders anyway, so I don't think the V6 will be missed.  The Avalon though, I think that's a miss without the V6.

it makes sense as most are probably comparing to the 4-cylinder CUVs anyway.

There also may not be enough room for the AWD system with the V6..?

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2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

This is a while back, probably at least 10 years, but I remember the few cars that had AWD systems barely really put much to the rear wheels and if you wanted AWD you moved to a CUV/SUV implementation. I am just glad to know they were able to take what has been successful in the RAV4 and offer it in the sedans. This should make for a great option for those wanting or needing AWD.

10 years ago the AWD choices were mostly Subaru, Audi, the Ford Fusion and the Buick Regal/Lacrosse.   All of them are quite capable AWD systems.  

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3 minutes ago, dfelt said:

This is a while back, probably at least 10 years, but I remember the few cars that had AWD systems barely really put much to the rear wheels and if you wanted AWD you moved to a CUV/SUV implementation. I am just glad to know they were able to take what has been successful in the RAV4 and offer it in the sedans. This should make for a great option for those wanting or needing AWD.

For the respective class though, all it's really for is not getting stuck in snow and a little more traction in the rain. You barley need anything to the rear to just not get stuck. 

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1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

it makes sense as most are probably comparing to the 4-cylinder CUVs anyway.

There also may not be enough room for the AWD system with the V6..?

That's probably it.  Or the transmission they use for the AWD system isn't rated for the power of the V6. 

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26 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

That's probably it.  Or the transmission they use for the AWD system isn't rated for the power of the V6. 

Oh yeah, I didn't think about that. If it was pulled from the RAV4, it probably isn't rated for the output of the V6.

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Car and driver just had a new comparison of Altima AWD vs legacy. Now Camry is adding AWD. GM should add it to the Malibu because customers in snow climes would respond if the system is low cost like it is in Altima and Subaru.  Ford had AWD fusion but you had to upgrade quite a bit.  Altima offers it at one of the more base models. 

Since I got the tourx recently I will say the AWD on that is fairly unobtrusive apart from the fuel economy hit, which is noticeable.  The tourx has the old GM 2.0 turbo four which moves the unit well and has good power rating but in practice doesn’t have good aural qualities and can seem unrefined at times.  The 1.5 in the Malibu is a smoother running engine. Just smaller.  GM is already rolling out the new 2.0 turbo which now I understand better.  It is smoother but needs more power.  Where I am going with this I still see where having a v6 turbo or non as a choice would still be good.  I used to think the turbo 4 was the better option in the Regal but now I may be swayed back to thinking ultimately that the GS and its v6 would be a more enjoyable powertrain.  

 

If camry and Altima can offer cheap AWD on those sedans I think it’s a real win.  

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3 minutes ago, regfootball said:

Car and driver just had a new comparison of Altima AWD vs legacy. Now Camry is adding AWD. GM should add it to the Malibu because customers in snow climes would respond if the system is low cost like it is in Altima and Subaru.  Ford had AWD fusion but you had to upgrade quite a bit.  Altima offers it at one of the more base models. 

Since I got the tourx recently I will say the AWD on that is fairly unobtrusive apart from the fuel economy hit, which is noticeable.  The tourx has the old GM 2.0 turbo four which moves the unit well and has good power rating but in practice doesn’t have good aural qualities and can seem unrefined at times.  The 1.5 in the Malibu is a smoother running engine. Just smaller.  GM is already rolling out the new 2.0 turbo which now I understand better.  It is smoother but needs more power.  Where I am going with this I still see where having a v6 turbo or non as a choice would still be good.  I used to think the turbo 4 was the better option in the Regal but now I may be swayed back to thinking ultimately that the GS and its v6 would be a more enjoyable powertrain.  

GM would probably make AWD on the Malibu a $7,500 option. 🙄

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5 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

I wonder if there will even be a next gen Malibu..

Exactly.  

But all wheel drive is a 1350 dollar option on Altima.  If GM chose to do it for say 1500 on its base models it would make sense.  

