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Found 16 results

  1. With yesterday's report that the Hyundai Sonata and Kia K5/Optima may not be replaced at the end of their cycle, it has become clear that the mid-size family sedan in the U.S. has become an endangered species. The current Sonata and K5 are expected to last until at least 2025, but if they do in fact end, the number of mid-size sedans offered in the market will dwindle to 4. For perspective, that is the same number of mini-van models currently on offer. (Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica/Voyager, Kia Carnival). The remaining sedans are Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, stalwarts in this niche, the Nissan Altima, and the Subaru Legacy. The Chevrolet Malibu, while still listed on the Chevy website has a questionable future as GM stopped taking orders for the Malibu back in February, and while there has been no official announcement, with sales in the mid-30k unit range and mostly going to fleets, we can't expect GM to keep it going for long. For now, the Camry seems safe as Toyota is able to continue to keep sales rates above the 300k unit mark, but sales of the Accord have dropped by 52% from 2014. The Nissan Altima is off by more than 1/3 from volumes just 5 years ago while the Legacy sedan has fallen the most, dropping by 62% since 2016. The first big selling mid-size sedan to get the ax was the Dodge Avenger. Since then the Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Volkswagen Passat, Mazda 6, and Buick Regal have all joined the list of dead mid-size sedan lines. The large family sedan class has fared even worse with only the aging Nissan Maxima, Chrysler 300, and Dodge Charger remaining once the Toyota Avalon stops production in August and joins the Chevy Impala, Buick Lacrosse, and Ford Taurus in that great junkyard in the sky. Stellantis has indicated no clear plans to replace their aging sedans and seems to continue producing them mostly out of inertia. The 300 is expect to soldier on for another year with no replacement while the Charger might be replaced in 2024. Once the most common silhouette in the American automotive landscape, the 3-box sedan is rapidly becoming a niche market as buyers flock to crossovers. View full article
  2. With yesterday's report that the Hyundai Sonata and Kia K5/Optima may not be replaced at the end of their cycle, it has become clear that the mid-size family sedan in the U.S. has become an endangered species. The current Sonata and K5 are expected to last until at least 2025, but if they do in fact end, the number of mid-size sedans offered in the market will dwindle to 4. For perspective, that is the same number of mini-van models currently on offer. (Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica/Voyager, Kia Carnival). The remaining sedans are Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, stalwarts in this niche, the Nissan Altima, and the Subaru Legacy. The Chevrolet Malibu, while still listed on the Chevy website has a questionable future as GM stopped taking orders for the Malibu back in February, and while there has been no official announcement, with sales in the mid-30k unit range and mostly going to fleets, we can't expect GM to keep it going for long. For now, the Camry seems safe as Toyota is able to continue to keep sales rates above the 300k unit mark, but sales of the Accord have dropped by 52% from 2014. The Nissan Altima is off by more than 1/3 from volumes just 5 years ago while the Legacy sedan has fallen the most, dropping by 62% since 2016. The first big selling mid-size sedan to get the ax was the Dodge Avenger. Since then the Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Volkswagen Passat, Mazda 6, and Buick Regal have all joined the list of dead mid-size sedan lines. The large family sedan class has fared even worse with only the aging Nissan Maxima, Chrysler 300, and Dodge Charger remaining once the Toyota Avalon stops production in August and joins the Chevy Impala, Buick Lacrosse, and Ford Taurus in that great junkyard in the sky. Stellantis has indicated no clear plans to replace their aging sedans and seems to continue producing them mostly out of inertia. The 300 is expect to soldier on for another year with no replacement while the Charger might be replaced in 2024. Once the most common silhouette in the American automotive landscape, the 3-box sedan is rapidly becoming a niche market as buyers flock to crossovers.
  3. The Toyota Camry isn't what you would call exciting. Bland and boring, yes. But the Japanese automaker hopes to change that perception with the introduction of the 2018 Camry. Toyota allowed their designers to go somewhat crazy with the Camry and it shows. There is a bit of Prius and C-HR in the design of the new Camry with a more aggressive nose, lower hood and beltline; and a very short rear deck. Moving inside, Toyota has revamped the design of the dashboard to make it more flowing. Seats have been resculpted to provide better comfort. The Camry is the latest model to use Toyota's TNGA platform which the company describes as “a structural reform movement for the entire company that will result in cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive.” You may laugh, but as I can attest, this platform is the real deal when I drove the Prius - the first model to use TNGA. Toyota has also lowered the center of gravity and added a multilink rear suspension. For engines, the Camry boasts a new 2.5L four-cylinder and 3.5L V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection. Oddly no power figures were given for either engine. Both will come paired with an eight-speed automatic. A hybrid variant with the new 2.5L four will also be available. The 2018 Camry arrives at your local Toyota dealer this summer. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Ante Raised: All-New 2018 Toyota Camry Gains Emotionally-Charged Design and Performance Experience Best-selling car in America... assembled in America, by Americans, for Americans Aggressive exterior character lines and low center of gravity Spacious interior with advanced driver focus New gas and hybrid powertrains generate more horsepower and greater estimated MPG Standard Toyota Safety Sense-P DETROIT, January 9, 2017 - It almost isn’t fair. Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America for the past 15 years, is about to ruffle some feathers. The eighth-generation sedan has gone through a total evolution, from a proven, dependable and safe car to one that also possesses a more exciting and emotional character, thanks to its newfound sporty performance and style. The new Camry utilizes TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) which represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and packages its vehicles. TNGA retains all of Toyota’s traditional values of superlative build quality and safety while injecting a fun driving experience that plays on all the senses. The physical manifestation is the usage of a new engine, transmission and GA-K platform. “The all-new 2018 Camry is, without a doubt, the most captivating mid-size sedan we’ve ever produced,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. “It delivers on everything Camry owners have come to expect from America’s best-selling car, and adds to it, jaw-dropping design, more advanced technology, cutting-edge safety systems, and stirring performance that raises it to an unparalleled level of excitement.” “In order to create something that stirs people’s soul, we’ve laid out the concept of a new sedan that provides fun and excitement behind the wheel,” said Masato Katsumata, the Chief Engineer of the new Camry. “In developing the next-generation Toyota Camry, we were able to start with a clean slate, which allowed us to create a true driver’s car.” Design Backstory The Camry development team aimed for a styling design concept that achieves strong harmony between refinement and a sensual athletic image, creating a new approach to the market. The result is a new signature design language that takes the car into a beautiful and futuristic new direction. There were three primary design goals when penning the all-new Camry: a distinctive, low center of gravity that results in a firm wide stance; a practical-yet-emotionally styled cabin profile, and a sporty and upscale image both inside and out. These design goals have resulted in a new type of sedan that’s both exciting to look at and, more importantly drive, reestablishing itself as the new standard in the midsize-sedan category. An Exterior with Unexpected Attitude The new Camry’s face is accentuated by a two-piece grille comprised of flowing thin and thick treatments – key elements of the Camry’s “Keen Look” design philosophy. The curvaceous 1.6-inch-lower hood sits neatly above the grille’s uppermost section which accommodates a commanding Toyota emblem. For the hybrid model, the emblem is tinged a distinct blue hue. This fashionable trifecta of grille, hood, and emblem blends flawlessly into the A-pillar, and produces a stance that is undoubtedly more aggressive than that of any predecessor. The 2018 Camry has a sleeker profile than the current model. By lowering the hip points of the occupants (nearly 1.0-inch in the front and 1.2-inches at the rear), and therefore their seating positions, the design team was able to reduce the car’s overall vehicle height by approximately one inch from the current model and incorporate a lower roofline, without sacrificing interior space. This invited the designers to pursue a wind-cutting shape and improve aerodynamics. Striking character lines around and along the body augment the aggressive front and rear fenders, giving the reimagined Camry a sportiness that’s never before been perceived on this model. The lower hip point, shoulder line, roof line and hood height gives the new Camry the appearance that it has a low center of gravity, which it does. The design team knew the TNGA platform provided them with a great opportunity to pen a very expressive sedan, and they took advantage of this by getting the lines close to the ground and forming an energetic silhouette. They incorporated a strong stance that can be seen as you walk around the car. Like the front of the vehicle, the rear features an athletic motif that melds flowing lines and complex shapes to form a sculpted landscape. Looking closely at the C-pillar’s detail reveals a multitude of surfaces that reflect light from all angles. A distinct crease extends from the slim multicolor taillights down to the bumper, effectively “pushing” the wheels outward in appearance to create a wide posture akin to that of a premium sports sedan. The exclamation point here is provided by a newly designed Camry logo that gives the car an upscale identity. Camry will again be available in four grades: LE, XLE, SE and XSE. The new Camry’s “Sport” SE and XSE grades wear a noticeably different body style than the entry level LE and premium XLE grades, highlighted by a sculpted rocker panel, new 19-inch black machined-finish alloy wheels (XSE only) a subtle rear spoiler lip, aggressive front bumper, and rear bumper with an integrated lower diffuser. The face is much more distinctive with large side intakes flanking the lower bumper’s unique “Catamaran” accents, a high and slim upper intake encompassing the central Toyota badge, and a powerfully expressive mesh grille. A revised rear bumper with distinctive corner lines and smoke-tinted rear combination lamps highlight the changes at the rear. The Camry design team sought to make the new Camry sport models instantly recognizable and appear different from the other models from as far as 200 yards away. Striking and Comfortable Cabin The completely redesigned interior is a fusion of functionality, futuristic styling, and a high degree of personal space and craftsmanship. While the driver is situated in a sporty cockpit-type environment having gauges angled toward his or her direction, the front passenger is treated to a sense of openness and freedom that results from the innovative dashboard design. A key visual element of this driver-focused design concept is a sweeping yet elegant new character line that flows down from the instrument cluster and bisects the center console waterfall. The design of the entire front console strikes a smooth connection between the ease of use of all controls/systems and a handsome and modern sculptural look that is pleasing to the eye. All surfaces throughout the cabin—dashboard, instrument panel, center console, door trim, etc.—employ the highest grade of soft touch and premium materials. Using an approach typically used in home furnishings, the design utilizes a mix of tones and hues throughout a space rather than a strict color profile. The result is a cabin space having diverse colors and materials, and that enhances passenger comfort and visual satisfaction. The front seats have been completely reengineered with improved ergonomics, providing maximum comfort with a newfound level of ease and engagement to match the new Camry’s elevated performance and athleticism. Rear-seat accommodations are more refined than ever with improved roominess and ergonomics. Exquisite stitching on the front- and rear-seat surfaces is but one example of the high level of craftsmanship found throughout the vehicle. High Interaction, Minimal Distraction The new Camry features Toyota’s latest Human Machine Interface (HMI) whose next-generation display technology offers a unique level of integrated information with minimal distraction. It relays information through three interlinked displays: available interlinked displays: a 10-inch color Head-Up Display (HUD); a seven-inch multi-information display within the instrument cluster, and an eight-inch audio/navigation display and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) control panel that’s seamlessly integrated into the center console in a modern, flush-surface design. Convenient and highly intuitive operation is assured through customizable features and smart phone-like touch screen icons that create a seamless connection and user workflow between the HMI system and other digital media. Full Utilization of Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) The 2018 Toyota Camry fully incorporates the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). At its foundation, TNGA is a structural reform movement for the entire company that will result in cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive. By extending the wheelbase by two inches, as well as bringing down the roof and hood height (by approximately 1.0 and 1.6-inches, respectively), the development team lowered the center of gravity and created a wider and more composed vehicle. The new platform also allows for an ideal seating position for the driver, now lower and near the center of the car for enhanced feedback, along with adjusting the overall seating position for all the vehicle’s occupants. A lower heel point provides more foot room and ease of movement. The range of steering column adjustment has been increased from the current vehicle, while the hood, cowl, and dashboard height have all been lowered for enhanced outward visibility. The driver and front passenger will experience an unprecedented sense of outward visibility, thanks to a more compact design for the instrument panel and a lowered beltline. The reimagined position of the A-pillar and side mirror sections results in enhanced lateral visibility and creates a noticeable sense of openness when the driver sits behind the wheel. All Gain With No MPG Pain Three new powertrains will be available on the new 2018 Camry: They include a new 3.5-liter V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection and an all-new 2.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine, which comes paired to a new 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission (8AT), and a next-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS II). To match the chassis’ increased handling and performance capability, Toyota engineers have developed the TNGA-inspired all-new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine to make the most of the platform’s enhanced designs, packaging and rigidity. This new generation engine focuses on higher torque, higher power and lower fuel consumption in total use range. This is accomplished by achieving rapid combustion due to higher tumble air flow. With its long-stroke and high compression ratio, multi-hole direct fuel injectors, variable cooling system and the latest version of Toyota’s Variable Valve-Timing-intelligent Electric (VVT-iE), this high-output powerplant takes the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine to a new level with world-leading thermal efficiency of 40 percent. Along with enhanced performance characteristics, the new engine is also expected to be extremely fuel efficient, and is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy. It comes mated to the newly developed Direct Shift-8AT transmission that provides direct-lock up from gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter, executing shifts like a high-performance automated manual gearbox. The new hybrid system has also been engineered to provide the ideal balance of energy efficiency with superior power output to maximize driving performance and enjoyment. The next-generation Toyota Hybrid System has been engineered to work in concert with the new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine setup offering significantly more driving excitement than before. The hybrid’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) features a new Sport Mode setting that allows the driver to execute smooth yet quick “gear” shifts of the simulated 6-speed sequential shift transmission. The SE grade adds paddle shifters for increased fun and a more sporting driving experience. The Sport Mode setting also improves acceleration and feel thanks to an electric power boost from the hybrid system. Furthermore, to help enhance the vehicle’s handling capability, the hybrid system’s battery pack has moved from the trunk to beneath the rear seat for a noticeably enriched handling feel, thanks to the vehicle’s much improved lower center of gravity—yet another benefit of the TNGA platform. In addition to its enhanced handling and driving performance, the hybrid version of the new Camry is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy ratings, with Prius-like city/highway driving efficiency. A New Experience Focused on Vastly Superior Driving Dynamics At the foundation of the Camry’s sporty handling and enhanced ride quality is its high-strength body/platform structure. Through the increased use of ultra-high-tensile steel and the application of a new molding technology it delivers enhanced structural rigidity. Further aiding performance is an innovative new double wishbone rear suspension system that imbues the chassis with responsive handling and precise steering control while simultaneously delivering ride quality on par with premium luxury vehicles. A new four-point engine mounting system adds to the vehicle’s civil road manners as it greatly reduces unwanted noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) from permeating into the passenger compartment. The biggest challenge for the Camry engineering team was to figure out how to convey the driving dynamics of a soul-stirring sedan. Driving dynamics were always at the forefront of the engineering philosophy for the new Camry. They wanted a new Camry in which the driver will be highly impressed with the handling capability and composure of the new design. So much so, that drivers will notice the dramatic improvements within the first few seconds of driving. Toyota Safety That Makes Sense Among the many safety features on the 2018 Camry is standard Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P). This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB). Select models will also come with standard Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). All 2018 Camry’s have 10 standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology®. All Camry’s also come equipped with a standard backup camera. Ever Better Entune™ 3.0 Multimedia For Everyone Camry drivers will be the first to enjoy enhanced connectivity and entertainment through the new Toyota Entune™ 3.0 multimedia system. The new 2018 Camry will feature Entune 3.0 on all models, offering an enhanced set of connected vehicle technologies. The Entune 3.0 system will feature navigation and App Suite Connect for everyone. All Camry four-cylinder and hybrid models will come standard with the Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link with Moving Maps. Camry V6 models will offer the new Dynamic Navigation system, providing improved map accuracy. The wireless map updates provide over-the-air map downloads of recently added roads and point-of-interest not contained in the existing head unit map. Entune 3.0 delivers several new technologies including available Remote Connect, which provides remote start and door unlock capability, vehicle status notifications, a guest driver monitor, and vehicle finder. Keeping up with your vehicle’s health status has never been easier. Available Service Connect will provide up-to-date vehicle information on fuel level, maintenance alerts, and more. Entune 3.0 will also offer available WiFi Connect, allowing up to five mobile devices to connect using 4G LTE. The new 2018 Camry will also offer a JBL premium audio system that features new advancements in sound quality. Sound enhancements include Sound Staging, which positions speakers directly in front of the listener to help emulate a live concert venue; Low Frequency Sounds, made possible by an added 10.1-inch subwoofer; Clari-Fi, a technology that “un-compresses” music to help restore an audio track’s dynamic range; and nine speakers that are specifically tuned to the Camry’s cabin dimensions and materials.
