The 2019 Toyota Avalon, currently available in hybrid and non-hybrid configurations, is now in its fifth generation iteration. DriveShop, the Toyota press fleet handler, recently loaned me one painted opulent amber (dark brown) metallic with premium Cognac (gold) leather seating. Manufactured in Georgetown, KY, the Avalon model is a full-size, front-wheel drive sedan that has been in production since September 1994 and represents Toyota’s largest offering in that class.
At my age and with my taste (the Beatles hit U. S. shores while I was in high school), the Avalon represented a nice car to head out to the Silver Grill in Fort Collins to choose an all-day breakfast menu item. The ride on its 113″ wheelbase is suitable due to the independent MacPherson strut front suspension with stabilizer bar and multi-link rear suspension with another stabilizer bar. The Avalon boasts a spacious interior with over 42″ of legroom up front and over 40″ in the backseat. The same holds true for shoulder room in the car at nearly five feet, front and rear. Overall length is 195.9″, 3.2” longer than a Toyota Camry and 4.8″ longer than a Mazda 6. The Avalon weighs 3,715 lbs., 150 lbs. less than a new Chevy Impala despite the fact it has a big hybrid battery on board.
The efficient power supply for the Avalon consisted of a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 215 hybrid system net horsepower (160 kW) and an electronically controlled continuously variable (CVT) transmission. The EPA estimate for the Avalon is 43 mpg—both combined, highway, and city. My experience for the week driving the car was 39.9 mpg. The fuel tank holds 13.2 gallons of regular unleaded gasoline.
Regardless of your age, the Avalon styling is impressive. Up front it sports a Toyota-specific large-mouth grill with dark gray background, high intensity discharge (HID) headlights and LED daytime running lights. The eighteen-spoke painted aluminum alloy wheels are fitted with P235/45R18 Hancook Kinergy GT all season radials. No tailpipes are visible at the rear of the car (hybrid-style), and chrome is at a minimum around the car in an understated look. There is a 16 cubic foot trunk to accommodate the luggage associated with five passengers.
As you might expect, the inside of the Avalon Hybrid Limited is opulent with its premium perforated, leather-trimmed heated and ventilated front seats (rear seats have heat, too), 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support and another 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat. Included is a premium JBL stereo, navigation system, 7″ touchscreen, ten airbags, tilt/telescope, push button starter, backup camera and power mirrors/windows/locks.
M.S.R.P. of the Avalon model I tested came in at $44,870, including $920 for freight and $1,150 for the technology package which included radar cruise control, bird’s eye view camera, pre-collision safety system and wireless charging platform for smartphones. It’s a considerable investment, but probably a sound one given the comfort, beauty, and especially, the fuel economy that the buyer gets in the bargain.