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Drew Dowdell

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

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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.  

Edited by regfootball

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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.

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

 

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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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GM should consider putting AWD on all of its (non-Cadillac) sedans as a $1000 option.  They already do that on the CUVs (although not as inexpensively).

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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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