2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

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MSRP: $37,500 - 42,800

2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review

The 2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is smooth and sumptuous, and it leads the full-size-car field while getting great fuel economy to boot. Its excellent gas mileage comes at the cost of acceleration speed and trunk space and adds a few thousand dollars to the purchase price. 

Pros & Cons

 

  • Elegant interior with top-notch materials
  • Lots of standard comfort, tech, and safety features
  • Comfortable ride and spacious seats
  • Outstanding fuel economy

 

 

  • Less trunk space than many large cars and hybrids
  • Some droning when accelerating

 

Is the Toyota Avalon Hybrid a Good Car?

Whether you’re in search of a large car with great gas mileage or specifically looking for a hybrid, the Avalon Hybrid is an excellent choice. Its overall package is luxury-grade, as demonstrated by its upscale cabin and relaxing ride quality. Additionally, the Avalon Hybrid earns outstanding crash test and predicted reliability ratings. Its excellent balance of quality and value made it a finalist for our 2018 Best Large Car for the Money award. Similarly, its roomy cabin, generous list of safety features, and positive automotive feedback made it a finalist for our 2018 Best Large Car for Families award. 

Should I Buy the Toyota Avalon Hybrid?

The Avalon Hybrid is an ideal choice for new-car shoppers who want lots of passenger space, a sumptuous interior, and excellent fuel economy. A rich collection of infotainment features, advanced safety systems, and luxury amenities come standard. This Toyota also has a strong record when it comes to safety and reliability.

Even if you decide the Avalon Hybrid is a great match for your lifestyle, you may want to wait a year before you buy, as the next generation will likely launch for the 2019 model year. Other hybrid vehicles worth considering include the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

Compare the Avalon Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Sonata Hybrid »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Avalon Hybrid?

Toyota made no major changes to the Avalon Hybrid for 2018. That means you can get a used 2017 Avalon Hybrid that's essentially the same as the new model for potentially much less money. Prior to 2018, however, Toyota made a few significant improvements to the Avalon Hybrid. For 2017, forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, high-beam assist, and adaptive cruise control became standard. The 2016 model saw a comprehensive styling refresh, the addition of a larger standard infotainment screen, and the introduction of Toyota Safety Sense technologies as available equipment.

To research other models in this generation (which dates to the Avalon Hybrid's introduction for 2013), read our 2015, 2016, and 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid reviews. If you decide that an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid »

We Did the Research for You: 33 Reviews Analyzed

For our Toyota Avalon Hybrid review, we've done all the hard work so you don't have to. Our comprehensive analysis fuses 33 professional evaluations with details like EPA-estimated fuel economy, interior dimensions, and the differences between the trim levels. This 2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2013 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been publishing car, truck, and SUV reviews since 2007. To create our Best Car Rankings – in addition to our Best Cars for Families and Best Cars for the Money awards – the U.S. News Best Cars team draws from more than 75 years of combined automotive experience.

How Much Does the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Cost?

With its starting price of $37,500, the Avalon Hybrid is one of the priciest models in our hybrid and electric cars ranking. This is a little deceiving, however, as this Toyota is also larger than every other entry – rivals like the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid are midsize cars.

In addition to the base trim, the Avalon Hybrid is available in two uplevel models. The Hybrid XLE Premium starts at $38,950, and the range-topping Hybrid Limited retails for $42,800. You can also buy a nonhybrid Avalon (which we review separately) for as little as $33,500. For great savings at your local Toyota dealer, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program. 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?

After a full redesign for the 2018 model year, the Toyota Camry Hybrid lands near the top of our hybrid car ranking. Its spacious rear seat and comfortable ride are among the reasons it rates as one of the best. As a midsize car, the Camry Hybrid is slightly smaller inside than the Avalon Hybrid. The Camry Hybrid also lacks many of the luxurious standard amenities of the Avalon Hybrid, though many of these are included in the top trim level.

Which Is Better: Toyota Avalon Hybrid or Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

In many ways, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a very good car. It's quiet and comfortable, and it’s covered by one of the most robust warranties on the market (including a lifetime hybrid battery warranty). Still, this Hyundai isn't quite as polished or as posh as the Avalon Hybrid, and its back seat and trunk are smaller.

Compare the Avalon Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Sonata Hybrid »

Avalon Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the Avalon Hybrid Seat?

The Avalon Hybrid has seating for five people, with ample room for adults to get comfortable. Heated seats and leather upholstery come standard, and a variety of power adjustments help the driver set a suitable driving position.

Avalon Hybrid and Car Seats

There are three tether anchors in the Avalon Hybrid, all of which are easy to identify. The rear-outboard seats also come with lower anchors, which are mounted deep in the seat cushions but are otherwise easy to use.

Avalon Hybrid Interior Quality

Between its sophisticated styling and premium materials, the Avalon Hybrid feels like a luxury vehicle. Sumptuous goodies like leather trim and heated seats come in every model, and build quality is superb.

Avalon Hybrid Cargo Space

The Avalon Hybrid has 14 cubic feet of trunk space. That's about 2 cubic feet less than the trunk of the nonhybrid Avalon and Lexus GS Hybrid, as well as other large, nonhybrid sedans. It also has a handful of cubbies in the cabin to stow smaller items.

