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The 2020 Toyota Camry lives up to the car’s acceptability for accouterment simple satisfaction. Camrys are comfortable, accessible to use, and frugal on ammunition burn. Now, for the aboriginal time back the ’90s, you can get one with all-wheel drive.

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(Full Disclosure: Toyota brought me to august Utah–I saw a baldheaded eagle!–to drive some of its AWD vehicles. The aggregation put me up in the Montage hotel, area I could never allow to booty myself, and paid for aberrant aliment for me to eat. Pretty accepted columnist car barrage affair procedure. Except also, Toyota’s bodies attentive asked if I capital to borrow a brace of skis and accept a lift admission to the adjoining Deer Valley ski resort for a day. Now, obviously, it’d be boxy for me to booty that and affirmation it didn’t actualize a balmy down-covered affiliation with the car company. But I am physically butterfingers of adage no to skiing. It’s like borer a keg in advanced of an alcoholic–sliding on snow is a biologic and I am hopelessly addicted. So I disconnected address of Toyota. That said, it’s still my job not to affliction what Toyota thinks of this writeup. And added importantly: It’s my job to accord my best aboveboard impressions that are accordant to you as a car enthusiast and abeyant buyer.)

To acknowledgment your aboriginal question: You can’t accept a V6 AWD Camry, it’s four-cylinder alone for now. Second: AWD on this car, as ever, is no acting for snow tires. If you’re planning to try and break through the creamy dank white stuff, accepting a set of committed snow auto on your front-drive car is activity to be abundant added able at advancement absorption than alive all-season elastic and AWD. You can’t altercate with physics.

With that out of the way, we can altercate the claim of Toyota’s assorted all-wheel drive systems.

You apparently knew, or adeptness accept guessed, that the AWD systems in Toyota’s cars and bunched SUVs are not the aforementioned as the 4WD systems in its trucks. But we don’t charge to revisit “AWD vs 4WD” afresh today. This time, we can get into how Toyota’s assorted all-wheel drives work.

The lower-spec RAV4, and as of this year, the four-cylinder Camry and Avalon, can be spec’d with what Toyota calls “Dynamic Torque Ascendancy AWD.” Lower-spec Highlanders accept about the aforementioned bureaucracy too, with a driveline disconnect.

AWD in the Camry, Avalon, and lower RAV4sGraphic: Toyota

AWD in abject HighlandersGraphic: Toyota

With this system, the agent is front-wheel drive best of the time but can accelerate up to 50 percent adeptness to the rear arbor back the car’s computers ascertain slippage. A bureaucracy like this evidently exists so you can accept the allowances of all-wheel drive occasionally with the avarice of front-wheel drive usually. Turning added auto takes added fuel, afterwards all.

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Or, if you’re cynical, it was apparently the cheapest and easiest all-wheel drive arrangement to anchorage to the Camry so Toyota could bang an “AWD” adumbration on the block of its accepted auto afore Honda did, and abstract some Accord sales from pearl-clutchers who anticipate AWD is all-important in their abutting car because it alive a few inches aftermost year.

Top-trim RAV4s and Highlanders can get what’s alleged Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD. Notice the altered chat there–vectoring–which refers to the actuality that torque can be vectored amid the larboard and appropriate rear axle. In apparent talk, that agency the agent can smartly breach adeptness amid its rear auto to accomplish use of whichever has added traction. The Camry, which does not accept torque vectoring, lacks this ability.

Toyota’s amalgam SUVs accept Electronic On-Demand AWD, which are front-drive best of the time but can use their electric motors to adeptness rear auto back desired. The Prius AWDe has a agnate system. On that car, the added drive auto are acclimated alike added sparingly to aerate efficiency.

AWD in the Toyota RAV4 Amalgam and Highlander HybridGraphic: Toyota

AWD in the Toyota PriusGraphic: Toyota

The accepted affluence of the Camry, the eighth-gen, has been with us for a few years now but it still feels handsome and beginning on the outside. The cockpit is adequately basal and will feel attainable to anyone who’s been alive back the ’90s, but I’m not about to appraisal a mass-market car that starts at about $25,000 for not actuality abundant avant-garde. In fact, I rather like the car’s convenient setup.

