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2020 Toyota Avalon Review

The 2020 Toyota Avalon ranks in the middle of the large car class. It has pleasant driving dynamics, a spacious and luxe interior, good fuel economy, and a long list of standard tech and safety features. Although its predicted reliability rating is good, it isn’t up to that of class leaders.

Pros & Cons

  • Peppy, fuel-efficient V6
  • Smooth ride
  • Spacious, upscale interior
  • Long list of standard features
  • High base price

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Toyota Avalon ranked #3 in Large Cars. Currently the Toyota Avalon has a score of 8.1 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 16 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 7.3
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.6 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Toyota Avalon a Good Car?

Yes, the 2020 Toyota Avalon is a good sedan. The Avalon has a punchy V6 engine, surefooted handling, and a supple ride. Its interior is spacious and handsomely styled, and it comes outfitted with lots of user-friendly tech features, like a 9-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa. The Avalon also piles on the advanced safety features; all models are equipped with blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and forward collision warning with brake assist.

Should I Buy the Toyota Avalon?

You should absolutely consider the Avalon if you’re shopping for a large car. This well-rounded sedan has no glaring faults, apart from a higher starting price than its class rivals. Other options in this shrinking segment include the Kia Cadenza, Nissan Maxima, and Chrysler 300.

We cover the Toyota Avalon Hybrid in a separate review.

Compare the Avalon, Cadenza, and Maxima »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Avalon?

Toyota redesigned the Avalon for the 2019 model year, and the 2020 model has only one notable update: the arrival of the TRD trim. This variant has a stiffer sport-tuned suspension, an aggressive body kit, upgraded brakes, and interior styling tweaks.

Otherwise, the Avalon lineup is unchanged. This means you can save money by shopping for a 2019 Avalon while still getting nearly all of the same standard and available features from the 2020 model.

You can save even more money by purchasing a 2018-or-older Avalon. However, you'll miss out on the updates that came with the redesign, like Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa, to name a few.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Avalon and 2019 Avalon reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Avalon »

We Did the Research for You: 16 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 16 Toyota Avalon reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible. This 2020 Toyota Avalon review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which includes the 2019 and 2020 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Toyota Avalon Cost?

Pricing for the 2020 Avalon starts at $35,800. That's higher than the starting price of every class rival. It also makes the Avalon one of Toyota’s most-expensive sedans. Other options in the Toyota lineup include the $15,600 Yaris, the $19,600 Corolla, and the $24,295 Camry.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota Avalon Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota Avalon or Toyota Camry?

You can’t go wrong with either the Toyota Camry or the Avalon. Both sedans are spacious inside and comfortable to drive, have a wide range of standard safety features, and rate well for predicted reliability. That said, you should start your search with the Camry. It’s available with the same peppy V6 engine as the Avalon, but it comes standard with a more fuel-efficient four cylinder. The base Camry also costs about $11,500 less than the base Avalon. Other Camry perks include Android Auto, which the Avalon does not yet support. With the Camry, you may just find a sedan that has all the refinement you’re looking for in a less-expensive package.

Which Is Better: Toyota Avalon or Lexus ES?

The Lexus ES is the Avalon’s luxury sibling. Both of these sedans roll off the same assembly line and share many components, including their engine and transmission. Both cars are also similarly spacious, relaxing to drive, and easy on gas. The biggest differences have to do with styling, tech, and price. The Lexus looks and feels a bit ritzier, both inside and out. On the other hand, it costs about $4,000 more than the Avalon, and its infotainment system can be frustrating at times. Overall, both are good cars, but the Avalon is the better pick for most shoppers.

Compare the Avalon, Camry, and ES »

Avalon Interior

How Many People Does the Avalon Seat?

The Toyota Avalon is a four-door sedan with five seats. The standard eight-way power-adjustable front seats are comfortable even on longer road trips, and they offer generous levels of headroom and legroom. Even if you’re tall, you should have ample space to stretch out, but the available sunroof hampers front-seat headroom a bit. The back seat is inviting, and it boasts an exceptional 40 inches of legroom, which is more than enough for two average-size adults or three kids.

Heated front seats are standard. Ventilated front seats are available, as are heated rear seats.

Avalon and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors in the Avalon. 

Avalon Interior Quality

The Avalon’s steering wheel may have a Toyota badge on it, but the interior is so nice that you’ll be forgiven if you think you’re in a Lexus. The Toyota’s styling is modern, and it’s trimmed with top-notch materials like aluminum, wood, and soft-touch plastic. Synthetic leather upholstery is standard, and genuine leather is available.

Avalon Cargo Space

The Avalon has 16 cubic feet of trunk space, which is on par with most competitors. That’s enough room for a pair of golf bags or a large load of groceries. The rear seats fold in a 60/40 split for when you need to fit longer items.

Avalon Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The 2020 Avalon comes outfitted with a 9-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth, four USB ports, an eight-speaker sound system, HD Radio, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. This setup is user-friendly, thanks to its mix of physical buttons, knobs, and touch-screen controls. The on-screen menus are simple to understand. Other standard features include proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Options include a 14-speaker JBL stereo, a Qi wireless charging pad, and navigation. The optional navigation system is one of the car’s few hiccups. It has an outdated appearance, and it’s occasionally slow to respond. The lack of Android Auto is another Avalon drawback.

Read more about interior »

Avalon Performance

Avalon Engine: Up to the Challenge

The 2020 Avalon comes standard with a 301-horsepower V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. This V6 feels plenty powerful, and the Avalon accelerates up to speed briskly. The eight-speed transmission fires off quick, smooth gear changes.

Avalon Gas Mileage: Infrequent Fill-Ups

The Avalon XLE gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The XSE and other trim levels are rated at 22/31 mpg city/highway. With either powertrain, the Avalon's fuel economy ratings are among the best in the large car class.

Avalon Ride and Handling: Confident Cruising

Ride comfort has been an Avalon staple for years, and the 2020 model does not disappoint. The Avalon glides smoothly over rough pavement. The Touring trim is especially smooth thanks to its adaptive suspension. Even the Avalon TRD model rides comfortably, despite its stiffer shocks and springs.

This Toyota sedan remains stable around turns, with steering that's quick but fairly light.

Read more about performance »

Avalon Reliability

Is the Toyota Avalon Reliable?

The 2020 Toyota Avalon has an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Toyota Avalon Warranty

The Avalon is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Avalon Safety

Avalon Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2020 Avalon an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The Avalon earns a five-star rating in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not yet released crash test results for the 2020 Avalon. The IIHS named the very similar 2019 Avalon a Top Safety Pick+, the organization's highest award.

Avalon Safety Features

The 2020 Avalon comes standard with a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, LED headlights with automatic high beams, and the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of features (TSS-P), which includes forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.

Available safety features include front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view parking camera system, a head-up display, and rear cross traffic braking.

Read more about safety »

2020 Toyota Avalon Dimensions and Weight

The Toyota Avalon is 16.3 feet long. It weighs between 3,560 and 3,704 pounds, depending on the configuration. 

Where Is the 2020 Toyota Avalon Built?

Toyota builds the Avalon in Kentucky.

Which Toyota Avalon Model Is Right for Me?

Toyota offers the 2020 Avalon sedan in five trim levels: XLE, XSE, TRD, Touring, and Limited. All are outfitted with a 301-horsepower V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

The Avalon XLE is the best fit for most shoppers. It may be the base model, but it’s very well-equipped with standard safety and convenience features.

Toyota Avalon XLE

The Avalon XLE has a starting price of $35,800. Standard infotainment features include a 9-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth, four USB ports, an eight-speaker stereo, satellite and HD radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. The XLE also comes with proximity keyless entry, push-button start, synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, LED headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Standard safety features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.

Options include a moonroof ($1,000) and the Premium Audio package ($1,720) with a navigation system and a 14-speaker JBL stereo.

Toyota Avalon XSE

The Avalon XSE starts at $38,300. It has a sportier appearance, courtesy of a dark grille and black 19-inch alloy wheels. It also comes with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, aluminum trim, suede upholstery accents, wireless device charging, and a moonroof. Options include the JBL stereo and navigation for the same prices as in the XLE.

Toyota Avalon TRD

The new-for-2020 Avalon TRD trim starts at $42,300. This sport-tuned model is outfitted with Toyota Racing Development gear, including stiffer springs and shock absorbers, larger front brakes, matte black 19-inch wheels, thicker chassis braces, a cat-back exhaust, a body kit, and red seatbelts and interior accents. As above, it’s available with navigation and the JBL stereo.

Toyota Avalon Touring

The Avalon Touring trim starts at $42,500. This model builds on the XSE trim with a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a head-up display, navigation, the JBL sound system, and an adaptive suspension. An Advanced Safety package ($1,150) is available. It adds a surround-view parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, and rear cross traffic braking.

Toyota Avalon Limited

The Avalon Limited trim starts at $42,100. It shares its features with the Touring trim – minus the adaptive suspension – and it adds genuine leather seats, wood interior accents, and 18-inch chrome wheels. The Advanced Safety package from the Touring trim is optional in this trim as well.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2020 Toyota Avalon specs and trims »

The Final Call

There are fewer choices in the large car segment than there have been in recent years, as discontinued sedans like the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala, and Ford Taurus fade from view. Even so, the Toyota Avalon remains a solid pick, thanks to its luxurious interior, user-friendly features, cushioned ride, and history of good predicted reliability.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "While SUVs look to be the future, sedans still represent around 30% of all new car sales here in the U.S., and as such, Toyota isn't quite ready to give up on them just yet, and the Avalon is arguably the strongest competitor in this shrinking, but not yet insignificant segment." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2019 Toyota Avalon improves upon its predecessor with additional features, better fuel efficiency and a more responsive chassis. Its high-class cabin looks and feels as nice as some entry-level Lexus products without the luxury-car price tag. All things considered, the Avalon is undoubtedly one of the best sedans in the full-size market." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The new model is objectively better in almost every way. It's more spacious, more comfortable and more pleasing to drive, whether you're looking for comfort from the Limited model or a more engaged Touring model's ride. Toyota has even overhauled its Entune infotainment and made most of its advanced safety technology standard across the lineup. If you're in the market for a large-mid size sedan, the 2019 Toyota Avalon is an excellent choice." -- CNET (2019)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: November 7, 2019

Falling Sales: The Avalon was fully redesigned for 2019, but shoppers have yet to show much interest. While it’s selling in the middle of the large car segment, dealerships have moved 16 percent fewer Avalon models to date this year relative to 2018. 

Research more buying advice »
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