Toyota builds impressive, well-built cars that make their reputation on being profoundly reliable. But there's a flipside to that; for the most part, Toyotas are seldom the sexiest or newest option in any category.
Toyota has developed a tendency to counter that by jazzing things up with special trim packages that boast appearance and feature upgrades. Some, like the Tundra Trail Edition, make sense. Others are a bit odd, especially for such a giant, serious carmaker — though not entirely without charm.
Here are the five weirdest trim levels Toyota wants to sell you in 2021.
Toyota announced the Prius 2020 Edition far enough into 2020 to realize it would be problematic. Making things extra-confusing, the 2020 edition was developed for the 2021 model year.
Toyota also chose to celebrated the Prius’s 20th anniversary in the most un-Prius-like way possible: by adding menacing blacked-out detailing and a spoiler. All that said...it is probably the best-looking Prius you can buy.
The Camry may be the most sensible, practical car one can buy. So of course, Toyota gave it an antithetical TRD trim boasting hyper-aggressive styling and a giant spoiler.
Sure, it gets some special TRD chassis turning, and it’s the cheapest way to land the Camry’s 301-hp V6. But it’s still very much a Camry. So you get to spend your entire ownership explaining how your hot-looking sedan is secretly the most mundane car on the road.
Toyota has indeed created a limited-edition Corolla — which, given the car's ubiquity, feels like an oxymoron. And an “Apex” edition referencing track glory feels like an even bigger one.
The trim offers a track-tuned lowered suspension and a six-speed manual...but only for 120 buyers. The other 5,880 Apex Editions get a CVT. But fret not, it’s a “dynamic shift CVT” that can mimic rowing through 10 gears. That's more than an F1 car has...but still, you're driving a 169-hp Corolla.
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The Avalon — a non-luxury full-sized sedan — feels very much out of place in today's new car market. And that goes double for the TD version.
Unlike the boy racer Camry TRD, the Avalon TRD is a premium trim — the most expensive non-hybrid model you can buy. The styling and spoiler look extra_ridiculous on a definitively non-sporty sedan.
That aside...it all kind of works, at least with a very specific subset of the population: dads. My dad loved it; my father-in-law thought it was cool; and it’s the Avalon that I, a father of two, would buy.
Toyota offers the Nightshade treatment on 10 different vehicles, if you’re into that sort of thing. But putting the trendiest modern black detailing package on the 13-plus-year-old, decidedly-not-sinister Sequoia for added "sizzle" feels especially discordant. Keep in mind, anyone who buys it opted to pay for Darth Vader style instead of leveling up to the TRD Pro.
Toyota dealers are getting new details about the 2022 Toyota Tundra — and, reportedly, they're pumped.