The 2020 Toyota Avalon is a spacious and comfortable sedan that leads the pack with its impressive fuel economy and standard safety and convenience features.
The Toyota Avalon was redesigned for the 2019 model year, so there are minimal changes to the 2020 model. There is an additional trim level offered in the 2020 lineup, the TRD, which gets a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, and various interior and exterior styling changes.
In the market for a new car? See our review of the 2022 Toyota Avalon.
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Excellent fuel economy
Plenty of standard features
Powerful V6 engine
No AWD option
No Android Auto integration
Expensive base trim
A more intuitive entertainment/navigation system
The 2020 Toyota Avalon is available in two powertrain options—gas or hybrid. Gas-only models come with a 301 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Hybrid models come with a 215 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors. It’s paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Both powertrain options are only available with front-wheel drive.
The V-6 engine delivers on power and is quiet in most trims. The standard suspension provides a smooth, comfortable ride and it handles well for a car its size. The hybrid engine accelerates well around town but can be a little sluggish when passing on the highway or climbing hills.
New to hybrid cars? Check out Hybrid vs Electric Cars: What You Need to Know.
The Avalon gets some of the best fuel economy ratings in its class. Gas-only models in the base trim get an estimated 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway while other trims get 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
Most hybrid models get an estimated 43 mpg both in the city and on the highway, but the Hybrid XLE is rated higher at 44 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway—a definite leader in its class.
The Avalon’s interior meets and exceeds our expectations for a large sedan. The front seats are supportive and offer plenty of adjustment options to fit all body types and heights. The back seat is spacious and provides an abundance of legroom—40 inches, in fact. The cabin is decked out in quality materials—nicely grained plastics for the lower trims, aluminum on the XSE and Touring and wood on the Limited. Both the synthetic and real leather upholstery have a luxurious feel that rivals luxury brands. The touchscreen is nicely positioned in the broad center stack, but the radio tuning knob can be a bit of a reach for some.
The Avalon’s trunk can hold 16.1 cubic feet of storage which is average for its class, but its wide trunk opening sets it apart making loading and unloading a breeze. Storage space nearly doubles with the 60/40 split rear seats folded down.
The Avalon comes with a 9-inch touch screen infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa as well as Bluetooth connectivity. Android Auto is not supported, unfortunately. The display is responsive and bright, but several functions are blocked out while driving, which can be a little frustrating. There is one USB port for data and four (two up front and two in back) power-only USBs. There is also a wireless charging pad in the front console. The Limited trim comes with an upgraded 14-speaker JBL sound system and an integrated navigation system. The built-in voice controls are just Ok and don’t respond well to navigation commands. You’ll probably be better off using Siri through Apple CarPlay—sorry Android users.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Avalon an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests. It received the highest rating of “Good” in all six crash tests from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Limited and Touring trims earned a Top Safety Pick+ designation, and their headlights received “Good” ratings for how well they illuminate the road ahead. The headlights in the lower trims received the lowest rating of “Poor”.
The Avalon comes well equipped with Toyota’s Safety Sense suite of advanced safety features. All models come standard with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, and high-beam assist. The Limited and Touring trims have an option package that adds a surround-view camera system and rear cross-traffic braking.
The XLE trim comes standard with a 9-inch touch screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration, four USB ports, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite and HD radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, and LED headlights. Also included is Toyota’s Safety Sense suite of advanced safety features.
The Hybrid XLE comes with the same features as the XLE trim but swaps out the engine for a 2.5-liter four-cylinder augmented with two electric motors.
In the market for a hybrid but need to sick to a budget? Our Avalon Hybrid vs. Chevy Malibu Hybrid comparison should help you find something under $25K
The Hybrid XSE is identical to the XSE trim except for a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine augmented with two electric motors.
The Limited trim adds leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, driver-seat memory functions, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a 14-speaker premium JBL audio system, and a built-in navigation system.
The all new TRD trim gets even sportier than the XSE trim with a cat-back exhaust, a sport-tuned suspension, stiffer springs and shock absorbers, upgraded brakes, matte black 19-inch wheels, thicker chassis braces, a body kit, and red seat belts and stitching.
The Touring comes with all of the features on the XSE and Limited trims and adds a head up display and an adaptive suspension. The upholstery is simulated leather with microsuede inserts.
The Hybrid Limited trim mimics the Limited trim but gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine augmented with two electric motors.
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The 2020 Toyota Avalon gives you all you’ll need for a spacious, smooth-driving family sedan. The base XLE trim has a generous offering of standard safety and convenience features, and at this price point we’d expect no different. Top that off with amazing fuel economy in a hybrid option and we’ve got a winner for everyone.