2022 Toyota Avalon

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2022 Toyota Avalon Review: Better Than Ever

by Aiden Eksteen

The Avalon is Toyota's flagship sedan offering in the USA and the apogee of what the Japanese automaker has to offer in terms of conventional performance and modest luxury. Without any option of all-wheel drive for the nameplate in the past, however, competitors such as the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger have been scoring a lot of favor. Last year, Toyota decided to satisfy that demand, offering its XLE and Limited trim lines with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox paired with an AWD setup - but the option has been dropped again. The familiar 3.5-liter DOHC V6 and eight-speed auto are carried over, but there is also a hybrid powertrain available in a choice of three trims - which we review separately. Despite its try-hard sporty design and otherwise bland driving character, the Avalon is more attractive than ever, bringing with it a tranquil ride quality, commodious interior, and an array of creature comforts and conveniences.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
8.2
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2022 Toyota Avalon Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs the 2021 Toyota Avalon?

In its last model year on the market, Toyota has simplified the Avalon range. As intimated above, the AWD option is no longer available and the entire range reverts to FWD-only. Two trims are discontinued, namely the sporty TRD and the V6-engined XSE Nightshade. The XSE Hybrid Nightshade replaces the normal XSE Hybrid and is essentially just an XSE with last year's Nightshade Edition Package fitted as standard. There are no longer any 2.5-liter gas-powered Avalons; this engine can now only be had in the hybrids. Spec-wise, the only changes are the addition of a standard rear-seat reminder system on all trims and more driver-assistance features across the board.

Pros and Cons

  • Heavenly on-road ride quality
  • Surprisingly frugal fuel consumption
  • Extensive features list
  • Commodious and well-appointed cabin
  • Capacious, truly practical trunk
  • Excellent safety and reliability ratings
  • No longer available with AWD
  • Polarizing grille and front-end styling
  • Relatively high starting price for the lineup

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2022 Toyota Avalon Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
XLE
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$36,825
Hybrid XLE
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$37,850
Hybrid XSE Nightshade
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$41,200
Limited
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$43,125
Touring
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$43,525
See All 2022 Toyota Avalon Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

There are two different driving experiences proffered within the Avalon line - casual and luxurious. Most of the lineup gets regular underpinnings for relaxed, casual driving, and the Touring is fitted with an adaptive variable suspension for a more luxurious ride quality. Some of the Avalon's competition - the Dodge Charger and Kia Stinger, for example - deliver far greater performance and handling poise in comparison, but at the very least, it's still more engaging than the Volkswagen Arteon.

Its real aptitude lies in its ride quality, however, which is plush and smooth over most bumps. On-center steering feel is direct, though it slowly becomes more disconnected once off-center. Unfortunately, the Avalon does feel rather heavy and sizable, though that feeling does fade away at higher speeds.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Toyota Avalon a Good Sedan?

If you need a spacious, premium family car at a relatively affordable price but you don't get the SUV crossover fad, then the Avalon is certainly worth considering. There are numerous trim lines in the current lineup that cater to a variety of needs, too, whether you want something more sporty, luxurious, or a fair combination of both. Whichever the case, the Avalon looks good enough and drives pleasantly. That being said, however, the Avalon is certainly no masterful racecar; it's obvious that it's been purposed for comfortable ride quality more than for capable acceleration and control at the limits. And, with good fuel economy and a hybrid option for the budget-conscious, there's no reason not to add it to your shortlist. The Avalon also comes comprehensively outfitted with creature comforts, conveniences, and safety equipment, making it an ideal family sedan for the everyday commuter. Toyota has improved the Avalon phenomenally over the years, with Android Auto having finally been added last year. Having the option of a super-frugal hybrid only increases its appeal.

Check out other Toyota Avalon Styles

2022 Toyota Avalon Comparisons

Toyota Camry Toyota
Lexus ES

2022 Toyota Avalon vs Toyota Camry

At around $9,000 cheaper than the Avalon in base guise, the Camry is an attractive offer, but it slots into the more budget-friendly arena, being the brand's mid-size sedan offering. Both nameplates received meaningful enhancements and new spec additions for the 2021 model year, but the Camry received a significant reduction in price, despite the new upgrades. The Toyotas are quite different in their appeal, though. While the Avalon is presented as a semi-premium comfort cruiser, the Camry serves as a more affordable family sedan. That means, while the Avalon will offer a lot more in specifications, ride quality, passenger room, and trunk capacity, the Camry is a lot more affordable, a little more spry and nimble, and slightly more economical. Both cars are great buys, proffering class-leading levels of value overall in their respective segments, but for the cheaper starting price, and excellent fuel economy the Camry has the edge.

See Toyota Camry Review

2022 Toyota Avalon vs Lexus ES

Like the Avalon, the Lexus ES also received the option of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine connected to an AWD system for 2021, but the Lexus has retained that option, while the final model-year Avalon has lost it. This comes at a starting price of $40,800, $4,525 more than a base FWD Avalon. While these two rivals deliver similar performance and gas mileage figures with the V6 and hybrid powertrains that they have in common, and both ride wonderfully on the road, the Lexus is noticeably more upscale in the cabin, featuring higher quality materials, softer leather seating surfaces, and better interior trim. Ultimately, the Avalon is the way to go if you're looking for well-rounded performance and plenty of value from a tighter budget, while the ES is the car for those seeking the utmost in advanced tech and luxury in this segment.

See Lexus ES Review

2022 Toyota Avalon Popular Comparisons

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