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2018 Toyota Avalon Review

The 2018 Toyota Avalon places in the top half of our large car rankings, in part because its performance is both cordial and lively. The Avalon also boasts a wealth of standard features and upscale materials, but it tends to cost more to buy than similar sedans.

Pros & Cons

  • Upscale interior boasts high-quality materials
  • Luxury-like level of standard features
  • Energetic engine
  • Smooth, responsive handling
  • Used car prices tend to be relatively high for the class

Rankings & Awards

The 2018 Toyota Avalon's #4 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Affordable Large Cars category. It was the winner of our 2018 Best Large Car for the Money award and a finalist for our 2018 Best Large Car for Families award. Currently the Toyota Avalon has a score of 8.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 36 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Toyota Avalon Overview

Is the 2018 Toyota Avalon a Good Used Car?

Yes, the Toyota Avalon is a great used car. It won our 2018 Best Large Car for the Money award because it offered the best combination of quality and value in the large car class. Because of its roomy seats, lengthy list of high-tech standard safety features, and abundance of positive automotive reviews, the Avalon was also a finalist for our 2018 Best Large Car for Families award. This sedan also comes as the Avalon Hybrid, which we review separately.

The 2018 Avalon is bursting with benefits:

  • Cabin is upscale, quiet, and brimming with luxury
  • Comprehensive suite of advanced safety features is standard
  • Select ownership costs are below average for the class
  • Lively engine gets this car quickly up to speed
  • Easy-to-drive sedan is nimble and smooth

The vehicle has one main drawback:

  • Average used car prices are higher than most rivals'
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Toyota Avalon review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 40 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2018 Toyota Avalon?

Used 2018 models are beginning to appear at dealerships. Our listings for the Avalon range in price from $18,800 to $33,600, with an average list price of $25,400. Prices vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Toyota Avalon Cost to Own?

The 2018 Avalon’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $24,380, or $4,876 per year. That’s below average for a used full-size sedan.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Avalon?

The Toyota Avalon has been fully redesigned for 2019. This new generation comes with some significant improvements over the previous iteration. The new Avalon has a more powerful engine, yet also achieves a higher fuel economy rating. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are now standard, and you can get goodies such as Apple CarPlay and a surround-view camera for the first time. You may be able to save money with a used Avalon, but you'll be foregoing an improved powertrain and some notable new features if you do.

Read about the new Toyota Avalon »

The 2018 Avalon belongs to a generation that was launched for 2013. As part of its midcycle refresh for 2016, the Avalon sedan received new safety options and a larger infotainment screen. The following year, Toyota Safety Sense became standard. This suite of advanced safety systems includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian braking, lane departure alert with lane keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control. Because Toyota Safety Sense significantly improves this vehicle's ability to prevent a front crash, we recommend buying a 2016 Toyota Avalon equipped with this optional package, or any 2017 or newer model, which come standard with this safety suite.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Avalon »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Toyota Avalon?

The 2018 Toyota Avalon has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Avalon reliability »

2018 Toyota Avalon Recalls

At the time of writing, no recalls have been issued for the 2018 Toyota Avalon.

See more information on Toyota Avalon safety recalls »

Which Used Toyota Avalon Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Toyota Avalon comes in five trim levels: XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring, and Limited. A V6 engine powers each of these trims. Toyota also built a hybrid version of this sedan, which you can read about in our separate Avalon Hybrid review.

For the most part, you have to move up the trim ladder to get a higher level of opulence, as Toyota offered few options for this vehicle. The best value can be found in the base XLE trim. It's equipped almost at the same level as a luxury car. Leather upholstery is standard, and front travelers are treated to heated seats with power adjustments. Lots of standard tech is also on board, including a navigation system, advanced voice commands, and a comprehensive suite of safety features.

  • Toyota Avalon XLE: The base XLE 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, and remote start. Its infotainment system is composed of Toyota's Entune interface, a 7-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker audio system, navigation, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, a USB port, satellite radio, and HD Radio.
  • Toyota Avalon XLE Plus: The few additions to the XLE Plus include a moonroof and a built-in garage door opener.
  • Toyota Avalon XLE Premium: Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are standard in the XLE Premium. 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 include premium leather seats, upgraded wood trim, LED headlights, a sport-tuned suspension system, and larger wheels.
  • Toyota Avalon Limited: The range-topping Limited 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.