  4. 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 View full article
  5. Beginning next month, Toyota will slow down one of its three assembly lines at its Georgetown, Kentucky plant. Aside from building the Avalon and Lexus ES, Georgetown is home to the Camry - the best-selling car in the U.S. for the past 16 years. “The auto industry is cyclical, and our normal process is to proactively plan months in advance for volume adjustments,” said Rick Hesterberg, a Toyota spokesman to Bloomberg. Hesterberg declined to comment on how much production would be reduced by the slowdown. He did say that none of the 8,000 permanent workers or 1,500 temps will be laid off during this slowdown. Demand for the Camry has been slipping for the past few years as buyers are opting for SUVs and trucks. So far in 2018, Camry sales have 6.1 percent when compared to the same time last year. Source: Bloomberg
  6. Toyota has been doing their best to make the Camry and Avalon a bit more exciting to help shed their plain image. Their latest attempt involves Toyota Racing Development (TRD) to work their magic on these two sedans. The end result is the Camry and Avalon TRD which will be showing up at the LA Auto Show in a couple of weeks. The changes begin under the skin as TRD fits new shock absorbers and springs that drops both models by 0.6-inches; thicker underbody braces, and larger brakes. Camry TRD models get thicker sway bars to improve overall handling, The Avalon TRD does without the sway bars as Toyota believes buyers of this model still want a little bit of comfort. Power comes from the 3.5L V6 found in the regular Camry and Avalon with 301 horsepower. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic. TRD fits their catback exhaust system that allows for more of a growl. Both models wear a body kit that includes a front splitter, side skirts, a rear diffuser, and a decklid spoiler. Red accents on various trim pieces and 19-inch wheels finished in black complete the look. Toyota says both TRD models will be available next fall. Gallery: 2020 Toyota Avalon and Camry TRD Source: Toyota Toyota Racing Development Turns Up Heat for Camry and Avalon Toyota’s First-Ever Camry TRD and Avalon TRD Track-Tuned Chassis Upgrades Aggressive Cat-Back Dual Exhaust Exclusive Matte-Black 19-Inch Alloy Wheels Calty-Designed Aero kit Unique TRD Interior Trim Limited Availability PLANO, Texas (Nov. 14, 2018) – Toyota is once again bringing its racing pedigree to the road as it unveils the Camry TRD and Avalon TRD, two sedans with an appetite for curves and a distinct exhaust note bristling with attitude. With aero-enhanced styling by Calty, Toyota’s U.S. design studio, and chassis performance fortified by Toyota Racing Development (TRD), these revved-up Camry and Avalon models are the track-tuned sedans that enthusiasts have been asking for. Many Toyota enthusiasts already know the equity behind the TRD badge seen on the brand’s hardcore, off-road-ready pickups and SUVs. Conquering the Baja, however, is just one of many feats won by TRD vehicles across the motorsports spectrum. Now, TRD brings its track tuning to sedans that blend greater agility, precision and body control with attention-grabbing design and everyday drivability. When Toyota introduced the new-generation 2018 Camry, sales of the sporty SE and XSE versions spiked. A year later, Toyota introduced the all-new 2019 Avalon, which came in an available XSE grade for the first time ever. These sedans are stylish and fun to drive. And Toyota is pushing the limit even further with Camry TRD and Avalon TRD, both with greater track-inspired handling performance and styling. These models include all standard content from the Camry SE grade and Avalon XSE grade, combined with exclusive TRD chassis enhancements and tuning. Camry TRD and Avalon TRD will both be model year 2020 vehicles and available in fall 2019. Roaring to Go The new Camry TRD and Avalon TRD embody TRD’s holistic approach to vehicle enhancement. Notably, both are powered by Toyota’s renowned 301 horsepower DOHC 3.5-liter V6 and 8AT with sport mode and paddle shifters. The V6 breathes easier with a specially-tuned cat-back dual exhaust, giving both models a throatier idle and acceleration sound. “Track-tuned” means exactly that. TRD engineers developed the dynamic characteristics through extensive testing at Toyota Arizona Proving Ground, TMC Higashi-Fuij Proving Ground (Japan), and MotorSport Ranch (Texas). Thicker underbody braces increase torsional rigidity and unique coil springs lower both vehicles by 0.6 inches for a reduced center of gravity. Specially tuned shock absorbers and 19 x 8.5 inch matte black alloy wheels complete a suspension package that improves body control, handling agility, and steering precision. The front brakes are larger with 12.9-inch diameter rotors and dual-piston calipers compared to 12.0-inch rotors and single piston calipers found on XSE grades. Brake performance was also tuned to provide more direct feedback, matching the sporty dynamics of the vehicle. Calty gave both models striking aero elements, taking advantage of the edgier designs of the new-generation Camry and Avalon and aggressive stance of the TRD-modified chassis. The aerodynamic body kit, which includes the front splitter, side aero skirts, trunk lid spoiler, and rear diffuser, blends a bold styling element and improves high speed vehicle stability to aid in driver confidence. Add that with the red pinstriping, red painted brake calipers, and red TRD badging and both sedans have a road-hungry look. These TRD sedans will continue to deliver all the quality, dependability, and reliability that is synonymous with Toyota. Both models will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense-P, a suite of advanced driver-assist technologies, among these Pre-Collision Braking. Camry TRD Toyota’s commitment to enthusiast drivers is apparent in the level of detail that TRD and Calty poured into these models. On Camry TRD, the matte-black 19 x 8.5-inch alloy wheels are a half-inch wider, yet 3.1 pounds lighter (each) than the 19 x 8.0-inch alloy wheels on the XSE grade. Paired with standard Bridgestone Potenza 235/40R19 summer tires, this combination reduces unsprung mass, increases lateral grip, and quickens turn-in response. Camry’s chassis is further enhanced with stiffer coil springs and front/rear sway bars for increased roll stiffness of 44% in the front and 67% in the rear. To compliment spring changes, a unique set of TRD shock absorbers were developed to control vehicle vertical and roll movement while maintaining on-road TRD ride quality. In addition to the TRD aero body features, Camry TRD wears a unique gloss black front grille with sport mesh insert and black exterior badging. Available colors include the appropriately dramatic Supersonic Red, Windchill Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic -- all three of which are two-toned -- and Midnight Black Metallic. Polished stainless steel TRD exhaust tips on the catback exhaust complete the exterior makeover. Inside, the Camry TRD driver will be seeing red – in the trim, that is. The cabin is decked out with Black Sport SofTex®-trimmed front seats with fabric inserts, red accents and red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests. The leather-wrapped steering wheel also has red stitching, and even the seatbelts are red. A shift knob with an embossed TRD logo, along with unique TRD floor and trunk mats, and a TRD MID visual start up complete the cabin upgrades. Avalon TRD TRD’s modifications work the same magic on the Avalon as they do on the Camry. Avalon TRD gets Black Sport SofTex-trimmed heated front seats with Ultra-suede inserts and red accents. It also gets red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching, red seatbelts, a shift knob with an embossed TRD logo, and unique TRD floor and trunk mats. The matte-black 19 x 8.5-inch alloy wheels reduce 18 pounds of unsprung mass compared to the 19-inch wheels on the 2019 Avalon XSE. As on Camry TRD, the unbridled tone of the 301-hp V6 bellows through stainless steel TRD exhaust tips. The red pinstriping on the aero body elements, and the red seatbelts and accents complete Avalon TRD’s styling. Avalon TRD will be available in Supersonic Red, Windchill Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic and Midnight Black Metallic.