The vehicle’s capital weakness is its engine. The 2.5-liter four-banger Toyota’s called “Dynamic Force” claims a bashful 206 application and 186 lb-ft of torque. It’s abundant that you can clasp about 40 mpg out of this thing, but man, you can’t clasp abundant else. Alike with the car’s bland eight-speed automated cautiously captivation apparatus as continued as it can to accommodate you with power.

At about 7,000 anxiety aloft sea level, area we captivated our alley test, the poor affair huffed and heaved and screamed its way up inclines with a adventurous but not awfully absorbing accomplishment that larboard me absolutely adulatory I were in a Camry V6.

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Prevailing belief (or at atomic the Garrett website) tells us that non-turbo cars lose about three percent of their adeptness per 1,000 anxiety of elevation. And admitting I’m somewhat arguable of the accurateness of that exact figure, the four-cylinder Camry is not agog about affluence aggressive no amount how abounding auto are actuality powered.

That actuality said, there would accept been no acumen at all for the car’s arrangement to appoint its rear arbor on our bend about the anchorage abreast Park City. The one time we were absolutely acquisitive for brutal acclimate on a analysis drive, all we had to assignment with was dry pavement.

Toyota’s media aggregation did get a abundant accumulation of pics from back the anchorage were albino a few canicule earlier, though. So to advice you brainstorm the car adventurous through the snow, chatter these:

But to simulate shittier altitude for us, Toyota abiding for a snow-covered acreage to be partially bashed in the appearance of a little alley course.

Naturally, every analysis pilot’s aboriginal aptitude was to conciliate absorption control, accumulate the car in additional gear, and see how abounding drifty turns could be affiliated together. Look, I’m alone human, and I was not allowed to these temptations. (Findings: Yes! The Camry can be skidded back you drive it like a goofball!)

But on addition lap I was additionally able to analysis the banned of the Camry’s AWD arrangement in a hardly added astute way. Moving off from a stop on a actual glace incline, for example, the car was not readily able of doing. Back angry a little too quickly, the Camry had a adamantine time advantageous understeer. Put addition way: There still wasn’t an affluence of chaw on the icy terrain.

That’s not so abundant a declining of AWD as it is a bright indicator of how abundant added important able tires are than the cardinal of apprenticed wheels. Our analysis sleds were on Toyota’s banal all-seasons, which aloof can’t barb into snow the way beefy winter elastic can.

When apprenticed calculating though, as one should realistically behave on a actual glossy road, the Camry AWD fabricated its way about after incident.

I still haven’t apprenticed a V6 Camry, ever, but I did get a ride from Park City’s Montage auberge to SLC airport in one. And alike from the appropriate seat, the car acquainted so abundant added competent than the four. (Editor’s note: The accepted V6 Camry is a laugh, a lark, a Looney Tunes animation on wheels. Rare is it to acquisition a avant-garde car that feels absolutely overpowered, but the 301-HP V6 Camry is it.)

As abundant as I like the abstraction of Toyota advance in sedans by diversifying the Camry calendar with a four-cylinder AWD model, I’m not assertive an occasionally alive rear arbor absolutely adds a accomplished lot to the alive experience. The V6 apparently does, but of course, it additionally adds a lot to the price.

A accurately able Camry XSE four-cylinder retails for about $30,000 while an XSE V6 is added like $35,000. Pricing hasn’t been accepted for all-wheel drive as I address this, but it’s accepted to be about a $1,500 option, which still makes an AWD Camry conspicuously cheaper than a commensurable archetypal with 301-HP.

If you’re absolutely agog to accord up a little bit of ammunition abridgement for some added traction, the AWD Camry is cool. A savvier move adeptness be to buy a committed set of winter auto and tires for your front-drive Camry. There’s article to be said for the accord of apperception that comes with all-wheel drive though, alike if it is array of an “AWD Lite” that’s no alive all the time.

If you’re attractive at Camrys and are accommodating to absorb a little added for powertrain upgrades, I’d acclaim addition for the V6. Then again, if you don’t absorb a lot of time added than a mile aloft sea akin and are aloof attractive for a acceptable getaround car, I bet you’ll acquisition the four-banger servicable.

But, if you absolutely appetite to drive your Toyota auto in asperous weather, brace some grippy elastic with the new AWD advantage and you’ll apparently be chugging your way through aloof about anything. Aloof don’t be in a hurry.

Tidy, efficient, comfortable

An AWD Camry is accurate but doesn’t feel decidedly necessary

206 HP • 186 LB-FT

Estimated MSRP $31,500

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