14 minutes ago, dfelt said:

GM would probably make AWD on the Malibu a $7,500 option. 🙄

Yes. At least that. And leave a bunch of desired equipment off of it still as well.  

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10 minutes ago, regfootball said:

Exactly.  

But all wheel drive is a 1350 dollar option on Altima.  If GM chose to do it for say 1500 on its base models it would make sense.  

Yes. At least that. And leave a bunch of desired equipment off of it still as well.  

It's not a crossover or luxury sedan, though, so GM isn't going to put any effort into it or update it...not enough profit in bread-and-butter sedans for GM anymore.

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It is a good idea and I am surprised they have not done it already.  A lot on consumers want all wheel drive whether they actually need it or not.  So this broadens the customer base and gets existing buyers to fork over another $1500 because they think awd is safer.

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45 minutes ago, regfootball said:

 Ford had AWD fusion but you had to upgrade quite a bit.

Ford's was only in the Fusion Sport... I think that started at like 34k, when it was still around. Actually, I don't know if they're still making them or if they're done yet. @Drew Dowdell, are they done making the Fusion? 

The one downside i see to this, from Toyota's point of view, is this will be stealing some sales from the RAV4 or Highlander now. 

This is probably why companies have held off for so long in offering AWD in their sedans, they sell AWD CUVs with better margins. 

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28 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

Ford's was only in the Fusion Sport... I think that started at like 34k, when it was still around. Actually, I don't know if they're still making them or if they're done yet. @Drew Dowdell, are they done making the Fusion? 

That's not true, you could get AWD on a Fusion SE... $26,480.  You can go on Ford's Build-It site and build one right now.

They're still building Fusions for 2020... don't know when that will stop. 

40 minutes ago, frogger said:

I wonder if they won't offer a V6 AWD Avalon until the Lexus ES has it.

 

The ES will probably get eAWD in the hybrid only.  Uses a system like the Pruis's AWD. 

1 hour ago, Robert Hall said:

I wonder if there will even be a next gen Malibu..

Highly unlikely. 

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Dynamic Torque Control AWD borrowed from RAV4 that was borrowed from the Subaru Torque Vectoring AWD system.

Dynamic TORQUE Control AWD with a non turbo 4 BANGER sure is a contrasting description...

 

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42 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

That's not true, you could get AWD on a Fusion SE... $26,480.  You can go on Ford's Build-It site and build one right now.

They're still building Fusions for 2020... don't know when that will stop. 

Oh no sh!t?? I genuinely thought it was only in the Sport. Good to know. 

Okay, also good to know. I didn't really think they were done as the sales numbers still seemed fairly strong and those would diminish more if the supply was limited.

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2 hours ago, ccap41 said:

Ford's was only in the Fusion Sport... I think that started at like 34k, when it was still around. Actually, I don't know if they're still making them or if they're done yet. @Drew Dowdell, are they done making the Fusion? 

The one downside i see to this, from Toyota's point of view, is this will be stealing some sales from the RAV4 or Highlander now. 

This is probably why companies have held off for so long in offering AWD in their sedans, they sell AWD CUVs with better margins. 

No. Ford Fusion had an AWD option on the 2.0. For 2019 they had a 2.0 AWd se package that was a great deal. Ford’s had 2.0 AWD available on the fusion the entire time.  I took a hard look at getting one. 

An mkz 3.0 AWD would be a great used car find. 

Edited by regfootball
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10 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

I wonder if there will even be a next gen Malibu..

Nope, It's dead- coming quite soon.....

Think this could be the shot in the arm that the sedan market needs to keep going...maybe even grow. People want the year round safety....and may not want to spend 50k to do it.

And they wonder why Subies sell so well....

Another car that would benefit from AWD - Ford Fusion. OH wait, that's gone too......

