If you are looking for the ultimate long-distance comfort but don't want to spend your hard earned money irresponsibly just for a posh badge, the 2018 Toyota Avalon will delight you. It's the Toyota's most premium sedan and offers luxury of a Lexus without costing a bomb. In fact, the Avalon Hybrid delivers compact car like fuel efficiency with all the luxury.
Behind the wheel, the outward visibility is great and the smooth but powerful V6 mated to an equally smooth 6-Speed Automatic makes for an effortless mile muncher. Although the Avalon inspire confidence through turns, it's never as entertaining as the Nissan Maxima or Dodge Charger. The Avalon was built to soothe you rather than excite you and it does its job brilliantly.
7.1/10 Fuel Economy
This Toyota full-size sedan will pamper you in its supportive seats clad in supple leather. The cabin is superbly quiet and there is ample room in the back to just stretch out and relax. While the standard dual-zone automatic climate control keeps the cabin climate pleasant, the cushy suspension gobbles up any type of road imperfection effortlessly.
2018 Toyota Avalon Features
There are a total of eight trim levels including three hybrid trims. All the 5 non-hybrid trims get a 268 hp V6 mated to a 6-Speed Automatic while the Avalon Hybrid has an I4 engine with electric motors for a total system output of 200 hp. The base Avalon XLE starts at $33,500 and offers more than enough features to keep you satisfied.
Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with paddle shifters
Leather-trimmed multi-stage heated front seats
8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support
4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
Dual-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat vents
Adds to or replaces features offered on XLE:
Auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, map light, and HomeLink universal transceiver
Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof
Adds to or replaces features offered on XLE Plus:
Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation
integrated backup camera display
Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging
eBin storage with one 12V power outlet, auxiliary audio jack, and USB port
Adds to or replaces features offered on XLE Premium:
Premium leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with paddle shifters
Black wood-grain-style interior trim
Adds to or replaces features offered on Touring:
Premium perforated leather-trimmed multi-stage heated and ventilated front seats
10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support and power cushion extension
8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
Power rear window sunshade
The Avalon Touring ($37,900) is the one to get if you want a hint of sportiness as it gets a sportier suspension and larger 18-inch wheels. The top-spec nonhybrid Toyota Avalon Limited is priced at $41,300. The Hybrid powertrain is available in three trims – the XLE Plus, the XLE Premium, and the XLE Limited.
Too many to choose from? We help you find the best trim
Although the base XLE trim has all the feature you will need and more, it lacks the sunroof. So, we will choose to spend $1,750 more for the sunroof and auto-dimming rearview mirror equipped XLE plus ($35,250). If you care a lot for the environment (or want to save some fuel bills), the XLE Plus Hybrid ($37,500) is a great choice as well (at a cost of some performance though).
2018 Toyota Avalon Engine
The Avalon aims to lower your pulse and every single component of the powertrain and chassis is engineered to deliver just that. The engine delivers power smoothly, the transmission shuffles the torque smoothly and the suspension absorbs the imperfection and keeps the car moving – smoothly. That said, the Avalon does inspire confidence even through high-speed corners.
“Ample V-6 power, a Lexus-like ride, and composed handling give the Avalon the dynamics we appreciate. Its below-average braking performance and unhurried hybrid acceleration cost it a few competency points here.” – Car and Driver
All the non-hybrid Avalon gets the same powertrain – a 3.5L V6 developing 268 hp and 248 pounds-feet of torque mated to a 6-speed automatic. The V6 can propel this full-size barge with gusto. Sadly, all-wheel drive is not on offer. The Avalon Hybrid gets a 2.5L I4 engine assisted by an electric motor. The combined power is lower though – 200 hp. Hybrid gets a CVT instead of a traditional automatic.
3.5-Liter V6 DOHC 24-Valve
3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine
ECOTEC 2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder
3.6-Liter V6 24-Valve VVT Engine
268 hp @ 6200 rpm
300 hp @ 6,400 rpm
197 hp @ 6300 rpm
292 hp @ 6350 rpm
248 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
261 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
191 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
260 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
Nissan gets a 3.5 litre V6 engine and impala is equipped with a 2.5 litre 4 cylinder engine . Dogde charger and Maxima produces maximum horsepower in the rivalry.
The 3.5L V6 in non-hybrid Toyota Avalon can accelerate this full-size luxury barge from rest to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. That’s faster than the much more aggressive looking Dodge Charger. With so much power on tap, overtaking even the faster freeway traffic is effortless.
