Several car companies out there with racing divisions or brands have become legendary within the auto industry: Ford has its Ford Performance (formerly Team RS), Chevy has Chevrolet Performance, and Toyota has its Toyota Racing Development (TRD). When you see a TRD model, you know that you’re looking at something special—something that’s been engineered to deliver a fantastic driving experience—although TRD Pro models are designed for off-road performance rather than tearing up the street. Anyone looking for a Toyota Camry for sale should pay attention to the trims available, particularly the Camry TRD.
Toyota has more than a dozen different Camry models on offer when you look at the standard gas engines and hybrid options, which can make it difficult to compare them and see what each brings to the road. That’s not a problem when you’re focused on getting the best performance possible in a Toyota sedan because that brings you to just one choice: the Camry TRD. That being said, the engine in the TRD model isn’t unique to it, so what else has Toyota done with this car to make it really stand out? Let’s take a look and see what it has going on…
The Camry TRD is, first and foremost, about delivering solid performance that makes you want to get in and drive every day. And yet, the engine in the Camry TRD isn’t unique within the lineup—you can get it on other Camry models, too, though it’s not the standard one. The standard engine on the Camry is a 2.5L four-cylinder that offers 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which is great for a sedan like this but not particularly exceptional. In the TRD and other V6 models, Toyota has delivered a 3.5L V6 that provides 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. This is excellent power that undoubtedly delivers on the TRD promise of a vehicle that feels fantastic, but what sets the TRD apart from similar models?
In terms of performance, the engine is only part of the equation—an important part, of course, but still just one element. Much like many other Camry models, the TRD comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive; although all-wheel drive is available on other models, it is not on the TRD. The TRD starts to establish itself as a unique option with its track-tuned front and rear coil springs in its suspension, designed to handle the bursts of speed that the TRD can deliver. It also has unique shock absorbers and stabilizer bars to assist in keeping you comfortable and in control at all times.
The suspension is only the start, as the Camry TRD features exclusive power-assisted ventilated 12.9-inch front disc brakes with dual-piston calipers for extra braking power. This is important since it’s easy to get a bit heavy-footed with something like the TRD, and having the ability to safely come to a stop is vital. The TRD also has red-painted front and rear calipers that set it apart from other Camry models, plus a unique brake booster and pedal stiffness tuning for an overall feel exclusive to this version of the Camry.
Exterior Details and Differences
Those red brake calipers aren’t the only visual cue that you’re looking at something special with the Camry TRD, although they’re definitely noticeable. The TRD also features bi-LED combination headlights with black trim—that black detail runs throughout the TRD’s exterior. You’ll find a similar black trim on the rear taillights, along with black window trim and black heated power outside mirrors available on some other models but standard on the TRD. This trim also has exclusive 19-inch TRD matte-black alloy wheels designed to perfectly show off those unique brake calipers and make the exterior look stunning.
You’ll find a TRD gloss-black pedestal rear spoiler to set this model apart from other Camry trims, along with a TRD gloss-black front splitter, side aero skirts, and a rear diffuser with red pinstriping. The TRD cat-back dual exhaust with polished stainless steel tips not only looks fantastic against all of the black details on this car but also helps to boost the overall performance of its powerful engine. Finally, there are Toyota emblems and “Camry” lettering in black, along with red TRD badging that brings the aesthetic of this car together in a way that is aggressively stylish.
What’s Going On In There?
As you might expect, the unique details on the TRD haven’t been reserved only for the outside of it; the interior also has several differences from other Camry models. It features a 4.2-inch Multi-Information Display for the driver with an exclusive TRD start-up animation and useful information, including an odometer, outside temperature, average speed, and warning messages. This model also has unique TRD instrumentation with red-illuminated accents that perfectly match a lot of the exterior details we looked at. Although not unique, the TRD has some nice high-end features like Toyota’s Smart Key System with remote keyless entry.
The Camry TRD has unique Sport SofTex-trimmed front seats with red seatbelts and stitching, including red-stitched TRD headrest logos. This includes an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and a six-way adjustable front-passenger seat; SofTex is Toyota’s exclusive synthetic leather material that’s incredibly comfortable and durable. Matching this seating is a leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel with red stitching, which includes paddle shifters, audio controls, and controls for the Camry TRD’s Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
You’ll find patterned metal interior details that play well with the exclusive touches, along with additional red stitching on the instrument panel. There’s a black leather shift knob with red stitching and a debossed TRD logo, black floor mats with a red Camry TRD logo and red outlining, and aluminum sport pedals to remind you that you’re in a performance vehicle. While not unique, the Camry TRD features a 7.0-inch infotainment display with a six-speaker sound system, though a 9.0-inch display and a JBL sound system with nine speakers are available to elevate the driving experience even further. Altogether, the unique details of the TRD really set it apart from other Camry trims and come together beautifully with other features found in multiple models.
Other Factors Setting the TRD Apart
At the end of the day, the TRD isn’t just a performance-focused version of the Camry; it’s also a higher-end trim level. As we saw with the interior details, this means it comes with things like the Smart Key System (an available option, not standard) and has leather details throughout the inside. This means the TRD comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, which features standard safety technology like a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and a Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, but it also has additional features like Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which you won’t find on all Camry models. So not only does the TRD look stunning and offer a fantastic driving experience, but it’s also incredibly safe.
Looking at everything it has to offer, it’s not hard to see why so many people go for the TRD rather than any other Camry model. For drivers looking for something that’s easiest on the wallet or that has incredible fuel economy thanks to a hybrid engine, other Camry options might be a better choice. But for bold performance, gorgeous style, and excellent features throughout, the Camry TRD is pretty hard to beat. I’d like to see the TRD team tune the engine on this model for improved power compared to the other Camry V6 options; otherwise, this is the perfect expression of Toyota’s performance.