IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The Avalon delivers impressive all-around refinement and high-tech features with traditional big-car space, and it’s more engaging to drive than you might expect.
The front-end styling is polarizing, and front-seat headroom isn’t as good as some class competitors’.
Touring models come standard with an Adaptive Variable Suspension system, which provides real-time damping control for improved ride and handling.
WHAT IS IT?
The Avalon is Toyota’s large sedan. It is available in luxury-oriented XLE and Limited trim levels as well as sportier XSE, TRD, and Touring models—all of which are powered by a 301-hp 3.5-liter V6 paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The TRD is a performance-themed model (TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development) that’s equipped with a sport-tuned suspension, larger front disc brakes, and other sporty touches. An Avalon Hybrid version, powered by a 215-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission, is available in XLE, XSE, and Limited trim levels. New for 2021 are all-wheel drive models in XLE or Limited trim, powered by a 205-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. Standard features on all include LED headlights and taillights, heated front seats, keyless entry and starting, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Standard safety equipment includes forward collision warning and mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and mitigation, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high-beam headlights. Available features include a 10-inch color head-up display, 360-degree surround-view camera display, Amazon Alexa remote connectivity features, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality (Android Auto is newly available for 2021).
In addition to the all-wheel-drive models and Android Auto capability mentioned above, the Avalon gains USB-C charging ports and an XSE Nightshade Edition model with black wheels and blacked-out exterior trim.
EPA-estimated figures are 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway for the V6 and 43 city/44 highway for the hybrid 4-cylinder. With either engine, non-XLE trim levels are rated at 1 mpg less on the highway. The Avalon TRD is rated at 21 city/30 hwy, and the AWD Avalon is rated at 25 city/34 highway. All Avalons run on regular-grade gas. In Consumer Guide® testing, an Avalon Touring averaged 20.6 mpg and an Avalon TRD averaged 22.1 mpg (both tests consisted of about 55-percent city driving). An Avalon Hybrid Limited averaged 40.6 mpg in 65-percent city driving.
VALUE IN CLASS
With its redesign for the 2019 model year, the Toyota Avalon got a more dynamic attitude and several welcome new features without giving up any of its characteristic smooth-riding demeanor and cabin comfort. The new-for-2020 Avalon TRD upped the ante on the handling front, and the welcome addition of available all-wheel drive for 2021 brings better all-weather traction. The large-sedan segment might be waning in popularity as buyers turn toward crossover SUVs, but the Avalon shows just how good a traditional big family sedan can be.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$35,875 – $43,300|
|BODY STYLES||4-Door Sedan|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||205-HP, 2.5-Liter 4-Cyl.; 215-HP, 2.5-Liter 4-Cyl./Electric; 301-HP, 3.5-Liter V6|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Front or All-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||21-44 MPG|
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