How It Works

In simple terms, here's how Toyota's all-wheel drive tech works in the 2020 Camry

The all-wheel drive system of the 2020 Toyota Camry was put to the test in Park City, Utah in early February by the AutomotiveMap team.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota introduced its first all-wheel drive Camry in decades this year. They have made all-wheel drive an option for the 2020 Toyota Camry LE, SE, XLE, and XSE. Pricing has not yet been announced but will be revealed before the models go on sale later this year.

The 2020 Camry, along with the 2021 Toyota Avalon, has dynamic torque control all-wheel drive.

Mechanically this means that the car has two axles that each attach to two wheels. The axles are connected by a drive shaft.

2020 Toyota Camry Park City Utah course When wheels start slipping, the car's all-wheel drive system kicks in.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

At the intersection of the front axle and drive shaft is the transmission and a single speed transfer case. The transfer case is a mechanical device that transfers power from the transmission to the front and rear axles via the drive shaft.

At the intersection of the drive shaft and the rear axle, there is a differential. The differential is a set of gears that allows the car's wheels to revolve at different speeds.

On the drive shaft, between the differential and intersection of the drive shaft and transfer case is a coupler. The coupler doesn't sit in the middle, but rather about two-thirds of the way back toward the differential. The coupler is there to provide a mechanical backup in case one of the sets of wheels in the vehicle starts to slip. When this happens, the coupler applies additional torque to the non-slipping wheels in an effort to keep the car going in the direction the driver intended rather than the direction the skid is trying to force the car to go.

2020 Toyota Camry Park City Utah course The Camry has part-time all-wheel drive allowing drivers to take advantage of the technology as needed.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

In some vehicles, torque can be delivered to one, two, three, or all four wheels to varying degrees depending on what the road conditions require. In the Camry, the torque can only be delivered in equal amounts to both rear wheels.

Not all all-wheel drive systems operate all of the time. The ones that don't are called part-time all-wheel drive systems. This allows the driver to receive the benefits of an all-wheel drive system as well as the fuel efficiency that comes with front- or rear-wheel drive when the conditions are right.

2020 Toyota Camry Park City Utah course When traction is lost in either the front or back, Toyota's all-wheel drive system applies more torque to the wheels with traction to keep the car driving in the right direction.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

In the Camry's case, when the all-wheel drive system is not enabled, the car runs as a front-wheel drive model. This is the same as Camrys not equipped with all-wheel drive.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Nearly every brand has a YouTube channel full of vehicle how-to guides and walkarounds.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When you get the keys to your new car, it's easy to zone out when it comes to the instruction the dealership is trying to give you about things like how to change the rearview camera view or turn off that annoying beeping sound you think is made by the safety system.

Often. automakers fill their YouTube channel with a selection of videos that share the highlights of the vehicles and give how-to advice for the various tech systems in them. Not all videos are created equal, however. Some automakers do a better job than others.

Most of the links on this list go to a playlist for a certain automobile created by an automaker. However, some manufacturers mix it up, offering model overviews separate from technical tutorials.

If the videos aren't able to help with your particular query, head to your local dealership for a tutorial, something most offer for no charge.

Acura

2020 Acura TLX Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Aston Martin

2020 Aston Martin DBX

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

Bugatti

Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Dodge

2020 Dodge Charger Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Note: Dodge does not currently have any how-to or walkaround videos on their YouTube channel.

Ferrari

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Fiat

2020 Fiat 500 Trekking

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Kia

2020 Kia Niro FE Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Lexus

2020 Lexus NX

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Model Overviews:

Technical Tutorials:

Lincoln

2020 Lincoln Navigator

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Vehicle Overviews:

Technical Tutorials:

Lotus

Note: Lotus does not currently have any how-to or walkaround videos on their YouTube channel.

Maserati

Maserati Ghibli

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Model Overviews:

Technology Tutorials:

Mazda

2019 Mazda Mazda6 Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Vehicle Overviews:

Technology Tutorials:

MINI

2021 MINI John Cooper Works GP Photo courtesy of MINI

Mitsubishi

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Pagani

Photo courtesy of Pagani Automobili

Note: Pagani does not currently have any how-to or walkaround videos on their YouTube channel.

Tesla

Tesla Model 3

Photo courtesy of Tesla

Vehicle Overviews:

Technology Tutorials:

Volvo

2020 Volvo XC60

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Vehicle Overviews:

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The Hyundai Palisade is one of the best three-row SUVs you can buy.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Familes come in all shapes and sizes. Some need more room than others. The best three-row SUVs fit all your family's comfort and convenience needs from seats for everyone to modern connectivity features and excellent fuel economy.

Despite all the rationale you use to choose your next SUV, sometimes you get in one and just like it more than others. Even with all their years of industry knowledge, AutomotiveMap's writers feel the same way. Often it comes down to feelings about one over the rest.

The three-row SUVs on this list are AutomotiveMap writers' favorites.

2020 Toyota Highlander

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Sue Mead: There's no doubt that the 2020 Toyota Highlander is well-rounded. For the 2020 model year it has been thoroughly updated. Sue's favorite features are the bigger, more thoughtful and useful interior; available 12.3-inch touchscreen; and Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety and driver assistance technology. The fact that the hybrid version is available in front- and all-wheel drive is a plus. The gasoline-powered model can tow 5,000 pounds and the hybrid can tow 3,500.

​2020 Ford Expedition

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Harvey Briggs: The answer here is more. More power. More room. More towing capacity. More of just about everything a family could want in an SUV. What pushes the 2020 Ford Expedition over the top for me over 23 other really good options is third-row legroom.

2020 Kia Telluride

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Jesus Garcia: The new SUV on the block offers space, luxury, and unique styling, at a reasonable price. Available with all-wheel Drive, the 2020 Kia Telluride is capable of doing more than just dropping kids off at school.

Nicole Wakelin: The 2020 Telluride is comfortable and stylish with family-friendly features. It's priced better than competitors too.

2020 Hyundai Palisade

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Perry Stern, AutoNXT: The 2020 Hyundai Palisade boasts standout styling, a roomy and comfortable interior, seating for up to 8 passengers and excellent on- and off-road drivability.

Chad Kirchner: The Hyundai has a premium interior with state-of-the-art safety and tech features, while being significantly cheaper than the competition and doing it significantly better.

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull: While the Land Rover Range Rover Sport's seating can best be described as 5+2, the model serves as an ideal three-row SUV because of its off-road prowess, finely appointed interior, and enough infotainment options to keep your family occupied during a road trip. It's also stylish and is available with a number of powerful engine options.

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