  7. 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.
  8. The Toyota Camry isn't what you would call exciting. Bland and boring, yes. But the Japanese automaker hopes to change that perception with the introduction of the 2018 Camry. Toyota allowed their designers to go somewhat crazy with the Camry and it shows. There is a bit of Prius and C-HR in the design of the new Camry with a more aggressive nose, lower hood and beltline; and a very short rear deck. Moving inside, Toyota has revamped the design of the dashboard to make it more flowing. Seats have been resculpted to provide better comfort. The Camry is the latest model to use Toyota's TNGA platform which the company describes as “a structural reform movement for the entire company that will result in cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive.” You may laugh, but as I can attest, this platform is the real deal when I drove the Prius - the first model to use TNGA. Toyota has also lowered the center of gravity and added a multilink rear suspension. For engines, the Camry boasts a new 2.5L four-cylinder and 3.5L V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection. Oddly no power figures were given for either engine. Both will come paired with an eight-speed automatic. A hybrid variant with the new 2.5L four will also be available. The 2018 Camry arrives at your local Toyota dealer this summer. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Ante Raised: All-New 2018 Toyota Camry Gains Emotionally-Charged Design and Performance Experience Best-selling car in America... assembled in America, by Americans, for Americans Aggressive exterior character lines and low center of gravity Spacious interior with advanced driver focus New gas and hybrid powertrains generate more horsepower and greater estimated MPG Standard Toyota Safety Sense-P DETROIT, January 9, 2017 - It almost isn’t fair. Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America for the past 15 years, is about to ruffle some feathers. The eighth-generation sedan has gone through a total evolution, from a proven, dependable and safe car to one that also possesses a more exciting and emotional character, thanks to its newfound sporty performance and style. The new Camry utilizes TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) which represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and packages its vehicles. TNGA retains all of Toyota’s traditional values of superlative build quality and safety while injecting a fun driving experience that plays on all the senses. The physical manifestation is the usage of a new engine, transmission and GA-K platform. “The all-new 2018 Camry is, without a doubt, the most captivating mid-size sedan we’ve ever produced,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. “It delivers on everything Camry owners have come to expect from America’s best-selling car, and adds to it, jaw-dropping design, more advanced technology, cutting-edge safety systems, and stirring performance that raises it to an unparalleled level of excitement.” “In order to create something that stirs people’s soul, we’ve laid out the concept of a new sedan that provides fun and excitement behind the wheel,” said Masato Katsumata, the Chief Engineer of the new Camry. “In developing the next-generation Toyota Camry, we were able to start with a clean slate, which allowed us to create a true driver’s car.” Design Backstory The Camry development team aimed for a styling design concept that achieves strong harmony between refinement and a sensual athletic image, creating a new approach to the market. The result is a new signature design language that takes the car into a beautiful and futuristic new direction. There were three primary design goals when penning the all-new Camry: a distinctive, low center of gravity that results in a firm wide stance; a practical-yet-emotionally styled cabin profile, and a sporty and upscale image both inside and out. These design goals have resulted in a new type of sedan that’s both exciting to look at and, more importantly drive, reestablishing itself as the new standard in the midsize-sedan category. An Exterior with Unexpected Attitude The new Camry’s face is accentuated by a two-piece grille comprised of flowing thin and thick treatments – key elements of the Camry’s “Keen Look” design philosophy. The curvaceous 1.6-inch-lower hood sits neatly above the grille’s uppermost section which accommodates a commanding Toyota emblem. For the hybrid model, the emblem is tinged a distinct blue hue. This fashionable trifecta of grille, hood, and emblem blends flawlessly into the A-pillar, and produces a stance that is undoubtedly more aggressive than that of any predecessor. The 2018 Camry has a sleeker profile than the current model. By lowering the hip points of the occupants (nearly 1.0-inch in the front and 1.2-inches at the rear), and therefore their seating positions, the design team was able to reduce the car’s overall vehicle height by approximately one inch from the current model and incorporate a lower roofline, without sacrificing interior space. This invited the designers to pursue a wind-cutting shape and improve aerodynamics. Striking character lines around and along the body augment the aggressive front and rear fenders, giving the reimagined Camry a sportiness that’s never before been perceived on this model. The lower hip point, shoulder line, roof line and hood height gives the new Camry the appearance that it has a low center of gravity, which it does. The design team knew the TNGA platform provided them with a great opportunity to pen a very expressive sedan, and they took advantage of this by getting the lines close to the ground and forming an energetic silhouette. They incorporated a strong stance that can be seen as you walk around the car. Like the front of the vehicle, the rear features an athletic motif that melds flowing lines and complex shapes to form a sculpted landscape. Looking closely at the C-pillar’s detail reveals a multitude of surfaces that reflect light from all angles. A distinct crease extends from the slim multicolor taillights down to the bumper, effectively “pushing” the wheels outward in appearance to create a wide posture akin to that of a premium sports sedan. The exclamation point here is provided by a newly designed Camry logo that gives the car an upscale identity. Camry will again be available in four grades: LE, XLE, SE and XSE. The new Camry’s “Sport” SE and XSE grades wear a noticeably different body style than the entry level LE and premium XLE grades, highlighted by a sculpted rocker panel, new 19-inch black machined-finish alloy wheels (XSE only) a subtle rear spoiler lip, aggressive front bumper, and rear bumper with an integrated lower diffuser. The face is much more distinctive with large side intakes flanking the lower bumper’s unique “Catamaran” accents, a high and slim upper intake encompassing the central Toyota badge, and a powerfully expressive mesh grille. A revised rear bumper with distinctive corner lines and smoke-tinted rear combination lamps highlight the changes at the rear. The Camry design team sought to make the new Camry sport models instantly recognizable and appear different from the other models from as far as 200 yards away. Striking and Comfortable Cabin The completely redesigned interior is a fusion of functionality, futuristic styling, and a high degree of personal space and craftsmanship. While the driver is situated in a sporty cockpit-type environment having gauges angled toward his or her direction, the front passenger is treated to a sense of openness and freedom that results from the innovative dashboard design. A key visual element of this driver-focused design concept is a sweeping yet elegant new character line that flows down from the instrument cluster and bisects the center console waterfall. The design of the entire front console strikes a smooth connection between the ease of use of all controls/systems and a handsome and modern sculptural look that is pleasing to the eye. All surfaces throughout the cabin—dashboard, instrument panel, center console, door trim, etc.—employ the highest grade of soft touch and premium materials. Using an approach typically used in home furnishings, the design utilizes a mix of tones and hues throughout a space rather than a strict color profile. The result is a cabin space having diverse colors and materials, and that enhances passenger comfort and visual satisfaction. The front seats have been completely reengineered with improved ergonomics, providing maximum comfort with a newfound level of ease and engagement to match the new Camry’s elevated performance and athleticism. Rear-seat accommodations are more refined than ever with improved roominess and ergonomics. Exquisite stitching on the front- and rear-seat surfaces is but one example of the high level of craftsmanship found throughout the vehicle. High Interaction, Minimal Distraction The new Camry features Toyota’s latest Human Machine Interface (HMI) whose next-generation display technology offers a unique level of integrated information with minimal distraction. It relays information through three interlinked displays: available interlinked displays: a 10-inch color Head-Up Display (HUD); a seven-inch multi-information display within the instrument cluster, and an eight-inch audio/navigation display and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) control panel that’s seamlessly integrated into the center console in a modern, flush-surface design. Convenient and highly intuitive operation is