Toyota Is Adding AWD To Camry, Avalon Sedans

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - November 13, 2019

A lot of crossovers and SUVs offer one main thing that sedans don’t: all-wheel drive. It may seem like a small thing, but more and more consumers are seeking all-wheel-drive as a safety feature for months and locations that get poor weather. For consumers that want all-wheel drive in a sedan, there are a few options on the market – the Nissan Altima and the Subaru Legacy are two of the more popular ones. In an attempt to keep its sedans popular amongst the ever-rising crossover, Toyota is bringing the all-wheel-drive to the 2020 Camry and 2021 Avalon.

Toyota’s announcement couldn’t come at a better time, as the majority of the United States is in the middle of a cold wave. Fear not, as the all-wheel-drive will be offered as a standalone option for the Camry LE, XLE, SE, and XSE. For the 2021 Avalon, an all-wheel drive is an option on XLE and Limited trims. For both models, all-wheel drive is only available with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Since both models utilize the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), Toyota was able to take the Dynamic Torque Control AWD system out of the RAV4 and plop it into the sedans. Just like in the RAV4, the all-wheel-drive system isn’t working all the time. Instead, it’ll look for slip and then shuffle up to 50% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels to lend a helping hand.

2021 Toyota Avalon AWD

Despite the addition of all-wheel drive, Camry and Avalon models still retain the same interior and trunk space. The only downside is the extra 165 pounds of weight. The only exterior change that both models will sport includes an “AWD” badge at the back. Toyota claims that all-wheel-drive Camry and Avalon models will handle and ride similarly to models with front-wheel drive.

Toyota offered an all-wheel-drive Camry before under the Camry All-Trac moniker. It was available from 1988 to 1991. So seeing the Japanese brand bring an all-wheel-drive sedan back to its lineup after roughly three decades is a big deal. Toyota’s been busy adding all-wheel drive to its model recently, as it’s one of the few brands to offer an all-wheel-drive hybrid in the form of the Prius AWD-e.

But unlike with the Prius, Toyota does have a couple of competitors, which include the Subaru Legacy and the Nissan Altima. Toyota hasn’t confirmed pricing for the models yet, but the Altima starts at $26,375 for a model with all-wheel drive, while the Legacy has it as standard and is priced at $23,645.

Unfortunately, if you were holding out for an all-wheel-drive Camry or Avalon, you’ll have to wait a little longer. All-wheel-drive Camry sedans will be available in early spring, while all-wheel drive will be available on Avalons starting next fall.

Learn more about Toyota's Lineup »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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