14.5 sec @ 89.9 mph
14.3 sec @ 97.7 mph
14.9 sec @ 95.9 mph
14.8 sec @ 94.9 mph
Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year
Ride and Handling
The suspension of the Avalon is supple enough to lull you to sleep on a long trip. It dismissed any kind of bump at any speed with aplomb. This combined with its rock-solid stability at freeway speeds and confidence inspiring cornering characteristics make the Avalon a perfect transcontinental cruiser. The Touring trim gets sporty suspension and larger wheels for those who want a bit more “sport”.The suspension is set up for a plush ride, but the Touring model’s stiffer suspension won’t compromise the luxury feel.
The Avalon gets 11.7-inch brake rotors up front and 11.7-inch rotors at the back. That’s smallest among the competitors compared here and it does compromise the braking of the Avalon. Even though Avalon is lightest here, it takes longer to stop from 60 than the Impala or Charger. That said, it does offer linear pedal response that helps to make smooth stops easy.
60-0 MPH (ft.)
2018 Toyota Avalon Fuel Economy
With such performance in such a large size, even the non-hybrid Avalon is incredibly efficient delivering 21 mpg in city and 30 mpg on highway for a combined rating of 24 mpg. The Impala delivers slightly better efficiency but with much lower performance. The large 17-gallon fuel tank gives it a cruising range of 560 miles – as we said, a proper transcontinental liner.
And then comes the Avalon hybrid. Everything in its powertrain is tuned for efficiency. The 2.5L I4 uses Atkinson-cycle and it’s mated to a CVT transmission. The electric motor assists the combustion engine and harnesses the braking energy. All these wizardries mean this full-size sedan delivers compact car like efficiency – 40 mpg in city and 39 mpg on highway.
2018 Toyota Avalon Interior
The Avalon’s interior can give any luxury car costing more than twice the money nightmares when it comes to pure comfort. The quality of the material is flawless, the fit and finish are perfect and the cabin is loaded with equipment – even is base trim. While the rear seats are as relaxing as a warm bath, even the driving environment is unhurried.
“Step inside the 2018 Avalon and two traits immediately stand out: The first is that it’s roomy, and the second is that it’s lush and sophisticated.” – Kelley Blue Book
Seating and Comfort
The rear seats are sofa like – wide and expansive with abundant leg-room. The seats are so plush, you sink in them. While standard dual-zone climate control is powerful and keeps the cabin climate pleasant under any condition, the Limited trim gets three-zone climate control.
It’s easy to find a perfect driving position with 8-way power adjustable driver’s seats and power lumbar support. Once you find your perfect driving position, you notice a large simple and unhurried instrument cluster, a leather-clad steering wheel that’s good to hold and wide dashboard covered in rich leather with high-quality stitching.
Passenger Volume(ft cube)
You will also find the outward visibility great. While even the base Avalon XLE gets standard heated seats that feel lovely, the Avalon Limited gets ventilated front seats. All these combined with its hushed cabin and long-range really helps it shrink vast distances. Even an airliner like an ambient light is on offer – those with frequent long-distance commuters will love it.
Complementing the Avalons large cabin and long distance capability is its spacious trunk. With 16 cubic feet of luggage capacity on offer, it can easily swallow all the occupants’ luggage. However, the Avalon Hybrid’s battery pack eats up 2-cubic feet of luggage space. Also, the Impala is even more spacious.As befits a big sedan, the Avalon features a sufficiently large trunk. The rear seats don’t fold down, but there is a central pass-through.
Volume (ft cube)
When it comes to infotainment, the Avalon does not have much to impress. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are missing. On top of that, you have to get Avalon XLE Premium or higher to get Navigation while the rivals like Maxima offers it as standard. That said, the top end Avalon Limited will delight Audiophiles with its gorgeous sounding 11-speaker JBL audio system.
2018 Toyota Avalon Exterior
The Avalon has a reserved understated styling – like a typical Toyota sedan. However, the length and width give it a considerable road presence. Carrying on the Toyotas recent fascination, the Avalon gets large front grilles. However, it is not as loud and the long horizontal slats with chrome accent do give it a sense of width and add to the vehicles substance.
The Avalon now has a gently sloping roofline towards the rear that adds a hint of sportiness. However, the ingress and egress are still effortless and the long rear doors ensure getting out of those large rear sofa-seats will still be dignified when arriving at a board meeting.
