America’s love affair for personal transportation has evolved once again, as utility vehicles now dominate sales. Certainly, GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler have cut back on their sedan offerings, but not all manufacturers have followed suit. The Toyota Avalon is one such model that is staying around, a full-size sedan that’s overhauled for 2019.
What’s New This Year
Mostly everything about the 2019 Toyota Avalon is new this year, including the vehicle’s platform and design. An updated engine, expanded technologies, and a renewed hybrid model chart the changes.
Prices range from $35,800 to $42,500 across five trims, not including destination. On the other hand, the hybrid model comes in three trims and costs just $950 more.
Among the Toyota Avalon’s competitors are the Chevrolet Impala, Kia Cadenza, and the Buick LaCrosse.
Exterior & Interior Highlights
Twenty-five years have passed since Toyota rolled out the Avalon to take on the big Buicks of that day. Since then, Toyota has taken its path, by developing a model that is uniquely stylish, elegant, and even cutting-edge.
Front to back, the 2019 Avalon features graceful lines, chiseled corners, a sweeping roofline, and a raised rear deck. Its front fascia has an extraordinarily large grille, which is offset by beautiful LED lighting accents. The rear has similar standout lighting and, at least on our Touring model, handsome quad-tip exhaust ports.
Inside, the cabin is large and airy. There aren’t many large sedans that can hold five adults in comfort, but the Avalon succeeds. Legroom is in abundance everywhere and even the sloping roofline isn’t an issue with tall passengers.
A multi-tiered dashboard gives the Avalon an upscale look, with narrow lines and layering present. Soft-touch materials are nearly everywhere with hardened plastics in out-of-the-way places. The available leather seats are thick and comfortable, with dual-contrast stitching a pleasant expression. Our test model had aluminum-clad pedals, a sporty touch typically found in high-performance models.
Trunk space measures 16 cubic feet, which is right where a full-size model should be. Additional space becomes available by adjusting the split fold-down rear bench seat.
Technology & Safety
This year, the Avalon gains an expanded range of technologies, including Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility, Amazon Alexa connectivity, and an updated app suite. A tablet-like 9-inch touch-screen display dominates the center stack, featuring pinch-and-zoom navigation controls. Avalon connectivity is also wearable, with Apple and Android watches making it possible to lock or unlock doors or start the engine.
The available 14-speaker JBL audio system floods the cabin with exquisite sound, easily matching the best packages available. Five USB ports are standard, while the available wireless charging pad is a welcome cord-free alternative.
Every Avalon comes with the Toyota Safety Sense package, which bundles a wide range of driver-assist features. These include lane departure alert with steering assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection. An available bird’s eye camera supplies 360-degree views of the vehicle’s surroundings.
On the Road
Today’s V6 engines match the power of small V8s from a generation ago. The Avalon’s 3.5-liter V6 engine develops a robust 301 horsepower, which travels to the front wheels by utilizing an 8-speed automatic transmission. Shift points occur fast and precise.
The Avalon picks up speed steadily, even quickly when under full throttle. The front wheels stay steady on the straightaways, although when pulling out of curves some understeer is present. Weighted steering, firm brakes, a serene interior, and a very comfortable ride are other hallmarks.
As much as we like the Avalon, there is another model that may be the better choice: the Avalon Hybrid. Notably, this version shares technology popularized by the Toyota Prius, which ensures outstanding fuel economy. Indeed, with an EPA rating of 44 mpg to 26 mpg for the standard Avalon, the extra $950 outlay may be the best investment you make this year.
2019 Toyota Avalon Specifications
|Price Range||From $35,800 to $43,450|
|Engine No. 1||3.5-liter, V6|
|Horsepower||301 @ 6,600 rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||267 @ 4,700 rpm|
|Engine No. 2||2.5-liter, I4|
|Horsepower||176 @ 5,700|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||163 @ 3,600 to 5,200|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||3,570 to 3,715|
|Headroom (f,r…inches)||38.5, 37.9|
|Legroom (f,r…inches)||42.1, 40.3|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||58.3, 57.1|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||55.8, 54.8|
|Storage (bed length)||16.09|
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||NR|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||14.4 or 15.8|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||22/32/26 (gas); 43/44/44 (hybrid)|
|Manufacturing Plant||Georgetown, Kentucky|
Specifications supplied by the manufacturer. Compiled by Tom Keegan.
Photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.