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Home / Technology / 2019 Toyota Avalon First Drive Review: Looks weird, but it's better across the board

2019 Toyota Avalon First Drive Review: Looks weird, but it's better across the board

It's no secret that I loved the previous generation Toyota Avalon . The new model is objectively better in almost every respect. Whether you're looking for comfort from the Limited model or a slightly more active touring model, it's more spacious, comfortable and enjoyable to drive.

Toyota has even overtaken its Entune infotainment and has implemented most of its advanced safety technology standards throughout the product range. If you are in the market for a large mid-size sedan, the Toyota Avalon 201

9 is an excellent choice.

Subjectively speaking, this new generation addresses an exterior design that is just … good, it's usually terrible. This new grille is just too big for a car of this size and too aggressive, I think, for the target group of the sedan. The tread and the rear look great and the headlights and taillights are interesting. But this front-end is a lot to take.

Luckily, it looks much better inside.

V6 Touring Performance

The new Avalon is available with two drivetrains. There's a hybrid that we'll come back to shortly, and the conventional 3.5-liter V6, which is likely to make up the bulk of Avalon's sales volume. The V6 makes 301 horsepower (33 ponies more than the predecessor model) and 267 pound-feet of torque (19 pound-feet more). It is equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission with an option that powers the front wheels. a setup that combines 31 mpg, 22 city mpg and 25 mpg for an estimated highway. (The base XLE model is rated at 32 highway mpg due to its slightly lighter curb weight.)

Passing power is passable. The Avalon 2019 feels like it has the right amount of power for a vehicle of this size – not enough to overwhelm, but enough to get the job done. Acceleration is good and above all smooth. The 8-speed automatic and the V6 work well with imperceptibly gentle gearshifts and whisper-quiet operation at highway speeds.

Conventional or hybrid, the new Avalon is longer, wider and deeper than before, giving extra space in the cabin and giving the sedan a neater position on the road. The reason for this attitude is a suspension that varies between different equipment levels. XLE and Limited models do a great job by absorbing bumps with a ride that complements the quieter cabin of the Avalon. XSE and Touring models come with heavier springs, dampers, and suspension bushings that provide a little more driving feel and more responsiveness.

The Touring model is also available with an optional adaptive suspension that constantly monitors stiffness and changes the shock every 20ms. With just one touch of a button, you can also switch between preset presets and fixed presets. With stronger steering and more active sound enhancements that direct engine noise into the normally quiet cabin (and simulate exhaust noise with the JBL surround speakers), the Touring model in its Sport + setting can feel downright sporty on a winding road.


The touring model is the sportiest of the Avalon trim levels and comes with an adaptive suspension.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

But even in the most aggressive environments there is still a very high level of comfort here. This is not a car that rattles your teeth in search of a level of performance that its powerful body and laws of physics can not match. That's why Toyota engineers have chosen to give the Sport and Sport + settings a slightly better ride and better road access while keeping things nice and comfortable. I dig that.

HV Hybrid System

More frugal buyers will want to consider the more fuel-efficient Avalon HV models. With the automaker's new hybrid system, the HV is launching Toyota's new 2.5-liter four-cylinder "Dynamic Force" engine, which delivers 176 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque and a pair of electric-motor-generator units Battery pack contains. The e-motors can send up to 118 horsepower to the front wheels or absorb engine or brake energy to charge the "Hyper Prime" nickel-metal hydride battery. Together, the electric and gasoline engines work with a total of 215 hp, because hybrid math is never an easy addition. The combined torque was not specified.

The hybrid model is slightly heavier than the conventional model and less powerful, so it's not surprising that it feels a little slower and less responsive. What is lacking in performance, the Avalon HV provides significantly improved efficiency and refinement.


The Avalon HV XLE of 2019 is the most efficient in the lineup with an estimated 43 city, 44 highway and 44 combined mpg. More feature-laden XSE and Limited models fall on 43 freeways and combined mpg, which is still damn good. I only averaged about 38 mpg for my short time, but I had to test the sport mode.

There is no HV touring model, so you can not get a hybrid with the adaptive suspension, but that's not really very disappointing, considering that the HV is geared even more to comfort. Thanks to the electrification, the hybrid's cabin is even quieter than the V6, and its performance is smoother in the city thanks to CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) and electric motor torque, which fills in the gasoline engine's shortfall. Toyota has also pushed the battery of the Avalon HV from the trunk under the rear seats, so that this generation sacrifices nothing of its load volume compared to the 16.09 cu. Ft. Of the V6 and leaves the rear seats intact. [19659005] Comfort and Equipment

Comfort, if you have not guessed it, is a focus for the Toyota Avalon 2019. There's more room in both rows for shoulders and legs and the cabin that surrounds these seats was one Look outdated, which was praised as the outer design was challenged.