assured through customizable features and smart phone-like touch screen icons that create a seamless connection and user workflow between the HMI system and other digital media. Full Utilization of Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) The 2018 Toyota Camry fully incorporates the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). At its foundation, TNGA is a structural reform movement for the entire company that will result in cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive. By extending the wheelbase by two inches, as well as bringing down the roof and hood height (by approximately 1.0 and 1.6-inches, respectively), the development team lowered the center of gravity and created a wider and more composed vehicle. The new platform also allows for an ideal seating position for the driver, now lower and near the center of the car for enhanced feedback, along with adjusting the overall seating position for all the vehicle’s occupants. A lower heel point provides more foot room and ease of movement. The range of steering column adjustment has been increased from the current vehicle, while the hood, cowl, and dashboard height have all been lowered for enhanced outward visibility. The driver and front passenger will experience an unprecedented sense of outward visibility, thanks to a more compact design for the instrument panel and a lowered beltline. The reimagined position of the A-pillar and side mirror sections results in enhanced lateral visibility and creates a noticeable sense of openness when the driver sits behind the wheel. All Gain With No MPG Pain Three new powertrains will be available on the new 2018 Camry: They include a new 3.5-liter V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection and an all-new 2.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine, which comes paired to a new 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission (8AT), and a next-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS II). To match the chassis’ increased handling and performance capability, Toyota engineers have developed the TNGA-inspired all-new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine to make the most of the platform’s enhanced designs, packaging and rigidity. This new generation engine focuses on higher torque, higher power and lower fuel consumption in total use range. This is accomplished by achieving rapid combustion due to higher tumble air flow. With its long-stroke and high compression ratio, multi-hole direct fuel injectors, variable cooling system and the latest version of Toyota’s Variable Valve-Timing-intelligent Electric (VVT-iE), this high-output powerplant takes the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine to a new level with world-leading thermal efficiency of 40 percent. Along with enhanced performance characteristics, the new engine is also expected to be extremely fuel efficient, and is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy. It comes mated to the newly developed Direct Shift-8AT transmission that provides direct-lock up from gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter, executing shifts like a high-performance automated manual gearbox. The new hybrid system has also been engineered to provide the ideal balance of energy efficiency with superior power output to maximize driving performance and enjoyment. The next-generation Toyota Hybrid System has been engineered to work in concert with the new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine setup offering significantly more driving excitement than before. The hybrid’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) features a new Sport Mode setting that allows the driver to execute smooth yet quick “gear” shifts of the simulated 6-speed sequential shift transmission. The SE grade adds paddle shifters for increased fun and a more sporting driving experience. The Sport Mode setting also improves acceleration and feel thanks to an electric power boost from the hybrid system. Furthermore, to help enhance the vehicle’s handling capability, the hybrid system’s battery pack has moved from the trunk to beneath the rear seat for a noticeably enriched handling feel, thanks to the vehicle’s much improved lower center of gravity—yet another benefit of the TNGA platform. In addition to its enhanced handling and driving performance, the hybrid version of the new Camry is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy ratings, with Prius-like city/highway driving efficiency. A New Experience Focused on Vastly Superior Driving Dynamics At the foundation of the Camry’s sporty handling and enhanced ride quality is its high-strength body/platform structure. Through the increased use of ultra-high-tensile steel and the application of a new molding technology it delivers enhanced structural rigidity. Further aiding performance is an innovative new double wishbone rear suspension system that imbues the chassis with responsive handling and precise steering control while simultaneously delivering ride quality on par with premium luxury vehicles. A new four-point engine mounting system adds to the vehicle’s civil road manners as it greatly reduces unwanted noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) from permeating into the passenger compartment. The biggest challenge for the Camry engineering team was to figure out how to convey the driving dynamics of a soul-stirring sedan. Driving dynamics were always at the forefront of the engineering philosophy for the new Camry. They wanted a new Camry in which the driver will be highly impressed with the handling capability and composure of the new design. So much so, that drivers will notice the dramatic improvements within the first few seconds of driving. Toyota Safety That Makes Sense Among the many safety features on the 2018 Camry is standard Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P). This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB). Select models will also come with standard Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). All 2018 Camry’s have 10 standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology®. All Camry’s also come equipped with a standard backup camera. Ever Better Entune™ 3.0 Multimedia For Everyone Camry drivers will be the first to enjoy enhanced connectivity and entertainment through the new Toyota Entune™ 3.0 multimedia system. The new 2018 Camry will feature Entune 3.0 on all models, offering an enhanced set of connected vehicle technologies. The Entune 3.0 system will feature navigation and App Suite Connect for everyone. All Camry four-cylinder and hybrid models will come standard with the Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link with Moving Maps. Camry V6 models will offer the new Dynamic Navigation system, providing improved map accuracy. The wireless map updates provide over-the-air map downloads of recently added roads and point-of-interest not contained in the existing head unit map. Entune 3.0 delivers several new technologies including available Remote Connect, which provides remote start and door unlock capability, vehicle status notifications, a guest driver monitor, and vehicle finder. Keeping up with your vehicle’s health status has never been easier. Available Service Connect will provide up-to-date vehicle information on fuel level, maintenance alerts, and more. Entune 3.0 will also offer available WiFi Connect, allowing up to five mobile devices to connect using 4G LTE. The new 2018 Camry will also offer a JBL premium audio system that features new advancements in sound quality. Sound enhancements include Sound Staging, which positions speakers directly in front of the listener to help emulate a live concert venue; Low Frequency Sounds, made possible by an added 10.1-inch subwoofer; Clari-Fi, a technology that “un-compresses” music to help restore an audio track’s dynamic range; and nine speakers that are specifically tuned to the Camry’s cabin dimensions and materials. View full article
  9. 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. View full article
  10. The landscape of midsize sedans was much different ten to fifteen years ago. All of them offered the choice of a four-cylinder and V6 engine. Today, it is a completely different story as most automakers that still offer a midsize sedan have dropped their V6 engines in favor of turbo-fours. But Toyota is bucking the trend by sticking with the V6 in the Camry. It seemed like a good time to ask whether or not there is a place for a V6 in the midsize class. The V6 in question is a 3.5L used in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In the Camry, output is rated at 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels. This V6 is one of my favorites due to its combination of excellent acceleration off the line and smoothness that turbo-fours can only dream of. One gotcha you need to keep in mind that torque steer will pop up if you decide to mash on the accelerator. The eight-speed automatic is very smooth and quick to upshift but hesitates to downshift when you need more speed. This is likely due to programming in the transmission to improve fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the Camry XLE V6 are 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the week landed around 24 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The XSE and TRD V6s see a slight dip in fuel economy due to their performance ambitions. While the XLE can’t fully match the athleticism of the XSE I drove last year, it still can hold its own in the bends. The XLE has the added benefit of providing a smoother ride, as most bumps and road imperfections become mere ripples. Disappointingly, there is a fair amount of road and wind noise comes inside when driving on the freeway. A key difference between the XLE and the XSE I drove last year is the front end treatment. There is a larger lower grille and a different top grille design. I find this design to be a bit much and may scare a lot of people away. On the other hand, the new front does give Camry some needed presence on the road - something that couldn’t be said for previous-generation models. The XLE is surprisingly luxurious with quilted luxury upholstery for the seats and stitching on the dash. Although, a Mazda6 Signature is slightly more premium in terms of offering more luxurious trim pieces, whereas the Camry XLE uses a lot of piano black trim. Comfort is one area that the Camry XLE excels in. The seats are quite cushy and offer plenty of support, no matter the distance of any trip. