2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid
You have probably heard that sedans are picking up sales lately. That is good thing when you consider that they were almost considered extinct – especially larger sedans.
Even better is that you do not have to look any further to find a really good one. That distinction falls upon the latest entry in this class: The 2019 Toyota Avalon.
We’re curious as to how good the Avalon is compared to other large sedans. Toyota sent us an Avalon Hybrid Limited to find out if it stands up to its praises.
One look outside reveals a mix of evolutionary and revolution design strategies. The overall look is sharp, long and lean – and very ambitious. It exudes a premium look and feels all around. Creases never thought possible in a Toyota appear from front to back on the Avalon, making it completely stand out in the crowd. The headlamps are longer, giving it two bulbs and a series of LED running lights and turn signals in each unit. The rear taillights are magnificent, with LED turn signals running outward creating a sliding effect. The long doors also open wide for greater access to the front and back seats.
Looking up front, the lower part of the grille is an evolution from the previous generation, while a new piece on the upper part of the front fascia is new and narrower than before. On luxury models, you get a series of horizontal lines, while sport models get a black mesh treatment.
The premium look and feel continue in perhaps the best cabin Toyota have designed for any sedan ever. The materials have been upgraded where they needed to be, especially in our Hybrid Limited tester. The two-tone Cognac and black leather interior that is tastefully done in a very near-Lexus manner. The center stack is influenced by the Land Cruiser, with its solid piece running from the center console housing the climate controls and infotainment screen. The console itself is more open, thanks to a narrow shifter housing and more space for smaller items, including smartphones.
The instrument binnacle is a mix of two large analog dials and a center TFT screen. The latter provides a mass of information necessary to keep tabs on the Avalon and its hybrid systems. You can also have the energy monitor show on the home screen of the Entune 3.0-driven infotainment system. All of the controls have been updated for improved logic and touch.
An Avalon cabin has always been large, and it carried over nicely for this new 2019 model. The seats provided a mix of comfort and support, especially on longer journeys. Front seats offer plenty of power-operated adjustments for all drivers. The rear area offers plenty of leg room, but people with taller torsos may want to watch their head on the sloping roofline. Trunk space is generous with 16.09 cubic feet available without folding the rear seats down.
You can choose between two power choices for the Avalon Standard is the uprated 3.5-liter V6 engine, with 301 horsepower on tap, connected to a new 8-speed automatic. Our Hybrid tester came with an improved version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with the Hybrid Synergy Drive system. Net total power between the gasoline and electric power plants are 215 horsepower. An electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission sends power from the hybrid system down to the front wheels.
The major reason you want the Avalon Hybrid over the V6 is the fuel economy. I averaged 42.5 MPG in mixed driving. What large sedan can say that?
The Avalon offers a smooth, luxurious ride. It simply just feels as smooth. For a big sedan, the Avalon handles quite well. It loves corners, but a harder entry would yield some roll through the turns. Otherwise, the Avalon is very well composed in any situation. The brakes offer solid stops in normal and panic situations. The pedal feel is superb with great response down to the calipers/rotors. The steering has a good feel and solid response from the wheel. The turning radius is actually quite good for a long sedan.
The 2019 Avalon Hybrid lineup starts at $36,500 for a V6-powered XLE. Our Hybrid Limited tester came with a sticker price of $45,118. For the V6 model, pricing starts at $35,500.
Looking through all of the competitors to the Avalon, none of them offer a hybrid model. However, that does not mean you cannot compare this Avalon with the likes of the Nissan Maxima, Kia Cadenza, Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, Chevrolet Impala, Buick LaCrosse, and Ford Taurus.
The bottom line on the Avalon is exactly what everyone else have said: This is the best in its class. With sedans back on the up-and-up, this one should not be ignored.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors