2020 Toyota Camry and 2021 Avalon Get AWD Versions

by Paul Strauss
2020 Toyota Camry and 2021 Avalon Get AWD Versionszoom in

Here in the midwest and other places where it gets cold and snowy, all-wheel drive vehicles generally outsell their front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive variants. While a good set of winter tires is always a help when driving on slick surfaces, being able to send power to all four wheels can be a big help in providing vehicle stability and control.

So it’s no wonder that Toyota has decided to release AWD versions of its popular Camry and Avalon sedans. It’s been more than 25 years since there was an AWD Camry, and the Avalon has always been FWD only. That’s changing in 2020.

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At least for now, there’s only one drivetrain option, a 2.5-liter four cylinder that makes 202hp in most Camry AWD models, and a 205hp variant for the Camry XSE AWD and Avalon AWD. Sorry folks, no V6 or hybrid AWD models – at least not yet.

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Both cars have Toyota’s “Dynamic Torque Control” AWD tech, which can send up to 50% of torque to the rear wheels when wheel slip is detected, and can completely disengage them at highway speeds to preserve fuel efficiency. Despite the added mechanical components needed for the system, Toyota says they were able to maintain the same cabin and cargo space as their FWD counterparts. That said, the AWD system does add 165 pounds to the cars’ curb weight.

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To complement its winter capabilities, you’ll be able to equip the Camry AWD with a Cold Weather Package, which offers heated seats (LE, SE), heated mirrors (LE, SE), and heated steering wheel (LE, SE, XLE, XSE). While Toyota hasn’t mentioned it on the Avalon yet, I’m sure similar options will be available.

Expect the Camry AWD to hit dealerships as a 2020 model in early spring, while the Avalon AWD will appear in the fall as a 2021 model. Now, when can we have a Camry TRD AWD with a V6?

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