2019 Toyota Avalon: First Drive Review – Cars.com


we’re here with the 2019 Toyota Avalon
and for 2019 the Avalon sees huge changes it doesn’t just change a few
things it changes everything from the platform to the engine to the exterior
styling now for 2019 the Avalon’s exterior styling has changed drastically
so much so that it will be impossible to confuse it for the 2018 model now last
year’s model had this weird kind of front two-part grille opening which
Toyota has combined for 2019 into what I call one giant front in the air and take
to rule them all now the front looks really polarizing even within our staff
there’s some disagreement over whether the Avalon is good looking or going too
far but what’s less arguable is that from the sides in the rear the car
definitely is improved Toyota has stretched out the cabin so that it has a
bit more of a fastback look that makes the whole thing look a bit sleeker and
in the back there’s new LED tail lights which stretched wide across the bumper
and give the Avalon a good visual signature especially at night one of our
complaints about the old Avalon was that the interior didn’t really make sense
especially here in the center stack the screen was kind of in a weird position
at an off angle and the storage spaces were a bit weirdly sized for example if
you had a larger smartphone like many of them are these days it didn’t quite fit
on the wireless charging pad luckily Toyota has made big updates in
the interior including updates to the multimedia system and that wireless
charging pad which fit an iPhone which is among the biggest smartphones without
a problem now the center stack now comes down in this waterfall fashion it has a
larger screen a nine inch touchscreen is standard across all trim levels and it’s
bright and easy to see and read thankfully it’s also flanked by physical
controls which makes it easier to navigate there’s one thing that’s weird
about the screens position however it’s kind of situated far from the driver so
if you are driving you won’t actually be able to reach the right side of the
screen without leaning forward a few inches and that’s kind of a minor
quibble it’s a trade-off that I’m willing to make to have the screen up
this high but it does mean that these buttons over here are hard to reach
now another strength that remains for the Avalon is its backseat other calls
the Avalon a premium midsize car but don’t let that fool you this is
basically a full-size car in bits clothing the backseat is indicative of
this it’s very large and comfortable it’s got a lot of legroom and Headroom
and new for 2019 the Avalon has five standard USB ports two which are in the
back so even if you’re sitting in the back you’ll have a place to plug in and
charge devices for 2019 Toyota has updated the powertrain on the Avalon in
both the gas and hybrid versions of the car now
gas versions of the car like the one that we’re driving now get a new 3.5
liter v6 and that makes 301 horsepower that’s in 33 horsepower improvement over
last year’s model there’s also a new 8-speed automatic transmission on gas
models and together this powertrain combination is a strength in the Avalon
it has what I would call easy power both from a stop and while passing the
transmission steps easily when you want to and it’s very fluid and that actually
helps with the overall exerts feel of the car that works well together with
the interior and the ride to make things comfortable if you’re not really
strained to get the car up to speed now for those who are interested in hybrid
versions of the 2019 Avalon we have good news there’s only a $1000 price
difference between gas and hybrid versions of the car and when you factor
in the difference in fuel economy between the two you’re looking at a very
good value for the hybrid because they get about 44 combined mpg versus only 25
combined mpg in the gas versions 2019 also brings chassis updates to the
Avalon and that means a new platform so net now rides on Toyotas global
architecture which is the same thing that you find under the 2018 camry and
in that car the change of this architecture really changed the camry
from something that was kind of sloppy and boring to drive into a car that
actually has pretty crisp handling and a good ride now the changes in the Avalon
aren’t as dramatic the 2018 Avalon had a very comfortable pliant ride and the
same thing is definitely true of the 2019 there’s a change its that it’s a
bit more stable at speed and you have a bit more confidence while cornering but
not a whole lot still has a definite focus on comfort and the suspension is
pliant and it’s actually one of the cars that if I had to drive or be driven in
for a long period of time this might be the choice
because you know it does a very good job of staying smooth in most conditions now
we’re in a Touring model which also sees one more big suspension update this will
be actually the first Toyota car to offer an adaptive variable suspension
and it’s kind of a strange choice it’s something usually you’d find on more
performance oriented cars but Toyota says that the Avalon is going for now
sporty as well as comfortable does it work not really
the Touring is a bit firmer than the other trim levels that I tested today so
I also drove a limited model this is definitely a bit tighter but it still
trends towards comfort and I think that that’s a good thing that fits this car
better even when you dial the Touring all the way up to Sport S+ mode which is
unique to this trim you’re still gonna get a decent amount of body roll is
still gonna focus on comfort and that is I think a better way to go in a sedan
like this now those who are interested in the 2019 Avalon won’t have to wait
long it will start at 36,000 395 and hit leadership in May you