“When it comes to size, the Avalon certainly earns its place among a segment of substantial sedans, mirroring the dimensions of most rivals.” – Car and Driver
Dimension and Weight
The Avalon weighs lowest among the competition at 3461 pounds – a massive 400 pound less than the Charger. Lengthwise, it’s considerably shorter than the Impala and Charger. However, the Avalon’s wheelbase is similar to the overall lengthier Impala – a hint of its interior roominess.
Track Width(in) F/R
The Avalon gets 17-inch wheels in all but the Touring and Limited trims. Touring and Limited trims get the larger 18-inch wheels. While the Avalon Touring gets sporty dark painted wheels, the Avalon Limited gets luxury themed super-chrome wheels. Although 18-inch wheels do not compromise ride quality much, Toyota does offer optional 17-inch super-chrome alloys in Limited trim – attention to detail.
Size F/R (in.)
2018 Toyota Avalon Safety
The Toyota offers Toyota Safety Sense as standard bundled with following modern active safety and driver assistance systems:
2018 Toyota Avalon Safety Systems Star Safety System – includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart
Stop Technology (SST) ToyotaCare featuring a no cost maintenance plan with roadside assistance Ten airbags – includes driver and front passenger
Advanced Airbag System, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, rear seat-mounted side airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags
Driver and front passenger Whiplash-Injury-Lessening (WIL) seats 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions, driver-side Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) and Automatic/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR) on all passenger belts
LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) includes lower anchors and tether anchors on outboard rear seats
Child-protector rear door locks
Energy-absorbing collapsible steering column
Front and rear energy-absorbing crumple zones
Side-impact door beams
Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with direct pressure readout and individual tire location alert Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) Anti-theft system with engine immobilizer
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating overall
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Small overlap front driver side
Small overlap front Passenger side
Moderate overlap front
Head restraints & seats
The laid back and worry-free free character of the Avalon continues to its ownership experience too. Toyotas unmatched reliability means no surprises even after years of ownership and the Avalon is second only to the Maxima when it comes to resale value.
2018 Toyota Avalon Competition
Toyota Avalon vs Nissan Maxima
While the Avalon is sedated and reserved in look, the Maxima will attract plenty of attention with its busy exterior. Also, Maxima will be to your taste if you prefer athletic driving characteristics with its strong engine and tight dynamics. It combines all these with its comfort, efficiency and great reliability. However, the Avalon has a far better rear seat and will cocoon you and your passengers better.
Toyota Avalon vs Chevy Impala
The Impala is closely matched by Avalon in interior roominess but has better trunk volume. It comes with slightly more efficient but slower I4 engine as standard. Also, through a corner, the Impala is more entertaining. That said, the Toyota’s ease of ownership and excellent resale value is unbeatable.
Toyota Avalon vs Dodge Charger
The Dodge Charger is unlike any other full-size sedan. In fact, Avalon and Charger are poles apart. While Avalon gets sedate styling, FWD, and is calm and quiet, the Charger is rear wheel drive, has muscle car looks with loud colors, and offers a full array of rumbling and tire smoking V8s. That said, Avalon easily beats the Charger when it comes to transporting you vast distances with minimal fatigue.
2018 Toyota Avalon Final Verdict
The Toyota Avalon is a luxury car within with an innocuous Toyota badge and styling. It has a clear objective – to provide luxury car level comfort, space, and features at a reasonable price. It succeeds in that objective with excellent build quality, comfort, and smooth performance.
However, there is one caveat – its infotainment is not at all modern. Also, while navigation is available, it’s only offered on the higher XLE Platinum trim. And although the sloping roof is there and the Touring trim gets stiffened suspension, it’s never an exciting car.
So, if you are looking for more excitement and are willing to sacrifice rear seat comfort, get the Maxima. Need even more excitement? Get the Charger and spec it with a V8. On the contrary, the Camry is a car that keeps you refreshed and ready for work even after a transcontinental trip. Its hassle free ownership experience and slow depreciation reinforce that appeal.
Soothing ride quality
Silky smooth powertrain
Reliability and Resale Value
Avalon Hybrid delivers impeccable fuel efficiency
No All-wheel Drive on offer
Infotainment system is not very responsive
XLE Touring trim is renamed as Touring
211 cu. in.
268 hp @ 6200 rpm
248 lb.-ft. @ 4700 rpm
brake rotors (f/r)
11.1 in. ventilated front disc/11.7 in. solid disc brakes
103.6 cu ft.
16 cu ft.
zero to 60 mph
3 years/36000 miles
5 years/60000 miles
Sizzling Crimson Mica
Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.