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2021 Toyota Camry TRD puts some power behind a popular family ride Featured

Posted On Saturday, 03 July 2021 23:27 Written by
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The 2021 Toyota Camry TRD brings power to the long-popular family sedan The 2021 Toyota Camry TRD brings power to the long-popular family sedan Photo by Matt Myftiu/

A mention of the Toyota Camry is not usually accompanied by excitement. Sure, a ton of them are sold each year, and people view it as a safe and reliable vehicle for family travels and getting from point A to point B, but it’s not a ride that people are generally thrilled to get behind the wheel of.

To change that perception, though, let me introduce the Toyota Camry TRD, a model that soups up the traditional family vehicle to appeal to driving enthusiasts. I recently spent time behind the wheel of a 2021 Camry TRD, and I’m back with a full report.


On the exterior, the Camry TRD’s spoiler and styling stand out from the standard Camry and it's rivals. You will definitely be noticed with the Camry TRD’s sporty look.

It features 19-inch TRD matte-black alloy wheels, dual exhaust with polished stainless steel tips, red painted brake calipers and a gloss-black rear spoiler.

The interior is also sharp, with a red and black stitched design throughout, and even red seat belts to complete the look. It’s quite roomy in the back seat, and you get comfy seating for all passengers. The power driver seat also features lumbar support, and it offers push-button start.


Here’s where the TRD model of the Camry shows its true character.

It comes with a 3.5-liter, V6 engine, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and includes paddle shifters for those who want to control the gears. Total output is 301 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque.

For comparison, the regular Camry has a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, and offers 202 hp/186 lb.-ft.

The TRD model also offers a TRD-tuned front and rear suspension, with thicker underbody braces, and 12.9-inch front rotors with dual piston calipers. The Camry TRD is only available with Front-Wheel Drive.

I had a blast driving the Camry TRD, something you don’t often hear said about a Camry model. The 0-to-60 time of approximately 6 seconds was quite impressive, as it had plenty of power. As soon as you hit the gas, you can feel the get-up-and-go nature of this TRD model.

The sound of the engine is a bit noisy, but that adds to the sporty feel of the ride. There are three driving modes to choose from depending on your situation: Eco, Normal and Sport.

The Camry TRD handled very well, and offered responsive, immediate braking.

What’s great about the Camry TRD is that, depending how you drive it, it’s both great for family time and road trips, but also a blast to take on roads where you can test its limits. These dual capabilities are rare to find in a vehicle, making this a strong alternative to the standard Camry.


Technology was a strong point on the 2021 Camry TRD. The infotainment system features a 7-inch touchscreen, and the sound system features 6 speakers. It’s very easy to connect your phone to the vehicle for Bluetooth connection and streaming of music and phone.

The look and design of the tech system is a bit outdated compared to rivals, but it works incredibly well, both by voice command and touch controls. And in the end that’s what really counts.

You also get several USB ports, 3 free months of satellite radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility for phone mirroring, and a 4.2-inch multi-informational display.

When it comes to safety, Toyota is near the top of vehicle rankings. For starters, you get a perfect 5-star government safety rating all-around, something that is rarely seen.

It’s also got a good amount of safety features for a sporty car.

The Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ features include: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams and Road Sign Assist.

The Star Safety System is also included, featuring a series of traction, cornering and braking technologies that help drivers accelerate, steer and stop, especially in slippery conditions or during emergency maneuvers. Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Brakes, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology.

Other safety features included are Blind Spot Monitor with rear cross traffic alert, and a backup camera to aid in parking situations.


Official fuel mileage numbers on the Camry TRD are 22 city/31 highway/25 combined.

By comparison, a regular Camry gets 28 mpg city/39 mpg highway; and a hybrid Camry gets up to 51 mpg city/53 mpg highway.

In my experience driving the Camry TRD, numbers were lower, as I only averaged 19 mpg. But I used sport mode almost exclusively, which would bring down the numbers.

As you gain in performance, you lose in mpg on the TRD model. And that is OK with me. It’s still my favorite version of the Camry despite the lower fuel efficiency.


The 2021 Toyota Camry TRD that I tested was priced just over My test vehicle was just over $34K. Base price of a regular Camry starts about $25K, and the Camry TRD starts around $33K.


The 2021 Toyota Camry TRD is aimed squarely at driving enthusiasts who want Camry reliability and safety for family time, but that bit of TRD boost for when they can really let loose on the roadways. If that sounds like you, I recommend a test drive.

--- can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2021 Toyota Camry TRD  
  • Price as tested: $34,207  
  • Best feature: TRD power and styling, safety and reliability  
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars  
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Drivers seeking a sedan with both traditional Toyota safety and reliability, and a TRD power boost
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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