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2020 Camry TRD: Not Your Daddy’s Camry By a Long Shot

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Last week I drove a 2020 Toyota Camry sedan, which is NOT your daddy’s Camry. It’s not even your fun-loving, super cool Uncle Bill’s old Camry. Toyota has upped the ante on the country’s best-selling passenger car to propel it into its eighth generation in 2020.

My test sedan was one of the company’s first-ever performance Camry TRDs. What does TRD mean, exactly? Toyota Racing Development (TRD) has been Toyota’s tuning shop for 40 years, involved in making their racing vehicles faster. They are now improving “ordinary” or street vehicles to give them increased performance. TRD produces performance suspension components, superchargers, and wheels for select Toyota and Lexus models.

The 2020 Camry TRD operates on a 301-hp V-6 engine with direct shift eight-speed automatic transmission. It offers sport mode and paddle shifters for drivers seeking more control. It features a track-ready chassis along with a stunning, sporty design. The TRD dual exhaust system provides a satisfyingly throaty acceleration noise.

2020 Camry TRD: Not Your Daddy's Camry By a Long Shot

Photo: Toyota

Camry TRD boasts aerodynamic enhancements and unique trim elements as well. My TRD caught the eye with its customized two-tone paint job. It gleamed in a bright Supersonic Red paint color, with a Midnight Black Metallic roof. The Camry TRD featured a glossy black front grille with sport mesh insert and black exterior badging. Brake calipers were also painted red, while red pinstriping and TRD badging were also featured. A rear spoiler lip and specially designed 19” TRD alloy wheels complete the ultra-sporty look.

The TRD cabin seats five in comfort. It features Black Sport SofTex®-trimmed front seats and fabric inserts. A leather-wrapped steering wheel has red stitching, and red accents are scattered throughout the cabin. Even the seatbelts are red! A TRD logo is embossed on the shift knob, and headrests are embroidered with the TRD logo. You can’t forget that you’re driving a TRD Camry, reminders are everywhere you look. Even the multi-information display is illuminated red.

2020 Camry TRD: Not Your Daddy's Camry By a Long Shot

Photo: Toyota

Best of all for this driver, who spent the week driving around town without an excuse to test my TRD on the road, the cabin is very roomy and comfy. Safety is always paramount in Toyotas, and the Camry TRD was no exception. It was equipped with Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), dynamic radar cruise control, and lane departure alert. Also blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and rear cross-traffic braking.

The Camry TRD has an MSRP of $31,040. Options like the special two-tone color, black window trim, and rear spoiler (plus destination charges) brought the price tag for the test vehicle to $32,895. Fuel economy was estimated at 22 mpg in town and 31 mpg on the highway, for a combined average of 25 mpg.