2019 Toyota Avalon

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW | By Steve Kursar –

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is all-new for this model year and it moved clearly into the near-luxury category.  Once snidely nicknamed the “Toyota’s Buick” because it was favored by an older demographic fond of big cars, the new Avalon has taken steps to shed that reputation.  This car is sure to find favor with buyers looking to drive a luxury car without paying a Lexus-like price.

The first generation Avalon appeared on US highways back in 1994.  Built on the Camry platform, it was the roomiest Japanese car on the market and it quickly became a favorite of American drivers who favored big Detroit sedans but wanted to enjoy Toyota reliability.  Now in its fifth generation, the Avalon still shares a lot with the Camry, including being built in the same Georgetown, Kentucky factory.

The new Avalon’s exterior design will definitely catch the eye of younger buyers looking for a sedan with more interior room than a family sedan like the Camry. It has a long, low-slung, muscular stance that gives off a performance car aura. The base Avalon, with an MSRP of $35,500, is powered by a 301 hp, 3.5 liter V6 engine.  It’s mated to an eight-speed transmission that delivers EPA estimated fuel economy numbers of 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

The Avalon Hybrid deserves separate attention due to its’ fuel economy numbers. They  are nothing short of spectacular for a large sedan: 43 mpg city and 44 mpg highway.  The compact battery pack hides under the rear passenger seat instead of the trunk allowing for more cargo room and a lower center of gravity.  And, it’s MSRP is only $1,000 more than the base gasoline-powered Avalon.

The Avalon’s interior is definitely Lexus-like with high quality materials and a very quiet ride.  Real wood trim is paired with soft-touch materials. There’s loads of sound absorbing material built in to give the JBL performance audio system concert hall quality sound. An option that is found mostly on luxury cars, the Avalon features a ten inch color Heads Up Display (HUD) standard on the Touring and Limited trims.  All the built-in technology is designed to appeal to a tech-savvy buyer.

The new Avalon offers a fresh and welcome look at a car that’s been overlooked by younger car buyers in the past. Don’t let any preconceived notions prevent you from checking out this gem.