2018 Toyota Avalon

We are not going to get a new generation Avalon; at least not for now. The 2018 Toyota Avalon continues for the 2018 model year with barely any changes upgrades. Toyota opted to debut a new generation for the more popular Camry. Despite the lack of new upgrades, the Avalon has a lot to offer its enthusiasts, particularly the older generation. The model offers a smooth ride with a spacious and comfortable cabin, advanced safety technologies and powerful engines.

2018 Toyota Avalon Exterior

While all sedans are adopting a sportier look, the 2018 Toyota Avalon still retains a conservative design which I think is still attractive for the older generation.  The design is characterized by a wide-open grille that is flanked by slim LED headlights. The grille has some chrome accents which make the model look bold. On the sides, the Avalon features soft creases, straight side lines and faint wheel wells, features that are common with almost all conservative sedans. There are also heated side mirrors that are integrated with turn signals. On the rear, you will find smoked LED tail lamps as well as dual exhaust tips.

I hoped the automaker could have given the model the same treatment as the Camry. The new generation Camry features a 3D front fascia with an hourglass grille and a sculpted hood; overall it has a curvy body.

Touring trims add a chrome grille that features a piano-black insert. The Limited trim adds rain-sensing wipers and windshield as well as auto-dimming side mirrors.

All models will ride on a set of 17-inch wheels. The Touring and Limited trim will, however, feature 18-inch wheels while the Limited trim adds super chrome on the wheels to set it apart from others.

2018 Toyota Avalon

Interior

The Avalon offers plenty of space for the five passengers it accommodates as well as for cargo. It offers a cargo space of 16 cubic feet when the rear seats are in position. The cabin even on the base XLE trim is well trimmed with various niceties such as leather upholstery on seats. The front seats are heated and are power adjustable. The cabin also features a wood-grain trim, the automakers Entune infotainment system and dual-zone climate control all as standard features. The XLE Plus trim adds an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a push-button start. All trims except the XLE and XLE Plus feature a navigation system with top trims featuring a 3-zone climate control and cooled front seats.

It is however still disappointing that the Avalon does not offer connectivity apps such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

In terms of safety, all models have 10 airbags. All models also feature the automakers Safety Sense P suite as standard. The suite features dynamic cruise control, automatic high beams, lane departure warning and pre-collision mitigation with pedestrian recognition. Top trims add blind-spot monitoring as well as a Safety Connect system that integrates emergency assistance.

Engine and performance

Regular Avalons are powered by a 3.5 L, V-6 that produces 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. The engine uses a 6-speed automatic gearbox that sends power to the front wheels. With this engine, the sedan needs 7 seconds to dash from a standing position to 60 mph. The model offers three driving modes (Normal, Eco and Sport). The Avalon is EPA rated to return 21 mpg, 30 mpg and 24 mpg in city, highway and on combined driveways respectively.

Hybrid models use the Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, a system that is also used on the Camry Hybrid, RAV4 Hybrid as well as on the Prius. The system features a 2.5 L, Atkinson cycle mill with a displacement of 4.0 liters; it combines with a high-torque motor to produce 200 hp. The setup is backed by a nickel-metal-hydride battery which is charged via regenerative braking. The hybrid system mates to a CVT system and offers three driving modes (Eco and Sport) as well as EV mode. The hybrid is EPA rated at 40 mpg in the city, 39 mpg on the highway and 40 mpg on combined drives.

Price and release date

Being a carryover model with minor upgrades over the outgoing version, I don’t expect significant price changes. As such, I expect the model’s price to range from $34,000 to $42,000 inclusive of destination charges. The Avalon will arrive in Toyota dealerships in August.

Competition

The 2018 Toyota Avalon competes with models such as the Hyundai Azera, Buick LaCrosse, Nissan Maxima, Chrysler 300, Kia Cadenza and Chevrolet Impala.

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