Suddenly, you actually have some options for AWD sedans.
Not too long ago, if you wanted all-wheel drive you had to get a crossover. There were no ifs, ands or buts about it. Now, however, the field is expanding for those who want to buy something like a Nissan Altima, or indeed a Toyota Camry from next year, and need that four-wheel grip to handle some rough winters. Toyota announced today that both the Camry and Avalon are getting all-wheel drive as standalone options. The all-wheel drive Camry will go on sale in Spring 2020, while the Avalon will get the option next fall.
The all-wheel drive option is available on Camry LE, XLE, SE and XSE trims. On the Avalon, it’s an option on XLE and Limited trims. All AWD models also, naturally, get an optional Cold-Weather Package, which adds heated seats on the LE and SE. On the XLE and XSE, you also get a heated steering wheel.
For North America only
The all-wheel drive Camry and Avalon are only for the North American market, and Toyota will build them exclusively at their manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. Both cars share the company’s Dynamic Torque AWD system originally developed for the new RAV4. The system uses an electromagnetic coupling that disengages a front propeller shaft taken from the new Highlander, allowing for better front-wheel drive fuel efficiency when you don’t need extra grip. When it detects slippage, it’s capable of splitting the torque 50:50 between the front and rear wheels.
Some other modifications from Toyota’s Michigan-based R&D team include the engine, transmission, transfer case and rear differential from the RAV4. Both cars also get new fuel tanks, floor and structure modifications, and that new front propeller shaft.
Both the Toyota Camry AWD and Avalon AWD will come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, while the 3.5-liter V6 will remain front-wheel drive only. The engine puts out 202 horsepower, or 205 horsepower in XSE models. The all-wheel drive option expands an already robust range, from the base LE to sporty XSE and TRD models, with some hybrids in between.
For a long time, America’s most popular sedans have gone without an all-wheel drive variant. From the Subaru Impreza and Legacy, options have since expanded to the Ford Fusion and most recently the Nissan Altima. Now the Camry and Avalon join the field, giving you quite a few options for AWD sedans. We’ll see if other automakers (looking at you Mazda) follow suit in their upcoming redesigns.
Both the Toyota Camry AWD and Avalon AWD will debut at the 2019 LA Auto Show. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates!