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2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review

The 2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid finishes near the top of our hybrid and electric car rankings. It has a comfortable, upscale interior and delivers a smooth ride.

Pros & Cons

  • Cushioned ride
  • Upscale, roomy cabin
  • Supportive seats in both rows
  • Large trunk
  • Low fuel economy ratings by hybrid standards
  • Rivals offer better infotainment system
  • Less agile than some competitors

8.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.5
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 Hybrid a Good Car?

Yes, the Toyota Avalon Hybrid is a good car. It provides a cushioned ride and has supportive seats in a cabin that's roomy enough for adults to ride comfortably in both rows. The cabin looks and feels upscale, and there are plenty of standard and available features. The Avalon Hybrid also has a larger trunk than most other vehicles in the hybrid and electric car class. We named the Avalon Hybrid our 2020 Best Hybrid or Electric Car for Families because it has the best combination of cargo and passenger space, safety and reliability ratings, positive reviews from automotive journalists, and available family-friendly features in its class.

There are some drawbacks with this Toyota, though most are small issues. It isn't the most agile vehicle on the road, and its infotainment system feels a little rough around the edges from a usability standpoint. Perhaps most notably, the Avalon Hybrid's fuel economy ratings are underwhelming by hybrid standards.

Should I Buy the Toyota Avalon Hybrid?

You should strongly consider the Avalon Hybrid if you're looking for a large sedan with a spacious cabin and trunk, two rows of comfortable seats, and an upscale interior. However, while this car gets better fuel economy than other large sedans, it probably isn't the best pick for shoppers who want the best possible fuel economy or those who don't need the room that a large sedan provides.

If you fall into the latter category, there are plenty of other good hybrid options to consider, and they're a better value since almost every other nonluxury hybrid costs less than the Avalon. There are several worthy alternatives to explore, including other Toyota models like the Camry Hybrid and Prius Prime. You might also check out the Honda Accord Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

Compare the Avalon Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Prius Prime »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Avalon Hybrid?

There's not much of a case for buying a new Avalon Hybrid unless you just have to have a new car. That's because the 2020 Avalon Hybrid belongs to the same generation that began with the 2019 redesign, and there are no major changes for 2020.

For its 2019 redesign, this Toyota hybrid sedan gained an extra 15 horsepower and saw its fuel economy ratings improve by about 3 mpg. As part of the redesign, Toyota moved the battery pack from the trunk area to underneath the rear seat, so the 2019 model gained more trunk space by about 2 cubic feet.

The 2019 Avalon Hybrid has more standard features than the 2018 model (including blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert). It also offers features you can't get in older Avalon Hybrid models, like a 9-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, a head-up display, a surround-view parking camera system, and rear cross traffic braking.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Avalon Hybrid and 2019 Avalon Hybrid reviews to help inform 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 Hybrid »

We Did the Research for You: 16 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Avalon Hybrid generation, which runs from 2019 to 2020.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Cost?

The Avalon Hybrid XLE sports a base price of $36,850. The top trim, the Avalon Hybrid Limited, starts at $43,150. At both ends of the trim spectrum, this Toyota costs more than almost every hybrid rival. However, it's also a large sedan, while many rivals are midsize or compact cars.

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 Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota Avalon Hybrid or Toyota Camry Hybrid?

The Toyota Camry Hybrid is the better choice in this comparison, and it's one of the few sedans that does better than the Avalon Hybrid in our hybrid and electric car rankings. It rides smoothly, it's significantly better on gas (by about 9 mpg), and its hybrid powertrain puts out nearly as much horsepower as the Avalon's. Both cars have plenty of features, but the Avalon touts a larger trunk. The real kicker in the Camry's favor is that it costs thousands less than the Avalon Hybrid.

Which Is Better: Toyota Avalon Hybrid or Toyota Prius Prime?

The Toyota Prius Prime can't match the Avalon's overall quality, but it's still a good car. The Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid, so it can run on electric power for about 25 miles before switching to gasoline power. Either way, it achieves much better fuel economy than the Avalon Hybrid. The Prius Prime isn't as upscale or spacious inside as the Avalon, but it provides more cargo space.

Both cars ride comfortably, but the Avalon Hybrid has a more potent powertrain. The Prius Prime is a better choice if you're looking for something highly fuel-efficient that has an appreciable electric-only range. The Avalon Hybrid is a better bet if you need the space of a large sedan, but with better gas mileage than they usually provide.

Compare the Avalon Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Prius Prime »

Avalon Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the Avalon Hybrid Seat?

This Toyota sedan seats five people. The front seats provide enough head- and legroom for most adults to fit easily, and the seats are supportive and comfortable. The story is the same in the back, and it's easy to climb in and out of both rows.

Avalon Hybrid and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats. The rear middle seat has an upper tether and can borrow lower anchors from the adjacent seats. All anchors are easy to locate and clearly labeled, and not much strength is required to attach a car seat.

Avalon Hybrid Interior Quality

The Avalon Hybrid looks great inside. There are lots of premium materials, to the point that the Avalon feels almost as upscale as a Lexus, which is Toyota's luxury brand.

Avalon Hybrid Cargo Space

Few other hybrid or electric cars can match the Avalon Hybrid for trunk space. It's got 16.09 cubic feet of cargo room (the same total as the nonhybrid Avalon), which is enough space for about a dozen shopping bags. The fold-down rear seats give you flexibility to haul larger items.

Avalon Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Avalon Hybrid comes standard with the Entune infotainment system, which includes a 9-inch touch screen, eight speakers, satellite radio, Bluetooth, five USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and Apple CarPlay. Available features include a moonroof, wireless device charging, a 14-speaker JBL audio system, and navigation.

While the Avalon comes with Apple CarPlay, it still doesn't offer Android Auto, giving some competitors a leg up when it comes to smartphone connectivity. The Entune infotainment system works pretty well overall, but the touch screen responds slowly to inputs at times, and the systems in some rivals are more intuitive.

Read more about interior »

Avalon Hybrid Performance

Avalon Hybrid Engine: Not Too Fleet of Foot

The Avalon Hybrid features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that combine to produce 215 horsepower. While it's not ponderously slow, it can feel a bit weak in high-stress situations like climbing hills. Acceleration be sufficient for most needs, but many rivals still feel quicker off the line.

We cover the nonhybrid Avalon in a separate review.

Avalon Hybrid Gas Mileage: Depends How You Look at It

The Avalon Hybrid gets 43 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. While these numbers are eye-popping compared to most cars, especially nonhybrid large sedans, they actually trail the figures of most other hybrids.

By comparison, the Toyota Camry Hybrid gets 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway, the Honda Accord Hybrid gets 48/47 mpg city/highway, and the Toyota Prius Prime (a plug-in hybrid) gets 54 mpg city/highway combined.

Avalon Hybrid Ride and Handling: A Terrific Cruiser

Several class rivals are sportier and more fun to drive than the Avalon, but this sedan still feels composed on winding roads. Its ride quality is excellent, thanks to a suspension that absorbs bumps in the roads with ease.

Read more about performance »

Avalon Hybrid Reliability

Is the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Reliable?

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

Toyota Avalon Hybrid Warranty

Toyota backs the Avalon Hybrid with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, and an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on hybrid components.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Toyota Avalon Hybrid?

The cost of insuring a Toyota Avalon Hybrid will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Avalon Hybrid Safety

Avalon Hybrid Crash Test Results

The 2020 Avalon Hybrid earned an overall rating of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

Avalon Hybrid Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. Some of these are part of the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of technology.

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

Read more about safety »

Avalon Hybrid Dimensions and Weight

The Avalon Hybrid is 16.3 feet long and has a curb weight of 3,638 to 3,715 pounds.

Where Is the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Built?

Toyota builds the 2020 Avalon Hybrid in Kentucky.

Which Toyota Avalon Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

There are three Avalon Hybrid trims: XLE, XSE, and Limited. All models feature a 215-horsepower powertrain consisting of a four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

Many buyers will be just fine sticking with the well-equipped base Avalon Hybrid XLE. If you want a few more features, you should skip over the XSE and step up to the Avalon Hybrid Limited, which comes with many comfort and convenience upgrades and offers more driver assistance features than the lower trims.

There's also a nonhybrid Avalon, which we cover in a separate review.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE

The Avalon Hybrid XLE sports a base price of $36,850. It comes standard with synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and the Entune infotainment system with a 9-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, five USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Siri Eyes Free.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of features, which we detail above.

Available features include navigation, a 14-speaker JBL audio system, a moonroof, and wireless device charging.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XSE

The Avalon Hybrid XSE carries a starting price of $39,350. In addition to the XLE trim's features, the Avalon Hybrid XSE adds a moonroof, synthetic leather and suede upholstery, and wireless device charging. This trim is geared as the sportiest variant of the lineup, with many unique styling bits to set it apart.

Available features include navigation and a 14-speaker JBL audio system.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

The Avalon Hybrid Limited starts at $43,150. The Limited comes standard with a head-up display, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a 14-speaker JBL audio system, and navigation.

You can add the Advanced Safety package, which includes a surround-view parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, and rear cross traffic braking.

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 Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is a strong contender in the hybrid and electric car class because it rides comfortably and has an inviting, upscale cabin. That said, it's not a slam dunk. It costs more than most other hybrids, and it doesn't get the same outstanding gas mileage as some rivals. Still, the Avalon Hybrid deserves its high class ranking. It's a great choice, provided it fits your buying needs.

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

  • "The new Avalon seems to be not only a formidable competitor to the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala, and Kia Cadenza but also a worthwhile, pragmatic alternative to a Lexus sedan." -- Consumer Reports (2019)
  • "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)
  • "It's no secret that I loved the previous generation Toyota Avalon. 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)
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