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      Adaptive Variable Suspension - $750.00
      Hands-Free Power Open/Close Trunk - $550.00
      10.2-inch Head-Up Display - $500.00
      Illuminated Door Sill - $400.00
      Power Rear Sunshade - $210.00
      F Sport Heated Leather Steering Wheel with Windshield Wiper Deicer and Fast Response Interior Heater - $180.00
      Door Edge Guard - $145.00
      Wireless Charger - $75.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      For your consideration: Two unlikely sport sedans.
      The Toyota Camry TRD and Lexus ES 350 F-Sport may not seem like credible sport sedans at first glance. They may seem like tarted-up sedans in terms of looks, but nothing else. However, after spending a week in each one, I can say both are the real deal.
      Camry TRD
      This Camry is in your face about its sporting potential. It comes with a front splitter, side skirts, a distinct rear spoiler, and 19-inch TRD wheels with a matte black finish. I found it to be a bit much and wished Toyota offered a package that got you the goodies for the suspension and exhaust system while keeping the looks of a standard Camry. A sleeper of sorts. TRD models come with small touches inside such as red seatbelts, red stitching on the seats and dash; leather-wrapped steering wheel, and TRD floor mats. Otherwise, it is your standard Camry interior. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 with 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Yes, that's the same output as the Camry XLE V6 I drove earlier. But what TRD has done is added a new exhaust system that provides a nice growl. I'll admit I was surprised when I blipped the throttle at a stoplight and heard what came out. This is an engine you have to work slightly to get into its sweet spot of power - around the mid-range on the rpm band. But once you do, the engine delivers a smooth punch of power. I do wish the six-speed automatic wouldn't try to go into the highest gear ASAP to maximize fuel economy. Where TRD worked their magic is with the suspension. The car is lower than a standard Camry, along with being stiffer thanks to thicker underbody braces, stabilizer bars, and shocks. On a winding road, the Camry TRD feels much more athletic than the standard Camry with minimal body and a set of summer tires providing excellent grip. The only downside is the steering which needs a bit more weight. Ride quality is a bit more firm than a standard Camry, but the suspension does a decent job of minimizing the bumps and impacts. To top it all off, Toyota has priced the Camry TRD at a surprising point. With the two-tone paint on my tester, it comes at $32,920 - making this the cheapest way to get a V6 in a Camry. The added bonus is that the TRD is also the most fun you can have in Camry.
      ES 350 F-Sport
      Lexus takes a more sedate approach with the ES F-Sport with a mesh grille insert, new wheels, and a small lip spoiler. I think if they went overboard with the sporty touches, it would ruin the elegance of the standard ES design. I will say the grey on my tester makes the F-Sport kind of look somewhat bland. Going with either the blue or red helps it stand out. Under the hood is the same 3.5L V6 found in other ES 350s, producing 301 hp and 267 lb-ft. The behavior is similar to what I found in the Camry, needing to work it before a smooth rush of power comes on. The transmission doesn't have the same programming as the Camry's with trying to maximize fuel economy. It is ready to downshift at a moment's notice. I've praised the standard ES for making a real leap forward in handling as there is less body motion on windy roads when compared to the previous model. The F-Sport takes that a step further with a revised suspension and optional adaptive dampers - which my car had. Slip the drive mode into Sport+ and ES transforms into something that you can pilot with confidence on a twisty stretch of road. The dampers firm up to make body roll non-existent, and the steering feels more weighty when turning. When you decide to stop having fun and turn the drive knob to either normal or comfort, the F-Sport transforms a standard ES with a smooth and quiet ride. The price? Base is $44,635 and this fully-loaded tester comes in at $53,950 with destination. A bit hard to swallow when you consider that the Avalon TRD offers similar performance for slightly less money. But not everyone wants a sedan that screams "look at me", and thats where the ES 350 F-Sport shines. It may be sporty, but it keeps quiet about its intentions. Disclaimer: Toyota and Lexus Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Camry
      Trim: TRD
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve VVT-iW V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
      Curb Weight: 3,572 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
      Base Price: $31,040
      As Tested Price: $32,920 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Two-Tone Midnight Black Metallic Roof and Rear Spoiler - $500.00
      Special Color - $425.00
       
