The Toyota Avalon offers large car attributes, though it is rated by the government as a mid-size. The Avalon doesn’t feel like a large car on the road. The Avalon doesn’t cast a shadow much larger than the Camry, Toyota’s popular selling mid-sized sedan. Like the Camry, the Avalon isn’t a vehicle that begs to be driven, not in the same manner a sport sedan might. However, the Avalon offers comforting accommodations, ride and ownership. We say ownership because the Avalon has become known for its reliability along with its routine consistency.
Edging toward a more sporty appeal the front end styling receives a sharper appearance. The front grill, headlight modules and fascia have a more aggressive look taking the Avalon away from the appliance repetition it had. Though some may continue to feel Toyota sedans are more mundane and not so exciting, Toyota designers have taken the 2016 Avalon styling a step above.
Inside, the Avalon continues to be practical with switches and controls set into the dash so as to be flush with the contours. It is a bit like our electronic devices, which some have become less comfortable with the look and feel. Typical with most Toyota upper level vehicles, the materials and trim have a high quality look and feel. You do not feel as though you’ve skimped on your choice of vehicle.
Our test Avalon was a Limited hybrid that had an EPA rating of 40 miles per gallon in the city and 39 mpg on the highway with a consistent 40 mpg combined. The base price on this test vehicle was $41,950 which is just $1,500 over a non-hybrid Limited model. It is evident by this example that Toyota has worked diligently to get the hybrid Avalon in a more practical place on the pricing list. Adding the hybrid to your shopping list isn’t quite the hit to your checkbook as it once was.
The hybrid system is comprised of a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine coupled to the high-torque electric motor developing 200 horsepower and getting the Avalon moving to a respectable 0 to 60 speed in just over 8 seconds. Not going to win any stop light drag races, but then owners of vehicles in this category are going for comfort and reliability, not performance.
Comfort is where the passenger cabin firmly sets. The front bucket seats are designed for the long haul not driving aggressive country roads. All of the passenger accommodations are easy on the back and back side. Even the rear seat provides a relaxed environment. As you might expect the Avalon provides an experience that is comfortable and without fuss. Even hours later, we and our passengers arrived at our destination as if it were a few minute drive around the corner.
As expected the Avalon is filled with safety features included in Toyota’s Star Safety System. Included are vehicle stability control, anti-lock brakes including brake assist and Smart Stop brake-override. Ten airbags includes driver and front passenger, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, rear seat-mounted side airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags protect passengers.
The regular non-hybrid model has what appears to be a large trunk area accommodating 16-cubic-feet of cargo. Though the hybrid system seems to take up a bit more space than the 2-cu-Ft. Toyota claims, there is still lots of storage area provided in the trunk.
Beyond Toyota’s normal 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty, the hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles. Additionally, the 2016 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid provide as standard feature Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Though we tend to lean toward vehicles that add a great deal more adventure to our drives, We found the Avalon to be surprising in its available features, comfort and ability to make any drive a relaxed adventure.
2016 Toyota Avalon Specifications next page.
CarBuzzard review of 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited.