Toyota Avalon 2021 – Review, Specs, Photos

The Toyota Avalon just went through a comprehensive redesign in 2021, so the next redesign is likely not coming for quite a while. The 2021 Avalon will, however, arrive with one significant change to its powertrain: optional all-wheel drive. Fresh off a 2021 redesign that made it wider and lower and the addition of a sportier TRD model in 2021, we expect no visual changes to the 2021 Toyota Avalon. The only notable difference will be the subtle “AWD” badge on the rear of all-wheel-drive models. Full review and all information about the car – 2021 Toyota Avalon.

New Toyota Avalon 2021

The Toyota Avalon is a large sedan that seats five. It’s powered by a standard 301-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine that pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A gas-electric hybrid drivetrain is also available. Competitors include the Kia Cadenza and Chrysler 300. Following the Avalon’s 2021 redesign, the 2021 model offers a new performance-focused TRD trim level. The TRD version gets a lower, performance-tuned suspension, unique wheels and tires, bigger brakes, a TRD-tuned exhaust system and various cosmetic changes. Toyota Avalon 2021 – photos colors and price in this article!

Interior

When it comes to the overall look of the cabin, the current Avalon represents a big step up relative to models from previous generations. A broad waterfall-style center stack separates the driver and front passenger, and it shows off handsome switchgear and an easy-to-reach touchscreen. The plastics used throughout the cabin are nicely grained, and the back seat provides lots of room for tall passengers to stretch their legs. In addition, there’s a cavernous trunk with 16 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard folding rear seats with a 60/40 split allow you to easily expand this capacity when toting large items. In our testing of the non-hybrid version, we fit seven carry-on suitcases in the trunk and 18 with the back seats folded. The hybrid fit fewer suitcases (six with the rear seats in use and 17 with them folded) due to its battery pack that impinges on cargo space. Toyota Avalon 2021 – see the photo in the gallery on our website.

Exterior

The 2021 Toyota Avalon is Toyota’s grown-up sedan, and yet we’re not sure it knows what it wants to be when it reaches adulthood. Ordered in XLE and Limited trims, it’s a relaxed highway cruiser ready to soak up long distances. In hybrid guise, it’s as thrifty as a subcompact sedan but with a spacious interior. And this year’s sporty Avalon TRD hankers for a winding road. Avalon comes in XLE, XSE, TRD, Limited, and Touring, with a choice of 301-hp V-6 or 215-hp hybrid that sends power to the front wheels. Unlike some rivals, the Avalon isn’t offered with snowy weather-friendly all-wheel drive. The base V-6 moves the Avalon well, though it’s thirsty. Our pick here for most drivers is the gentle hybrid, which is rated by the EPA at 43 mpg or higher depending on the trim. Similarly, we think the Avalon works best in softer XLE and Limited trims than it does in the stiff XSE and Touring and stiffer TRD trims. The sportier Avalons struggle to overcome their size when pushed and transmit unexpected harshness and road noise into the cabin. That size is also an asset when it comes to interior space. A true five-seater, the Avalon can handle the entire family in comfort. The right-priced Avalon Limited is even draped in leather and gorgeous wood trim. We’ll take ours in the warm Cognac hue inside, thank you. The bright 9.0-inch touchscreen includes Apple CarPlay compatibility, though it won’t talk the same talk with an Android device. A wide array of collision-avoidance tech comes standard, while a surround-view camera system is on the options list. The Avalon has done well in crash tests, too.

Colors

All Avalon models get the Toyota Safety Sense-P suite of active safety features, including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. Blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert is also standard. Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity is standard, but Android Auto isn’t available. The top-of-the-line Touring trim gets an adaptive suspension. The Toyota Avalon is a very good choice in a shrinking large-sedan class, and it should be on your consideration list if you’re looking for big-car virtues, like a roomy interior and big trunk. If your preferences include a car with these attributes and a hybrid drivetrain, there are even fewer competitors.

Fuel economy

With the gas-only 2021 Avalon, the EPA estimates mileage of up to 22/32 mpg city/highway. In our highway fuel-economy testing, we recorded 34 mpg. The Avalon hybrid achieves EPA-estimated mileage of up to 43/44 mpg. While testing one of these models, we observed fuel economy of 43 mpg in highway driving.

Horsepower

Inside will be much of the same, as this near-luxury Toyota sedan will continue with its classy cabin design and high-tech goodies like the standard Entune Audio Plus infotainment system, 9-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth audio streaming, in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, and more. The 2021 Avalon’s standard powertrain will remain a 301-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission that ships power to the front wheels. The big under-hood change for the 2021 Avalon will be an optional all-wheel-drive system paired with a 205-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Technical specifications

There’s a catch, however — the new drivetrain will not be paired to the existing V6 or hybrid powerplant. Instead, the all-wheel-drive Avalon will borrow the 205-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder from the Camry for motivation. That’s a loss of about 100 hp, and we’ll likely see a significant loss in torque as well. We’re not ecstatic about the choice since this engine is rougher around the edges than we’d expect from a near-luxury car such as the Avalon. To top it off, its competitors with AWD are almost exclusively powered by V6 engines, so buyers in cold climates might feel let down by its lack of oomph.

Price

XLE: $36,755; XSE: $39,255; Limited: $43,055; TRD: $43,255; Touring: $43,455; Hybrid XLE: $37,805. Given its generous list of standard features, we imagine the Avalon’s base XLE trim has what it takes to keep a wide range of car shoppers happy. The XLE comes with exterior features such as heated power-adjustable side mirrors and LED headlights. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard, along with heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column. All Avalon sedans come with tech features such as Apple CarPlay integration and SiriusXM satellite radio, as well as driver-assistance amenities such as blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

Safety

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2021 Avalon earned a perfect five out of five stars overall. The 2021 Avalon hasn’t been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, the 2021 model was designated a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS, earning the highest possible score of Good in all crashworthiness measures. Key safety features include: Standard rear cross-traffic alert; Standard blind-spot monitoring; Standard adaptive cruise control; Standard lane-departure warning system; Standard forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking; Available rear cross-traffic braking.

Motors

The 2021 Toyota Avalon gives buyers a choice of two powertrains: one that sips gas exclusively and another that uses a fuel-efficient hybrid setup. All gas-only models come with a 3.5-liter V-6 that delivers 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels. This engine hustles the Avalon from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, according to our testing. Trim levels with hybrid in their nomenclature come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors. This setup provides a net output of 215 horsepower, and it’s paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that powers the front wheels. In our tests, an Avalon hybrid made the run from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Many shoppers who seek out large cars like the Avalon prioritize comfort, and Toyota’s big sedan doesn’t disappoint in this area. In our tests, it delivered well-mannered handling that did an admirable job of keeping bumps and jolts out of the cabin. All-wheel drive isn’t available with the Avalon.

Configurations

To make this swap happen, engineers had to reconfigure the Avalon’s floor pan to accommodate a driveshaft and a rear differential. Also, a saddle gas tank replaces the flat one found in front-wheel-drive models. While FWD Avalons will continue to derive their power from the 301-hp V6 engine found in the current model, AWD versions get the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that powers the RAV4, which in this application delivers 205 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to the wheels. This doesn’t sound like enough horsepower to motivate a sedan that weighs in at 3,751 pounds, but, in fact, it does so without too much strain. Drivers looking for roller-coaster thrills behind the wheel won’t be enthused with the 4-banger’s pickup, but most owners will be quite satisfied with the performance. Mileage estimates aren’t yet available for the AWD Avalon, which will weigh only marginally more than a FWD version. Estimates for the V6 remain at 22 miles per gallon in the city, 32 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg in combined driving for the XLE grade. The XSE, TRD, Limited and Touring trims provide 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. We suspect that AWD will shave about 3 mpg from those numbers.

Review

Large sedans have declined in popularity over the last few years, while SUVs took over as the go-to choice for families. Some entrants, such as the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, have been on sale for nearly a decade without a substantial redesign. Others are on life support (Chevrolet Impala) or have been discontinued entirely (Ford Taurus). So it comes as a bit of a surprise that Toyota is doubling down and offering more versions of its popular full-size sedan than ever before. For the first time in the nameplate’s history, the 2021 Toyota Avalon will be available with all-wheel drive.

Release date

The 2021 Toyota Avalon will arrive in showrooms in the fall of 2021. Pricing is not available yet, but with no changes to the core of the lineup, we expect pricing to remain close to the current model’s MSRP range of $36,755 to $43,455 (destination fees included). This premium sedan will compete with the Chrysler 300, Nissan Maxima, and Kia Cadenza.

Video

As with previous Avalons, the 2021 Toyota Avalon will continue to be the Toyota of choice for members of the tuxedoed set who shun the trappings of wealth. Historically, the Avalon has punched up, offering a near first-class experience for close to a steerage price. When the 2021 Avalon rolls out in fall 2021, it’ll follow that formula. We were treated to an early look at the 2021 Avalon during a Toyota snow-driving event in Utah. Why a snow-driving event? Because for the first time, all-wheel drive will be offered on the Avalon in 2021. It seems that Toyota is doubling down on its sedan effort, making AWD available on the Avalon and, for the first time since 1991, the Camry. Although Toyota product folks admit that adding AWD to these popular sedans might take a small bite out of the brand’s crossover sales, the goal to attract AWD-sedan shoppers to Toyota is the driving force behind the decision. They believe that future Camry and Avalon sales will be between 15 and 20 percent AWD.

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