The Toyota Avalon is a four-door, five-passenger full-size luxury sedan. The Avalon is manufactured in Georgetown, Ky. alongside the Toyota Camry, Toyota Camry Solara and Toyota Venza. The Toyota Avalon is Toyota’s flagship sedan, and it has been so since 1995. Originally, the Avalon was based on an enlarged Camry platform and bore more than a passing resemblance to some of the Infiniti offerings of the 1990’s. Toyota had previously relied on the rear-wheel drive Cressida sedan as their full-size, top of the line vehicle, but the development savings of using the pre-existing Camry platform meant that the Avalon was destined to share the same front-wheel drive power train as its mid-size cousin. Three generations later, the Avalon is still positioned just below the full-size Lexus sedans in Toyota’s product lineup.
The Toyota Avalon is still very similar to the 2005 re-design. Externally, the vehicles are almost identical, with the Avalon’s large, almost slab-sided doors contrasting well with the gently angular front end. The rear deck of the Avalon is short, and the trunk lid drops off abruptly to recess between the rear tail lights, forming a small lip at the top of the bumper. The visual impression typically given by the Avalon in the past was one of anonymity – one of the chief complaints of Toyota buyers. However, the re-design has given a more muscular, regal air to the vehicle, adding a bit more personality and helping it to fit in a bit better with other Toyota designs.
Each Avalon, from the base level XL to the fully-optioned Limited, is powered by the same 3.5 liter V6 engine making 268 horsepower and just under 250 lb-ft of torque. Given that the full-size Avalon only weighs around 3,495 lbs, this is respectable power for a vehicle in this weight category. The 6-speed automatic transmission, while offering a sequential ‘sport’ shift option, is more tuned for comfort than for performance, ensuring that drivers arrive at their destination in the smoothest manner possible.
Comfort is also the name of the game when it comes to interior features. The list of standard features for the Avalon include a power driver’s seat, power windows and locks, cruise control, dual climate controls and keyless entry. Stepping up through the option packages rewards buyers with stiffer suspensions, larger wheels, leather seats, a moon roof, heated mirrors and a stunning 360-watt JBL sound system. Navigation and HID headlights are also available. The interior of the Avalon is roomy and comfortable enough for up to 5 adults on short trips, and the quality of the trim is typical of Toyota’s high standards.
The Toyota Avalon is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable, comfortable and roomy full-size sedan. The V6 engine provides solid performance bundled with better than average fuel economy – 19 miles per gallon in town and 28 on the highway. That being said, Toyota has recently made public the possibility that the Avalon will be dropped from their vehicle lineup in the future, to be replaced by a larger edition of the Camry. Some buyers may not want to purchase a vehicle which may be destined to be discontinued. However, others may be keen to seek out the excellent deals which could be available from Toyota dealers in the event that this actually does come to pass.
The 2009 Toyota Avalon is a carryover from 2008. The 2009 Avalon comes in either XL, XLS or Limited trims. Each is provided with the same 3.5 liter V6 engine that cranks out 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission handles the shifting duties, and fuel economy is rated at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon during highway driving.