2021 Toyota Avalon and Camry (Finally) Get All Wheel Drive (AWD)
Thanks to the high demand for SUV's, the market for what was a popular segment, sedans, has dwindled in the United States. In fact, Detroit's "Big Three" have announced that they will be exiting the non-luxury midsize sedan market in the next few years, and GM and Ford are wrapping up full-size sedan production. Fortunately, Japanese automakers, such as Honda, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota still manage to sell midsize and full-size sedans here in the United States, with all four manufacturers having redesigned their mid-size and flagship sedan within the past few years. Currently, three non-luxury mid-size sedans, the Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, and Subaru Legacy, offer All Wheel Drive as an option (with the latter including it as standard equipment), and only the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger currently offer All Wheel Drive in the full-size sedan market. But starting with the 2021 model year, Toyota's midsize and flagship sedans, the Camry and Avalon respectively, will offer All Wheel Drive. The flagship Avalon has never offered All Wheel Drive in its 25-year history, and Toyota only briefly offered All Wheel Drive on the midsize Camry from 1988 to 1991. NOTE: All pricing in this article includes a mandatory destination fee, but does NOT include any applicable taxes or other fees.
Now, thanks to an All Wheel Drive system derived from the compact Toyota RAV4 SUV, Toyota Avalon and Camry shoppers in cold climates will no longer have to sacrifice between the ride quality and spaciousness of a midsize or full-size sedan, and the all-weather capabilities of an SUV. The All Wheel Drive system will be paired exclusively with the gasoline-only 2.5L "Dynamic Force" Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) engine and eight-speed automatic transmission that made their debut on the all-new 2018 Camry. In the Camry, this engine produces 203 horsepower and 184 lb. ft. of torque, which is some of the most horsepower and torque offered on a base engine in the midsize sedan class. This is the first time the Avalon will offer a four-cylinder engine apart from the Avalon Hybrid, which features the same 2.5L Dynamic Force Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) gasoline engine paired with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) System and a Continuously-Variable Automatic (CVT) Transmission. On the Camry, All Wheel Drive will be available on most four-cylinder equipped trim levels (LE, SE, and XLE), while on the Avalon, it will only be offered with base XLE and midlevel Limited trims.
The All-Wheel-Drive equipped 2021 Toyota Avalon and Camry will reach Toyota dealerships nationwide in the spring of 2020 as an early 2021 model year vehicle. They are both assembled at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) Plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. The well-equipped 2020 Toyota Camry LE (with Front Wheel Drive (FWD)) starts at $24,840, a luxurious 2020 Toyota Camry XLE I4 FWD starts at $29,325. The base 2020 Toyota Avalon XLE (again, with Front Wheel Drive (FWD)) starts at $35,800, and a midlevel 2020 Toyota Avalon Limited FWD starts at $42,100. For 2020, only the Ford Fusion Titanium offers All Wheel Drive (AWD) with the 2.0L EcoBoost Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) gasoline engine, and starts at $36,450. In the 2020 Nissan Altima, AWD is offered only with the naturally-aspirated 2.5L Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) gasoline engine, and starts at $25,450 for a base 2.5 S model, while a fully-loaded 2.5 Platinum model sells for $33,530. Finally, the all-new 2020 Subaru Legacy offers AWD as standard equipment on all trim levels and engines. The Legacy (which was one of the first midsize sedans to offer AWD) starts at $22,745 for an unnamed 2.5i Base model, or $35,895 for the fully-loaded Touring XT trim level. The Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger AWD models really can't be compared to the Toyota Avalon because they are based on a Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) platform, and are more expensive when similarly-equipped. Would you buy a Toyota Avalon or Camry over its competition? Did the unavailability of AWD keep you from considering one even though you may have wanted one? Let us know in the comments down below!