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2020 Toyota Camry And 2021 Avalon Will Have All-Wheel Drive Option - Here's The Bad News

Toyota has announced a major new feature: an all-wheel-drive option for its top-selling Camry and popular Avalon sedans. You are not going to like the timing.

Toyota announced today that the 2020 Camry and the 2021 Avalon sedans will be available with optional all-wheel drive. The new systems were developed here in the U.S., for this market, and the cars will be built in Kentucky (like many Camry and Avalons already are). There is only one piece of unfortunate news. You can't get one for this coming winter season.

2020 Toyota Camry AWD Timing & Content
Toyota's new all-wheel drive Camry sedan will launch on the last day of snow this coming season. We are only half-kidding. Like the Prius AWD, Toyota has timed its new AWD Camry to arrive at dealers in spring. Expect your local Toyota dealer to have one in April of this coming year (2020). Why Toyota has now launched a second AWD car at the very end of the winter season is a complete mystery. Perhaps Toyota knows something about car buying and AWD that we don't. What we do know is that about 150,000 near-future Camry buyers will leave showrooms in North Ameria without AWD due to the timing of this launch.

Watch which Camry trims will have the AWD option in 2020 and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily automotive news analysis.

The Camry AWD trims will be 4-cylinder cars. Toyota is not adding the AWD package to the V6 Camry cars. Toyota says that all AWD Camry grades can get an optional Cold-Weather Package, which adds heated seats and mirrors on the LE, heated seats, mirrors and steering wheel on the SE, and heated steering wheel on the XLE and XSE. Here in New England, we predict this will be a massively popular package option.

2021 Toyota Camry AWD Timing
The 2021 Avalon with AWD will go on sales next fall of 2020, so it will at least be ready for the winter after next. Why there is a delay in launching the Avalon we don't know. Toyota sells about 1,500 Avalons per month, so about 18,000 near-future Avalon owners will not have the option to buy their car with AWD.

The RAV4 crossover is also based on the same platform the Camry and Avalon use. Toyota has combined the upper body structure of the Camry and Avalon with the drivetrain of the RAV4. Toyota even adopted the RAV4’s version of the multi-link rear suspension, with some modifications and tuning, for the AWD Camry and Avalon. Both the Camry and Avalon AWD will adopt a modified propeller shaft from the all-new Highlander SUV.

Toyota pointed out in its specifications reveal that the 2020 Camry will have the latest Toyota Audio multimedia systems which now include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The unloved Scout nav system is retired.

What say you Torque News readers? Will the new AWD Camry and Avalon be a hit with buyers?

In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.


digitaldoc (not verified)    November 13, 2019 - 10:21AM

This is merely reactive to the new altima with awd for the 1st time. I would like to see it offered with the v6 that has a torque steer issue under hard acceleration.

Paul Cahill (not verified)    November 13, 2019 - 11:06AM

Man...I would honestly cross shop and AWD Camry/Avalon for my next car purchase. I love my AWD cars whether i need it or not.
Very happy with what Toyota has done with the styling of these cars. Very bold.