You wouldn’t expect normal midsize family sedans to be drag race-worthy cars, but today we have two exceptions. The 2020 Mazda6 packs a meaty 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque by way of its four-cylinder turbocharged engine, while the 2020 Toyota Camry TRD still uses the brand’s naturally-aspirated V6 with 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Each takes a different approach in terms of styling and how it delivers a sporty driving experience, and in this video Tommy goes into a deeper dive into the fine details between the two. And of course, we’ll settle which one is actually quicker at a mile above sea level with a classic TFL drag race.
At nearly $37,000, the 2020 Mazda6 Signature is the top of the line for the current model. Pricing for that model starts at $24,100, but to get the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine you need to buy a Grand Touring or higher model, which raises the price to $30,000 or more. Mazda has gone for a more elegant design with the most recent Mazda6, so this is the option to consider for a sporty drive with more understated styling.
On the other hand, the $33,000 2020 Toyota Camry TRD is the loudest Camry you can currently buy. And I do mean that literally — apart from the styling, with its black-accented splitter, side skirts and rear spoiler, it also has a TRD-tuned exhaust system that really opens up the standard V6 engine. You don’t get any more power, but Toyota did retune the suspension, upgrade the brakes and fit bespoke wheels. In terms of performance, it also has an eight-speed transmission to the Mazda’s six-speed unit.
While the standard Camry is a sharper-looking, yet still fairly conservative car, the TRD aims to shake off the sedan’s ordinary image for something more dynamic and exciting. Still, we are talking about a Camry here, so the seats and the ride are remarkably comfortable for long-distance trips.
As it turns out, the turbocharged power available in the Mazda6 earned it ultimate victory in the drag race over the Camry. That said, the Toyota is still no slouch, and its power would be even more potent if you were to drive one at sea level. Beyond that, the price advantage makes the 2020 Toyota Camry TRD an enticing option for a practical family car with a more exciting image.