2019 Toyota Avalon First Look | Edmunds

2019 Toyota Avalon First Look

All-New Yet Familiar

Sedan sales of late have taken a crossover-shaped hit, but they're still a hugely significant part of the automotive landscape. Toyota's all-new 2019 Avalon shows that the automaker continues to take the sedan segment seriously. Historically, the Avalon has been the Camry's larger, cushier brother. That fundamental brief doesn't change, but the relationship promises big strides in ride composure for Toyota's slightly-bigger-than-Camry midsize Avalon sedan.

Riding on the same global platform that underpins the current Camry, the new Avalon's dimensions have changed in much the same way the Camry's did. The new Avalon's wheelbase grows by 2 inches compared to the outgoing car, and height drops by about an inch, as does the base of the windshield and the seating position of the driver. It's also slightly wider and has shorter overhangs. Meanwhile, the Avalon's entirely new stying echoes the edginess and aggression of the Camry's sheet metal.

In the bargain, the new Avalon receives a multilink rear suspension, replacing the outgoing car's strut-based setup. This move promises improvements to ride quality without sacrificing the car's handling acuity. Touring models receive continuously variable dampers as standard equipment. Toyota says all models are quieter, too.

The new Avalon will be offered in four trim levels — XSE, Touring, XLE and Limited — all of which pilfer their powertrains from the Camry. The sole traditional powertrain on offer is Toyota's familiar 3.5-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission, while hybrid models have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Both of them drive the front wheels only. There's no word yet on how powerful these offerings will be, but it's a safe bet they'll deliver similar horsepower as in the Camry (301 hp and 203 hp, respectively).

Cabin space, particularly for backseat passengers, has been a perennial hallmark of the Avalon. Things don't change much in this regard for 2019 — there's an inch more rear legroom and a half-inch less rear headroom. Up front, a huge panel housing a new 9-inch touchscreen and climate controls dominates the center of the dashboard. Like a smartphone, this screen supports swipes and pinches. And as in the Camry Hybrid, the Avalon Hybrid's nickel-metal-hydride battery resides beneath the back seat and doesn't impact the trunk's cargo volume.

Many other automakers have offered Apple CarPlay going on years now, but Toyota has been loath to integrate the smartphone interface into its vehicles. That ends with the 2019 Avalon, which is the first Toyota vehicle to be equipped with Apple CarPlay. It's standard equipment as part of the Entune 3.0 infotainment system. It's also the first Toyota to integrate Amazon Alexa connectivity, enabling owners with suitable devices to lock or unlock the doors, check the fuel level, or start the engine.

Given how much better the current Camry drives than its predecessor, we expect the 2019 Toyota Avalon will deliver across-the-board improvements. It reaches dealerships in late spring this year.

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