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom. The Entune system may not have the sharp and modern graphics as some competitors, but it does have a simple interface and the ability to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The XLE starts at $29,455 for the base four-cylinder, while the V6 will set you back $34,580. With a few options, my test XLE V6 carried an as-tested price of $37,824. That’s slightly more expensive than a Mazda6 Signature which offers a slightly more premium interior and better driving dynamics. But the Camry can counter with the smooth performance of the V6, comfortable ride, and its long-standing reputation for reliability. I came away really impressed with the Camry XLE, but also wondering how much longer Toyota will hold out. Despite all of the positives, the V6 is a very expensive proposition and most buyers will likely be happy with the four-cylinder. If I was to buy one, I would likely go for an XLE minus the options. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2020 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: XLE V6 Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S Dual-Injection w/Dual VVT-i V6 Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600 Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26 Curb Weight: 3,549 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $34,050 As Tested Price: $37,824 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge) Options: Driver Assist Package - $1,550.00 Navigation Package - $1,040.00 Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $264.00 View full article
  11. Beginning next month, Toyota will slow down one of its three assembly lines at its Georgetown, Kentucky plant. Aside from building the Avalon and Lexus ES, Georgetown is home to the Camry - the best-selling car in the U.S. for the past 16 years. “The auto industry is cyclical, and our normal process is to proactively plan months in advance for volume adjustments,” said Rick Hesterberg, a Toyota spokesman to Bloomberg. Hesterberg declined to comment on how much production would be reduced by the slowdown. He did say that none of the 8,000 permanent workers or 1,500 temps will be laid off during this slowdown. Demand for the Camry has been slipping for the past few years as buyers are opting for SUVs and trucks. So far in 2018, Camry sales have 6.1 percent when compared to the same time last year. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  12. Toyota has been doing their best to make the Camry and Avalon a bit more exciting to help shed their plain image. Their latest attempt involves Toyota Racing Development (TRD) to work their magic on these two sedans. The end result is the Camry and Avalon TRD which will be showing up at the LA Auto Show in a couple of weeks. The changes begin under the skin as TRD fits new shock absorbers and springs that drops both models by 0.6-inches; thicker underbody braces, and larger brakes. Camry TRD models get thicker sway bars to improve overall handling, The Avalon TRD does without the sway bars as Toyota believes buyers of this model still want a little bit of comfort. Power comes from the 3.5L V6 found in the regular Camry and Avalon with 301 horsepower. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic. TRD fits their catback exhaust system that allows for more of a growl. Both models wear a body kit that includes a front splitter, side skirts, a rear diffuser, and a decklid spoiler. Red accents on various trim pieces and 19-inch wheels finished in black complete the look. Toyota says both TRD models will be available next fall. Gallery: 2020 Toyota Avalon and Camry TRD Source: Toyota Toyota Racing Development Turns Up Heat for Camry and Avalon Toyota’s First-Ever Camry TRD and Avalon TRD Track-Tuned Chassis Upgrades Aggressive Cat-Back Dual Exhaust Exclusive Matte-Black 19-Inch Alloy Wheels Calty-Designed Aero kit Unique TRD Interior Trim Limited Availability PLANO, Texas (Nov. 14, 2018) – Toyota is once again bringing its racing pedigree to the road as it unveils the Camry TRD and Avalon TRD, two sedans with an appetite for curves and a distinct exhaust note bristling with attitude. With aero-enhanced styling by Calty, Toyota’s U.S. design studio, and chassis performance fortified by Toyota Racing Development (TRD), these revved-up Camry and Avalon models are the track-tuned sedans that enthusiasts have been asking for. Many Toyota enthusiasts already know the equity behind the TRD badge seen on the brand’s hardcore, off-road-ready pickups and SUVs. Conquering the Baja, however, is just one of many feats won by TRD vehicles across the motorsports spectrum. Now, TRD brings its track tuning to sedans that blend greater agility, precision and body control with attention-grabbing design and everyday drivability. When Toyota introduced the new-generation 2018 Camry, sales of the sporty SE and XSE versions spiked. A year later, Toyota introduced the all-new 2019 Avalon, which came in an available XSE grade for the first time ever. These sedans are stylish and fun to drive. And Toyota is pushing the limit even further with Camry TRD and Avalon TRD, both with greater track-inspired handling performance and styling. These models include all standard content from the Camry SE grade and Avalon XSE grade, combined with exclusive TRD chassis enhancements and tuning. Camry TRD and Avalon TRD will both be model year 2020 vehicles and available in fall 2019. Roaring to Go The new Camry TRD and Avalon TRD embody TRD’s holistic approach to vehicle enhancement. Notably, both are powered by Toyota’s renowned 301 horsepower DOHC 3.5-liter V6 and 8AT with sport mode and paddle shifters. The V6 breathes easier with a specially-tuned cat-back dual exhaust, giving both models a throatier idle and acceleration sound. “Track-tuned” means exactly that. TRD engineers developed the dynamic characteristics through extensive testing at Toyota Arizona Proving Ground, TMC Higashi-Fuij Proving Ground (Japan), and MotorSport Ranch (Texas). Thicker underbody braces increase torsional rigidity and unique coil springs lower both vehicles by 0.6 inches for a reduced center of gravity. Specially tuned shock absorbers and 19 x 8.5 inch matte black alloy wheels complete a suspension package that improves body control, handling agility, and steering precision. The front brakes are larger with 12.9-inch diameter rotors and dual-piston calipers compared to 12.0-inch rotors and single piston calipers found on XSE grades. Brake performance was also tuned to provide more direct feedback, matching the sporty dynamics of the vehicle. Calty gave both models striking aero elements, taking advantage of the edgier designs of the new-generation Camry and Avalon and aggressive stance of the TRD-modified chassis. The aerodynamic body kit, which includes the front splitter, side aero skirts, trunk lid spoiler, and rear diffuser, blends a bold styling element and improves high speed vehicle stability to aid in driver confidence. Add that with the red pinstriping, red painted brake calipers, and red TRD badging and both sedans have a road-hungry look. These TRD sedans will continue to deliver all the quality, dependability, and reliability that is synonymous with Toyota. Both models will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense-P, a suite of advanced driver-assist technologies, among these Pre-Collision Braking. Camry TRD Toyota’s commitment to enthusiast drivers is apparent in the level of detail that TRD and Calty poured into these models. On Camry TRD, the matte-black 19 x 8.5-inch alloy wheels are a half-inch wider, yet 3.1 pounds lighter (each) than the 19 x 8.0-inch alloy wheels on the XSE grade. Paired with standard Bridgestone Potenza 235/40R19 summer tires, this combination reduces unsprung mass, increases lateral grip, and quickens turn-in response. Camry’s chassis is further enhanced with stiffer coil springs and front/rear sway bars for increased roll stiffness of 44% in the front and 67% in the rear. To compliment spring changes, a unique set of TRD shock absorbers were developed to control vehicle vertical and roll movement while maintaining on-road TRD ride quality. In addition to the TRD aero body features, Camry TRD wears a unique gloss black front grille with sport mesh insert and black exterior badging. Available colors include the appropriately dramatic Supersonic Red, Windchill Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic -- all three of which are two-toned -- and Midnight Black Metallic. Polished stainless steel TRD exhaust tips on the catback exhaust complete the exterior makeover. Inside, the Camry TRD driver will be seeing red – in the trim, that is. The cabin is decked out with Black Sport SofTex®-trimmed front seats with fabric inserts, red accents and red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests. The leather-wrapped steering wheel also has red stitching, and even the seatbelts are red. A shift knob with an embossed TRD logo, along with unique TRD floor and trunk mats, and a TRD MID visual start up complete the cabin upgrades. Avalon TRD TRD’s modifications work the same magic on the Avalon as they do on the Camry. Avalon TRD gets Black Sport SofTex-trimmed heated front seats with Ultra-suede inserts and red accents. It also gets red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching, red seatbelts, a shift knob with an embossed TRD logo, and unique TRD floor and trunk mats. The matte-black 19 x 8.5-inch alloy wheels reduce 18 pounds of unsprung mass compared to the 19-inch wheels on the 2019 Avalon XSE. As on Camry TRD, the unbridled tone of the 301-hp V6 bellows through stainless steel TRD exhaust tips. The red pinstriping on the aero body elements, and the red seatbelts and accents complete Avalon TRD’s styling. Avalon TRD will be available in Supersonic Red, Windchill Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic and Midnight Black Metallic. View full article
