Is 2023 Toyota Camry TRD a Good Sports Car Alternative?

The Toyota Camry is often thought of as the quintessential family sedan, with its mix of practicality, reliability, spaciousness, and safety. With this in mind, it’s surprising that the Camry offers a high-performance model with TRD trim. With its powerful V-6 engine and superb driving dynamics, the Camry TRD is actually fun-to-drive. Is the 2023 Toyota Camry TRD a good sports car alternative?

2023 Toyota Camry TRD: Is it fast?

Rear angle view of black 2023 Toyota Camry TRD, a good sports car alternative
2023 Toyota Camry TRD | Toyota

Under the hood of the 2023 Toyota Camry TRD is a robust V-6 engine. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, it doles out 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque.

The Camry TRD is fast — with speed and acceleration that tops some sports cars. It achieves the 0-60 mph sprint in only 5.6 seconds — and has a top speed of 135 mph. Also, the acceleration of the Camry TRD is peppy, with no lag across the powerband. Additionally, it provides quick and smooth shifting. However, while other Camry trims offer all-wheel drive, the Camry TRD only offers a front-wheel drive system. 

On the efficiency front, the Camry TRD gets an estimated gas mileage of 21 city/31 highway mpg. This fuel economy isn’t as high as the four-cylinder and hybrid versions of the Camry, but it’s better than most sports cars.

Performance features in the sports car-like 2023 Camry TRD

Front angle view of white 2023 Toyota Camry TRD, a good sports car alternative
2023 Toyota Camry TRD | Toyota

Along with its powerful V-6 engine and smooth-shifting transmission, the 2023 Camry TRD has some performance features that give it the driving dynamics to rival some sports cars. This includes TRD track-tuned shock absorbers, front and rear coil springs, and stabilizer bars. 

For confident braking, the Camry TRD features power-assisted ventilated 12.9” front brakes with dual-piston calipers and 11.1” solid rear disc brakes. Also, it has pedal stiffness tuning and a unique brake booster. Additionally, for driving customization, the Camry TRD has selectable drive modes with settings for Sport, Normal, and Eco.

2023 Camry TRD: Unique design features

The 2023 Toyota Camry TRD has some unique design features that give it a distinctive look. It combines blacked-out features with TRD design elements. This includes a gloss-black front grille with a sport mesh lower grille insert, a TRD gloss-black rear spoiler, 19” TRD matte-black alloy wheels, a TRD cat-back exhaust, and a red TRD badge. There’s also a TRD gloss-black front splitter, rear diffuser, and side skirts.

Inside the Camry TRD, the front seats have red stitching, a TRD headrest logo, and red seat belts. Additionally, the cabin has TRD floor mats.

Roomy interior makes the Toyota Camry TRD a practical alternative to sports cars

Red and black TRD floor mat in 2023 Toyota Camry TRD
2023 Toyota Camry TRD | Toyota

With its spacious interior, the 2023 Toyota Camry TRD is a more practical alternative to most sports cars. It can seat up to five people and has a total passenger volume of 100.4 cu-ft. For legroom, it offers 42.1 inches for the front and 38.0 inches for the rear. Also, for storage space, the trunk has a cargo capacity of 15.1 cu-ft.

Many standard driving assistance features in the 2023 Camry TRD

Compared to many sports cars, the 2023 Camry TRD offers more standard driving assistance features. This includes Road Sign Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection. Also, it comes standard with an integrated backup camera.

Toyota Camry TRD is more affordable than most sports cars

Most sports cars are expensive. However, in comparison, the 2023 Toyota Camry TRD is affordable, with a starting price of $33,010 MSRP. Also, when you factor in its capabilities and numerous premium features, the Camry TRD offers much value.

To those who previously thought of the Toyota Camry as a mundane family sedan, it might seem absurd to consider the Camry TRD as a sports car alternative. However, with its excellent performance, affordable price, stylish design, and many other positive attributes, it’s a worthy substitute. The Toyota Camry TRD provides sports car-like driving excitement — but can also function well as a daily driver.