2020 Toyota Avalon

Performance


#3 out of 8 in Large Cars

MSRP
$35,800
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Toyota Avalon Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.0

The 2020 Toyota Avalon is an excellent cruiser. It rides comfortably even over coarse pavement, and it remains stable around turns. This sedan has a V6 engine and eight-speed transmission that zip it up to speed confidently, while also helping the Avalon return good fuel economy.

  • "Handling is reasonably dialed-in, especially with the optional adaptive suspension system, and the steering is responsive, but again, most iterations of the Avalon are meant for drivers prioritizing comfort above all else." -- Autotrader
  • Things are sharper; it's more stable on turn-in, the ride is a hair more refined and the cabin feels more isolated. The added power is nice as well; it helps the Avalon feel luxurious since you get easy power in both the gas and hybrid versions. But the changes don't suddenly make the Avalon into as sporty a machine as its exterior suggests." -- Cars.com (2019)
  • "Keeping in mind that the previous-generation Toyota Avalon was no slouch, it follows that the ride comfort and braking performance on this latest version -- while perfectly effective -- won't shock you. Steering feel and response, however, are exceptional, and this, combined with a new multilink rear suspension and stiffer suspension components, make driving the Avalon on 'interesting' roads much more satisfying." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The Toyota Avalon has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. With this powertrain, the Avalon has no problem hustling around town or accelerating at highway speeds. The eight-speed transmission changes gears smoothly and promptly, making good use of the engine's power.

The Avalon XLE gets an EPA-rated 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The XSE, TRD, Touring, and Limited models get 1 less mpg on the highway. These ratings are quite good for a large sedan.

  • "The standard V6 provides plenty of oomph, and the 8-speed automatic transmission does its work smoothly and precisely behind the scenes. Close your eyes (well, not literally) and you might think you’re in a Lexus." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The V6 engine has ample power, with a gentle onset of acceleration that makes it responsive and befitting a luxury sedan. Once underway, passing power is readily available, accompanied by an exhaust growl that might seem initially out of place in an Avalon. The eight-speed transmission delivers crisp, timely shifts." -- Consumer Reports (2019)
  • "The 2019 Avalon feels like it has the right amount of power for a vehicle of this size -- not enough to overwhelm, but enough to get the job done. Acceleration is good and, more importantly, smooth. The 8-speed automatic and the V6 work well together with imperceptibly smooth shifts and whisper-quiet operation at highway speeds." -- CNET (2019)

Handling and Braking

The Avalon’s suspension does a great job of soaking up bumps and dips in the road, yielding a supple and comfortable ride. This is especially true of the Touring model, which has an adaptive suspension. The car feels composed and agile around turns as well, and the steering is quick.

  • "The Avalon is hardly a sports sedan, but that isn’t its intent. Even the new Avalon TRD model, with a lower ride height and stiffer suspension, remains at its best as a comfortable cruiser. But for those times when you want a zippier experience, the Avalon won’t protest unduly if thrown into a corner. This is mostly the case with the TRD and Touring models, the latter of which has an adaptive suspension system." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Handling precision was improved for the XLE and Limited (every Avalon benefits from a stiffer structure, thicker stabilizer bars and a lower center of gravity), but comfort remains the priority and the new suspension setup yields a suppler ride. Supple it most certainly is, yet floaty it doesn't seem to be." -- Autoblog (2019)
  • "It's still a large, luxurious sedan that is more at home gliding down endless boulevards in silent comfort than storming up twisty mountain grades. That isn't to say the Avalon stumbles over itself if you ask for a little extra on adventurous roads. On the contrary, the big four-door feels fairly buttoned-down at higher speeds, and the Touring's adaptive suspension dampers further reduce body roll, and not at the expense of ride comfort either." -- Edmunds (2019)
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2020 Toyota Avalon

MSRP: $35,800 - $42,500

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