With all the focus on electric vehicles, crossovers and are they sport-utilities or well-disguised minivans, the good large sedan can get lost in the shuffle.
I grew up loving the massive sedans of ‘70s and early ‘80s with powerful V-8 engines, like the Lincoln Mark Five, and especially the Mercury Grand Marquis — my dad had one of each.
Those large, floaty behemoths evolved — and my tastes along with them — where nowadays “powerful” generally equates to “fast.”
One of the best examples available is the 2021 Toyota Camry TRD. The automaker’s been spreading the TRD love across its line-up for the past couple of years. The Camry got the update for the 2020 model year — and wears it well.
This year, the exterior gets a new, exclusive color called Ice Edge, which is sort of a light matte grey color. It’s offset by a Midnight Black Metallic roof, as well as red pinstriping and red brake calipers.
The look is accentuated by the black grille, black alloy wheels and — if you haven’t sensed a theme — a set of all-black aerodynamic body mods — upgrades that aren’t just for show, they’re for go!
The cabin is spacious and comfortable, and the TRD logo is in enough spots to remind you “Hey! Your car goes fast.” The infotainment electronics are current, but the set up is simple and spare without being boring.
And go it does, powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 putting out 301 horsepower mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The Camry TRD’s been lowered by six tenths of an inch.
And when combined with special TRD shocks, stiffer coil springs and sway bars, you get a sedan that’s not only family ready — it’s track ready. I can tell you it’s laugh riot using the paddles while driving in sport mode.
Safety and Technology
Let’s not forget though, this is a Camry, which means fun and frolic must be paired with safety and comfort. The TRD gets some upgraded standard features, including a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert plus Toyota Safety Sense 2.5-plus. The JBL Premium Audio system is now an option on Camry TRD.
Sometimes big cars get gussied up to make people think they’re “sporty.” However, in this case, that is mission accomplished. More importantly, Toyota gets the job done for just over $34,000! There might just a new vehicle in my future … and maybe the speeding tickets that come with it.