2021 Toyota Avalon

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2021 Toyota Avalon Review: Economical Comfort To a T

by Aiden Eksteen

Automakers typically offer their flagship cars with the best powertrains they have in their ranges and specify and equip them with creature comforts, conveniences, and technologies generously. But it's only now, coming into 2021, that Toyota's Avalon is being presented with a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and, most notably, an all-wheel drivetrain, a first for the flagship nameplate. This is also the first year that the Avalon sedan comes standard with Android Auto functionality.

With these significant updates, the Avalon is more appealing than it's ever been before and is positioned favorably alongside competitors such as the Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300, and Dodge Charger. Toyota devotees now get to choose between the familiar 3.5-liter V6 unit dialed for 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque and the new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder unit that's dialed 205 hp and 185 lb-ft.

Read in this review:

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2021 Toyota Avalon Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Toyota Avalon?

Toyota implemented a handful of meaningful enhancements to the Avalon lineup for 2021. The most compelling of these is the option of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's accompanied by an all-wheel drivetrain for the XLE and Limited trims. The brand has also finally decided to install Android Auto functionality, which now comes standard on every trim. Up-to-date USB-C charging ports have also been installed to every trim, too. There are new summer tire options and new exterior colors made available for the TRD, while the XSE Hybrid, Touring, and Limited get fresh interior hues. A new XSE Nightshade Edition has been added to the range, which is based on the XSE trim. It features blacked-out exterior bits such as the mirror caps, rear spoiler, grille, and unique badging, as well black-painted 19-inch alloy wheels.

Pros and Cons

  • Sublime handling and ride quality
  • Impressive fuel economy returns
  • Commodious and featureful interior
  • Practical and expansive trunk space
  • Good safety rating
  • Toyota-derived reliability expectations
  • Comparatively high price to entry
  • Polarizing, overly sporty aesthetic
  • TRD variant isn't very fulfilling

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2021 Toyota Avalon Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Hybrid XLE
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
XSE Nightshade
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Hybrid XSE
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Toyota Avalon Trims and Specs

2021 Avalon Exterior

2021 Toyota Avalon Front Angle View CarBuzz
2021 Toyota Avalon Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2021 Toyota Avalon Front Angle View 1 CarBuzz
See All 2021 Toyota Avalon Exterior Photos


  • 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 3,570.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Celestial Silver Metallic
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Blueprint
  • Wind Chill Pearl
  • Ruby Flare Pearl
  • Harbor Gray Metallic
  • Supersonic Red
  • Opulent Amber
  • Ice Edge/Midnight Black Metallic
  • Wind Chill Pearl/Midnight Black Metallic

2021 Avalon Performance

2021 Toyota Avalon Front Angle View 2 CarBuzz
2021 Toyota Avalon Rear Angle View 1 CarBuzz
2021 Toyota Avalon Wheel CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

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

2021 Avalon Interior

2021 Toyota Avalon Dashboard CarBuzz
2021 Toyota Avalon Gauge Cluster CarBuzz
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See All 2021 Toyota Avalon Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

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

2021 Avalon Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Toyota Avalon Front Seats CarBuzz
2021 Toyota Avalon Rear Passenger Seats CarBuzz
2021 Toyota Avalon Trunk Space CarBuzz
  • Trunk Volume
    16.1 ft³

2021 Avalon Safety and Reliability


  • 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 2021 Toyota Avalon a good sedan?

Despite its aggressively sporty aesthetic, the 2021 Toyota Avalon is to no extent a performance vehicle. Even in TRD guise is it just a pleasant and refined cruiser with no real level of sporting potential. It's more of a pragmatic 4-door family sedan that delivers a tranquil and luxurious ride quality and returns surprisingly good gas mileage. It presents occupants with a commodious cabin space brimming with fanciful creature comforts, conveniences, and advanced driver-assist features and safety equipment. This year, Toyota has conceivably sealed the deal by introducing Android Auto to the Avalon as standard fare, along with an AWD setup. To top it all off, the car boasts an outstanding crashworthiness and safety review for the 2021 Toyota Avalon from both the NHTSA and the IIHS. Many of Toyota's cars are very popular throughout the USA, and that's for good reason. The Japanese automaker simply packs a phenomenal amount of value into its cars and the 2021 Avalon upholds this assertion validly.

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