2017 Toyota Avalon

2017 Toyota Avalon Review

A comfy and well-built sedan, the 2017 Toyota Avalon is one of our favorites in the class.
4.0 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

When you've got a winning formula, it's typically a good idea to stick with it. And that's pretty much what Toyota has done with the 2017 Avalon. Redesigned back in 2013, this large sedan has received only a few updates in the last four years and otherwise has stayed true as a comfortable, quiet and well-equipped sedan that's just at home commuting as it is eating up endless miles of American highway.

As far as the basics go, the 2017 Toyota Avalon pretty much has them all covered. It offers plenty of room for five adults and a lovely cabin with high-quality materials and very good construction, plus the choice of many available high-tech features. The Avalon is extraordinarily comfortable on the highway and whisper quiet, too. It also handles better than past generations of the car. The ride is definitely firmer than in previous generations, but the Avalon is still remarkably easy to drive. If you're in the market for a big sedan, you'll definitely want to go for a test drive.



what's new

Previously optional on the Limited top trim level, Toyota's Safety Sense package is now standard on all Avalons. It includes adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning and intervention system, forward collision warning, automatic pre-collision braking and automatic high-beam headlight control.

we recommend

We recommend the 2017 Toyota Avalon in XLE Plus trim: It is packed with safety and convenience features, a sunroof and a very well-built interior, but it doesn't break the bank. The base trim level, the XLE, has almost everything the XLE Plus does, minus the sunroof, so it's a good choice as well. If you're looking for the top-trim-level treatment, you can definitely go with the Limited, or for a sportier vibe you can opt for the Touring. But with all the Avalon's standard equipment, the base XLE and XLE Plus are hard to pass up.




trim levels & features

There are five trim levels for the 2017 Toyota Avalon: XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring and Limited. The XLE and XLE Plus are base trims, but they provide a lot of equipment for the price such as dual-zone automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control and leather upholstery. The XLE Premium, Touring and Limited are better equipped with extras such as integrated navigation, wireless smartphone charging and even optional ventilated front seats.

As previously mentioned, the XLE is pretty well equipped for a base trim level, and it feels excellently put together. It comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine (268 horsepower, 248 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar support) and a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat.

Electronics features that come standard on the XLE include keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen with Toyota's Entune interface with voice controls, and an eight-speaker audio system. Added for 2017 as standard safety equipment on the XLE is the Safety Sense package, which includes adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning and intervention system, forward collision warning, automatic pre-collision braking and automatic high-beam headlight control.

If you want to add a sunroof and an auto-dimming rearview mirror to your base XLE, upgrade to the XLE Plus.

The XLE Premium has a few more significant upgrades such as driver-seat memory settings, Qi wireless smartphone charging, integrated navigation, a nine-speaker audio system, smartphone app integration, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

For buyers looking for a bit sportier feel from their Avalon, the Touring trim is probably the right choice. It comes with 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a sport-tuned suspension and unique interior trim.

Even shoppers who've owned or driven an Avalon in the past will likely be impressed by all the equipment that's packed into the Limited trim level. It comes with all the same equipment from the Touring trim (minus the interior accents) plus xenon headlights, auto-dimming side mirrors, automatic wipers, ambient cabin lighting, tri-zone automatic climate control, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated rear seats, a rear power sunshade, Safety Connect and an 11-speaker JBL premium sound system.



trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2013 Toyota Avalon XLE (3.5-liter V6; 6-speed automatic).
 
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current 2017 Toyota Avalon has been revised, including some shuffling of standard and optional equipment, along with the addition of an available sport-tuned suspension. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Toyota Avalon.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5.0

Driving

3.5 / 5.0

Acceleration3.5 / 5.0
Braking3.5 / 5.0
Steering3.0 / 5.0
Handling3.0 / 5.0
Drivability5.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration5.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.5 / 5.0

Ease of use3.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0 / 5.0
Roominess5.0 / 5.0
Visibility4.0 / 5.0
Quality5.0 / 5.0

Utility

4.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage4.0 / 5.0
Cargo space4.0 / 5.0

Driving

edmunds rating
The Avalon's powerful 3.5-liter V6, coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission and a well-tuned suspension, makes for a surprisingly fun Avalon.

Acceleration

edmunds rating
With 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Avalon wastes no time getting up to freeway speed and gets from 0 to 60 mph in a quick 6.4 seconds. Few buyers will gripe about its acceleration.

Braking

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The Avalon's pedal is neither hard nor soft, and the car's braking performance is easy and predictable. There's a gentle initial bite and no odd body motions during heavy braking.

Steering

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Steering weight is light in nearly every situation in the Avalon, and it remains accurate. It may be a big car, but this Avalon is very easy to drive.

Handling

edmunds rating
The Avalon manages to be adequately damped to avoid feeling "floaty." Sure, the Avalon isn't as good at dynamic handling maneuvers, but if you're driving this car at the limit of its handling, you're missing the point.

Drivability

edmunds rating
The Avalon is easy, approachable and eminently drivable. It's as user-friendly as it should be.

Comfort

edmunds rating
A solid combination of amenities and interior silence keeps the Avalon's comfort score high despite a somewhat stiff ride for the segment.

Seat comfort

edmunds rating
Toyota does seat comfort in the Avalon very well. The Avalon's driver seat is pleasant even on long drives. Multilevel heating is standard across styles, and ventilation is optional.

Ride comfort

edmunds rating
Compared to the previous Avalon generation, the ride is definitely busier. But with stiffer springs and firmer damping, it is also more controlled. It's a worthwhile trade.

Noise & vibration

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This is one of the quietest cars we've tested. Road, wind and tire noise is virtually nonexistent.

Interior

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A big effort to improve materials quality and modernize the Avalon is obvious. Soft-touch leather adorns most surfaces, depending on trim level, and tasteful styling touches are present throughout.

Ease of use

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Most controls are intuitive and well placed. The audio system's volume knob, however, hides behind the steering wheel at night. Touchpads replace buttons for most controls.

Getting in/getting out

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Wide door openings, plenty of space, and comfortable seat height front and rear make getting in and out of the Avalon a breeze.

Roominess

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The Avalon is a genuine five-passenger sedan. Space in every dimension is more than adequate. Child seats, even the convertible ones, fit easily in the back.

Visibility

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We observed no significant shortcomings with visibility while driving the Avalon. Rear-quarter visibility is respectable, and a big windshield provides an excellent view of the road ahead.

Quality

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Toyota's efforts to move the Avalon upscale are obvious. Panel gaps, materials and interior assembly were excellent on our test car. The Avalon is a big step up from your standard Camry.

Utility

edmunds rating
As with most cars in this class, the Avalon's rear seat is quite roomy. The cavernous trunk offers 16 cubic feet of space, and its wide opening and low liftover height make it easy to load heavy bags. The cabin also offers plenty of small item storage.

Small-item storage

edmunds rating
Storage cubbies provide ample room for keys and wallets, and the center console is large. The front section of the center console acts as a convenient "eBin," with power cords passing through a sliding panel for two cellphones and auxiliary and USB connections.

Cargo space

edmunds rating
At 16 cubic feet, trunk space is very good, but class leaders offer a bit more room. Split-folding rear seats and a ski pass-through are standard.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.