The fifth-generation 2019 Toyota Avalon looks to deliver comfort, style and innovation
There is nothing wrong with being solid and comfortable. Heck. Just think about it: a nice cardigan, a comfortable pair of slippers. A pair of sweatpants. Am I right?
Comfortable is also the Toyota Avalon. Has been for four – now five – generations. With every passing model year, the Avalon chases a dream of being all things to its buyers: safe, quiet, roomy, an overall premium experience. With new technology and better mechanicals, the Avalon is gently updated every few years, adding more refinement with each reiteration. All of it without ostentatiousness. Avalon drivers don’t care if you think they’re special. They are special, and they know it.
Same goes for the 2019 Avalon. It’s been thoroughly updated in the right places this time, (except for no Android Auto), made better through technology, and with an added investment in the finery of automotive interiors. It’s a worthy fifth interpretation of a car built to be comfortable and consistent.
The last time I checked, Android owns 86.2 percent of the smartphone operating system market. And I’m betting that a fair slice of the full-size, near luxury sedan market is included in that percentage, which makes me wonder why Toyota would opt to offer only Apple CarPlay in the new 2019 Avalon. Hmm. According to Automotive News and a handful of mobile nerd sites, the reason is over legal wrangling about privacy, the control of data, and the simple fact that Toyota wants to own the experience.
No matter. Toyota says the Avalon will work with Alexa connectivity, which handles Apple and Android, so there’s that. And the fact that it has Apple CarPlay available is a first and notable move toward making the use of technology easier and more convenient for drivers.
That includes Toyota’s Entune 3.0, same system that currently sits in the Camry. For the Avalon, it offers a 9-inch touchscreen, app connections and a whole host of goodies, including standard wireless charging, connected services and an available Wi-Fi hot spot.
Otherwise, what you get for the most part with the 2019 Avalon is some notable new technology throughout the vehicle, an updated design, more expansive dimensions, and similar mechanicals to the Camry. That’s no surprise, as the Avalon sits on the same TNGA platform (and others). So like the Camry, it’s safe to assume that the drivability and the power of the car will improve.New technology, new style and a more comfortable, quiet interior
Safety-wise, Toyota has added an optional panoramic parking camera, and cross-traffic emergency braking system. Also new (on Touring and Limited) is adaptive LED cornering lights, and what Toyota calls dynamic auxiliary turn signals. The cornering lights enhance visibility when changing lanes or reversing, and the nifty turn signals provide added visibility by operating in a sequential fashion. The automaker also claims additional sound deadening materials (the Avalon was noisy?), as well as an engine sound enhancement feature.
Looks and comfort-wise, the Avalon gets an impressive update. True, the grille area resembles a massive black hole to another vortex, but for the most part, the sedan is longer, lower, wider and more muscular in the way it presents itself. Historically, the Avalon has been known more for what’s on the inside than out. With this fifth generation, the styling matters – and passengers will appreciate it.
Inside, the cabin is as you’d expect. It’s all luxury, with premium features and materials that would feel at home in a Lexus. There’s the available Yamaha-sourced wood-trim, and soft-touch materials throughout, with a gorgeous center console that seems to flow into the car, trimmed in piano black.
Performance-wise, the Avalon will benefit in many of the same ways the Camry did. And that’s swell. For power, the Avalon gets the same 3.5-liter V6 engine found in the Camry, and is mated to Toyota’s 8-speed automatic transmission, will likely producing 301 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque. The hybrid variant gets the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, connected to a CVT, also the same powerplant found in the Camry hybrid.
What’s also notable in terms of performance is the vehicle’s active variable suspension with adaptive damping. The outgoing rear suspension been replaced by a multilink setup, which provides for a wider track, lower center of gravity, and updated mechanicals. All trims get Eco, Normal, and Sport modes, while the Touring gets a Sport+ setting.
The fun is in the plus!What you expect, generation after generation
Truly, there’s nothing wrong with being solid and comfortable. In fact, for four generations, the Toyota Avalon has been a cushy ride, a predictable car, and a winner for owners. Regardless of the trend of the day, no matter how many crossovers are sold, there will always be a sizable market for a solid, comfortable and predictable sedan that gets the job done right.
That’s the Avalon’s game. And frankly few, if any, can do it better. With this fifth and newest generation, Toyota continues to focus on those things that matter most: convenient technology, safety, comfort and a predicable ride that gets a splash of fun. When you have a busy life and you expect a consistent return with every commute and errand, there’s not much more you can ask for.
Edited by DACH, 16 January 2018 - 10:40 PM.