The thought of buying a Toyota Camry probably sounds as fun as taking a day off from work to get a root canal, but if you opt for the TRD trim level, then you’re in for a little more excitement. The Camry is Toyota’s bread-and-butter, mid-size sedan offering that competes against the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, however, it has always been viewed as the more “vanilla” competitor of the three, until now.
The Camry TRD offers up an aggressive look and a sporty stance that adds some chocolate sprinkles to the mix. And while some may think that it’s just Toyota’s way of putting lipstick on a pig, our time with it so far has shown that the TRD trim is actually better than you think it is.
The TRD body kit adds a distinct and much-needed flare
The elephant in the room, or on the car, when it comes to the Camry TRD is the body kit. Our first thought was that it looked obnoxious and it was ridiculous that Toyota even thought of adding such flare to the normal-looking Camry. However, after seeing it in person and doing a double-take, we realized that the TRD body kit actually fits the car quite well and gives it a much-needed facelift.
For this specific model, Toyota Racing Development added a front splitter, side skirts, and a rear diffuser for an athletic look. Additionally, a gloss black front grille and badging add to the car’s aggressiveness, as does the angular rear spoiler, which actually does add downforce, according to Toyota. Sure, the TRD kit might look gaudy to some onlookers, however, we did get some positive attention and “thumbs up” while driving the car, which is something that never happens with any other Camry trim levels.
The TRD-tuned suspension
Speaking of the other trim levels, the Camry TRD does sit 0.6 inches lower thanks to a TRD-tuned suspension that includes stiffer springs and sway bars. Toyota says that the increased rates equate to an increase in roll stiffness of up to 44 percent in the front and 67 percent in the rear. When driving the car on the rougher pavement and over speed bumps, the lowered ride height and stiffness does provide a discernable sportiness in the overall ride and handling department, but it’s not jarring by any means. Needless to say, the TRD suspension gives the Camry a lot of function and form.
The smooth V6 engine
The 2020 Toyota Camry TRD is actually based on the XSE trim level, which is powered by a 3.5-liter, naturally aspirated V6 engine. Unfortunately, the TRD trim level does not add any more horsepower to the engine’s standard output 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, however, we don’t think it really needs it. The engine’s buttery smooth power delivery is enough to power the car onto the freeway with adequate haste and going up hills is easy as well. Good job, Toyota.
Its looks matches its personality
If you find yourself shopping for a mid-size sedan, then we suggest having a look at the Camry, and more specifically the TRD trim level. While its body kit and aggressive stance might not be for everyone, the TRD goodies do match the Camry well and give the athletic prowess and presence that the car always needed.