I hope you want large grilles…

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2021 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is like soft-serve ice cream: easy and candy. With a snug experience, accommodating cabin and nice demeanor, this huge sedan is soothing to drive and goes down (the highway) straightforward. However the real-world gas economic system is definitely its strongest asset. You could not imagine how economical a four-door of this measurement could be.

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Cup or cone?

Interesting to a variety of drivers, the Toyota Avalon is served in two methods: with both an internal-combustion or hybrid powertrain. Since neither model is a driver’s automobile — no, not even the Avalon TRD — you could as nicely get the hybrid and luxuriate in its superior effectivity, which is supplied with little sacrifice in efficiency.

Launched just a few years in the past, the fifth-generation Avalon is constructed on the TNGA platform, underpinnings that, in a single type or one other, help an enormous vary of Toyota merchandise, all the things from the Prius to the Highlander to the Lexus ES. This structure makes the Avalon Hybrid really feel rock strong, freed from creaks, groans, squeaks or rattles, plus it helps present glorious crash safety, as evinced by stellar scores from the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security.

Barely bigger than a Camry and way more upscale, the Avalon presents luxury-car frills in a mainstream package deal, although you could not love its appears, as that huge grille is a bit a lot. Apart from distinctive styling and inside appointments, this Toyota is almost similar to the Lexus ES, which is principally an Avalon with additional toppings. They’ve the identical wheelbase and general size, and in hybrid guise, similar powertrains and effectivity scores. However who wears it higher? Effectively, having reviewed the ES just a few months again, on this case, I would say the Toyota is extra satisfying. The ES 250 I examined was enough, however its faults have been way more evident given the elevated price ticket.

An enormous softie

The Avalon Hybrid’s inside is stretch-out spacious and as comfortable as grandma’s sofa, although this instance’s creamy-soft cognac-colored leather-based is much extra interesting than her shiny plastic slip covers. The supplies employed inside are of top of the range, with liberal quantities of soppy plastics and even actual wooden accents in Restricted fashions. Up entrance, the bucket chairs are smooth but supportive and the backseat is equally accommodating, serving up huge quantities of headroom and leg house. For long-distance journey, the Avalon is aces.

The Avalon Hybrid’s inside is spacious and upscale, simply do not count on a lot cutting-edge know-how.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Including a bit panache, this Toyota’s dashboard is expressively designed however not excessive or bizarre on the lookout for the sake of being totally different. There’s positively some 3D sculpting to it, however the design is just about symmetrical. I additionally love how the console sweeps as much as be a part of the middle stack, it is a easy however clever contact. The infotainment and local weather controls are mounted up excessive so that they’re straightforward to see, although I do want a few of these chiclet-style buttons have been slightly bigger, as they could be a problem to press whereas driving.

Like different Toyotas, this automobile has predictable deficits and I am not going to beat them to loss of life on this evaluate. The backup digital camera is fairly low-resolution and the infotainment system lackluster at finest. The usual 9-inch touchscreen is, nevertheless, shiny, colourful and straightforward to look at with out taking your eyes too far off the highway, once more, due to its elevated place on the dashboard. Together with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto is customary tools, although each smartphone-mirroring programs want USB entry to work, so be sure to convey a cable. Restricted fashions do come customary with a Qi wi-fi charging plate, at the very least.

Effectivity is the cherry on high

This Toyota is powered by a hybrid drivetrain, one centered round a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Augmented by a pair of electrical motors, which, amongst different issues, operate as a constantly variable transmission, this Avalon is graced with a complete of 215 horsepower. A particular torque determine isn’t listed as the maths with hybrids is fuzzier than the pores and skin of a kiwi you would possibly garnish a sundae with. Easy and responsive, this association can transfer the automobile from a standstill to 60 mph in round 8.1 seconds, which makes the Avalon Hybrid really feel spry if not overly vigorous. Even when the accelerator is buried, the internal-combustion engine stays muted.

However what makes this such a dynamite drivetrain is the gas effectivity. Decrease-end Avalon Hybrids sticker at 43 mpg metropolis and 44 mpg on each the freeway and mixed check cycles. As compared, this Restricted-trim mannequin is rated at simply 43 mpg throughout the board, an enormous privation, I do know. In real-world driving, nevertheless, this automobile is extraordinarily environment friendly, as I am getting greater than 46 mpg with out even making an attempt, which is rattling spectacular for one thing this measurement.

This powertrain delivers good efficiency and stellar effectivity.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A creamy experience

Consolation and effectivity are this Toyota’s jam, so do not count on a lot else from the drive. There’s nothing enjoyable about how the Avalon Hybrid handles. Its steering is predictable, the wheel feeling as mild as a dollop of whipped cream. The brake pedal straightforward to modulate and the transition from regenerative to friction braking is all however imperceptible, one thing different automakers may study from.

Dealing with is safe, however my tester’s Hankook Kinergy GT all-season tires really feel like they’re fabricated from exhausting cheese, providing little really feel, even on dry pavement. After all, with a treadwear ranking of 540, you’ll be able to’t count on a lot in the best way of corner-carving grip. They howl in disapproval lengthy earlier than you attain the restrict. On the plus aspect, these efficiency-focused tires are quiet and supply a experience that is creamier than frozen custard. Because of its consolation and refinement, the Avalon Hybrid is soothing to drive and might really make you are feeling much less pressured after a journey than whenever you began.

Serving to soothe frazzled nerves, Toyota Security Sense-P is customary throughout the vary. This consists of superior driver aids like lane-departure warning with steering help, computerized excessive beams and adaptive cruise management. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is included freed from cost, too. Regardless that it is accessible on different Toyota and Lexus fashions, lane centering (Lane Tracing Help in Toyota parlance) is, sadly, not accessible at any worth.

In the event you’re after a big sedan and each consolation and gas economic system are high priorities, Toyota has you steed.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A profitable recipe

The 2021 Toyota Avalon Hybrid begins at nearly $38,000 together with $995 in vacation spot charges, a mere $975 greater than a comparable gas-powered model. That will get you an entry-level XLE instance with a great deal of customary options together with keyless entry with pushbutton begin, LED headlights and loads of security tools. The head Restricted mannequin you are studying about on this evaluate checks out for $46,717, a more-than-reasonable determine for a big, comfy and well-equipped sedan. Naturally, just a few extras inflate the bottom worth, however nothing loopy. The Superior Security Bundle features a 360-degree digital camera system and parking sensors with rear computerized braking, all for $1,150. The smooth Ruby Flare Pearl paint job prices an additional $425, and a small handful of different choices add an extra $847 to the underside line.

The Avalon Hybrid is a big sedan with a twist. Like a dish of chocolate and vanilla smooth serve, it supplies big-car consolation and hybrid effectivity, an unexpectedly tasty mixture.

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