That final level is vital, as a result of at sixty four years previous, the present Avalon’s common purchaser is definitely a couple of years older than the phase common. Whereas there is definitely nothing mistaken with constructing a car for retirees, one should additionally acknowledge that fastened incomes and properly, the inevitable march of time, will erode your buyer base much more than it has (from about seventy one,000 when the present era was launched to about 32,600 in 2017). So, whereas Toyota is not making an attempt to seize younger consumers, knocking a number of years off that common can be good.
To try this, Toyota has diversified the Avalon lineup, persevering with its current development of providing variants of differing type and driving expertise. There are a pair of “premium” trim ranges, the XLE and Restricted, and “sport” trim ranges, the XSE and Touring. Visually, XLE and Restricted fashions get horizontal bars and gray trim accenting the absurdly giant grille, brighter trim, and a pair of trapezoidal tailpipes (the Hybrid’s are hidden). Inside, there are hotter colour mixtures, together with the Touring’s distinctive “Cognac” leather-based accented by real wooden trim from Yamaha. That may, presumably, be the Yamaha piano individuals versus the sportbike or snowmobile divisions.
The Avalon XSE and Touring are the trims concentrating on youthful consumers, and probably these trying to improve from the present crop of surprisingly involving midsize sedans (together with the Camry SE and XSE). That pair’s gaping maw is completed up in a textured mesh completed in gloss black, which additionally adorns the wing mirrors, rear decrease valance, added lip spoiler and “Avalon” badging. There are additionally quad pipes and snazzier wheels.
The sporty trims current a compelling general look that does not appear contrived or the equal of your dad popping out of Hollister with a new wardrobe. The rear of each variants is especially sharp (the sculpted taillights are fairly cool), whereas the shapely hip line, thinly tapered C pillar and profile usually are fairly fetching. It is evocative of the new Lexus LS, although that shnoz manages to make Lexus’ signature Spindle Grille appear delicate.
There’s extra than simply visible variations, although, as every of the 4 trim ranges has totally different tuning of the MacPherson strut entrance and new multi-hyperlink rear suspension. Dealing with precision was improved for the XLE and Restricted (each Avalon advantages from a stiffer construction, thicker stabilizer bars and a decrease middle of gravity), however consolation stays the precedence and the new suspension setup yields a suppler experience. Supple it most definitely is, but floaty it does not appear to be. Joe and Esther P. Avalon Purchaser must be fairly completely happy.
The Restricted’s springs are 25-% stiffer than these of the XLE, whereas stabilizer bar stiffness will increase by 20 % entrance and 270 % rear when going from XLE to XSE. It is a distinction you’ll be able to instantly really feel when driving the XSE, which has a extra strong, hunkered down really feel than each the premium Avalon trims and different full-size sedans. It is truly extra consistent with the Nissan Maxima, which is one other mainstream entry with premium aspirations and pricing. That it nonetheless manages to have full-size sedan dimensions definitely provides it a leg up on the Maxima – as does its superior steering.
Certainly, each 2019 Avalon impresses with its steering’s precision and pure effort. The latter is definitely a bit of heavier than anticipated – a pleasing shock for some, maybe a priority for the arthritic crowd – however nonetheless high-quality at decrease speeds. Like the remainder of the Avalon driving expertise, particularly with the game trims, it feels prefer it belongs to a traditional, involving car as an alternative of an aloof isolation machine. Actually, choosing the car’s Sport mode solely barely will increase effort to the purpose that it is solely noticeable when actually pushing onerous (and who’s actually doing that in an Avalon?). There isn’t any forearm-difficult heft simply to make issues appear sporty. Good.
On the prime of the dynamic pile is the Touring, which provides to the XSE’s suspension adaptive variable dampers that, in typical trend, continuously regulate themselves based mostly on street circumstances and permit the driving force to decide on amongst Regular, Sport, and Sport+ driving modes to realize their ultimate experience/dealing with stability. Regular principally provides additional consolation to the XSE’s standard settings (which helps you to really feel a shocking quantity of the street, maybe even an excessive amount of), whereas the Sport and Sport+ settings get agency sufficient to be a bit disagreeable on tough pavement. They do, in fact, maintain the car flatter round corners and supply a usually sharper driving expertise. We’re unsure if that is actually needed for any purchaser of an Avalon, however hey, why not?
The Touring additionally sounds totally different. It will get a sport exhaust with modified baffles for a extra noticeable warble throughout acceleration, however then engineers added an lively noise management system that cancels out some ensuing undesirable noise. There’s additionally an consumption sound generator and faux noise piped in via the audio system. Frankly, it did not sound that nice and appears moderately pointless.
