2019 Toyota Avalon Review

2019 Toyota Avalon Overview

Since its 1995 debut, the Toyota Avalon has represented the best of the brand’s sedan line. Earlier models focused on understated luxury, but in 2013, the model shifted to a bolder style to stand out in the full-size arena. The all-new 2019 Avalon continues on that path.

From the outside, the new model resembles the older model in the barest sense. The most distinct element is the grille that combines the upper, lower, and side openings seen on most other sedans, and leaves room for just the LED headlights. The sides are far more linear and purposeful than before with geometric creases that run across the doors and a subtle rear fender bulge. At the back there’s a full-width fin that incorporates all of the LED rear lighting, hanging just above a sculpted rear bumper. And, thanks to Toyota’s new TNGA platform, the whole thing is longer, lower, and wider than the model it replaces.

The Avalon’s interior features a center stack and console that come together as a single floating surface shaped like a ski jump. The panel integrates the Avalon’s infotainment and climate controls, and—unlike the previous model—there are physical buttons. Stitched leatherette and soft-touch materials abound, making no pretenses about this car’s premium status. The new model also does a great job of hiding USB ports and placing the switchgear within easy reach of occupants. While the Avalon was always spacious, rear-seat occupants will appreciate a modest legroom increase.

Toyota will offer the 2019 Avalon in four trims, XLE ($35,500), XSE ($38,800), Limited ($41,800), and Touring ($42,200). For the first time in the model’s tenure, there’s a real divergence in themes across the trims. The XSE and Touring feature athletic, aggressive styling, while XLE and Limited place a greater emphasis on traditional opulence. The XSE and Touring can immediately be identified by gloss-black elements including the grille, wheels, rear spoiler, headlight bezels, and mirror covers and by a distinct rear diffuser set off by quad exhaust tips. The cabins of both the XSE and Touring benefit from a fetching leatherette-and-suede upholstery combination and aluminum trim. Meanwhile, XLE and Limited look more relaxed with a traditional horizontal grille pattern bordered in chrome and silver headlight bezels. Inside, there’s artificial wood for XLE and, for the first time, authentic wood for Limited.

Equipment-wise, even shoppers of the base Avalon will be impressed. Standard features include 17-inch wheels, a 9-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 4G LTE hotspot capability, a 7-inch instrument panel display, five USB ports, Qi wireless charging, an 8-speaker audio system, and full LED lighting. Limited and Touring, as the top two trims, get additional features like adaptive LED front lights, a 10-inch head-up display, a 1200-watt 14-speaker JBL audio system, and navigation.

All Avalons are powered by a reworked 3.5-liter 6-cylinder making 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, driving the front wheels via a new 8-speed automatic transmission. The XSE and Touring can run through the gears with a set of standard paddle shifters. Though horsepower and torque figures have improved considerably—by 33 and 19, respectively— Toyota says the Avalon’s V6 is more efficient than ever. Fuel economy estimates stand as high as 22 mpg city, 32 highway, and 26 combined. There’s a standard drive selector with Eco, Normal, and Sport modes that changes the car’s tuning for different types of driving. Touring models get Eco, Normal, Sport, Sport+, and Custom modes, an active suspension, and several technologies designed to filter all but the most pleasant noises from the engine.

The Avalon makes its biggest leap in terms of standard safety features, with the entire Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of technology. The TSS-P bundles a reversing camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, and automatic high beams. Also standard are blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Available features include a panoramic camera system, rear parking sensors, and rear cross-traffic braking.

Toyota’s Avalon has always made a case for itself as an entry-level luxury product, and the ability to purchase a decked-out sedan for the same price as a base-level premium-badged car. This new one honors that mission with a greater range of features and styling choices. Look for official fuel-economy ratings to be published in the coming months, and the model’s actual release will follow.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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