2011 Toyota Avalon Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Toyota Avalon Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Avalon Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 268 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Toyota Avalon

  • Its price of entry may be higher than those of its rivals, but if you're looking for a refined, well-built full-size sedan in the $30,000 price bracket, the 2011 Toyota Avalon is a top-notch choice.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Seats five adults in comfort, attractive cabin design with high-quality materials, composed and quiet ride, powerful and efficient V6, available upscale amenities, strong crash test scores.

  • Cons

    A bit expensive for its class, refined nature leaves little room for flair or personality, rear seats do not fold.

  • What's New for 2011

    For 2011, the Toyota Avalon receives new front- and rear-end styling, a new dash and more standard features. Furthermore, trim levels have been reduced to the base Avalon (which is similar to the outgoing XLS trim) and the Avalon Limited.

Full 2011 Toyota Avalon Review

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Toyota Avalon receives new front- and rear-end styling, a new dash and more standard features. Furthermore, trim levels have been reduced to the base Avalon (which is similar to the outgoing XLS trim) and the Avalon Limited.


The full-size sedan used to be the exclusive domain of American carmakers. Popular with families, they provided plenty of space and comfort for passengers and had trunks the size of a New York apartment. Current full-sizers may not be as massive as they were, but they're much more space-efficient so they offer nearly as much room for people and things. A good example of this is the 2011 Toyota Avalon.

The latest Avalon is known for its spacious interior, abundant luxury features and refined ride. Although this year's model brings a refresh with some new styling (front/rear ends and instrument panel), more standard features and a reduction in trim levels from three to two, the 2011 Avalon is otherwise similar to the one that debuted six years ago. That's fine with us, as there is so much to recommend the Avalon. Though its exterior looks smaller than most of its rivals, the Avalon manages to offer more space within the cabin. Meanwhile, the backseat is among the most accommodating anywhere, with standard reclining seatbacks, abundant headroom and an available power rear sunshade.

And then there is the car's remarkable combination of performance and fuel efficiency. The standard 268-horsepower V6 engine accelerates the Avalon more rapidly than similarly powered competitors while still returning impressive fuel mileage estimates of 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

Unlike in years past, however, the Avalon now faces more competent rivals like the 2011 Buick LaCrosse and 2011 Ford Taurus. And even with this year's styling tweaks, the Avalon may look a bit too bland for some buyers. A past gripe involving the Avalon's pricing has been partially addressed this year as the base model comes more generously equipped but with no increase in price. Still, some budget-minded buyers may wish there was a more basic, lower-priced model. While the 2011 Toyota Avalon remains at the top of its game and is easy to recommend, it does have some worthy competition that's worth consideration.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Toyota Avalon is a full-size sedan available in base and Limited trim levels. Standard equipment on the base Avalon includes 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, auto-dimming driver and rearview mirrors, heated mirrors, a sunroof, automatic headlights, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob, a back-up camera (mounted in the rearview mirror), wood trim, cruise control, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a power driver seat, a reclining rear seat, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker stereo (with six-CD changer and USB/iPod jacks).

The Limited adds xenon headlights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition/entry, additional power driver seat adjustment, a power passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory functions, a power rear sunshade and a more powerful audio system with 12 speakers.

A few of the Limited's features, such as the upgraded audio system and heated seats, are available on the base Avalon, while a voice-activated touchscreen navigation system with traffic reporting is optional for both trims.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2011 Toyota Avalon is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 268 hp and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The EPA's fuel mileage estimates for the Avalon stand at 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, making it one of the most fuel-efficient full-size sedans available.


Standard safety equipment on the 2011 Toyota Avalon includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver-side knee airbag.

In government crash tests, the Toyota Avalon earned a perfect five stars in all frontal- and side-impact categories. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Avalon earned the top score of "Good" for its protection of occupants in frontal-offset and side-impact crashes.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Toyota Avalon's interior feels upscale and inviting thanks to its glowing gauges, attractive and ergonomic control layout and high-quality materials. This year's redesigned dash and center stack, along with standard wood and metallic accents further the luxury ambience, making the Avalon impressively similar to its upscale cousins from Lexus.

The front seats are wide and accommodating, and with the Limited you also get heated and ventilated seats with a seat-cushion length adjuster. The rear seats are very comfortable as well. Legroom is abundant even by full-size sedan standards, and the rear seats boast a manually reclining back that allows passengers to stretch out on long trips. A 6-footer can sit in back with more than enough knee- and headroom, and with a nearly flat floor, getting three into the backseat on carpool day is no problem.

