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How Automobiles Work


MARK TAKAHASHI: Hey, everybody. I’m just outside
of Park City, Utah driving this, the 2020
Toyota Camry all-wheel drive. It’s been a long time since
we’ve had an all-wheel drive variant of the Camry– 1991 to be specific– with
the All-Trac back then. You might be wondering
why Toyota’s even bothering while so many shoppers
are gravitating towards SUVs. The fact of the matter is,
small passenger vehicles, like the Camry, sold 5
million units in 2019. And the Camry has been a
sales leader in that category for 18 years straight. So there’s certainly
an audience for it. Today, I’ll review the
Camry on public roads, as well, as this
cool snow autocross that they set up for us. That should demonstrate
how much more traction you can get from
all-wheel drive. Before I get even
deeper into the Camry, though, do me a favor– hit Subscribe below. We have a lot of great
videos coming your way. When the Camry all-wheel drive
goes on sale in March 2020, it’ll be offered in every trim
level except for the lowest. That means the lowest
price of admission will be the LE trim for $27,500. That’s a $1,500 premium over
the front-wheel drive Camry. If you ask me, that’s a
pretty reasonable cost. There are a handful of
very slight drawbacks. The all-wheel drive will get
about three miles per gallon less than a front-drive version. And there’s a slightly larger
hump in the rear seats. Thankfully, though, trunk
volume is unaffected. Toyota has a lot of different
all-wheel drive systems. With the larger SUVs, you
have a mechanical system. Just recently, they
introduced the Prius with all-wheel drive e
which adds an electric motor and battery just
for that rear axle. They’ve said that this wonderful
little snowy course for us. Here we go. OK, so a little bit of
crabbing here and there. But it left the line just fine. And that was pretty
deep snow, actually. It’s mostly just for
acceleration up to 6 miles an hour. And it will fill in up to 43
miles an hour on the highway. The Camry’s all-wheel drive
system doesn’t have that limit. And it just kind of
comes in whenever you need that traction. Sadly, though, they will
not be offering a V6 version of the all-wheel drive Camry,
mostly because the demand simply isn’t there
either for the V6 or an all-wheel
drive variant of it. So let’s go hit the road. From behind the wheel, I’m
really feeling no difference between the all-wheel drive
and front-wheel drive Camry’s. And that’s a good thing. Power distribution to the
rear wheels is seamless. I don’t feel a thing. You can get up to 50% of
torque sent to the back wheels when you need
traction back there. Otherwise on the highway and
as I’m cruising right now, it decouples so you can
get better fuel economy. And when you start
laying into it, it’s really no
sense that there’s any mechanical
proportioning of power. But there is a decent amount
of road and wind noise that we also noted in
the front-drive Camry. The interior of
the all-wheel drive is exactly the same as
the front-wheel drive. There’s no difference. Material quality
is about average for the class of cars which
is midsize family sedans. Otherwise, there’s
really no difference between this and the
front-wheel drive Camry. For more in-depth information
and drive impressions of that Camry, we do have a
separate video just for that. The introduction of this
all-wheel drive Camry give shoppers one
more alternative in a really small group of
all-wheel drive midsize sedans. That includes the Subaru
Legacy, the new Nissan Altima all-wheel drive,
and maybe others, as an outlier,
the Dodge Charger, which gives a little more
personality and excitement. For the class, the
Camry meets expectations but doesn’t impress us or
really exceed expectations not like how the top-ranked
Honda Accord does. But for the time being, there
is no all-wheel drive variant of the Accord. The real test for this
all-wheel drive Camry will be when we can
get it on some snow where I’m headed right now. [MUSIC PLAYING] All right, everybody. So I’m on this wonderful
little snowcross course they set out for us– demonstrate the abilities
of the all-wheel drive. And it’s getting
a little slushy. But it is definitely slippery. And there’s no way a
front-drive Camry would actually even make it up this. Now, driving it conservatively,
it’s really quite good. I’m pushing it just, oh,
well, quite a bit harder than your average driver would. Oops, there you go. So a little slide a little,
but it’s very controllable. But driving it like a normal
driver, it’s very composed. There’s no real
squirm back and forth. And I’m getting
plenty of traction. And I’m– from
the driver’s seat, I’m not feeling any of that
transition between power going to the rear wheel and
coming back up front. And they can send up to 50%
of torque to those rear wheels when you need it. And like any other
all-wheel drive system, it’ll proportionate left
and right when needed. Oops, there we go– almost beached it. But it’s certainly
probably the most fun I’ve had in a Camry ever,
because let’s face it. They’re not the
most exciting cars, but they don’t need to be. These are purpose-built cars
to get people from point A to point B comfortably
and reliably. It slides– it doesn’t
really rotate that well. But you don’t have to
be too busy on the wheel when things do get sideways. I’m leaving all of the stability
and traction control stuff on. And it’s well-tuned. It’s not just chopping
the throttle off when things get sideways. It’s allowing you to get a
little more throttle to keep it where you want it going. Oh, crap, here we go– got it. [LAUGHS] I will not be denied. It is getting really slippery. Oh, that was a nice one. Way to end it, Mark. [LAUGHS] OK. If you’re looking for
a mid-sized family sedan with all-wheel drive. The new Toyota Camry
is a solid choice. It goes along with
my thinking that you should begin with the smallest
car that you actually need. If you don’t need a larger
crossover, go with sedan. For more information on the
Camry, as well as competition, head on over to edmunds.com. To see more videos like
this, hit Subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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