One of the most significant events in the Toyota Avalon's lineage took place with the introduction of the current fourth-generation model. In addition to breathing some much-needed life into the historically bland nameplate, this generation also saw the debut of a hybrid version of this full-size sedan.
Besides boasting the key attributes of the conventional Avalon, which include a high level of comfort, an elegant interior and generous trunk capacity, the Avalon Hybrid benefits from a very efficient powertrain shared with the Camry Hybrid. This results in an impressive EPA-estimated 40 mpg combined rating, which is a number we usually associate with much smaller 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.
Current Toyota Avalon Hybrid
The current Toyota Avalon Hybrid comes in XLE Premium, XLE Touring and Limited trim levels. All are powered by a 156-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder that joins forces 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 compared to the standard Avalon's V6, the Avalon Hybrid still accelerates to 60 mph in an admirable 7.7 seconds -- only about a second slower than the V6 model.
XLE Premium feature highlights include keyless ignition and entry, 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 perks include driver seat memory functions, a navigation system and Toyota's Entune smartphone app integration system. The Limited tops it off with xenon headlights, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats 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 Hybrid's confident and effortless road manners. 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.
Used Toyota Avalon Hybrid Models
Introduced for 2013 and based on the fourth-generation Avalon which debuted that same year, the Avalon Hybrid has seen no changes since other than a minor shuffling of standard equipment.