2018 Toyota Avalon

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MSRP: $33,500 - 41,300

2018 Toyota Avalon Review

The stately 2018 Toyota Avalon provides a relaxing ride and is one of the best large cars you can buy. It has a cabin that’s filled with pleasantries (like leather seats), a welcoming back seat for adults, a rich array of standard features, and a strong predicted reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

 

  • High-class cabin with premium materials
  • Well-equipped with ample safety, comfort, and technology features
  • Smooth, stable ride and handling
  • Robust V6 engine

 

 

  • Firmer ride may be too stiff for some

 

Is the Toyota Avalon a Good Car?

The 2018 Avalon is a great large car. It boasts a high level of quality and dependability, while also adding in some Lexus-like interior luxury. It has the best combination of quality and value in its class, making it our 2018 Best Large Car for the Money. It was also a finalist for our 2018 Best Large Car for Families award thanks to its commendable mix of safety features, spaciousness, and positive reviews from professional automotive writers. Passengers ride in comfort, and the driver enjoys stable handling and a powerful standard V6 engine. The cherry on top is its near-perfect predicted reliability rating.

Should I Buy the Toyota Avalon?

If you're in the market for a big sedan as a daily driver or family hauler, the Toyota Avalon should definitely be on your list. It offers nearly everything that this segment stands for: ample interior space, a high-quality cabin, an outstanding predicted reliability rating, and no-nonsense performance.

Still, for as good as this version of the Avalon is, Toyota is fully redesigning it for the 2019 model year. You may want to see what the new version has to offer or consider some other worthy rivals in the meantime. The Nissan Maxima has relatively athletic handling for the class, while the Kia Cadenza is fresh off the heels of a redesign for the 2017 model year. If you want to stick with Toyota but don’t mind moving down to the midsize car class, check out the crowd-pleasing 2018 Toyota Camry, which was redesigned for 2018.

Compare the Avalon, Maxima, and Camry »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Avalon?

Toyota made no major changes to the Avalon for 2018. That means you can get a used 2017 Avalon 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. 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 back to 2013), read our 2015, 2016, and 2017 Toyota Avalon 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 »

We Did the Research for You: 36 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 36 Toyota Avalon reviews – along with safety and reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2018 Avalon is the right new car for you. This 2018 Toyota Avalon 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 Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. To maintain objectivity, we don't accept incentives or expensive gifts from car companies, and an outside team handles the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota Avalon Cost?

The starting retail price of a Toyota Avalon is about average for a large car. Before adding options, the base trim costs $33,500. Four uplevel trims are also available: XLE Plus ($35,250), XLE Premium ($36,700), Touring ($37,900), and Limited ($41,300). Starting prices for the hybrid version range from $37,500 to $42,800. You can see more details on the Toyota Avalon Hybrid in our separate review.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealership. 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?

The Toyota Camry sees a complete redesign for 2018, and it places high in our midsize cars rankings. It has a peppy engine and fun driving dynamics, and it offers many of the same standard technology and safety features as the Avalon. That's despite a nearly $10,000 drop in base price between the two. However, the Camry doesn’t offer the luxury and cavernous passenger space that its larger sibling does. It depends on your budget and how much room you need, but you really can't go wrong with either car. 

Which Is Better: Toyota Avalon or Nissan Maxima?

The 2018 Nissan Maxima boasts perfect safety scores across the board, and it’s a solid choice in the class. It offers decent handling for a large sedan, especially in the sport-tuned SR trim. The Nissan also stacks up well against the Toyota in interior quality and features. In other areas, though, the Maxima may not fit your needs. It has less rear passenger space and a smaller trunk than most class rivals. 

Which Is Better: Toyota Avalon or Kia Cadenza?

The Kia Cadenza is a family-friendly large sedan that touts first-rate safety ratings and a lower starting price than the Avalon. However, it doesn't have as many standard safety features as its rival, and it lacks strong acceleration. The Cadenza is a good model to consider in the class, but the Avalon is likely worth the extra money. 

Compare the Avalon, Camry, and Maxima »

Avalon Interior

How Many People Does the Avalon Seat?

The Avalon seats five people on leather upholstery. Its heated front seats and power adjustments (eight-way for the driver, four-way for the front passenger) further enhance the sedan's comfort. Its back seat is especially impressive, with enough acreage for even large adults to get comfy for a long trip.

Avalon and Car Seats

The Avalon comes with the usual set of LATCH hardware in the back seat: two sets of lower anchors on the outboard seats and a tether anchor for every seating position. You'll have to dig deep to reach the lower anchors, but otherwise, the LATCH anchors are easy to use.

Avalon Interior Quality

The interior of the Avalon is Lexus-like, sharing a similar flair for premium materials and high-quality craftsmanship. Among its standouts are standard leather seats, woodgrain inlays, and ample sound-deadening insulation.

Avalon Cargo Space

The Avalon has a 16-cubic-foot trunk. That's about average for a large car, though the Avalon's low liftover height and power trunk lid make the space extra convenient.