Hooked up to that exhaust, and certainly each 2019 Avalon trim, is identical three.5-liter V6 and eight-velocity automated combo launched within the new Camry. Producing the identical 301 horsepower and 267 pound-ft of torque, it strikes the three,560 – three,704-pound Avalon with anticipated ease. That is a big improve of 33 hp and 19 lb-ft in comparison with the 2018 Avalon. Its horsepower is just bettered within the phase by the Buick LaCrosse and Chevy Impala, however these each weigh extra. (Sure, there’s the Hemi-powered Chrysler 300, however that is an actual outlier).
But, the best Avalon powertrain selection might be the Hybrid. Possessing nearly the identical styling and chassis tuning because the V6-powered trims (minus the unavailable Touring), the Hybrid just about differs solely beneath the hood. Oh, and beneath the again seat, the place the nickel-metallic hydride battery has migrated to from underneath the trunk. Not solely does this imply the Hybrid has the identical sixteen.1 cubic-ft of trunk area as V6-powered fashions (the previous one was 14 cu.ft. versus sixteen), it relocates a substantial quantity of weight from past the rear axle to ahead of it and down low. That improves the middle of gravity, and though we did not get to push any model arduous sufficient to actually discover, if the equally set-up 2018 Camry Hybrid is any indication, the Avalon Hybrid might finally be the extra balanced car to drive.
That is solely a cheerful aspect impact, although. The V6 might handle best-in-class fuel financial system of 25 or 26 miles per gallon mixed (relying on trim), however it’s shellacked by the Hybrid’s forty three or forty four mpg determine (the outgoing hybrid obtained forty mpg). That would simply translate into annual fuel financial savings of at the very least $600 – large when you think about the 2019 Avalon Hybrid is simply $1,000 greater than the equal fuel-solely mannequin. That is an unparalleled payback time for a hybrid.
Positive, the system’s mixed output of 215 hp is clearly lower than the V6, however its acceleration is adequate and an added motor for 2019 (which principally frees the drive motor from different duties) provides a bit extra electric juice into the equation when beginning off. This eases the load on the two.5-liter, 176-hp 4-cylinder and prevents a number of the uncouth mooing and vibrations of different Toyota hybrids.
The interior sees a rise in fashion and high quality over what already exceeded its rivals in each measures. The previous design additionally seemed fairly a bit just like the new Camry’s, however the 2019 model goes its personal approach with a tall, rectilinear middle stack that rises forth from the middle console and appears to hover away from the remainder of the sprint like a free-standing tower. It is kinda cool and avoids the tacked-on iPad look many dislike, whereas nonetheless benefitting from the lowered visible bulk and elevated sightline that design permits. The area behind it’s architectural in look, neatly integrates the air vents, and showcases totally different supplies. Maybe there is a bit an excessive amount of happening, although, particularly within the Touring’s Cognac cabin, and the tower’s “helps” are an unconvincing arduous plastic knock-off of the squishy dashtop above.
The tower itself features new, distinctive-to-Avalon switchgear that maintains Toyota’s longstanding choice for protecting the local weather management system separate from the infotainment (kudos). The newest Toyota Entune three.zero system comes standard with a 9-inch touchscreen, WiFi, 5 USB ports, satellite tv for pc radio, Amazon Alexa integration, and, for the primary time in a Toyota, Apple CarPlay. The corporate stated it is going to add Android Auto ought to clients demand it, however we’re guessing it is making an attempt to iron out a comparable settlement with Google because it did with Apple that forestalls buyer knowledge from being transferred again to headquarters in Cupertino (which was apparently the maintain-up for including CarPlay).
Different features embrace Toyota’s Security Sense suite of accident avoidance and driver help tech, together with full-velocity cruise management, lane-preserving help and automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection. LED headlights, twin-zone local weather management, heated energy entrance seats and SofTex vinyl that is much more convincing within the Avalon than different Toyota merchandise are standard. Gear ranges soar from there to real luxurious ranges on the Restricted and Touring trims. Pricing begins at a not-insignificant $36,395 for the XLE then goes as much as $38,895 for the XSE, $forty two,695 for the Restricted and $forty three,095 for the Touring. Choices are principally restricted to an audio improve on decrease trims and a parking tech improve on higher ones. Each Avalon is inbuilt Kentucky.
Whether or not all of this is sufficient to stem the deluge of consumers from full-size sedans is actually anybody’s guess. The present Avalon continues to be the category chief, is not as dowdy as previous variations and the 2019 is not precisely a revolutionary makeover. Then once more, perhaps the jazzier sport trims actually will appeal to some quinquagenarians and convey down that common age. They will a minimum of be getting a greater car.
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