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2020 Toyota Avalon Review

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First introduced in the U.S. as a 1994 model, Toyota Avalon, the flagship sedan for the Toyota brand, is now in its fifth generation. Last redesigned for the 2019 model year, the 2020 model has no significant changes except for the addition of a TRD trim level, a sportier model that offers unique exterior and interior styling that is not offered on any other Avalon trim.

2020 Toyota Avalon pricing and trims

The 2020 Toyota Avalon has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $35,800 for the base model, the XLE. All models are powered by the same 301 horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine, though gas mileage varies slightly between trims due to different engine tuning. There is a hybrid version of the Avalon that Toyota considers a separate model.

Higher level trims add to the features listed for the trim level, except in the instance of the Toyota Avalon TRD, which is explained in more detail below the chart. In some cases, a feature is replaced with a more luxurious version. For example, the two lowest trims come with SofTex faux leather seats, while the Limited and Touring trims have premium leather seats as standard equipment.

The top three trim levels of Toyota Avalon are very close in price, but the most expensive trim, the Touring, offers the most luxury for its $42,500 starting MSRP.

Trim XLE XSE Limited TRD Touring
Starting MSRP $35,800 $38,300 $42,100 $42,300 $42,500
Standard Features Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control; LED Headlights and Taillights; 7” Multi-Information Display; SofTex-Trimmed Heated Front Seats; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control; Eight-Speaker Audio System with 9” Touchscreen Power Moonroof; Qi-Compatible Wireless Smartphone Charging; SofTex-Trimmed Heated Front Seats with Perforation and Ultrasuede; Aluminum Interior Trim Premium Leather Heated and Ventilated Front Seats with Driver Memory; Heated Premium Leather Steering Wheel; 10” Color Head-Up Display; Wood Interior Trim; 14 -Speaker JBL Premium Audio System with Navigation TRD Piano-Black Exterior Trim with Red Pinstriping; Heated Power Outside Mirrors with Blind Spot Warning; SofTex-trimmed Seats with Red Seatbelts, Stitching and Fabric Inserts; Perforation and Ultrasuede Heated Front Seats Active Noise Control; Sport Sound-Tuned Exhaust; Engine Sound Enhancement; Heated Power Outside Mirrors with Blind Spot Warning and Memory and Driver’s Side Auto-Dimming; Heated Rear Seats; Heated Premium Leather Steering Wheel with Memory

All MSRPs are the lowest price for each trim and do not include the destination fee. 

Extra touches on the Avalon TRD. The TRD trim level echoes the features of the Limited trim with a sportier look. Avalon TRD has black SofTex heated front seats with Ultrasuede leather inserts and red accents. Other red interior accents include the seatbelts and red stitching on the headrests, steering wheel, shift knob and floor mats. It is available in Supersonic Red, Windchill Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic and Midnight Black Metallic, all with red pinstriping and matte black 19-inch alloy wheels.

No-cost maintenance. Like all new Toyota vehicles, every Toyota Avalon comes with ToyotaCare, a free maintenance plan that covers all scheduled maintenance in the first two years or 25,000 miles (whichever comes first) and two years of free, 24-hour roadside assistance, regardless of mileage.

What’s next? After you’ve chosen one of the 2020 Toyota Avalon trims, you’ll probably want to research auto loans. Of course you’ll want to assess any available cash back rebates and financing offers through Toyota financing, but don’t forget to also look into your credit union or bank, as well as online lenders. You can potentially get up to five car loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness, by completing a single online form on LendingTree.

Remember that as long as you submit your applications within the same 14- to 45-day window, applying to multiple lenders is only counted as one inquiry on your credit report.

2020 Toyota Avalon safety

The 2020 Toyota Avalon was rated five stars, the highest score, by the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for overall safety. In individual tests, it received four stars for frontal crash testing and rollovers, and five stars in all types of side impact tests.

As of press time, no testing had been conducted by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) on the 2020 Toyota Avalon, though the 2019 model was named a Top Safety Pick + by the organization.