Avalon Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

One marked difference between the Avalon's infotainment system and what you'll find inside some rivals relates to the redundant buttons. While the Chrysler 300 has no physical controls bordering the display screen, and the Nissan Maxima has a full selection of hard buttons on both sides, the Avalon offers a mix of controls that aren't traditional buttons but capacitive, like a touch screen. They’re designed to work even if you're wearing gloves, though they could be more clearly labeled. Once you are familiar with it, Toyota's Entune interface is straightforward. If you can afford it, spring for the XLE Premium trim level or above, which includes enhanced smartphone integration as part of the upgraded infotainment system.

Read more about interior »

Avalon Performance

Avalon Engine: A Robust V6

When getting up to speed, the Avalon is competent and smooth, and it's quicker than you may expect. It comes standard with a 268-horsepower V6 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, both of which feel polished and eager.

Avalon Gas Mileage: Above Average

With the Avalon, you can have your power and enjoy good fuel economy, too. Its EPA rating of 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway is among the thriftiest of the large car class. If you want most of the qualities of the Avalon with even better fuel economy, there's the Avalon Hybrid. It achieves a class-leading 40/39 mpg city/highway.

Avalon Ride and Handling: Buttery Smooth

The Avalon is a comfortable cruiser on the highway. Its well-tuned suspension keeps the ride silky smooth while limiting awkward body rolls, though it feels too stiff for some. Responsive steering makes for easier piloting through urban environments.

Read more about performance »

Avalon Reliability

Is the Toyota Avalon Reliable?

The 2018 Avalon is expected to be one of the most dependable vehicles in our large car rankings. It earns a predicted reliability score of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Toyota Avalon Warranty

Toyota covers the Avalon with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Avalon Safety

Avalon Crash Test Results

The 2018 Avalon received a perfect five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Avalon with a top score of Good in five individual crash tests and named the car a 2018 IIHS Top Safety Pick.

Avalon Safety Features

The Avalon comes standard with a suite of advanced safety features, including a rearview camera, a pre-collision system with forward collision warning, pedestrian detection and automatic braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Select trims also come with blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Read more about safety »

Which Toyota Avalon Model Is Right for Me?

Toyota offers the Avalon in five trim levels: XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring, and the range-topping Limited. All come with a V6 engine, an automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive (for extra fuel savings, Toyota also makes a hybrid version of the Avalon). The trims are defined by the included comfort amenities. To narrow your selection, simply look at each edition's standard features, as packaged options are virtually nonexistent for this vehicle.

If you're looking for the best value, you'll find it in the base model, which is richly equipped with many choice tidbits, along with an attractive suite of advanced safety features. See below for more details on each trim.

Toyota Avalon XLE

The base Avalon XLE ($33,500) comes with leather upholstery, heated front seats, power-adjustable front seats (eight-way for the driver and four-way for the passenger), dual-zone climate control, proximity keyless entry, remote start, and a power trunk lid. Its infotainment system is composed of Toyota's Entune interface, a 7-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker audio system, navigation, Bluetooth for both audio streaming and phone calls, Siri Eyes Free, a USB port, satellite radio, and HD Radio. A rearview camera is standard, along with 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 XLE Plus

The few additions to the XLE Plus ($35,250) include a moonroof, a nine-speaker audio system, and a built-in garage door opener.

Toyota Avalon XLE Premium

Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are standard in the 2018 Toyota Avalon XLE Premium ($36,700). You’ll also get wireless charging for enabled phones, the Entune App suite (for quick access to apps like iHeartRadio and Pandora), and memory settings for the driver's seat.

Toyota Avalon Touring

Notable standard features in the Avalon Touring ($37,900) include premium leather upholstery, upgraded wood trim, LED headlights, a touring-grade suspension system, and larger wheels.

Toyota Avalon XLE Limited

A new 2018 Toyota Avalon Limited ($41,300) comes with tri-zone automatic climate control, perforated leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, 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 dealership. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2018 Toyota Avalon specs and trims »

The Final Call

For any new-car shopper who finds themselves considering a large sedan, the 2018 Toyota Avalon is a must for your short list. Its amenities are Lexus-like, with a cabin and ride quality that crosses over from the so-called affordable segment into the radius normally reserved for luxury vehicles. The Avalon's vast amount of safety features, roomy cabin, and excellent predicted reliability rating also make this a stellar pick for families.

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

  • "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
  • "The 2017 Toyota Avalon is very much the benchmark for the full-size sedan segment -- or at the very least, the one that should satisfy the most buyers. As expected, it provides a more spacious rear seat than a midsize family sedan, along with a higher-quality cabin that dips its toe well into the luxury pool regardless of trim level. It also comes with an abundance of features, including a suite of accident-avoidance tech now standard for 2017. … And of course, there's Toyota's well-earned reputation for reliability." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Redesigned back in 2013, this large sedan has received only a few updates in the last four years and otherwise has stayed true as a comfortable, quiet and well-equipped sedan that's just at home commuting as it is eating up endless miles of American highway. … It offers plenty of room for five adults and a lovely cabin with high-quality materials and very good construction, plus the choice of many available high-tech features. The Avalon is extraordinarily comfortable on the highway and whisper quiet, too. It also handles better than past generations of the car. The ride is definitely firmer than in previous generations, but the Avalon is still remarkably easy to drive. If you're in the market for a big sedan, you'll definitely want to go for a test drive." -- Edmunds (2017)
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