2019 Toyota Avalon Review and Comparison in Colorado Springs, CO

Apple CarPlay, meet Toyota royalty: the redesigned 2019 Avalon is a new kind of affordable tech-savvy sedan

Since the first Toyota Avalon debuted in the mid-90s, it's been beloved by a very specific niche: an older population that coupons hard on the weekends. It's people with money--but not full-blown luxury money. The Avalon has always started under $40,000 but come loaded with a ton of features. And, unlike your typical luxury car--or, any luxury car--this premium sedan will be worth something in ten years. It'll also still be running in ten years.

The Avalon is Toyota's largest four-door sedan, and has been fully redesigned for the 2019 model year. While it was always a strong contender for "best reliable nice car under $40,000", the Avalon was always missing a little something. Toyota found that something, and a lot more, to add to the new 2019 Avalon to boost its cred and to make it more competitive against top-level trims in the Buick Lacrosse, Nissan Maxima, and Chevy Impala lineups.

The updates make the sedan

The Avalon's last major redesign was in 2013, so Toyota had plenty to work with for 2019. This year marks the start of the fifth generation for this sedan, riding on Toyota's new global architecture (TNGA) platform, and it's better than its previous generation in nearly every way. The new platform improves efficiency, improves Noise/Vibration/Harshness (NVH) for the cabin interior, optimizes center of gravity, and even improves handling, helping the new sedan to feel a little more like a sports car than your typical everyday commuter car.

But the platform doesn't just improve things under the skin. The new look of the 2019 Avalon builds up a new face and body, with a sleeker, sloping roofline design back to the rear that mimics the sportback/four-door coupe style that's making its way across the market. The interior benefits from these big changes, too: you'll feel the difference the second you get into the cabin of a new Avalon. The materials feel as good as they look, light and visibility has improved, and the design is about as driver-centric as it can get.

The best part? You get all of this, and you still get the durability and reliability of a Toyota.

The new design of the Avalon

The restyled Toyota Avalon put a lot of emphasis on aerodynamics--the designers wanted a beautiful car that could cut through the air, that could catch the eye of any passerby, but wouldn't compromise on the durable build and solid safety that the Toyota brand was built on. That's always a challenge for any automaker. But, the new 2019 Avalon boasts a drag coefficient of just 0.27cd, its new rear diffuser and spoiler options put it in a new, aggressive class of design, and the Avalon still ranks in the top tier of safe family sedans.

Select trims in the new Avalon opt for unique exterior looks, with features like black bezels or silver trim around the headlights, a grille tinted by black paint, or smoke-grey or chrome accents, and quad exhaust tips. If you've been wishing that the Toyota Avalon would adopt a more youthful spirit--and maybe put on a light show--you're in luck. The new 2019 model adds a sequential turn signal feature: when you flip your switch, the turn signals in the rear perform a modern little shimmy to let other drivers know your plans.

Details to know: trim levels, colors, engine options, and mpg:

  • 2019 Toyota Avalon trim levels: XLE, XSE, Touring, Limited, Hybrid XLE, Hybrid XSE, and Hybrid Limited.
  • 2019 Avalon exterior colors: Wind Chill Pearl, Harbor Gray Metallic, Opulent Amber, Celestial Silver Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, Ruby Flare Pearl, Brownstone, and Parisian Night Pearl.
  • 2019 Avalon engine options: 301-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 DOHC engine (gas); 215-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain (Hybrid)
  • Avalon mpg estimates: 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway (gas); 43 mpg city/44 mpg highway (Hybrid)

Upgraded technology--and, yes, Apple CarPlay

Among the standard Entune multimedia options and available upgrades, full-size sedan shoppers will have a brand-new feature function to enjoy: Apple CarPlay. Yes, really. After years of holding out hope that Entune would strike just the right chord with buyers, satisfying their need for music streaming, media compatibility, and app connectivity without any brand-name smartphone connection system, Toyota caved.

People will stand in line for hours for the newest iPhone--it stands to reason that market demands would force Apple CarPlay into every car in the industry. In that case, Google and Android fans need to step up their game, because Android Auto isn't yet offered in the new 2019 Avalon. Maybe next year.

The 2019 Avalon is smart from head to toe--offering a standard Entune 3.0 system displayed on a tablet-like 9.0-inch touchscreen. The infotainment system brings a standard App Suite, available navigation, and available onboard WiFi for up to five passengers. Qi wireless charging is another smart new feature: hook up your phone with Qi hardware, place it under the center stack, and enjoy hands-free, thought-free, cord-free charging. You can even lock and unlock doors, locate your car, and start the engine through the magic of Toyota Remote Connect and your smartwatch.

Safety features and standard driver-assistance

The 2019 Avalon comes standard with the brand's Star Safety System: Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-Lock Braking, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology. Some of those--like traction control and anti-lock brakes--are common enough in most every car. But brake assist and Smart Stop Tech as standard features on a full-size car under 40K? It's no wonder that Toyota sells well with families.

But it doesn't stop there: the new 2019 Avalon also offers a Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of driver-assistance features standard: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams. Want even more? You can opt for higher trims or select packages for added safety features like an Intelligent Clearance Sonar System, LED Adaptive Cornering Lights, a Bird's Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, Rear Cross-Traffic Braking, and a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

Compare the Toyota Avalon vs the Competition