This Is Why the Camry TRD Is One of 2021's Best Sports Sedans for Under $35K

2021 Toyota Camry TRD 15 photos
Photo: Toyota Motor Company
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For those looking for a family-friendly sedan with a sporty side who don’t have the budget for a BMW, the 2021 Camry TRD is worth looking at. It comes with plenty of power from a potent V6, a track-tuned suspension, and some aggressive exterior styling that makes it stand out from the pack.
For the 2021 model year, the Japanese carmaker has given the popular Camry a subtle refresh and just enough upgrades to give the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima something more to worry about.

It comes in a variety of trims for all budgets, but the one that stands out is the TRD, a model that brings unique, track-inspired upgrades to an otherwise family-oriented sedan.

The exterior styling brings an unparalleled level of exclusivity to the Camry. It has more aggressive bumpers and side skirts with red pinstripes, combined with a small rear spoiler that lets onlookers know this isn’t a regular sedan.

2021 Toyota Camry TRD
Photo: Toyota Motor Company
Its racing pedigree is also emphasized by the wide 19-inch alloy wheels and the red-painted brake calipers, which wonderfully complement the TRD-specific exterior upgrades.

Under the hood, the sedan hides a capable and efficient 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 that combines Toyota’s D-4S twin injection fuel system with the simulated on-demand Atkinson cycle, delivering 301 hp (224 kW) and 267 lb-ft (362 Nm) of torque.

Once the engine is started, the aggressive growl it produces is unique to the TRD, thanks to the specifically designed dual exhaust system with enlarged stainless-steel tips.

2021 Toyota Camry TRD
Photo: Toyota Motor Company
The only downside of this powertrain is the fact that it only comes in FWD. Unfortunately, those who want an AWD Camry can only have it with one of the less-powerful inline-fours.

However, reviewers and customers have reported that it handles extremely well, especially due to the TRD-tuned suspension. To make the Camry feel close to a sports car, engineers have fitted thicker underbody braces, stiffer shocks, stabilizer bars, and unique coil springs that help reduce the ride height by about half of inch and lower the overall center of gravity.

Inside, the TRD comes with synthetic leather-trimmed sport front seats with a red-stitched TRD headrest logo and red seatbelts. The driver’s seat is eight-way power-adjustable and includes power lumbar support, while the passenger seat is only six-way adjustable.

2021 Toyota Camry TRD
Photo: Toyota Motor Company
It’s worth noting that unlike other models, the TRD has a fixed rear seat, and there are no heating or ventilation options for any of the seats, which can be a drawback through cold winters or hot summers.

Other exclusive TRD-themed interior upgrades include a black leather shift knob with a TRD logo and red stitching, a set of black floor mats with a "Camry TRD" logo, as well as red outlines and TRD gauges with red-illuminated accents.

In terms of tech, the car doesn’t offer anything mind-blowing. It comes with single-zone automatic climate control, a 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display with a TRD-themed startup animation between the two gauges, a standard 7-inch touchscreen on the center console with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration, and two USB charge ports.

2021 Toyota Camry TRD
Photo: Toyota Motor Company
Since this is a Toyota we’re talking about, the Camry TRD is available with a massive list of advanced safety features and driver assists.

As standard, customers get the Safety Sense 2.5+ suite, which includes pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, or full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control.

For an MSRP of $33,180 (including taxes), the 2021 Toyota Camry TRD is one of the best value-for-money sedans available this year. It targets customers who are looking for a car that can offer enough room and comfort for the whole family and is equally capable of delivering an exhilarating driving experience comparable to what you would get from a more expensive sports car.

It may not offer the most technologically advanced cabin, but it more than makes up for that with the wide range of cutting-edge safety systems and driver assists.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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