One of the most significant events in the Toyota Avalon's lineage took place with the introduction of the current fourth-generation model. Besides breathing some much-needed life into the historically bland nameplate, a new Avalon Hybrid also debuted.
Besides a high level of comfort, improved driving dynamics, an elegant interior and generous trunk space that we count as the conventional Avalon's key attributes, the Avalon Hybrid benefits from a very efficient powertrain pulled from the Camry. This results in an impressive EPA-estimated 40 mpg combined rating, which is a number we usually associate with economy cars, not large sedans with luxury leanings. Equally impressive is that the Avalon Hybrid's performance doesn't suffer much as a result.
Whether or not fuel economy weighs heavily on your large sedan purchase, we would recommend the Toyota Avalon Hybrid as a must-see.
2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Specs
The current inaugural Toyota Avalon Hybrid is based on the fourth-generation Avalon that debuted as a 2013 model. This latest redesign brought with it sleek new styling, a stiffer chassis, and improved ride and handling qualities. Replacing the conventional Avalon's 268-horsepower V6 is a 156-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder that pairs with an electric motor to bring total output up to 200 hp. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) routes power to the front wheels. Despite the reduction in power, the Avalon Hybrid still accelerates to 60 mph in an admirable 7.7 seconds, which is only about a second slower than the V6 model.
The Toyota Avalon Hybrid also shadows the standard Avalon in terms of available trim levels. The base XLE trim is not offered on the Hybrid, but the XLE Premium, XLE Touring and Limited trim levels are. XLE Premium feature highlights include 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a rearview camera and an eight-speaker audio system with USB/iPod integration. The XLE Touring adds foglights, driver seat memory functions, a navigation system and Toyota's Entune smartphone app integration system.
The Limited tops it off with xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, upgraded leather upholstery, additional front seat adjustments, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rear power sunshade and an 11-speaker JBL premium sound system. Adaptive cruise control and adaptive high-beam headlights are optional for the Limited.
In reviews, we've been impressed by the Avalon's confident and effortless feel. The precise steering has a firm, responsive feel to it and the Hybrid powertrain does a surprisingly good job of moving the car with authority. As an added bonus, the Toyota Avalon Hybrid's cabin is even quieter than the already serene V6-powered model. Traditional Avalon drivers may notice the ride is marginally stiffer than its predecessors, but we applaud the added road-holding confidence and find the blend of comfort and performance to be well balanced.
Read the most recent 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid review.