2009 Toyota Avalon Review

Pros & Cons

  • Seats five adults in comfort, attractive cabin design with high-quality materials, composed and quiet ride, powerful and efficient V6, available upscale amenities, high crash-test scores.
  • Expensive for its class, refined nature leaves little room for personality, rear seats do not fold.
List Price Range
$8,223 - $11,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Its price of entry may be higher than its rivals', but if you're looking for the most refined, best-built full-size sedan in the $30,000 price bracket, you need look no further than the 2009 Toyota Avalon.

Vehicle overview

These days, the large sedan is often overshadowed in terms of popularity by an even bigger vehicle, the crossover sport-utility. But there's still something to be said for a vehicle that doesn't have to claim it has "carlike" handling and fuel economy. It's been a car since day one. So for those who realize that a spacious yet fuel-efficient sedan can make more sense than a bulky, thirsty SUV, something like a 2009 Toyota Avalon should work out nicely.

Although it rides on a stretched version of the previous-generation Camry platform, the Avalon is still quite a bit larger than even the current Camry. The Avalon's architecture allows a virtually flat rear floor, so three adults can sit back there in comfort. And being Toyota's flagship sedan, the Avalon offers premium cabin design and features. Opt for one of the elegantly finished upper trims fitted with niceties such as heated/cooled seats, and you'll think you somehow ended up inside a Lexus.

One thing you might notice lacking is a V8 option. No worries there, as the Avalon's potent V6 and responsive six-speed automatic make it one of the quickest big sedans in this price range. And these qualities, along with a quiet and composed ride, make the 2009 Toyota Avalon an excellent choice for a road trip.

In terms of competition, the Avalon is worlds better than the ancient Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis. The Toyota is also more refined than the spacious Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable twins and the high-value Hyundai Azera. It's a tougher call against the new Hyundai Genesis V6, which offers loads of space, luxury equipment and performance for a reasonable price. Also, if they're looking for sporty handling, buyers eager for back-road travel will probably find the Chrysler 300 or Pontiac G8 more to their liking.

2009 Toyota Avalon models

A large sedan, the 2009 Toyota Avalon is available in three trim levels: XL, XLS and Limited. The base Avalon XL starts you out with 16-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, a power driver seat, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, reclining rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a nine-speaker stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack. The luxury-themed Avalon XLS gains leather seating, wood-grain interior trim, a sunroof, a power front passenger seat, heated outside mirrors and auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors. The top-of-the-line Limited adds keyless ignition/entry, rain-sensing wipers, perforated leather seats (with memory, heating and cooling), an upgraded 12-speaker JBL sound system, Bluetooth and a power rear sunshade.

Many of the upscale features on the XLS and Limited are also available as options on the XL. Other options, depending on trim level, include a navigation system, an upgraded power passenger seat and laser-based adaptive cruise control.

2009 Highlights

For 2009, the Toyota Avalon gets a few more standard safety features, as stability control and active (whiplash-reducing) headrests come on board. In other news, the Touring trim level is dropped and the audio systems are now satellite-radio-ready.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive Toyota Avalon is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The EPA's fuel mileage estimates for the Avalon stand at 19 mpg city/28 highway and 22 combined, making it one of the most fuel-efficient full-size sedans available.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2009 Toyota Avalon includes antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver-side knee airbag. This year, stability and traction control and active front headrests are also standard.

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.

Driving

Not surprisingly, the 2009 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, but this full-size Toyota carries itself with reasonable composure on winding roads. The steering is too light to feel sporty, but it responds to driver input in a precise, fluid manner. Additionally, a tidy turning circle makes the Avalon feel unexpectedly nimble on tight city streets.

Interior

Any Toyota Avalon feels upscale and inviting, thanks to its glowing Optitron gauges, attractive and ergonomic control layout and high-quality materials. Movable panels conceal the radio and navigation controls when they're not in use, and this gives the dash a sleek appearance.

The front seats are wide and accommodating, particularly in the Limited, which offers both ventilated seats and a seat-cushion length adjuster. The rear seats are quite comfortable as well. Legroom is abundant even by full-size sedan standards, and the rear seats boast a manually reclining back that allows those 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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 Toyota Avalon.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

DRONE Noise
piercy42,11/02/2012
XLS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
My 2009 Avalon XLS have an annoying DRONE from the rear. The dealer tells me it is the tires. I'm on my 3rd set (replaced because of the problem, they were not worn out). Problem cotinues and seems to be getting worse. Rotating tires also does not help. It is very annoying. Also have a friend with 2009 Avalon and he has the same problem. This is my 2nd Avalon. The 1st, a 2002 was a great car.
Plenty of Room in the Back
outskiing,12/27/2010
XLS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
We've had our Avalon for three month's. We bought is as a family car and needed room for growing teenagers. I'm 6"3 and can easily fit in the back. It's like riding in a limo and to us is a Lexus in all but name...who needs the big "L" on the front anyway? If you don't mind an understated car that's big on comfort and interstate composure, try out an Avalon.
Love My Avalon
ceejay921,08/03/2011
Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I purchased an Avalon XL last year as a Christmas gift for me but unfortunately totaled it in an accident. My husband and I were so impressed with how well the inside cabin kept us safe, that we had to buy another one. I purchased the Limited model last month and I am loving this car and all of the perks that come along with it! This model rides even smoother than my first one and can fit the entire family with ease. I recommend the Avalon to anyone looking for a comfortable ride at a great price.
Getting Better all the Time
carlupi,11/03/2009
XL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Just returned from my second road trip in my 2009 Avalon XL, just over 600 miles roundtrip. I averaged 32 MPG on first leg and almost 35 MPG on the return, while doing 75 MPH most of the time. Amazing for a car this size. I'm liking this car more all the time. Fantastic value for the price.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2009 Toyota Avalon

Used 2009 Toyota Avalon Overview

The Used 2009 Toyota Avalon is offered in the following submodels: Avalon Sedan. Available styles include XLS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and XL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Toyota Avalon?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Toyota Avalon trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Toyota Avalon Limited is priced between $8,223 and$11,995 with odometer readings between 97986 and185092 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Toyota Avalon XL is priced between $8,498 and$8,498 with odometer readings between 105967 and105967 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Toyota Avalons are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Toyota Avalon for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2009 Avalons listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,223 and mileage as low as 97986 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Toyota Avalon.

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Find a used Toyota for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $18,627.

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Should I lease or buy a 2009 Toyota Avalon?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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