Avalon Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

With the Avalon Hybrid, you'll get niceties like navigation, voice commands for your iPhone, and Bluetooth streaming for your music and phone calls as part of the standard infotainment system. The Entune interface is user-friendly once you become familiar with it, and the adjacent buttons (which are capacitive – like a touch screen) are designed to work with even gloved fingers. If it's in your budget, we recommend the top two trim levels. These come with advanced smartphone integration (via the Entune App Suite), linking you with apps like Pandora, Yelp, and iHeartRadio.

Read more about interior »

Avalon Hybrid Performance

Avalon Hybrid Engine: Decent Power for a Large Hybrid

The Avalon Hybrid's powertrain consists of a four-cylinder gasoline engine, an electric motor, and a continuously variable automatic transmission. With a 200-horsepower rating, this powertrain isn't as peppy as what's in the nonhybrid Avalon, but it's forceful enough to move this large sedan without much fuss. Expect some drone when you’re getting up to speed.

Avalon Hybrid Gas Mileage: Class-Leading Numbers

For a large car, the Avalon Hybrid gets outstanding fuel economy estimates: 40 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. Compared to other hybrids, however, this is below average (but keep in mind that the Avalon Hybrid is the largest car in our hybrid car ranking). Still, if you want better gas mileage from a cushy sedan, you'll get 51 mpg city/53 mpg highway with the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

Avalon Hybrid Ride and Handling: Calm and Composed

Comfort is the focus of the Avalon Hybrid. You'll find this quality in its silky ride, as well as in its easygoing demeanor. The suspension does a good job limiting body lean, though this also means the car can feel a bit stiff to some. If you aren't used to driving a hybrid, the regenerative brakes take a little time to get accustomed to.

Read more about performance »

Avalon Hybrid Reliability

Is the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Reliable?

The 2018 Avalon Hybrid has a predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is one of the highest scores in our hybrid car rankings.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid Warranty

The Avalon Hybrid comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, and an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for hybrid-related components.

Read more about reliability »

Avalon Hybrid Safety

Avalon Hybrid Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Avalon Hybrid an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Avalon Hybrid a Top Safety Pick designation, along with top scores on every crash test.

Avalon Hybrid Safety Features

Standard safety features in the Avalon Hybrid include a rearview camera, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and lane departure warning with lane keep assist. On select uplevel trims, Toyota adds rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Read more about safety »

Which Toyota Avalon Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

Toyota offers two powertrains for the Avalon: a hybrid (composed of a four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a continuously variable automatic transmission) and a gas-only V6 (which comes in the separately reviewed nonhybrid Avalon). For the Avalon Hybrid, three trim levels are available (XLE Plus, XLE Premium, and Limited), with prices ranging from $37,500 to $42,800.

When picking your trim, take a careful look at the amenities that come in each one. No extra packages are offered for this car, so what you see is what you get. To get the best bang for your buck, we recommend the XLE Premium. For $1,450 more than the entry-level model, you get goodies like navigation, additional driver assistance features, and the Entune App Suite (giving you easy access to apps like Pandora and iHeartRadio).

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus

The base trim is the Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus, which has a starting price of $37,500. It comes with leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, a moonroof, a proximity key, a power trunk lid, Toyota's Entune interface, a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, an eight-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a USB port. Among the standard safety features are a rearview camera, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and automatic high beams.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Premium

Standard features added to the Avalon Hybrid XLE Premium ($38,950) include the Entune App Suite (linking the infotainment interface to apps like Slacker Radio and Pandora), wireless charging for smartphones, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

The Avalon Hybrid Limited ($42,800) adds perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, tri-zone automatic climate control, an 11-speaker JBL audio system, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

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 2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Toyota Avalon Hybrid offers many of the same top-notch attributes that you'll find in its nonhybrid model: luxury-grade cabin materials, a velvety ride, excellent crash test and predicted reliability ratings, and a healthy list of standard features. As a bonus, the Avalon Hybrid has the highest fuel economy estimate among large cars. It isn't quite the fuel sipper that smaller hybrids like the Hyundai Ioniq are, and it isn't as peppy as the gas-only Avalon, but there's a lot to love about the Avalon Hybrid.

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

  • "The 2018 Toyota Avalon is the automaker's flagship sedan, the larger, plusher brother to the Camry. The Avalon appeals to those who want a full-size sedan with presence, a roomy interior, impressive safety features and a ride quality that favors comfort over athleticism. … While facing the same headwinds as other rivals -- buyers favoring crossover SUVs to large sedans -- the 2018 Avalon remains among the best of its kind thanks to its reputation for reliability, efficiency and Lexus-like refinement at a Toyota price." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "All modern large sedans provide a roomy interior, a big trunk and plenty of standard features. But few can provide high fuel economy, too. The 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid leads the charge." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Much like the smaller Camry Hybrid, imagine a car that combines all the Avalon's excellent attributes, including a smooth ride, a roomy interior and reasonable pricing, with hybrid-car gas mileage. The only downsides are a slightly higher price than a gas-powered model and slightly slower acceleration. If you don't mind paying a slight premium and compromising on speed to receive better gas mileage from your Avalon, this may be just the fuel-efficient full-size sedan for you." -- Autotrader (2017)
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