  13. Many automotive journalists have been flummoxed by the popularity of the Toyota Camry. The model trails the pack in a number of key areas such as design, handling, and performance. But I know the reason why the Camry is beloved by many; it is a no hassle midsize sedan that will go the distance. But there is a change that endangers many midsize sedans. Buyers who previously brought sedans are now trending towards crossovers and SUVs as they offer a number of traits such as a higher ride height and a large area for people and stuff. Automakers find themselves in a difficult spot as to whether they should drop their sedans to focus on utility vehicles, or put more effort into making them more appealing. Toyota has chosen the latter option with the 2018 Camry. Let’s see if they made the right call. Previous Camrys have tended to play it safe with their exterior designs. The new model drops the safe attitude and goes for something very extroverted. For the XSE, this includes a different front end with a smaller lower grille and large cutouts in the bumper. The side profile shows off a pronounced character line and a set of 19-inch machined-finish alloy wheels. Move the back to find a faux diffuser and a set of quad tailpipes. I actually prefer the look of the XSE to the other Camry models as it loses out on the gaping maw that is the lower grille. Compared to the jumbled-together look of the previous Camry’s interior, the new model features a flowing and modern design. The unique shape of the center stack and contrasting trim pieces for the passenger really help the model stand out. Controls are laid out in a very logical fashion and have easy-to-read text. Material quality is very impressive with exposed stitching, metal trim, and a lot of soft-touch plastic. The XSE features leather seats with eight-way power adjustments for driver and passenger. I found the seats to be on the firm side and provide decent support on short trips. But on longer trips, my lower back started to ache. I couldn’t tell if I design of the seat just didn’t work with my back or if I had too much lumbar. On paper, the Camry has the smallest amount of rear legroom. But in reality, I found that I had more than enough to feel comfortable. Taller passengers will need to duck as headroom is quite tight due to the optional sunroof. Toyota has installed the latest version of their Entune infotainment system in the 2018 Camry. The new version comes with an updated look that retains the ease of use that we have liked on the older systems. Performance is about average for the class as it takes only a few milliseconds to get to the various functions. I do like the array of physical buttons that provide an easy way to move around the system. There is still no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. But considering the 2019 Avalon does have Apple CarPlay, we hope the Camry will get it as well. XSE models get a heads-up display as standard. However, I found the display to be more of a hindrance as the image was blurry. I think this is a problem with Toyota as I experienced the same issue in the LC 500 coupe I drove late last year. For its polarizing character, you might be expecting the Camry XSE to have either a turbo-four or V6 under the hood. While a 3.5L V6 is available, this XSE featured the standard 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing 206 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. It was a bit disappointing to find this engine under the hood considering the vehicle’s character. Around town, the Camry doesn’t feel as fast as the Hyundai Sonata due to most of the power being available only at higher rpms. On the highway or needing to make a pass, the four-cylinder comes alive with enough shove to get you moving at a decent clip. Disappointingly, Toyota forgot to quiet down the engine during acceleration as there is a fair amount of buzz coming inside the cabin. But the engine quiets down to a murmur when cruising. The new eight-speed transmission pairs well with the engine, delivering unobtrusive and quick shifts. Fuel economy figures for the 2.5 are 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined. My average for the week landed around 32.6 mpg in mixed driving. The Camry is the latest Toyota model to move on to the TGNA modular platform and it makes the model somewhat fun to pilot. On a curvy stretch of road, the XSE feels well-mannered as there isn’t excessive body motion and the steering proving a direct and well-weighted feel. Despite its sporting nature, the XSE’s ride is well-controlled with only a few bumps making their way inside. One disappointment is the large amount road and wind noise that comes inside when driving on the freeway. The Camry XSE sits as the flagship trim with a starting price of $29,150 for the four-cylinder and $35,100 for the V6. With a number of options, the as-tested price of this XSE comes to $35,333. That is quite the poor value considering for a few hundred dollars more, you can get into a loaded an Accord Touring complete with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 252 horsepower. For a couple thousand dollars less, the Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T and Kia Optima SX offer similar driving dynamics and more luxury touches. Toyota knew it had to take a big gamble with the new Camry considering the growing demand for crossovers. In certain respects, Toyota has done it. The Camry is not a wallflower in terms of its looks and handling. Additionally, the interior blends a distinctive design with ease of use. But there are some problems that put the Camry in a tough spot. The four-cylinder engine needs a bit more low-end punch for around-town driving. Some more sound deadening would go a long way in making the Camry a good long-distance cruiser. The biggest issue is the value argument as other sedans offer much more equipment for similar or less money than the Camry. Toyota is likely banking on the name equity of model to justify the higher price. This would be ok if we weren’t in a time where more and more buyers are moving to crossovers and utility vehicles. The 2018 Toyota Camry is a much better car from the one it replaces, but the high price tag may be its downfall. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: XSE Engine: 2.5L Twin-Cam, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 206 @ 6,600 Torque @ RPM: 186 @ 5,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/39/32 Curb Weight: 3,395 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $29,000 As Tested Price: $35,355 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: Audio Package - $1,800.00 Driver Assist Package - $1,675.00 Panoramic Sunroof - $1,045.00 Special Color - $395.00 Illuminated Door Sill Enhancements - $299.00 Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $224.00 View full article
