2019 Toyota Avalon

Well, we were all hoping to see the Supra at Detroit but it seems we have to wait for a little longer. However, we got to see the new 5th-gen Avalon sedan. Due to the rapid rise of crossovers and SUVs, the sedan market is declining at a fast pace and has become unattractive to many automakers; however, Toyota still believes there is much money to be made with sedans hence has continued to focus on its lineup of sedans. The Toyota Avalon is a full-size sedan that Toyota introduced way back in 1996. The model offers a good combination of space, comfort and reliability. After hooking up the more prominent Corolla and Camry sedans with more stylish designs and better engine options, Toyota has now hooked up the 2019 Toyota Avalon with similar treatment.

2019 Toyota Avalon

The 2019 Toyota Avalon rides on the TNGA platform that also underpins the 2018 Camry meaning the Avalon will borrow several of Camry’s styling cues and powertrains. The Avalon has ditched its dull looks for a more dramatic design that pushes it up the luxury ladder. The sedan will be sold in four trim levels starting with the base XSE, mid-Touring and XLE trims and the top Limited trim. Hybrid variants will be available on all trims except the base XSE.

2019 Toyota Avalon Exterior

The exterior styling of the Avalon has evolved and features more angles and creases. The sedan is also more slippery with a 0.27 Cd.  The front fascia is wider; for the XSE and Touring, the front fascia has a plastic honeycomb grille while the XLE and Limited variants are differentiated by horizontal lines on their front fascia. At the rear, the model’s taillights are interlinked by a solitary strip that stretches across the Avalon’s trunk lid. The flanks have also been revised and no longer look slabby.  In general, the 2019 Toyota Avalon exterior design makes the model look bolder and the front designs make the sedan look more like a Lexus than a Toyota.

The new Avalon is 196 inches long (0.7 inches longer than the outgoing Avalon); its wheelbase is also larger by 2 inches which means the new sedan will have a roomier cabin.

Interior

As mentioned earlier, the Avalon will be available in four trim levels; differentiation between these trims is minimal. The XSE, as well as the Touring trim feature Ultrasuede, wrapped seats while the XLE features Softex seats with a creative vertical stitching design. The Limited trim, on the other hand, features the same materials for the seats but with a quilt pattern, two-color stitches and a special perforation.  The XSE and Touring also feature aluminum pieces while XLE features engineered wood and real wood trim is used in the Limited trim.

The cabin also features a new infotainment screen whose design flows downwards to meet the center console like a ski slope. The screen features a huge tablet-like surface. The infotainment screen and the instrument cluster are mounted at the same height. The ski-slope like design enabled engineers to fit the gear shifter as well as cup holders within the sloping surface.

Toyota has also upgraded the Avalon’s safety credentials; Toyota’s Safety Sense P, a suite of semi-autonomous driving aids is standard. The suite features a radar cruise control system that works even at full speeds, a pre-collision system that integrates pedestrian detection, blind spot monitors, lane departure warning featuring steering assist, backup guide monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The Avalon also features an integration of Amazon Alexa-enabled devices or smartwatches via the Toyota Remote Connect. The connection will enable drivers to unlock/lock the sedan’s doors, start the engine or check fuel level from their Amazon Alexa-enabled devices or smartwatches. The new system is voice controllable and also compatible with particular Apple and Android devices. Use of Amazon Alexa-enabled devices is new in the automotive industry; this technology supports car-to-home as well as home-to-car interactions.

Audiophiles will find the 14-speaker standard stereo pretty cool but those who want more can go for the 7.1-channel JBL audio system that comes with a whopping 1,200 watts and features Clari-Fi software.

Engine and performance

The 2019 Toyota Avalon will be powered by a gasoline mill and a hybrid drivetrain. The gasoline mill is a 3.5 L, V-6 while the hybrid drivetrain will feature a 2.5 L, inline-4 that combines with an electric motor. These two powertrains are borrowed from the current Toyota Camry. Toyota did not, however, announce actual power output of the mills during the sedan’s debut at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show.

However, I believe the mills will match the power output the two engines deliver in the Camry. In the Camry, the V-6 produces 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft while the hybrid drivetrain is good for 208 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is paired to an 8-speed automatic while a CVT is used on the hybrid mill. Batteries of the hybrid models are placed under the rear seats rather than on the trunk which has enhanced weight distribution ratio as well as create more space for cargo.

Price and release date

We have to wait a little longer for Toyota to announce the 2019 Toyota Avalon’s official prices. The model is likely to have an MSRP of around $34,000. Sales of the model will commence this fall.

Competition

The full-size sedan market is dwindling because traditional sedan buyers are now opting for crossovers but several automakers are still holding onto their sedans. In this segment, the Avalon will battle the likes of Nissan Maxima, Ford Taurus, Kia Cadenza, Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Impala.

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