The Toyota Avalon has been serving upscale accommodations since the 1995 model year. Twenty-two years and three redesigns later, the Avalon is still one of the best choices in this class, if you like your cars as comfortable as an old pair of shoes. Its optional—and segment-exclusive—hybrid powertrain sips fuel, its cabin is well-built and spacious, and a suite of active safety features is standard. The driving experience won’t pique the interest of an enthusiast, though, and there are quibbles that hold the Avalon back from platinum status.
What’s New for 2017?
The Avalon marches into 2017 with no changes. The big Toyota sedan received a freshening in 2016 that included updated front-end styling, a revised suspension, the introduction of active safety features, and the addition of a new trim level (XLE Plus) to both the standard and hybrid Avalon lineups.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
The Touring trim level offers the best value. It includes all the features of the base XLE and uplevel XLE Plus and XLE Premium trims, but Toyota has given it a sportier treatment by adding:
• LED headlights and daytime running lights
• 18-inch wheels
• A unique chrome and piano-black front grille
• Black woodgrain interior trim with smoked-chrome accents
The Avalon Touring also has a sport-tuned suspension to dial in a degree of athleticism. Don’t worry—it’ still pleasingly plush. With no option packages, the Avalon Touring is a simple car to spec, and at $38,585, it offers every feature one might need at a price that undercuts competition from the Kia Cadenza and the Nissan Maxima.
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