Raising the flag
Toyota making it known that Avalon is still flagship vehicle
DEL MAR, CALIF. » Toyota is making the fifth-generation Avalon a more modern and aggressive-looking car, hoping to attract more – and younger – buyers back to their flagship sedan.
The Avalon shares the new global midsized platform with the Camry, but is a car aimed at a slightly different audience.
This is a car driven mostly by those in their 60s, but Toyota is trying to attract some of the older Millennials by giving the front end a more dynamic look, and also one that seems to look like the Lexus family front end.
By that I mean that the grille goes from the top of the front all the way down to the front of the car’s lower fascia. It does make it look more dynamic, and it actually is more dynamic. LED headlights are standard throughout the trim levels.
The lines of the car flow nicely to the rear, as does the roofline, which has its highpoint moved rearward. The back is quite modern, with new three-dimensional taillights adding texture to the rear, as well as the back of the side view. While all the cars use the same powertrains, both the luxury and sport-ish models have exhaust tips to define them, although the actual exhaust system is the same single-exhaust setup.
The design creates a coefficient of drag of 0.27, which is decent for a sedan. It is also longer, wider and lower than any of the Avalons produced since its inception in 1994. It also has a slightly longer wheelbase than the previous generation.
All this means that the interior is also bigger. It is attractive, pushed somewhat upmarket from that of the Camry. The Avalon’s slim center stack is a new look, but still houses a nineinch display Satin chromefinish decoration surrounds it and “floats” above the instrument panel, looking quite modern. Below there’s slide-open bin with a 12volt plug and the standard wireless Qi mobile device charger at least on XLE. Three of five total USB power ports are located inside the center console.
This is the first Toyota to get Apple Play, as whatever legal or technical issues between Toyota and Apple and Toyota have been solved, and most new models from now on will have it.
The standard sound system includes six speakers and sound are decent. There’s also a premium system which ups the sound ante a fair bit. A JBL premium performance audio system is standard on Limited and Touring grades and is available on XLE and XSE grades. a 14-speaker, 1200-watt, 7.1-channel surround sound
The Avalon is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine generating 301 hp. and 267 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The power’s sent through an eight-speed manual transmission. That is 33 more horsepower than the previous generation. Avalon HV continues to be the only full hybrid vehicle in the segment
This is a car driven mostly by those in their 60s, but Toyota is trying to attract some of the older Millennials by giving the front end a more dynamic look