We've always wondered why there aren't more mainstream, relatively affordable All-Wheel Drive sedans out there. We know it costs manufacturers more to engineer and build them, but in the age where crossovers dominate, sedans would benefit tremendously by providing wider appeal to consumers who live in wetter and snowier parts of the country. Well, it looks like Toyota has finally listened since they plan on bringing an AWD Camry and Avalon to the masses next year.
Now that Toyota has finally made the Camry look far better than any of its predecessors and added a performance version to the mix (Camry TRD), it's high time they brought back all-wheel drive. That's right. This isn't the first time Toyota has done it, but we're guessing it will be far more popular than the short-lived Camry All-Trac, which sold for only a few years (1988-1991) in both sedan (below) and wagon formats. Hell, that sedan still looks great 29 years later.
The fact that the brand will also add AWD to their upscale (and redesigned) Avalon is more good news. Both the Camry and the Avalon use the TNGA platform that also undergirds the very popular RAV4 crossover that was also just redone. The AWD system is front-wheel drive biased and can route up to 50 percent of the engine's power to the rear wheels when it senses a loss of traction.
This news is a boon for car buyers who want sedan driving dynamics (lower center of gravity, thus better handling), reliability, style, and four-seasons traction. The combination just makes sense, and it thumbs the nose at the Honda Accord, the Hyundai Sonata, and the Mazda6 who only offer front-wheel drive.
The AWD Camry and Avalon join the ranks of the new Nissan Altima (AWD optional on all trims for $1,350), the Subaru Legacy Sedan (AWD standard), and the Ford Fusion (AWD option on Titanium trim for $2,000), which will stop production after the 2020 model year. It seems the timing is right for AWD drive to come to the Toyota sedans.
Pricing for AWD on these models has not been released, and sadly the cars won't make it in time for us to take on winter. They will go on sale in the spring, which is still a good thing since those are wetter months, in general.