See 2018 Toyota Avalon trims and specs »

What Does Toyota's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Toyota offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 85,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the initial sale date or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like a CarFax vehicle history report, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Toyota’s CPO program is about average for an affordable carmaker, according to our research. Hyundai and Kia both have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Avalon?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Toyota Avalon a 2018 Top Safety Pick. The sedan aced every crash test, and thanks to its standard pre-collision system, provides the top Superior level of front crash prevention. For headlights, the Limited trim has the second-highest rating of Acceptable, and all other trims have the second-lowest rating of Marginal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Toyota Avalon a five-star overall safety rating out of a possible five stars.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • pre-collision system with forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic braking
  • lane departure warning with lane keep assist
  • automatic high beams
  • adaptive cruise control
  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • rain-sensing windshield wipers

See Avalon safety scores »

2018 Toyota Avalon Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Toyota Avalon or 2018 Toyota Camry?

Unless you are seeking a more luxurious car, you should consider buying a 2018 Toyota Camry instead of a Toyota Avalon. Though the Camry belongs in the midsize car class, its back seat is nearly as spacious as the Avalon's, as is its trunk. Of the two, the Camry boasts the higher safety and predicted reliability ratings. Plus, its lower price saves you an average of $5,100. The main shortcoming for the Camry is that it doesn't quite reach the Avalon's level of opulence, though you can still get a pretty swanky ride with its top level trim.

Which Is Better: 2018 Toyota Avalon or 2018 Nissan Maxima?

The 2018 Nissan Maxima is a very nice large car. Among its attributes are a handsome interior, a meaty V6 engine, and good crash test ratings. However, most shoppers will be happier with the Avalon, partly because of its larger trunk and roomier back seat. Though the Toyota tends to cost a little more, it quickly makes up for this with its lower insurance, repair, and fuel costs. You also get many more standard features in the Toyota. The Avalon is the better value, and it's the sedan we recommend.

Compare the Avalon, Camry, and Maxima »

2018 Avalon Performance

How Does the 2018 Toyota Avalon Drive?

The Avalon is one of the top performers in our rankings of large cars. This is partly for its polished powertrain, and partly because it has remarkably brisk acceleration. The Avalon's handling is a similar fusion of refinement and liveliness. The suspension system provides a smooth ride, yet keeps body movements in check, resulting in a slightly sporty demeanor.

  • Base engine: 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Toyota Avalon Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Toyota Avalon gets typical fuel economy for a large sedan. If you put a lot of miles on your car, you may want to consider the 2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, which we review separately. Alongside the gas-only Avalon, the hybrid version saves the average driver about $700 a year in fuel costs.

  • 21/30 mpg city/highway

Read more about Avalon performance »

2018 Avalon Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Avalon Seat?

The 2018 Avalon seats five people. The front seats are supportive and nicely bolstered, creating an incredibly comfortable perch. Long-legged travelers will have no problem riding in either the front or back seat. This cabin exudes a Lexus-like level of luxury, from its abundance of leather trimmings to its quiet, silky ride.

Standard seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • heated front seats
  • eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat
  • four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel

Available seating features:

  • premium leather upholstery
  • perforated leather seats
  • ventilated front seats
  • heated rear seats
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat
  • eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat
How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Toyota Avalon?

The 2018 Avalon has two complete sets of LATCH child car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The lower anchors are mounted deep in the seat cushions, but all hardware is otherwise easy to locate and use. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives this LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use.

2018 Toyota Avalon Features

The Avalon is an excellent car for shoppers who want easy-to-use technology. Its infotainment system is uncomplicated and has a smart appearance. It may take a little adjustment to get used to the capacitive (touch sensitive) buttons that border the touch-screen display, though Toyota says you can use these even with gloves on.

  • Standard infotainment features: Toyota's Entune interface, a 7-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker audio system, navigation, satellite radio, a USB port, voice recognition, HD Radio, Bluetooth for audio streaming and phone calls, and Siri Eyes Free
  • Available infotainment features: the Entune App Suite (for advanced smartphone integration), wireless charging for enabled phones, a nine-speaker audio system, and an 11-speaker JBL audio system
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone climate control, a proximity key, and remote start
  • Other available features: tri-zone automatic climate control, and a moonroof

See 2018 Toyota Avalon specs »

Read more about Avalon interior »

2018 Toyota Avalon Dimensions

2018 Toyota Avalon Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 3.3 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,461 to 3,583 pounds
Toyota Avalon Cargo Space

The Avalon has a 16-cubic-foot trunk. That's enough space to carry a medium size suitcase for everyone on board, and its low opening and power trunk lid make the space especially easy to use. Still, you'll find a larger trunk in rivals such as the 2018 Ford Taurus and 2018 Chevrolet Impala.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

Where Was the 2018 Toyota Avalon Built?

Toyota built the Avalon in Kentucky.

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