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: ES 350
      Trim: F-Sport
      Engine: 3.5 DOHC 24-Valve VVT-iW V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 302 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
      Curb Weight: 3,649 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
      Base Price: $44,635
      As Tested Price: $53,950 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Navigation/Mark Levinson Audio Package - $2,900.00
      Triple Beam LED Headlights - $1,515.00
      Blind Spot Monitor w/Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Intuitive Parking Assist w/Auto Braking - $1,065.00
      Adaptive Variable Suspension - $750.00
      Hands-Free Power Open/Close Trunk - $550.00
      10.2-inch Head-Up Display - $500.00
      Illuminated Door Sill - $400.00
      Power Rear Sunshade - $210.00
      F Sport Heated Leather Steering Wheel with Windshield Wiper Deicer and Fast Response Interior Heater - $180.00
      Door Edge Guard - $145.00
      Wireless Charger - $75.00
    • By William Maley
      The 86's exterior has undergone some significant changes. The most apparent is the front where the front bumper has been swapped to give the coupe a slightly more aggressive look. There are also new headlights with the "86" logo seen on the outside edge. These changes, along with a rear wing really help the 86 still look quite fresh. A feat when you take into consideration that this car, along with its sister, the Subaru BRZ has been around for eight years. The interior boasts a new steering wheel, updated instrument cluster with a color trip computer; and a seven-inch touchscreen radio featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.  Trying to find a comfortable position the 86 took longer than I expected due to the limited amount of adjustments on offer. The sport seats provide excellent bolstering to hold you in during enthusiastic driving but falter in terms of comfort when it comes to long drives. As for the back seat, I would only recommend it for either very small kids or extra storage space. We come to the key weak point of the 86, the engine. It is the 2.0L Flat-Four from Subaru which produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the six-speed manual - figures drop by five when equipped with the automatic. Not much has changed in the performance department. At low speeds, the 86 goes along merrily. But then the power band falls off a cliff and you're left wondering when it will come back.  It doesn't help that the engine note of the 2.0L sounds like a bucket of bolts dumped into a dryer. This doesn't encourage wanting to climb higher in the rev band and giving the illusion of going faster - something Mazda does quite well with the MX-5 Miata. On my test car, an optional TRD exhaust was fitted and it somehow makes the noise worse. It sounded like a group of cats fighting one another to get that prime spot in the box from an Amazon delivery. The manual transmission does not like being shifted quickly as it becomes slightly stiff and bulky. Go slowly and the gear lever responds with a smooth and positive feel. An option that was ticked on this vehicle was the TRD handling package which adds a set of SACHS dampers. The SACHS do make an improvement in terms of body control as the 86 doesn't really exhibit any sort of roll. What you get a vehicle that is fun to toss in the corners. Helping out is the steering that responds quickly and provides a decent feel. But there is a downside to the TRD Handling package and that is the ride quality. I found the FR-S to be quite stiff and transmit most bumps and road imperfections. This package only increases the frequency and impact them. I would highly recommend driving a standard 86 against one with the Handling Pack to see which one you would prefer. The 86 GT starts at $30,115 and my tester with the two TRD options and some other items stickers at $34,783. If you drop the TRD options, then it becomes slightly better at just under $32,000.  Who is the 86 for? The obvious answer to this is someone who wants something fun to drive but doesn't have that much to spend. Of course, there are other options that offer more performance, the 86 shines on a winding road. But as someone pointed out in our interactive review, the 86 is a good option for someone who wants a blank canvas. This and the BRZ have a large aftermarket which means an owner can build their coupe to their desires. Want to upgrade the suspension and brakes? There are parts available. Feel like dropping in a larger engine? That is possible. It's a blank canvas ready for someone to make it their own. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the 86, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: 86
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC D-4S 16-Valve Flat-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 205 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 156 @ 6,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/28/24
      Curb Weight: 2,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ota, Gumma, Japan
      Base Price: $30,115
      As Tested Price: $34,783 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      TRD Handling Package - $1,270.00
      TRD Exhaust System - $1,100.00
      TRD Sway Bar - $550.00
      Special Color - $425.00
      Center Armrest - $199.00
      All-Weather Floor Mats - $169.00

      View full article
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