One minor annoyance is the inability to fold the rear seats (the trade-off for the reclining feature). The trunk measures 14.4 cubic feet, smaller than what's available in other full-size sedans.

Driving Impressions

Not surprisingly, the 2011 Toyota Avalon is at its best on the open highway. The cabin remains quiet, the ultra-smooth V6 engine has plenty of passing power and the suspension swallows up road imperfections without drama. The Avalon is no athlete, though, so those interested in a slightly more involved driving experience should consider the Buick LaCrosse. The Avalon's steering is too light to feel sporty, but it responds to driver inputs in a precise, fluid manner. Additionally, a tidy turning circle makes the Avalon feel unexpectedly maneuverable on tight city streets.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I love my avalon!

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I have not had my Avalon too long, but for the time I have had it...I adore it. I have had many other cars, from Ford to Buick to Chevy, etc. I am in love with this car. It drives like a dream. I slammed on the brakes in the rain and it stopped on a dime. If I were in my van I used to have or my truck...I would have wrecked my car. I am so satisfied, I can't believe it.

Poor back up camera

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I purchased my 2011 with 32,000+ miles. the backup camera doesn't show evenly on the navigation screen. It isn't centered on the screen. The dealer told me after I drove it off the lot that all 2011s have this. "It is on all the 2011s". I've asked the dealer 5 weeks ago to drive another 2011 to see if that car has the same problem. So far, he said he hasn't had one to test. If anyone has this problem, please coment. Thank you.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Malfunctioning extras are a pain

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Let me preface this review by saying that the first Avalon I had was excellent. I had it 7 yrs. & traded only because someone hit me. The 2011 Avalon I have now is also an excellent ride, but the wind noise and some of its extras are more trouble than they're worth.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

Surprised at 70k miles

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

We've had our Avalon for about a year and a half now and have been satisfied. We've had Toyota's since 1989. At 65k, front brake rotors warped & pads needed replacing - at 68k, the rear rotors & pads got replaced. At 70k, inner tie rods got loose and got replaced. We're holding our breath and wondering what's going to be next. Of course, this is the first Toyota that we've kept beyond the 36k mark, so perhaps this brand isn't as reliable as we've always thought? Although we'd hesitate to say this Avalon is a lemon, we've planned on its lasting 10 years...wish us luck.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Exceptional value in its class.

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

2011 Avalon XLS (Canada) has the competiton beat! Excellent front seat comfort with full power lumbar for driver / passenger. More room than Mercedes E350. Lexus features without the price. This car is quite fast and has a controlled stable ride, and uses regular gas, unlike the competiton. Gas mileage has been 7.5l / 100 km - highway (38 MPG - imperial) and 10.5l / 100 km city. The voice reconition is very good, controls well laid-out and nice NAVI system. Lots of room in the back seat with comfortable seating and tilting seatback is functional. Very good trunk space. Both interior and exterior fit and finish are tight with good alignment. Great car for long trips in varied terrain.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

My third avalon is a

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I bought my 2011 Avalon Limited new in Dec.2011. It is not the same quality of my two previous Avalons. Last one was 2002 with 176K miles and it ran smoother and quieter than the new one. Wind comes in window, I'm told it's normal due to mirrow (doesn't do it on passenger side). Rides rough, worse than my husbands F250 4x4 diesel. Lots and lots of road noise. Not a quiet car at all. Rear passenger window broke (fixed now), rear reclining seat broke (part ordered). Brakes feel mushy, Struts seem non-existent. Car really sat low when 2 adults and 2 teens with 4 bags packed (not heavy..trunk too small to pack much). Toyota dealer tells me everything is normal and up to Toyota specs. Bad Car!!

Talk About The 2011 Avalon

2011 Toyota Avalon Discussions See all Started By

Pushing the buttons on my door handles produced a two or three second long beep but no lock or unlock function?? The smart key locks and unlocks fine. Any ideas?...

If a brand-new 2011 Avalon is coming in February or March, the dealers should be getting their order books this month. Anyone hear of a factory shutdown to retool? Any news?...

Has anyone seen any information at all on the timing of the new 2011 Venza? Will it have any of the latest updates from the newly released 2011 Avalon?...

Read more about the 2011 Toyota Avalon

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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