When you think of a Toyota Camry, no matter if it’s a base model or the TRD version, you’re not likely to conjure up images of a high-end luxury vehicle. Instead, it screams reliability. But one critic, Cars.com, compared a couple of its characteristics to a top-notch luxurious car. What elements of the TRD make it comparable to high-end luxury cars?
What makes the 2021 Toyota Camry TRD comparable to luxury cars?
The TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development, which means the vehicle has some kind of enhancement to it. In this case, it’s the sporty parts to boost performance. What would make a sporty enhanced car seem more like a luxury one?
Cars.com reports that the Toyota Camry TRD’s grip and handling are on par with what you find in luxury cars, such as the BMW 3 Series. Under the hood of this sporty model, is a 3.0-liter V6 24-valve engine producing 301 hp.
When it comes to performance, the TRD is able to make the 0 to 60 mph run in 5.6 seconds. The BMW 3 Series has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generates 255 hp. That’s less power than the Camry, but you still get the same 5.6-second acceleration time.
This model comes with special dampers, wider wheels that are lighter than the standard ones, larger brakes with two-piston calipers, and a cat-back exhaust, according to MotorTrend. All of this helps contribute to the way the car handles on the road, making the drive more fun.
The good and the bad with the Toyota Camry TRD
The main drawback with the Toyota Camry TRD is you don’t get much in the way of convenience features. It focuses its offerings on performance, not so much on luxury. While many vehicles will hold back on some of these items, they typically will offer them as an optional feature. With the TRD, though, many amenities aren’t available at all.
Paired with the V6 motor is an eight-speed automatic transmission. Some critics, like MotorTrend, weren’t too pleased with it since they felt it was just too “tall” to be efficient. Of course, it didn’t help that the tester vehicle used had all-season tires on them, instead of summer ones, which would’ve offered more grip.
Some of the items you won’t see with this model are heated seats, heated steering wheel, folding rear seats, head-up display, wireless charging, and moonroof to name just a few.
However, despite not having some of those luxury features you see on other vehicles, the Toyota Camry TRD is a sporty vehicle that comes at an affordable price. You can expect to pay around $33,000 for it, which is actually about $3,300 less than what you’d pay for the XSE trim.
The fuel economy for this version isn’t all that bad. When driving on city roads, you can expect to get 22 mpg. When traveling on the highway, EPA ratings increase to 31 mpg, which means its overall rating is 25 mpg.
Is it really worth buying?
Neither Cars.com nor MotorTrend thought that the Toyota Camry TRD was worth spending the money on. It doesn’t offer very many features to justify the extra dollars tacked onto the 2021 Camry model. Some of the items that aren’t available with the TRD are deal breakers for some consumers.
However, not everyone will care that some items aren’t available with the TRD. Since it is a Toyota, you know you’re going to get the standard safety sense package of driver’s assistance features that all models in the lineup get. If you’re wanting to get a sporty Camry with the V6 motor, the TRD is the least expensive one offered.
The Camry TRD is a sport-tuned vehicle that’s comparable to a luxury sedan. In fact, it’s been compared to the BMW 3 Series, which says a lot, especially for a midsize car that’s not generally known for styling or performance.