The Toyota Avalon might possibly be the most attractive and capable sedan Toyota has produced in recent years (Submitted)

2020 Toyota Avalon is a class-leader

First debuted in 1994, the Avalon has come very, very far

All-new for 2019, the Toyota Avalon might possibly be the most attractive and capable sedan Toyota has produced in recent years. In fact, I would encourage anyone who might be looking to buy an upscale European cars like the Audi A4/A6 or BMW 3/5 series to go and drive the new Avalon – you will be pleasantly surprised. Even though the Avalon is significantly cheaper than these luxury European models, the Avalon offers comparable performance, upscale features, and refinement. This is as good as it gets when it comes to mid-sized, upscale sedans.

The Avalon carries over to 2020 model year with no changes. The TRD model being offered for 2020 in the US unfortunately is not coming to Canada (even though the Camry model indeed gets the new TRD model here in Canada).

First debuted in 1994, the Avalon has come very, very far. But these days, there is a challenge in selling cars like the Avalon because the average age of Avalon buyer is 66 years old and people are moving away from sedans in general.

Design

Toyota aims to sway buyers back to the market with a few tricks up its sleeve – “Daring in Every Detail” is Toyota’s slogan for the Avalon, and we can definitely see why. The new model is longer, wider, and lower, giving it a trendier look that hopefully will capture the heart of younger buyers.

The black front grille is clearly its most controversial part of the Avalon as it is exceptionally large and takes up much of the front portion of the vehicle. Flanked on either side are the new headlights that boasts the latest LED technology.

The Avalon leads the sedan segment with rear passenger comfort, providing lots of leg and shoulder room as well as offering available seat warmers and USB charging ports. The cargo space is ample as well, providing a little over 16 cubic feet of space.

Active noise cancellation inside the interior cabin creates a quiet zone and refined feel. In the sportier XSE trim, the Toyota Avalon also comes equipped with an engine sound generator that produces surprisingly realistic exhaust sound (yes it’s actually fake but you will never know it).

A Qi wireless charging pad comes standard to charge your phone. Toyota uses a new 9-inch infotainment system that thankfully has buttons still – and it offers apple car play. Unfortunately, for Android phone users, the Avalon still does not offer Android Auto.

Standard on most Toyota models is the Toyota Safety Sense P system (TSS-P). This safety suite is excellent and includes features such as lane departure alert, steering assist, automatic high beams, dynamic radar cruise control and a pre-collision system including pedestrian detection. Further, 10 airbags are included throughout the Avalon as well as whiplash-reducing front seats. The Limited trim level was recognized with the highest safety award (Top Safety Pick+) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Performance

The 2019 Toyota Avalon comes equipped with a 3.5-litre V-6 engine with 301 horsepower that creates 267 lb-ft. of torque. This is a stronger engine than last year’s model. Also upgraded this year is an 8-speed direct shift automatic transmission, replacing the six-speed automatic system. Driving modes that are offered includes: Normal, Eco and Sport modes. Currently, American models feature a hybrid engine option, but so far Canadians will need to wait for our turn. In either country, Toyota does not offer an all-wheel-drive model, something that I think it’s important especially for Canadian market.

Fuel economy for the Avalon for city/highway/combined is 10.9 L/100km, 7.6 L/100km, and 9.4 L/100 kilometres, respectively.

The Avalon sits atop the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) base. This platform allows for a stronger chassis while still providing a comfortable driving experience within a sleek sedan design.

Two trim levels are available for the Avalon: the athletic XSE and the opulent Limited. The XSE is already very well-equipped and offers sporty features such as sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, engine sound enhancement and quad-tip exhaust. Limited trim adds on certain features such as Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert with braking, real wood interior trim, 10” heads-up display (largest in the segment), bird’s eye-view monitor, and ambient lighting.

The Avalon delivers crisp – even sporty – steering feel, particularly in the XSE sports trim. The ride is firm but compliant and the overall feel is very European. The Avalon feels a lot like the Audi A6 actually, which is a real feat since the A6 costs almost twice the price. The Avalon easily beat the Nissan Maxima, Chevy Impala, and the Chrysler 300 in terms of overall performance and refinement.

Summary

Other competitors for the Avalon include the Acura RLX, VW Arteron, and perhaps even Toyota’s own Lexus ES. Pricing for the 2020 Avalon starts at $42,690 for the XSE and $48,450 for the Limited model. There aren’t many accessory packages to add-on as there are already so many features.

Full-size sedans aren’t exactly in demand these last few years, which makes the all-new redesigned Toyota Avalon an interesting vehicle to watch. By choosing to re-invest into this model with the new TNGA platform, Toyota is taking a calculated risk. We will know in a few years whether buyers will begin to come back to sedans again or they will continue to flock to SUVs. Only time will tell – but in the mean time, it’s hard to find anything else out there that will provide better value than the Avalon.

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!

– written by David Chao

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

FortisBC pausing power disconnections and late-fees amid COVID-19 crisis

Company says they plan to work with customers affected by COVID-19 on a “one on one” basis

MP Morrison ‘disappointed’ in six-week delay for wage subsidy support

Kootenay-Columbia MP says small businesses and employees need financial help now

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read