The Toyota Avalon offers luxury features with a near-luxury price tag. This full-size cruiser has a spacious and well-equipped cabin and provides exceptional long-distance comfort. A 3.5-liter V-6 produces adequate power for passing, and an optional hybrid powertrain is impressively efficient. In addition to people-pleasing luxuries, Toyota has furnished the Avalon with a suite of active safety features as standard equipment. Driving dynamics are as reserved as the Avalon’s exterior styling, but for a big sedan with luxury features at a non-luxury price, this concession is easy to make.
What’s New for 2018?
Almost no changes have been made to the Avalon for 2018. Chrome 18-inch wheels are now standard on Limited models, and there has been some re-shuffling of trim labels.
- XLE: $34,430
- XLE Plus: $36,180
- XLE Premium: $37,630
- Touring: $38,830
- Limited: $42,230
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Avalon’s 268-hp 3.5 liter V-6 engine is gutsy and smooth, and its hybrid powertrain is an efficient option. The V-6 drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain provides plenty of oomph. While the Avalon is no supercar, acceleration is more than sufficient for a vehicle of this size. The available hybrid model combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a pair of electric motors, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) to achieve fantastic EPA ratings. But the trade-off for eco-friendliness is relaxed acceleration. The Avalon drives like a large car because it is a large car, and it is easily out-handled by sportier rivals, like the Nissan Maxima SR. The suspension in our Limited test car was set up for a plush ride, but the Touring model’s stiffer suspension won’t compromise the luxury feel.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Avalon comes well equipped with such standard features as leather-trimmed seats (heated up front) and dual-zone climate control. The generally high-quality interior makes it harder for cheap plastics to hide on the doors and center console. But Toyota didn’t cut costs when it came to the nicely sculpted dashboard with classy stitching and a handsome textured surround for the infotainment screen. Seat comfort and driving position are decent, and a simple gauge cluster faces the driver. Getting in and out of the cabin is easy, although passengers in the roomy rear seat will need to be mindful of the sloping roofline. Small-item storage bins and trunk volume make the Avalon class-competitive as a family car, but its lack of a folding rear seat reduces cargo capacity.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Toyota’s Entune infotainment system includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and auxiliary ports, eight-speaker audio, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Navigation is available only on XLE Premium, Touring, and Limited trims, but lower-level models have an app called Scout GPS Link that broadcasts directions from a compatible smartphone to the Entune screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available, which is a negative in this connected, choose-your-own-music world.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer’s CPO program.