- Written by Wilson Calvert
What it is: The Avalon is Toyota’s largest and most expensive sedan. It is definitely in the realm of “full-sized sedan” and competes against quiet and smooth vehicles, not vehicles more focused on sport and excitement. The Avalon is a front wheel drive car which provides better gas mileage than some of the sportier RWD counterparts like the Cadillac CTS. What the Avalon does best is cruise wherever it goes. If I was going to spend 20 hours driving to California down I-10 then this is the car you want to do it in. Big on the inside, a bunch of trunk space for your bags, 29 miles per gallon on the freeway and you’ll think you are driving on a cloud all of the way there. The interior was nicely appointed, but I didn’t get nearly the luxury feel that you get from the Lexus ES or other “premium” manufacturers. There is room to spare everywhere you want it to be, and 5 full-sized adults will felt comfortably in the car. I was also impressed that several new-age features like Bluetooth phone connectivity and iPod connectivity come standard on all Avalons. Price: Base price is $32,590. Fully loaded at around $38,000 Upsides: Fantastically smooth ride. Lots of room. Good highway mpg rating at 29 mpg Downsides: Priced at the higher end of the category Summary: As a mid-20s red-blooded American, this is not the car for me. However, there are a huge number of buyers out there looking for a full-size car that provides some luxury and a smooth ride. The Toyota Avalon has been on of the most successful full-sized cars, and Toyota is continuing this tradition on with the new 2011 Avalon. With the reliability and success of the previous generations of the Avalon, I can see many previous owners upgrading to the new 2011 model and being very pleased. You get all of the classic Avalon comfort and luxury but upgraded for the modern era.