The premium is less than expected.
The last time Toyota sold a Camry in the US with available all-wheel drive was way back in 1991. Since then, the popular mid-size family sedan has remained front-wheel-drive only. As we've known since its November reveal, that's changing this year. The 2020 Toyota Camry will have an AWD option whose pricing has just been announced. AWD will be available on the LE, SE, XLE, XSE, and Nightshade trims for an additional $1,400. Previously, Toyota hinted this would be about a $1,500 option, so the $100 difference is very much welcomed.
When equipped with AWD, the Camry LE begins at $27,325, the SE at $28,525, the XLE at $31,812, the XSE at $32,360, and the Nightshade at $29,225. Regardless of trim, all AWD Camrys are powered by a 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Most AWD grades have 202 horsepower, but the XSE has an additional 3 ponies thanks to its dual exhaust system. Toyota also previously announced the AWD Camry's excellent fuel economy ratings of 25/34/29 mpg city/highway/combined in LE and SE trim, and 25/34/28 mpg in SLE and XSE. The AWD system the Camry (and larger Avalon sedan) is receiving is called Dynamic Torque Control AWD.
This system utilizes an electromagnetic-controlled couple to engage and disengage the rear axle in a near-instant, thus allowing the vehicle to direct up to 50 percent of the total torque output to the rear axle when necessary, and to completely disconnect the rear axle whenever needed.
Given the fact a majority of American Camry buyers encounter wintry weather conditions, meaning roads covered in snow and ice, it's kind of surprising it's taken this long for Toyota to re-introduce AWD. The Camry has been one of America's best-selling vehicles for years but the competition has been formidable. The Subaru Legacy, for example, comes standard with AWD while other highly regarded sedans like the Nissan Altima and now discontinued Ford Fusion have it as an option.
For Toyota, it's better late than never. Sales are set to get underway this spring.