2019 Toyota Avalon

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2019 Toyota Avalon Test Drive Review: Discovering Its Cool Side

You've reached retirement age, generated a healthy nest egg, packed up your house, and moved to Boca Raton, Florida. The Avalon has long been the chariot of choice for the Boca jet set who don't care enough about cars to purchase a flashy vehicle like a Bentley or Rolls-Royce and would instead prefer to spend their hard-earned dollars on cruises, flashy vacations, and fancy 5:00 PM dinners. Then, when the grandkids visit, still have a spacious rear seat to chauffeur them around in.

This has been the narrative since the Avalon arrived on the market back in 1994, but Toyota isn't just ready flip the script, it wants to burn it to the ground. Now in its fifth generation (introduced in 2018 as a 2019 model year), the Avalon wants to be more than a baby boomer's buggy. The full-size sedan segment, much like its target demographic, is starting to dwindle as buyer's switch to more popular SUVs and crossovers but Toyota is ready to inject new life into the market with what is easily the best Avalon to date.

Read in this review:

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2019 Toyota Avalon Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 Avalon?

2019 sees the Avalon completely redesigned for the introduction of the fifth generation model of Toyota's largest sedan, with improved dimensions now placing it above most midsize competitors.

Pros and Cons

  • Spacious interior accommodation
  • Plush ride quality
  • High-quality interior
  • Impeccable safety standards
  • Attractive new styling
  • Slower than turbocharged rivals
  • No all-wheel-drive available
  • No Android Auto integration
  • Not much larger than some midsize sedans

Best Deals on 2019 Toyota Avalon

2019 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
$35,650
Hybrid XLE
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$36,650
XSE
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$38,150
Hybrid XSE
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$39,150
Limited
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$41,950
See All 2019 Toyota Avalon Trims and Specs

2019 Avalon Exterior

2019 Toyota Avalon Front Angle View CarBuzz
2019 Toyota Avalon Side View CarBuzz
2019 Toyota Avalon Rear Angle View CarBuzz
See All 2019 Toyota Avalon Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 195.9 in
  • Wheelbase 113.0 in
  • Height 56.5 in
  • Max Width 72.8 in
  • Front Width 63.0 in
  • Rear Width 63.6 in
  • Curb Weight 3,560.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Celestial Silver Metallic
  • Harbor Gray Metallic
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Brownstone
  • Opulent Amber
  • Parisian Night Pearl
  • Wind Chill Pearl
  • Ruby Flare Pearl
  • Ruby Flare

2019 Avalon Performance

2019 Toyota Avalon Engine Toyota
2019 Toyota Avalon Engine 1 Toyota
2019 Toyota Avalon Gauge Cluster Toyota

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid, 3.5L V6 Gas
  • Transmissions
    8-Speed Automatic, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

There's no way of sugarcoating it, the previous generation Avalon drove like a bag of pudding with a steering wheel. This new model feels radically different thanks to its new TNGA platform underpinnings. We've seen this new architecture on the smaller Camry, where it transformed one of the most sedate sedans in the segment into one of the most fun to drive. It's still no alternative to a sport sedan with rear-wheel-drive but the Avalon is no longer a car built for retirees only.

The Avalon Touring trim was the first Toyota ever to include Adaptive Variable Suspension, which can tighten up in Sport+ Mode to minimize body roll and provoke a sportier ride. We never felt the suspension become too stiff, even in Sport+ mode, but it does make a noticeable difference in vibration levels on harsh road surfaces.

Changing between the drive modes, which include Eco, Normal, Sport, Sport+ (exclusive to Touring trim) and Custom, alters the Avalon's personality profile without transforming it into a fire-breathing monster or boring snoozefest. We happily switched between Normal Mode when we were cruising in traffic and Sport+ Mode when the roads opened up.

2019 Avalon Interior

2019 Toyota Avalon Dashboard Toyota
2019 Toyota Avalon Driver Seat Toyota
2019 Toyota Avalon Rear Passenger Seats Toyota
See All 2019 Toyota Avalon Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.1 in
  • Front Head Room 38.5 in
  • Rear Leg Room 40.3 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.9 in

2019 Avalon Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 Toyota Avalon Rear Passenger Seats 1 Toyota
2019 Toyota Avalon Maximum Cargo Space Toyota
2019 Toyota Avalon Rear Passenger Seats 2 Toyota
  • Trunk Volume
    16.1 ft³

2019 Avalon Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    2 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    2 Years \ 25,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2019 Toyota Avalon A Good car?

We've never been excited at the thought of a new Avalon but this new 2019 model finally ditches the vanilla, plane-jane vibe it has had since its inception. At long last, the Avalon has evolved into a car to be enjoyed by people who don't have an AARP card. SUVs and crossover are all the rage right now but we still think there's a place for comfortable sedans like this in the market. Rear seat space is fantastic and the ride comfort is still soft enough to keep elderly bones from getting bruised up.

Yes, the Avalon still lacks the aggression and finesse of a rear-wheel-drive sedan like a Dodge Charger or Kia Stinger but it will no longer put you to sleep from behind the wheel. We think the 2019 Avalon is night and day different from the car it replaces and finally seems worthy of consideration as more than the perfect retirement vehicle.

Check out other Toyota Avalon Styles

2019 Toyota Avalon Comparisons

Lexus ES Lexus
Toyota Camry Toyota
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Toyota Avalon301 hp22/32 mpg$36,825
Lexus ES 302 hp22/32 mpg$40,950
Toyota Camry 203 hp28/39 mpg$25,945

2019 Toyota Avalon vs Lexus ES

The Toyota Avalon and Lexus ES share a large portion of their underpinnings. But while similar, the Lexus is intended to be more luxurious, and it definitely is, with soft leather upholstery and a classier design inside and out than the Avalon. It rides a little softer too, devoid of the sporty inclinations on the XSE, although the F-Sport is a little more aggressive. The ES is only marginally more expensive than higher trim Avalons, though, while offering comparable specification with a few extra luxury amenities.

Both models perform identically, despite Lexus rating the ES as having a single horsepower more than the Avalon. We'd easily sacrifice that extra horse for the ability to run 87-octane fuel in the Avalon. The interior of the ES is where the two are really set apart, with a greater focus on luxury and a trunk that's larger by 0.7 cubic feet. If your budget is tight, an entry-level Avalon is ideal, but if you have the money to spend, you'll be happier in the Lexus for not much more cash.

See Lexus ES Review

2019 Toyota Avalon vs Toyota Camry

Toyota is one of a few manufacturers with two nicely-sized sedan models. But the Avalon is stretched out, larger in all aspects compared to the Camry, and it makes this difference known inside where rear passengers are given increased room and levels of comfort. It also hosts a more demure interior design, while the Camry is aiming at a younger audience with an attractive design and sportier driving dynamics. It lacks the plushness of the Avalon but still rides well, although it exhibits livelier handling. While the top-spec Camrys may utilize the same engine as the Avalon, lower derivatives make use of an underpowered four-cylinder, but in turn, achieve better gas mileage. Both models are brilliant, but the real question is what you're after in life. If you want to enjoy driving at the expense of rear passenger comfort (only marginally so), then the Camry is an exceptional choice at a substantial discount, but if you're all for comfort and luxury, the Avalon is worth spending a few thousand dollars more on.

See Toyota Camry Review
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