All 2020 Toyota Avalon models come with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which includes:

    • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection: The car uses a camera and a radar system to help reduce the chance of collisions.
    • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist: This system uses visible lane markers under certain conditions and provides visual and audible alerts as well as slight steering force when lane departure is detected.
    • Automatic High Beams: High beams of headlights are activated automatically at speeds about 25 mph.
    • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control: The car uses radar behind the Toyota badge as well as a camera on the windshield to help the driver maintain a preset distance from the car in front of you by automatically adjusting the car’s speed.

Passive safety features include driver and front-passenger Whiplash-Injury-Lessening (WIL) seats and 10 airbags. Like all Toyotas, all Avalons are equipped with Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and smart stop technology.

Avalons also come with Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert as standard, but on Limited and Touring models, Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross-Traffic Braking can replace this feature as an option.

Finally, all trims have a three-year trial subscription to Safety Connect, which includes automatic collision notification, emergency assistance, stolen vehicle locator and roadside assistance.

2020 Toyota Avalon competitor comparison

In the full-size sedan segment, the Toyota Avalon is a strong competitor. Though the least expensive, the Chevrolet Impala is noticeably lacking in features offered by other competitors. For example, the base Impala comes standard with halogen headlights instead of LED, a much smaller Driver Information Display and an audio system with only six speakers.

The base Avalon and Nissan Maxima S, the lowest trim, are very well matched in terms of features, though the Maxima has an MSRP starting price that’s $1,550 lower. The Lexus ES 350 is the luxury sibling to the Toyota Avalon. While it has notably more comfort and convenience features, including a standard sunroof, an upgraded audio system and numerous driver safety features as standard, its starting price is $4,100 higher.

Finally, one place where the Avalon XLE stands out is with its standard heated front seats, which is an option on all other competitors.

Toyota Avalon XLE Chevrolet Impala LT Nissan Maxima S Lexus ES 350
Base MSRP $35,800 $32,495 $34,250 $39,900
Expert Scores N/A N/A 3.7 N/A
Standard Technology Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control; LED Headlights and Taillights; 7-in. Multi-Information Display; SofTex-Trimmed Heated Front Seats; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control; 8- Speaker Audio System with 9-in. Touchscreen Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control; Halogen Headlights; LED Daytime Running Lights; 4.2-in Driver Information Center; Electronic Cruise Control; Electronic Traction Control; Stability Control; Panic Brake Assist; 6-Speaker Audio System Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature; Anti-Lock Brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist; Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control; High Beam Assist; Intelligent Driver Alertness; 8-Speaker Audio System with 8-in Touch Screen Display Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control; Power Sunroof; Adaptive Cruise Control; Lane Departure Warning with Steering Correct; Vehicle Stability Control with Electronic Traction Control; Electronic Brake Force Distribution; Driver Selectable Modes and Hill Holder Function; 10-Speaker Audio System with CD player, Satellite Radio and Voice Activation
Fuel Economy (combined/city/highway) 26/22/32 mpg 22/19/28 mpg 24/20/30 mpg 26/22/32 mpg

All data references 2020 model years. All MSRPs are the lowest price for each trim named and does not include the destination fee. Expert scores average Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book (KBB) expert ratings when available. Standard technology refers to features available in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost. This is not an exhaustive list.

The bottom line on the 2020 Toyota Avalon

While the Toyota Avalon has long been considered one of the more practical, no-nonsense large sedans on the market, Toyota is making an effort to attract a younger buyer with the sportier TRD trim level. Unfortunately, this increased sportiness is in looks only, not in performance — a very different approach than it takes with TRD trims on other models. If you’re looking for a true sports car in terms of both looks and performance, check out our roundup of the best sports cars.

Overall, though, the Avalon has aggressive styling that makes it more eye-catching than many others in the segment and all models come well-equipped with comfort and convenience features that make it more of a luxury car without paying for the luxury brand name.

 

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