Pricing, Fuel Economy Revealed for Toyota Camry AWD

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

An all-wheel-drive vehicle will reappear early this spring after a decades-long absence, tempting those who demand a sure-footed sedan with untold amounts of badge and nameplate loyalty.

While the Toyota Camry AWD might arrive too late to tackle our current winter, the future is a blank slate, ready to be filled with instances of snow-flinging fun. Perhaps a dirt road race against a Subaru Legacy driver is in the cards.

As the Camry AWD heads to dealerships, Toyota has revealed pricing and fuel economy for the intriguing model.

As reported by Motor1 following a first drive event, adding AWD to either the LE, XLE, SE, or XSE trims is a $1,500 proposition, though changes in content actually makes the difference $1,400 when directly compared. A base Camry LE AWD starts at $26,370 before destination. The sportier (in appearance, mostly) SE starts at $27,570, with the lineup topping out at the $31,405 XSE.

Generally, the AWD models are a carbon copy of what’s offered in FWD; the only difference being a small “AWD” badge and, obviously, the underbody driveline components gathered from the RAV4 and Highlander. The same 2.5-liter four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic can be found in all trims (no V6 option here), though the XSE version makes an extra 3 horsepower (205 hp total) thanks to a dual exhaust.

When announced, Toyota claimed it didn’t expect much of a fuel economy penalty with AWD. An electromagnetically controlled coupling on the front of the rear axle severs the link to the propshaft when the rear wheels aren’t required for motivation, aiding the model’s thirst. That said, the system does automatically engage when starting out from a stop, as that’s when front-end slip would most likely be detected. As well, all AWD models see a slight (0.2-inch) boost in ground clearance.

Figures put out by Toyota now show that the MPG loss isn’t exactly miniscule.

The automaker rates the LE and XLE versions at 25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined. SE and XSE models see a 1 mpg drop in combined economy, to 28 mpg. In contrast, the FWD Camry LE and SE earn an EPA rating of 28 city, 39 highway, and 32 combined. That’s a 3 mpg combined drop for the base AWD model and a 4 mpg drop for the SE.

The FWD XLE and XSE are rated at 27/38/31, meaning a 2 and 3 mpg combined drop for their AWD counterparts, respectively. If highway cruising’s your bag, LE and SE AWD customers will notice the greatest fuel economy drop — a loss of 5 mpg on the open road.

[Image: Toyota]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Stuki Stuki on Feb 27, 2020

    EPA number decreases and MPG losses, are only tangentially related. Along the lines of EPA numbers = MPG +- 0-20%, depending on how obsessively the tuning has been done specifically to look good on EPA tests. No amount of EPA tweaking a Tundra, will make it match a Prius, but +- 3-5mpg is perfectly achievable by optimizing for EPA.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 03, 2020

    Observation: Rack up sales increases like Subaru has been doing, and even Toyota will notice.

  • Duke Woolworth Weight 4800# as I recall.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X '19 Nissan Frontier @78000 miles has been oil changes ( eng/ diffs/ tranny/ transfer). Still on original brakes and second set of tires.
  • ChristianWimmer I have a 2018 Mercedes A250 with almost 80,000 km on the clock and a vintage ‘89 Mercedes 500SL R129 with almost 300,000 km.The A250 has had zero issues but the yearly servicing costs are typically expensive from this brand - as expected. Basic yearly service costs around 400 Euros whereas a more comprehensive servicing with new brake pads, spark plugs plus TÜV etc. is in the 1000+ Euro region.The 500SL servicing costs were expensive when it was serviced at a Benz dealer, but they won’t touch this classic anymore. I have it serviced by a mechanic from another Benz dealership who also owns an R129 300SL-24 and he’ll do basic maintenance on it for a mere 150 Euros. I only drive the 500SL about 2000 km a year so running costs are low although the fuel costs are insane here. The 500SL has had two previous owners with full service history. It’s been a reliable car according to the records. The roof folding mechanism needs so adjusting and oiling from time to time but that’s normal.
  • Theflyersfan I wonder how many people recalled these after watching EuroCrash. There's someone one street over that has a similar yellow one of these, and you can tell he loves that car. It was just a tough sell - too expensive, way too heavy, zero passenger space, limited cargo bed, but for a chunk of the population, looked awesome. This was always meant to be a one and done car. Hopefully some are still running 20 years from now so we have a "remember when?" moment with them.
  • Lorenzo A friend bought one of these new. Six months later he traded it in for a Chrysler PT Cruiser. He already had a 1998 Corvette, so I thought he just wanted more passenger space. It turned out someone broke into the SSR and stole $1500 of tools, without even breaking the lock. He figured nobody breaks into a PT Cruiser, but he had a custom trunk lock installed.