For the first time since the release of the 1991 Camry AllTrac, Toyota is offering an all-wheel-drive option for the sedan.
After 18 years, the Japanese automaker finally announced that the all-wheel-drive setup will be available as a standalone option on all trim levels of the Camry–LE, XLE, SE, and XSE –as well as its sibling, the Avalon.
Interested customers, however, should know the AWD setup is only available when paired with the Camry’s entry-level 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Toyota is not offering it with the optional V-6 engine that makes 305 horsepower, or at least not yet. This means that an AWD Camry can make 202 horsepower (or 205 hp in the XSE) paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Both the Camry and the Avalon share the Toyota New Global Architecture platform along with other new Toyota models that include the RAV4 SUV, which also comes with an optional all-wheel-drive setup. This makes it less surprising that the Camry AWD also makes use of a Dynamic Torque Control all-wheel-drive system, which allows 50 percent of the available engine torque to be directed to the rear axle when the front wheels slip. If there is no need for added traction, the system can then disengage the rear driveshafts and solely rely on front-wheel-drive.
The Camry gets its rear differential from the RAV4, while the propeller shaft is a modified version of the one on the Highlander. Other modifications were also made on the drive axle to include an electronic parking brake and a saddle-bag-style fuel tank that keeps the rear-end components together to make room for the additional gear without compromising storage space or trunk floor height. As expected, the AWD Camry is heavier by 165 pounds.
The all-wheel-drive Camry also comes with added features to fit its weather-ready branding such as an optional Cold Weather Package that differs for every trim level. The LE includes heated front seats and door mirrors, while the SE gets both as well as a heated steering wheel. The XSE and XLE, which presumably come with standard heated front seats and door mirrors, only get a heated steering wheel.
The 2020 AWD Camry units are due to arrive at dealer lots in the early spring.