Underpinned by a Toyota New Global Architecture platform, and powered by a fuel-efficient 3.5-liter V6 or Toyota Hybrid System powertrain, the 2019 Toyota Avalon mixes a bevy of Toyota-firsts such as standard Apple CarPlay and available Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signals, available authentic Yamaha wood and aluminum cabin accents, and Engine Sound Enhancement. Toyota photo

Semantics aside, 2019 Toyota Avalon is a best in class

This week’s tester gives a lesson in semantics. The 2019 Toyota Avalon can easily say it’s one of the best cars in the segment. But, when you consider the large car segment has very little competition, you have to further examine such a statement.

With an all-new design, more power and more room, the Avalon is still safe to boast. And, I’ll reveal my own bias here, but I love large sedans and am sad they are going by the wayside. So good job, Toyota, in keeping the Avalon relevant and dominant in this segment.

The Avalon is hard to pigeonhole. It has more luxury than your typical Toyota car, but not quite as much as a Lexus. Simply put, the Avalon is the Avalon and cannot be compared to any other vehicle in the Toyota product line.

For 2019, the large sedan has more modern looks while retaining Toyota’s generally conservative styling. The front end features a downplayed grille that is not aggressive and shows what the Avalon intends to be – a comfortable cruiser. LED headlamps stand on guard around the butted front end. On profile, the Avalon has a lot of distinction, with indentations adding flare and modern appeal. The back end of the Avalon is quite flashy. A thin light strip spans the entire back of the car. A dual exhaust with quad chrome tips adds to the attractive nature of the back of the Avalon.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that with 33 more horsepower this year’s Avalon is all of a sudden a speed demon. It’s not. It doesn’t have to be. But, with the extra power, there’s a little more excitement both off the line and at highway speeds. The 3.5-liter V6 now makes 301 horsepower. This takes the Avalon from slightly underpowered as it was before to now adequately powered. The eight-speed automatic transmission is phenomenal and is a nice addition to the improved 2019 model.

The Avalon’s strength has always been a high-quality interior that teeters on luxury. For 2019, the Avalon takes that even further with a larger cabin and even more luxurious interior that focuses on comfort and quietness.

For a large sedan, the Avalon’s trunk space is on the small side. There’s only 16 cubic feet of cargo room in the trunk, which is near the bottom of this segment. However, the redesigned Avalon gives the increased space to the passengers, with rear passengers having ample legroom and headroom. Three adults can comfortably sit in the back seat. How many cars can actually say that?

The infotainment system is vastly improved for this model year as Avalon is the first vehicle in the Toyota family to have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (Hallelujah!). The integration with smart phones with the intuitive infotainment system is a major win.

A moonroof spans the entire car. Driver safety features like blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection are added bonuses.

There are four trim offerings for the Avalon including XLE, XSE, Limited and Touring. My tester was the top-of-the-line Touring trim which comes with a standard MSRP of $42,200. With the aforementioned sensor-based advanced safety features, along with an advanced JBL sound system, my tester had a final MSRP of $44,913.

With the redesign and improved performance comes an increase in fuel efficiency. This year’s Avalon has more than 2 mpg improvement over last year’s car with an EPA rating of 22 mpg/city and 31 mpg/highway. Anytime a large sedan can surpass the 30-mpg threshold is a win. And I was able to average almost 26 mpg in suburban driving conditions.

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is not thrilling or exhilarating or any number of other superfluous words. For what it is, it excels. This redesigned, beautiful large sedan offers a luxurious vibe, a comfortable ride and modern amenities. There’s nothing wrong with that.

2019 TOYOTA AVALON TOURING

  • Price/As-tested price………………………………………… $42,200/$44,913
  • Mileage…………………………………… 22 mpg/city; 31 mpg/hwy
  • Engine……………………………………… 3.5-liter V6
  • Horsepower…………………………… 301 hp/267 lbs.-ft.
  • Transmission…………………………… 8-speed automatic
  • Drive wheels……………. Front-wheel drive
  • Final assembly point……………. Georgetown, Kentucky

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