Winter Driving

Toyota adding all-wheel drive option to Camry and Avalon but not in time for this winter

Toyota is adding an all-wheel drive option to the Camry for 2020 and the Avalon for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Toyota

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Toyota buyers will have less skids and twists to deal with when they add the new all-wheel drive (AWD) option to their new Camry or Avalon.

Recently, the demand for all-wheel drive has increased dramatically as the option becomes cheaper for consumers and more widely available. Toyota has listened, bringing to market the first AWD Camry since 1991 and the first-ever Avalon with the equipment and technology. Back then, the technology was option was called AllTrac.

2020 Toyota Camry XLE AWD All-wheel drive can help vehicles maintain traction in inclement weather.Photo courtesy of Toyota

This version of AWD technology made its debut in the current Toyota RAV4 generation when it was introduced in 2019. Toyota's Dynamic Torque Control AWD system provides torque when needed, where needed, allowing a computer to do the calculating while drivers remain assured and confident behind the wheel.

One of the quibbles with older AWD technology is that it significantly reduced a vehicle's fuel efficiency. Toyota wishes to assure customers that it's AWD system "balances added traction with exemplary fuel efficiency."

Buyers can get the Dynamic Torque Control AWD system as a standalone option on the 2020 Toyota Camry LE, XLE, SE, and XSE trims levels and on the 2021 Toyota Avalon XLE and Limited grades.

2020 Toyota Camry XLE AWD Which ones are AWD? Looking at the badging on the trunk lid.Photo courtesy of Toyota

All-wheel drive will be available on 2020 Toyota Camry models just in time for the snow melt - early spring. Toyota's Cold-Weather Package, which adds heated seats and mirrors on the LE, heated seats, mirrors and steering wheel on the SE, and heated steering wheel on the XLE and XSE, can be added to any Camry AWD model. The 2020 Toyota Camry starts at $24,295. No pricing is available for the all-wheel drive option, yet.

The Avalon AWD will be a model year 2021 sedan and go on-sale next autumn. Both XLE and Limited AWD grades will receive a standard heated steering wheel in addition to the system. Pricing for the 2021 Avalon will be available closer to the product's launch.

AWD models can be spotted on dealer lots by checking for "AWD" badging on the trunk lid of the vehicle.

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Ford has listened and will be making its Bronco available with a manual transmission and the Sasquatch Package.

Photo courtesy of Twitter/@MrLevine

It's safe to say that enthusiasm for the 2021 Ford Bronco is high. The voices of the enthusiasts are loud too. So loud, that the powers that be at Ford Motor Company headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan heard them when they shouted all over social media that they wanted the Bronco to be available with a manual transmission and the Sasquatch Package - a combination not announced at the product's debut.

"The Bronco community spoke and we heard them," said Mark Grueber, Ford Bronco consumer marketing manager. "Our team moved quickly to add Sasquatch with a manual transmission – another example of our focus on giving customers the best possible off-road vehicles and accessories that we can."

2021 Ford Bronco four-door Many orders have already been placed for the 2021 Bronco.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Previously, the Sasquatch Package was only available on select trim levels of the two- and four-door Bronco with the available 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Sasquatch Package gives the model 35-inch Goodyear mud-terrain tires that are mounted to 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, Dana front and rear electronic locking axles with 4.7:1 final drive ratio, and a high-clearance suspension with a nearly two-inch wider track, position-sensitive Bilstein shocks, and wider fender flares.

The change makes the Bronco the only 4x4 with a seven-speed manual and 35-inch off-road tires in its class, giving it one more boasting point in the Bronco vs. Wrangler throwdown for off-road supremacy.

The Sasquatch Package will now be available across the Ford Bronco lineup including the Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outerbanks, and Badlands grades. It is standard on the Bronco Wildtrak and First Edition models. Exterior paint job options vary by trim level.

"Capability is always a priority, and pairing Sasquatch with a manual transmission and available advanced 4x4 system gives it a maximum crawl ratio of 94.75:1, providing even more off-road capability across the line-up," said Dave Pericak, Ford icons global director.

The manual transmission with Sasquatch package is targeted to be available in late 2021. But, you may have to wait 15 months to get yours.

Earlier this year, AutomotiveMap rode in a Bronco with a manual transmission as well as the Bronco Sport.

The Bronco build and price module on Ford.com will go live in October. How can you get a deal on your preferred model? There's one thing you need to know.

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This autumn, Nissan celebrates the 40th Anniversary of its Maxima flagship sedan with a milestone-marking model. The 2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition joins the company's stable and builds on the Maxima Platinum grade.

The Maxima is the longest continuous running Nissan nameplate in the U.S. It made its debut on American shores in 1981 as the 1982 Datsun Maxima, replacing the Datsun 810. The original Maxima had the engine of the 240Z and a 5-speed manual transmission.

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Datsun brand's presence in North America was phased out just a few years later and for the 1985 model year, the Nissan Maxima emerged also sporting a new V6 engine and front-wheel drive. The 1988 model was the last to be offered in a wagon body style.

The third-generation Maxima was launched in 1989 with a 3.0-liter V6 that achieved 160 horsepower helping it keep up with the German cars of its time. By 1995 the model got larger and had a new engine, which resulted in a power boost.

Nissan's large car is now in its eighth generation. It debuted in 2016 sporting Nissan's fashionable V-motion grilled and a more aggressive design complete with a floating roof. The car received styling and safety updates for the 2020 model year.

A new Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition includes a unique two-tone Ruby Slate Gray Pearl exterior paint job with black roof, exclusive 19-inch gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels, black exterior finishers and trim badges, a 40th Anniversary badge, black exhaust finishers, red semi-aniline leather-appointed seating with 40th Anniversary embossing, red contrast interior stitching, Satin Dark Chrome interior faceted finishers, white speedometer and tachometer faces reminiscent of past Maxima models, and heated rear seats.

In addition to the 40th Anniversary Edition, the 2021 Maxima will be offered in SV, SR and Platinum grade levels. Every Maxima has a 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood that is capable of achieving 300 horsepower. The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Pricing and on-sale information will be revealed soon. The 2021 Nissan Maxima will arrive at dealership lots this autumn.

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