Fortunately, the interior of the Avalon is handsomely appointed, especially on the limited trim level.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

The seat cushions and door panels have intricate and interesting seams that look great. The seats themselves have an almost random perforation pattern that helps them breathe better. The dashboard layers textures and materials so that the eye lies gently in the cabin. The steering wheel is equipped with a two-tone perforated leather shell that really sets something that could easily be a parts bin pick. It's a fantastic-looking cockpit.

Toyota is attentive to the detail. For example, one of the front cup holders has a flat edge that allows a smartphone to be accommodated. The optional wireless Qi charging pad hides in its own compartment under the infotainment center stack. 2.1A high performance USB ports are distributed throughout the cabin to charge passengers' devices.

In the middle of the cabin is Toyota's latest version of Entune tech. The 9-inch touch screen system hovering over the dashboard on its own tombstone-like panel has been dramatically improved in the third generation. Menus look better and are more organized. There are also new Toyota Connected Services, including remote access and monitoring via smartphone, smartwatch and Amazon Alexa.

Entune 3.0 also offers screen-sharing connectivity with the Scout GPS app, which gives you a navigation option, even if you do not take Toyota boarding passes and connectivity with Apple Carplay for iOS devices.


Entune 3.0 features standard Apple CarPlay, but Android Auto is not available.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

The software revision makes Entune a lot easier to use and understand, but it's still not my favorite tech suite on the road. The responsiveness could be a bit sharper – the delay after a tap is still only noticeable. And while Apple CarPlay offers iOS users a simple software-software alternative, Android users are excluded from Android due to lack of auto-compatibility. Toyota cites privacy concerns for leaving out Android Auto, but I want to at least activate the option.

An optional 1200-watt, 14-speaker JBL Clari-Fi audio upgrade is available and highly recommended. This premium stereo system sounds amazing with a wide range of music types: it bumps hip-hop, drifts rock and reproduces clearly sensitive jazz and soul passages. Even at high volumes with a lot of bass it does not distort noticeably and brings out the sound with good stereo separation. JBL's system is supported by the well-stocked cabin of the Avalon; No rattles will come from the door panels or the dashboard to ruin the perfect blow.

Standard Toyota Safety Sense

The Avalon is bigger, quieter, higher quality and more comfortable, but also safer. At least it's packed with more standard safety tech.

For model year 2019, Toyota's Safety Sense P (TSS-P) series of driver assistance technologies is standard on all Avalon models. Even the basic XLE without options is equipped as standard with a collision with automatic brake assistance, pedestrian recognition, lane departure warning with lane departure warning, automatic high beam and radar cruise control. That's a pretty solid load that does a lot to make the new Avalon feel more premium.

In addition to the impressive standard TSS-P setup, higher trim levels also offer blind spot monitoring and reverse traffic warnings. For extra safety, Avalon shoppers can opt for an Advanced Safety Package that automatically brakes the rear cross-traffic system, as well as sonar parking sensors and a bird's eye view camera system.

Pricing and Availability [19659006] Developed and manufactured in the US, the Toyota Avalon V6 will hit the market from 2019 in May 2018, starting at $ 35,500 for the base XLE and up to $ 42,200 for the top -Touring model. The Avalon HV starts at $ 36,500 for the XLE and $ 42,800 for the Limited. That's before the $ 895 fee is added.

If you can come across the overly aggressive grille, this new Avalon is a massive improvement over what was already one of my favorite big sedans. It's comfortable and safe with the V6 and quiet and quiet with the HV hybrid system. The cabin looks great and the level of safety technology offered is impressive.

The Avalon slips into an interesting place among its competitors, including the Buick LaCrosse, Chevy Impala, Kia's Cadenza and the aging Ford Taurus. The Cadenza is a particularly interesting alternative as it is less expensive (and slightly less powerful) than the Toyota, but offers similar ride quality, dashboard technology and advanced safety technology. With its more conventional design, the front end of the Kia is also much easier on the eyes.


The Toyota Avalon from 2019 is a handsome (though not so good-looking) choice for those looking for a high-quality premium Looking for a limousine.

Antuan Goodwin / Roadshow

But the Avalon seems to be seeking a higher station. Not only does it have good equipment, it also thrives in premium areas with its beautiful cabin, sleek feel and attention to detail in design and design. For much less money, the new Avalon asks me why anyone even considers a Lexus ES; it is so good.

Try very hard not to look directly at this frontend.

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