It's no small feat to be the face of a brand like Toyota. Deciding which model stands for the entirety of the brand is daunting and Toyota couldn't have chosen a better flagship sedan than the 2020 Avalon. Serving as a magnum opus of everything the brand can offer for the modern driver, the newest generation of Avalon keeps its seat at the head of the Toyota family table with outstanding style and engineering for the 2020 model year.
The Perfect Ride for...
Toyota builds its diverse lineup for every driver on the road, whether you need something fast, something high-tech, something efficient, or something roomy. In the Avalon, Toyota offers the complete package. It comes available with multiple powertrains, running the gamut from high output to high efficiency and everything in between. It's available with some of the most cutting-edge amenities from infotainment to safety, all in the most spacious and luxurious interior offered in any Toyota four-door sedan. When you want it all from Toyota, the 2020 Avalon is what you get.
Drive and Handling
All five trim levels of the Avalon come standard with an impressively powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine, effortlessly producing 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Also standard is the 8-speed automatic transmission with intelligence, which Toyota refers to simply as the ECT-i. This unique transmission (originally pioneered by Toyota) employs an integrated intelligent control system and a high-performance “Super Flow” torque converter, which not only results in smoother shifting but also in higher efficiency. That’s why this large sedan can get mid-size fuel economy with an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the highway.*
For the fuel-conscious driver, Toyota offers the Avalon with a state-of-the-art hybrid powertrain in three of the available trim levels: the XLE, XSE, and Limited. Toyota designed the 2.5-liter Dynamic Force Engine to deliver enviable fuel-efficiency without sacrificing performance. This hybrid powertrain combines a 4-cylinder direct-injection engine with an 88-kilowatt motor to produce a net power output of 215 hp.
In the Avalon, you can switch driving modes from Normal Mode, which provides a balance of performance and efficiency, to ECO mode, modifying vehicle characteristics to lean more towards efficiency, enough for the hybrid to get up to 44 mpg on the highway and 34 mpg in the city.* Exclusively in the hybrid Avalon, you can also switch to the EV mode for all-electric power from the lightweight Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery, producing a smooth and quiet ride without using any gasoline or emissions whatsoever.
The Avalon also offers more control for the driver. Of course, you can enjoy the smooth and efficient performance of the automatic continuously variable transmission, but if you feel like taking over, you can switch to the Sequential Shiftmatic™ Mode and shift through seven virtual gears for an exhilarating on-demand performance. You can also switch your Avalon to Sport mode, which modifies the shocks, electronic power steering, and throttle to intensify the driving experience for when you’re feeling extra sporty.
All trim levels come standard with the super-advanced Entune 3.0 Audio Plus with App Suite from Toyota. This means you can enjoy the latest advancements in in-car entertainment and web services all from the crystal clear 9-inch touch screen on the floating in-dash console, including hands-free voice recognition for safe and effortless controls. This latest generation of Entune suite includes streaming audio from devices connected either wirelessly through built-in Bluetooth® or through a wired connection using the USB port or Apple Carplay™.
You can also enjoy a 3-year trial of both Dynamic Navigation and Toyota Connected Services, a 6-month trial of Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, and a 3-month trial of SiriusXM® All Access satellite radio. And for the true audiophiles, the Avalon comes available with a premium sound system from JBL® with Clari-Fi™ technology, which projects 1200 watts of immaculate 7.1-channel surround sound over 14 strategically placed speakers, including a subwoofer.
The Avalon also offers Toyota Remote Connect, which allows you to sync your compatible smartphone or an Apple Watch® or Android™ smartwatch for remote control of your vehicle. With Dick Tracy-like aplomb, you can extend your wrist and use touch or voice commands on your smartwatch to figure out where your vehicle is located, lock or unlock doors, and even start the engine. The Avalon also offers the latest in Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, so you and your passengers can enjoy a wireless ride in style.
Toyota Safety Sense™
Toyota knows you buy a full-size sedan to move people, so the 2020 Avalon comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense™, a suite of active safety technology that protects your most precious cargo. The suite includes features such as Lane Departure Alert, which can identify lane markers on the road and alert the driver if the vehicle begins to drift off course; full-speed range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which can detect vehicles ahead and adjust cruise control speed to maintain distance and even stop the vehicle to avoid collisions; the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, which can detect other cars and people in the road ahead and help mitigate or avoid potential collisions using additional stopping power from Brake Assist; and Automatic High Beams that can detect the headlights of oncoming vehicles to automatically toggle between high and low beams accordingly.
If you want the same modern design and performance of the Avalon but the versatility of an SUV, a crossover may be a better option for you. The Toyota RAV4 is one of the original leaders of the crossover revolution and is the perfect choice for you.
* 2020 preliminary mpg estimates determined by Toyota. EPA estimates not available at the time of posting. Actual mileage will vary.
Image Credit: Toyota