Old guys who like to golf need not apply.
Let's face it. The Toyota Avalon has never been nor ever will be an enthusiast's sport sedan. It has played its role within the Japanese automaker's lineup extremely well for years appealing mainly to older buyers seeking a more traditional full-size sedan that could easily have been badged as a boring Lexus. Toyota, however, realized it's time for the Avalon to spread its wings, so to speak.
The fifth-generation Avalon, new for 2019, is receiving the TRD treatment for 2020 and maybe, just maybe, it can be dubbed as a sporty sedan, though BMW M5 owners still won't have any interest. Still though, with the likes of the Ford Taurus SHO now out of the picture, there's a market opening for the Avalon TRD and based on pricing information obtained by CarsDirect, the stylish sedan is already looking like a price winner.
For the first time ever, the TRD treatment has been applied to the Avalon and it will carry a starting price of $43,255, including the $955 destination fee. This places the Avalon TRD $200 more expensive than the Limited trim ($43,055) but still $200 less than the range-topping Touring ($43,455). Sometimes the middle ground is just right. The recently deceased Taurus SHO began at $44,070 while the Lexus ES 350 with the F-Sport Package will set you back by $46,375. However, Toyota also sells the Avalon XSE which also features aggressive styling and the same engine for $39,255. Internal competition? Perhaps.
Fortunately, the 2020 Avalon TRD certainly looks the part of a sports sedan (it can even drift!) thanks to track-inspired aerodynamic bodywork upgrades, thicker braces for improved rigidity, a TRD dual cat-back exhaust, unique springs that lower the sedan by 0.6 inches, lighter wheels in cool matte black, and an interior with embossed seats.
Power comes from a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 with 301 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic sends power to the front wheels. Despite Toyota's best efforts here, the 2020 Avalon TRD could be arriving too late to a segment that's been experiencing a major sales drop. Perhaps some attitude and style is exactly what the doctor ordered.