The Toyota Avalon delivers the latest safety technology, and driving it is a pleasant, almost serene process. Given its size and the space inside, it gets good fuel mileage. A test drive might leave you wondering why anyone seeking a smooth, quiet, roomy sedan would pay more than it takes to buy an Avalon.
NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent J.P. Vettraino reported from Detroit, with John Stewart reporting from Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
Model Line Overview
Toyota Avalon XL ($27,945); XLS ($32,245); Limited ($35,285)
268-hp 3.5 liter V6
Safety equipment (standard):
front-impact airbags, driver's knee airbag, front passenger side-impact airbags, curtain-style head protection airbags for all outboard seats, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control with traction control, tire-pressure monitor
Safety equipment (optional):
3 years/36,000 miles
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Toyota Avalon XLS ($32,245)
leather-trimmed eight-way power driver and four-way power front-passenger seats, reclining rear seats with locking trunk pass-through, wood grain trim, dual-zone climate control with air filtration, remote keyless entry, power windows with one-touch operation for driver and front passenger, cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and Homelink universal transceiver, Optitron instruments with chrome accents, AM-FM stereo with nine speakers and in-dash six-CD changer, tilt-telescope steering wheel with audio and climate controls, heated outside mirrors with electrochromic auto-dimming on driver's side, aluminum door scuff plates, integrated fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels with full-size spare, power moonroof
Options as tested (MSRP):
JBL Synthesis 360-watt audio ($1,000) with 12 speakers and Blue Tooth connectivity; eight-way power adjustable passenger seat ($740) with variable seat heating
Gas guzzler tax:
Price as tested (MSRP):
3.5 liter dohc 24v V6 with variable valve timing
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
268 @ 6200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
248 @ 4700
6-speed automatic with sequential manual shift feature
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
Head/hip/leg room, f:
Head/hip/leg room, m:
Head/hip/leg room, r:
14.4 cu. ft.
independent, L-shaped control arms with MacPherson struts and anti-roll bar
independent, dual-link with MacPherson struts and anti-roll bar
vented disc/solid disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist
Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of August 11, 2009.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges.
N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: