2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.6

The 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid offers decent acceleration, reviewers say. They praise the comfortable ride and report that the Avalon Hybrid generally handles well. Test drivers find the steering responsive and appreciate the firm brakes, although some say they are a little touchy.

  • "While Toyota's 2015 full-size Avalon sedan is thrilling to drive, it's not your typical thrill ride. The thrill comes from discovering a big, comfortable car that is still agile enough at high speed to instill confidence. The steering is firm, the brakes strong and the V6's ability to accelerate is undeniable. The Avalon Hybrid feels equally strong and earns a 40-mpg combined fuel-economy rating." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "In general, the Avalon Hybrid is just plain easy to drive." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "With improved chassis and firmer suspension, the new Avalon attacks corners, changes direction readily, and limits rock and roll body motions-in contrast to the lifeboat dynamics of earlier generations." -- Popular Mechanics (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Avalon Hybrid features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 200 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission, which behaves like an automatic, is standard. The Avalon Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 40/39 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a large car and on par with many other hybrids.

The Avalon Hybrid's engine offers less horsepower than many large cars, but test drivers say that the acceleration is suitable. Some say the vehicle runs quietly, but others argue that the CVT makes the engine somewhat noisy when accelerating.

  • The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid's 200 hp isn't a whole lot for a big car like this, but for the most part, acceleration is perfectly adequate. The Avalon Hybrid is also exceptionally quiet, though the CVT can cause the engine to drone during acceleration. Otherwise, the Avalon Hybrid is the equal of other hushed large luxury sedans." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The hybrid, for its part, isn't slow (0 to 60 in 8.2, according to Toyota) and its operation is absolutely transparent." -- Popular Mechanics (2013)
  • "Whereas the V-6 is muscular and produces a healthy exhaust note, the Hybrid's four-banger sounds embarrassed and slightly distressed." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • In normal driving, we found that the gasoline engine and electric motor deliver adequate acceleration." -- Autoblog (2013)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard on the Avalon Hybrid. Test drivers think the ride is smooth and find that the Avalon Hybrid offers responsive steering. They add that it is poised during turns. Critics say the brakes are sturdy, but some find them a little too sensitive, which is a common refrain regarding hybrids.

  • "Firm brakes, communicative steering and a potent V6 go hand in hand with a smooth ride, quiet interior and comfortable seating both front and rear. Step into the Avalon Hybrid and you'll find a car nearly as quick, although a bit softer over the bumps and somewhat less eager to tackle twisting roads." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "This big sedan also feels respectably secure and sure-footed around turns. The brakes can feel grabby under light braking, but that's pretty common for hybrids, and most owners should acclimate to them fairly quickly." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "This is the sort of inoffensive, unobtrusive ride that is the hallmark of a modern Toyota sedan. Enthusiasts won't get excited about it, but it's exactly what I'd be looking for in a large premium sedan were I in the market for one." -- CNET (2013)

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