Car News

Toyota Refreshes Camry, Gives Avalon AWD, Apexes Corolla for 2021

Toyota is giving three sedan models an upgrade for 2021, including more safety features and a facelift for the Camry, Android Auto and all-wheel drive for the Avalon, and a special Apex Edition Corolla with suspension upgrades for drivers wanting a bit more sportiness with their compact car.

2021 Toyota Camry: New Grilles, New Interiors, Safety Tech Upgraded

The biggest changes are coming to the Camry, which Toyota points out turns 37 for the 2021 model year. This generation of the company's midsize sedan debuted in 2017 and now it's getting a facelift, some new tech, and an extra version of Hybrid trim.

LE and XLE trims add some definition to the lower intake, which mostly consists of brightening the colours used and the trim surrounding it. Both get new wheel designs as well. On the more sporting SE and XSE trims, Toyota has made the lower grille a honeycomb mesh in place of the previous diamond shape, and there are new side vents. The XSE's two-tone roof is now offered only with wind chill pearl or silver with a black roof.

Inside, the Camry offers a redesigned 7.0- or 9.0-inch floating-look touchscreen with customizable features and has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The seats add a new stitching pattern and XLE trim seats add a textured herringbone pattern. The interior trim is new, with a dark finish, wood, or metal, depending on trim. The Hybrid will be offered as XSE-spec for the first time.

Toyota has also upgraded the car's safety systems to Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, giving the car enhancements like an upgrade to Pre-Collision with Pedestrian detection to allow it to find a cyclist in front of the car in front of you (in the daytime) and a preceding pedestrian in low-light. It adds intersection support to the detection system as well. Radar cruise is also enhanced for smoother passing and following down to a complete stop.

2021 Toyota Avalon: All-Wheel Drive Added

The biggest change for the Toyota Avalon for 2021 is the addition of all-wheel drive. The extra-traction system will come exclusively on the Limited trim, and joins the Camry in adding that feature last year. The AWD system can send up to half the power to the rear axle, but comes with a 205-hp 2.5L four in place of the XSE's 301-hp 3.5L V6. New for 2021, Android Auto joins Apple CarPlay on the car's 9.0-inch display audio system, and all Avalons have Connected Services by Toyota.

2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan: Apex Limited Edition, Android Auto

For something the polar opposite of the Avalon, there's a new Apex Edition of the Corolla coming in 2021. The special edition sedan, limited to just 150 units for Canada, adds chassis and stying changes to help give the compact a boost in the looks and handling departments.

Starting with the SE-trim car and its 169-hp 2.0L four-cylinder, the Apex Edition adds new coil springs that lower the car 15 mm and offer a higher rate for flatter cornering. The dampers have internal rebound springs to help them better control body movement, and the solid stabilizer bars are more rigid to help reduce roll. Toyota says the car is 47 per cent stiffer up front and 33 per cent in the rear, which should make it much more responsive.

Working with the suspension changes is a new calibration for the power steering, and there is a new exhaust with a 3.5-inch tip that Toyota says adds some sound character to the car.

Visual upgrades include 18-inch flow-formed wheels that are 1 kg lighter at each corner. A new body kit in black with bronze accents includes a spoiler, fog light covers, side mouldings and diffuser, with a rear spoiler on the options list.

All of the Apex Edition cars will be cement grey with an available black sand pearl roof. One hundred of the cars will have Toyota's CVT and 50 will have the six-speed manual.

Every Corolla gets Android Auto for 2021, along with some extra airbags and automatic engine shut-off that turns the car off if you leave it idling.

Expect the 2021 Toyota Camry, Avalon, and Corolla at dealers later this year, with pricing to follow.