  14. Many automotive journalists have been flummoxed by the popularity of the Toyota Camry. The model trails the pack in a number of key areas such as design, handling, and performance. But I know the reason why the Camry is beloved by many; it is a no hassle midsize sedan that will go the distance. But there is a change that endangers many midsize sedans. Buyers who previously brought sedans are now trending towards crossovers and SUVs as they offer a number of traits such as a higher ride height and a large area for people and stuff. Automakers find themselves in a difficult spot as to whether they should drop their sedans to focus on utility vehicles, or put more effort into making them more appealing. Toyota has chosen the latter option with the 2018 Camry. Let’s see if they made the right call. Previous Camrys have tended to play it safe with their exterior designs. The new model drops the safe attitude and goes for something very extroverted. For the XSE, this includes a different front end with a smaller lower grille and large cutouts in the bumper. The side profile shows off a pronounced character line and a set of 19-inch machined-finish alloy wheels. Move the back to find a faux diffuser and a set of quad tailpipes. I actually prefer the look of the XSE to the other Camry models as it loses out on the gaping maw that is the lower grille. Compared to the jumbled-together look of the previous Camry’s interior, the new model features a flowing and modern design. The unique shape of the center stack and contrasting trim pieces for the passenger really help the model stand out. Controls are laid out in a very logical fashion and have easy-to-read text. Material quality is very impressive with exposed stitching, metal trim, and a lot of soft-touch plastic. The XSE features leather seats with eight-way power adjustments for driver and passenger. I found the seats to be on the firm side and provide decent support on short trips. But on longer trips, my lower back started to ache. I couldn’t tell if I design of the seat just didn’t work with my back or if I had too much lumbar. On paper, the Camry has the smallest amount of rear legroom. But in reality, I found that I had more than enough to feel comfortable. Taller passengers will need to duck as headroom is quite tight due to the optional sunroof. Toyota has installed the latest version of their Entune infotainment system in the 2018 Camry. The new version comes with an updated look that retains the ease of use that we have liked on the older systems. Performance is about average for the class as it takes only a few milliseconds to get to the various functions. I do like the array of physical buttons that provide an easy way to move around the system. There is still no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. But considering the 2019 Avalon does have Apple CarPlay, we hope the Camry will get it as well. XSE models get a heads-up display as standard. However, I found the display to be more of a hindrance as the image was blurry. I think this is a problem with Toyota as I experienced the same issue in the LC 500 coupe I drove late last year. For its polarizing character, you might be expecting the Camry XSE to have either a turbo-four or V6 under the hood. While a 3.5L V6 is available, this XSE featured the standard 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing 206 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. It was a bit disappointing to find this engine under the hood considering the vehicle’s character. Around town, the Camry doesn’t feel as fast as the Hyundai Sonata due to most of the power being available only at higher rpms. On the highway or needing to make a pass, the four-cylinder comes alive with enough shove to get you moving at a decent clip. Disappointingly, Toyota forgot to quiet down the engine during acceleration as there is a fair amount of buzz coming inside the cabin. But the engine quiets down to a murmur when cruising. The new eight-speed transmission pairs well with the engine, delivering unobtrusive and quick shifts. Fuel economy figures for the 2.5 are 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined. My average for the week landed around 32.6 mpg in mixed driving. The Camry is the latest Toyota model to move on to the TGNA modular platform and it makes the model somewhat fun to pilot. On a curvy stretch of road, the XSE feels well-mannered as there isn’t excessive body motion and the steering proving a direct and well-weighted feel. Despite its sporting nature, the XSE’s ride is well-controlled with only a few bumps making their way inside. One disappointment is the large amount road and wind noise that comes inside when driving on the freeway. The Camry XSE sits as the flagship trim with a starting price of $29,150 for the four-cylinder and $35,100 for the V6. With a number of options, the as-tested price of this XSE comes to $35,333. That is quite the poor value considering for a few hundred dollars more, you can get into a loaded an Accord Touring complete with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 252 horsepower. For a couple thousand dollars less, the Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T and Kia Optima SX offer similar driving dynamics and more luxury touches. Toyota knew it had to take a big gamble with the new Camry considering the growing demand for crossovers. In certain respects, Toyota has done it. The Camry is not a wallflower in terms of its looks and handling. Additionally, the interior blends a distinctive design with ease of use. But there are some problems that put the Camry in a tough spot. The four-cylinder engine needs a bit more low-end punch for around-town driving. Some more sound deadening would go a long way in making the Camry a good long-distance cruiser. The biggest issue is the value argument as other sedans offer much more equipment for similar or less money than the Camry. Toyota is likely banking on the name equity of model to justify the higher price. This would be ok if we weren’t in a time where more and more buyers are moving to crossovers and utility vehicles. The 2018 Toyota Camry is a much better car from the one it replaces, but the high price tag may be its downfall. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: XSE Engine: 2.5L Twin-Cam, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 206 @ 6,600 Torque @ RPM: 186 @ 5,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/39/32 Curb Weight: 3,395 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $29,000 As Tested Price: $35,355 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: Audio Package - $1,800.00 Driver Assist Package - $1,675.00 Panoramic Sunroof - $1,045.00 Special Color - $395.00 Illuminated Door Sill Enhancements - $299.00 Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $224.00
  15. 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
  16. The landscape of midsize sedans was much different ten to fifteen years ago. All of them offered the choice of a four-cylinder and V6 engine. Today, it is a completely different story as most automakers that still offer a midsize sedan have dropped their V6 engines in favor of turbo-fours. But Toyota is bucking the trend by sticking with the V6 in the Camry. It seemed like a good time to ask whether or not there is a place for a V6 in the midsize class. The V6 in question is a 3.5L used in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In the Camry, output is rated at 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels. This V6 is one of my favorites due to its combination of excellent acceleration off the line and smoothness that turbo-fours can only dream of. One gotcha you need to keep in mind that torque steer will pop up if you decide to mash on the accelerator. The eight-speed automatic is very smooth and quick to upshift but hesitates to downshift when you need more speed. This is likely due to programming in the transmission to improve fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the Camry XLE V6 are 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the week landed around 24 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The XSE and TRD V6s see a slight dip in fuel economy due to their performance ambitions. While the XLE can’t fully match the athleticism of the XSE I drove last year, it still can hold its own in the bends. The XLE has the added benefit of providing a smoother ride, as most bumps and road imperfections become mere ripples. Disappointingly, there is a fair amount of road and wind noise comes inside when driving on the freeway. A key difference between the XLE and the XSE I drove last year is the front end treatment. There is a larger lower grille and a different top grille design. I find this design to be a bit much and may scare a lot of people away. On the other hand, the new front does give Camry some needed presence on the road - something that couldn’t be said for previous-generation models. The XLE is surprisingly luxurious with quilted luxury upholstery for the seats and stitching on the dash. Although, a Mazda6 Signature is slightly more premium in terms of offering more luxurious trim pieces, whereas the Camry XLE uses a lot of piano black trim. Comfort is one area that the Camry XLE excels in. The seats are quite cushy and offer plenty of support, no matter the distance of any trip. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom. The Entune system may not have the sharp and modern graphics as some competitors, but it does have a simple interface and the ability to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The XLE starts at $29,455 for the base four-cylinder, while the V6 will set you back $34,580. With a few options, my test XLE V6 carried an as-tested price of $37,824. That’s slightly more expensive than a Mazda6 Signature which offers a slightly more premium interior and better driving dynamics. But the Camry can counter with the smooth performance of the V6, comfortable ride, and its long-standing reputation for reliability. I came away really impressed with the Camry XLE, but also wondering how much longer Toyota will hold out. Despite all of the positives, the V6 is a very expensive proposition and most buyers will likely be happy with the four-cylinder. If I was to buy one, I would likely go for an XLE minus the options. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2020 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: XLE V6 Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S Dual-Injection w/Dual VVT-i V6 Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600 Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26 Curb Weight: 3,549 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $34,050 As Tested Price: $37,824 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge) Options: Driver Assist Package - $1,550.00 Navigation Package - $1,040.00 Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $264.00

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