Toyota’s new Avalon is the Toyota Way Perfected
For eternity, Toyota has worked to incrementally improve everything it does. Case in point: The all-new 2019 Toyota Avalon sedan introduced today at NAIAS in Detroit. The new front end looks like a whale’s mouth. But beyond that, we don’t see a seismic break with the past in either design or tech. Instead, there are a series of thoughtful improvements to the engines, suspension, dimensions, exterior and interior here and there that add up to an relatively new vehicle.
Here’s a small sample of what we’re talking about:
- The Touring model comes with an Adaptive Variable Suspension from its Lexus marque that adjusts the vehicle’s handling and feel between “Normal” (super smooth) and “Sport+” (taut and quicker response).
- Toyota extended the rear cabin by seven inches to boost rear passenger space.
- The battery pack in the hybrid moved from the trunk to underneath the rear seats to lower and center the battery’s mass.
- The Avalon’s drag coefficient dropped to 0.27 from 0.28 thanks to aerodynamics along the front, rear spoiler, and underbody panel covers.
- Toyota finally added Apple CarPlay to a vehicle, part of the Avalon’s new 9-inch touchscreen infotainment interface. They also added Amazon Alexa access.
- And speaking of tech, the Avalon has a class-leading 10-inch head’s up display and Wi-Fi hotspot capability.
Based on the excellent new Camry that Toyota put on sale last year, the U.S.-built Avalon is the top-shelf, luxury variant. It comes in the more sporting XSE and Touring models, the premium Limited and XLE models. Toyota will sell the hybrid in the XLE, Limited, and XSE versions.
Underneath the Hood: Toyota’s workhorse powerplants
Buyers will choose either the 3.5-liter V6 or the hybrid with its 2.5-liter four cylinder paired with a 650-volt electric motor. Both are standard front-wheel-drive options from the 2018 Camry. The V6 packs 301 horsepower through an 8-speed automatic. The hybrid combines for 203 horsepower run through a CVT.
Toyota hasn’t yet released EPA fuel economy estimates just yet. But they claim the new hybrid Avalon will best the outgoing model’s 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined MPG numbers.
Toyota did not release pricing or availability yet, but based on the rollout of the new Camry last summer, we can expect to see the new Avalon hit dealerships within the next 6-9 months.