$33,500 - $41,300

2018 Toyota Avalon Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.5

With an effortless driving demeanor and a suspension that keeps the ride silky, the 2018 Toyota Avalon makes for a relaxing place to spend the day. It's far from lazy, however. The V6 engine provides brisk acceleration, and the Avalon’s well-tuned ride quality keeps awkward body leans in check.

  • "The Avalon's powerful 3.5-liter V6, coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission and a well-tuned suspension, makes for a surprisingly fun Avalon." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The Avalon's competent road manners and velvety-smooth V6 are made all the more attractive when coupled with the Touring trim's stiffer suspension setup. This big sedan can round corners with confidence yet delivers a smooth ride, excellent braking and communicative steering response." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "The Avalon's suspension, which consists of struts up front and a dual-link setup at the rear, has been reworked to provide a better ride/handling balance. Though it still isn't a sport sedan, the Avalon now leans less in the corners and feels suitably responsive without a significant decrease in ride quality." -- Left Lane News (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Avalon comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. This 268-horsepower combination is brisk, so you can quickly merge with highway traffic or overtake a slower vehicle without breaking a sweat. This is also a frugal large car: Its fuel economy rating of 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway is one of the best in the segment.

  • "Power from the V6 is impressive. … It smoothly and effortlessly accelerates on freeway onramps, and has good oomph for passing." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Avalon wastes no time getting up to freeway speed and gets from 0 to 60 mph in a quick 6.4 seconds. Few buyers will gripe about its acceleration." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The carryover engine is a surprisingly powerful 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque - that's enough to propel the big sedan from zero-to-60 mph in just over six seconds." -- Left Lane News (2017)

Handling and Braking

The front-wheel-drive Avalon is stable and smooth, with a driving demeanor best enjoyed on long highway cruises. Even though this is a large car, it's easy to drive, and its precise steering makes it easy to maneuver. This generation of Avalon, while still incredibly comfortable, may not be as cushy as owners of previous models are accustomed to.

  • "The latest Avalon sedan hasn't strayed far from the formula that has worked so well for over two decades: Provide driver and passengers a comfortable, quiet, plush experience. While most at home on the highway, the Avalon is easy to handle in the city and confined settings; it feels smaller than its size suggests." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The Avalon manages to be adequately damped to avoid feeling 'floaty.' Sure, the Avalon isn't as good at dynamic handling maneuvers, but if you're driving this car at the limit of its handling, you're missing the point." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "On the road, the 2017 Avalon is surprisingly responsive and adept in the corners. Whereas older Avalons pitched and rolled around turns, the current one stays respectably flat (that's even more true of the sportier-tuned Avalon Touring). The ride is still quite refined, but its character has changed for the sportier. In keeping with past Avalons, road and wind noise are suppressed at all speeds." -- Autotrader (2017)

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