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2014 Toyota Avalon Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Toyota Avalon was new.


Performance: 8.2

Though the 2014 Toyota Avalon is tuned for a quite, comfortable ride, test drivers say it also delivers strong acceleration and controlled handling.

  • "While not intended to deliver a BMW-like ride, the Avalon nevertheless is a competent sedan that will impress with its smooth ride and sedate driving experience." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The structure is stiffer than that of the previous version, too, which has helped make powertrain, suspension, and road noise even more hushed than before-and decidedly Lexus-like." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "Thanks to the additional acoustic insulation carried by the Avalon compared to the Camry, it practically takes a stethoscope to detect when the Avalon's V6 is running." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "While it's not too much of a stretch to call the 2013 Avalon's appearance ‘sporty,’ I hesitate to apply the same term to the car's performance. Sure, this Avalon's handling is predictable and its engine feels potent, this is still a comfortable ride first and foremost." -- CNET (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Toyota Avalon comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 268 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The 2014 Avalon gets an EPA-estimated 21/31 mpg city/highway, which is good for an affordable large car.

The Avalon has less horsepower than some of its competitors, but test drivers agree that the Avalon’s V6 provides plenty of muscle. Additionally, reviewers say that the six-speed automatic offers quick, smooth shifts.

  • "Ultimately, with 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft. of torque, Avalon is down a bit on grunt compared to rivals, but that deficit isn't noticeable in real world driving situations. From a stop, Avalon furnishes impressive grunt accompanied by a refined and distant growl underhood and its six-speed automatic fires off fast and smooth shifts." -- Left Lane News
  • "The transmission changes gears so smoothly that the machinery might well be lubricated with ambrosia, and there's enough acoustic insulation to effectively hush any tire noise." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "The V6 provides brisk acceleration-Toyota forecasts 6.7 seconds to 60 mph." -- Popular Mechanics (2013)
  • "Power remains the same at 268 hp, but muscle was never the Avalon's problem." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Handling and Braking

Automotive critics think that the Avalon’s handling has improved noticeably since its redesign in 2013. While the 2014 Avalon still offers a comfortable ride, test drivers say that a firmer suspension and a better braking system helps the Avalon corner and stop more confidently than prior models.

  • "With its firm but still cosseting ride and polished feel over the road, the Avalon is vastly more pleasant to drive than before, although it still comes up well short of being truly ‘sporty.’ There's still some float to the ride, something generally better kept in check in the portlier Impala, but the Avalon is vastly more nimble, feeling more tossable on curvy roads." -- Left Lane News
  • "Compared to the last-generation car, the newest Avalon benefits greatly from better feel in the steering and brakes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The steering now requires effort, and even more weight can be dialed in by hitting the Sport button located between the seats. Jack LaLanne himself would be pleased by the Avalon's transformation from flabby and sloppy to tight and athletic." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "Previous Avalons appealed primarily to drivers who thought cornering should be preceded by an environmental impact statement. 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)

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