Toyota Camry TRD Not Nearly As Dear As Its Big Brother

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

We talked up the amazingly real Toyota Avalon TRD recently, making note of its lofty, second-from-the-top price point, but now the second TRD sedan shoe has dropped.

According to pricing guides seen by CarsDirect, those of you salivating at the thought of taking a Camry to the next level — and frankly, who isn’t — can expect to pay significantly less for the smaller of Toyota’s two testosterone-fueled sedans. Five figures less.

After a $995 destination fee, American consumers can expect to land a 2020 Camry TRD for the sensible price of $31,995, some $3,410 less than the next-closest V6-powered Camry, CarsDirect claims. A staid 2020 Camry XLE retails for $35,405 after destination, with the sportier-looking XSE topping that by $550.

As you read on these digital pages, the Toyota Racing Development treatment applied to the Avalon sedan warrants a hefty price tag of $43,255. Shrink the Avalon’s platform by a few inches while keeping the same powertrain and you end up with a Camry. Clearly, the price gulf between the two is stark.

Both Camry and Avalon TRD boast a 0.6-inch ride height reduction, beefier springs and sway bars, TRD shocks, 12.9-inch front brake discs with dual-piston calipers (12-inch discs out back), a cat back exhaust, 19×8.5-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza 235/40R19 summer rubber, underbody bracing, a front splitter, side sills, rear diffuser, and a generous helping of interior badging, but the Camry rides away with a very prominent trunk lid spoiler. We’re getting close to wing territory here.

And yet the powertrain lurking within this beast is the same 3.5-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic combo found in the XLE V6 and XSE V6 versions of both sedans. Output is a healthy but certainly not Germany-beating 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque.

Why the vast pricing gap? Content has a lot to do with it. As CarsDirect notes, the Camry TRD does not offer the optional Navigation Package and Driver Assist Package available on the XLE and XSE and dons synthetic leather for its seats. A message sent by Toyota points out the Camry TRD’s non-sporting content has more in common with the mid-tier SE, a four-cylinder-only model.

In that case, the V6-powered Camry TRD looks less like massive V6 bargain and more like a very elaborate $5,000 appearance and performance upgrade. Too bad you can’t just option an SE with a V6. One thing’s for sure: you’ll be far more likely to see one of these prowling the streets than an Avalon TRD once they hit dealers this fall.

[Images: Toyota]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • HotPotato HotPotato on Aug 28, 2019

    A Camry with over 300 horsepower? Screw the muscle car era. We truly are living in the automotive golden age.

  • MorrisGray MorrisGray on Oct 03, 2019

    Does anybody know if the Avalon or the Camry uses start/stop technology or cylinder deactivation ? I don't want either one, just asking. And has anyone driven both that could give a driving comparison?

  • JK I grew up with Dodge trucks in the US, and now live in Turin, Italy, the home of Fiat. I don't think Italians view this as an Italian company either. There are constant news articles and protests about how stalantis is moving operations out of Italy. Jeep is strangely popular here though. I think last time I looked at stelantis's numbers, Jeep was the only thing saving them from big big problems.
  • Bd2 Oh yeah, funny how Trumpers (much less the Orange Con, himself) are perfectly willing to throw away the Constitution...
  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.
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