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What do our experts think of the 2021 Toyota Avalon? We look at powertrain, interior options, trim levels, and more. Find out our thoughts here.

What’s new for the 2021 Toyota Avalon?

For the first time in its long history, the Avalon is available with AWD. Sadly, it’s only available with a 205-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. In addition, a new nightshade package has been applied to the XSE trim which adds black wheels and black accents. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard across the entire lineup.

2021 Toyota Avalon - pressroom.toyota.com

2021 Toyota Avalon – pressroom.toyota.com |  Shop 2021 Toyota Avalon on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $37,150

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

FWD or AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

25 City / 34 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Excellent safety package

Outstanding interior quality

AWD is nice

No AWD with V6

Lacking headroom

Love it or hate it styling

Excellent all-around sedan

2021 Avalon Specs

Trims & Pricing

XLE - $37,150
XLE Hybrid - $38,125
XSE Nightshade - $40,700
XSE Hybrid - $40,625
Limited - $43,450
Touring - $43,850
TRD - $44,150
Limited Hybrid - $44,425

2021 Toyota Avalon Powertrain

2021 Toyota Avalon 2.5L I4 - carsforsale.com
2021 Toyota Avalon 2.5L I4 - carsforsale.com

Most Avalons will come with a 301-hp V6 and front-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic transmission swaps cogs for the system and overall we like the package. It’s better around the bends than one might think of a fairly large and front-wheel-drive-only sedan. Most buyers won’t likely push it very hard in the turns which leaves the V6 to do its work where it’s most comfortable, in normal daily driving tasks. Punch it from a stoplight and it’s powerful enough to spin the front tires and that same gusto is noticeable on the highway too when passing is required.

The four-cylinder engine included with all-wheel-drive models is decidedly less engaging. With just 205-hp on tap it’ll still get you around without too much strain but it’s frustratingly slow compared with the V6. Still, it’s worth getting if you need AWD as it won’t return for the 2022 Toyota Avalon. Finally, a fuel-efficient hybrid engine tries to bridge the gap just a bit with 215-hp but with only 163 lb-ft of torque, it’s incapable of achieving that goal. Thankfully, both four-cylinder engines offer good and great fuel economy respectively.

2021 Toyota Avalon Fuel Economy & MPG

2021 Toyota Avalon - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Avalon - pressroom.toyota.com

The EPA estimates that the V6 Avalon will get at best 22 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway. Those who go for the AWD Avalon see those numbers improve to 25 and 34. Finally, the Avalon Hybrid can get up to 43 mpg in the city and 44 on the highway which is very impressive for this segment.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

The Avalon is truly the most impressive car in its class when we focus on cabin quality. It’s easy to link this sedan to its premium Lexus counterpart the ES. Depending on trim level, the Avalon can be had with rich leather upholstery which is incorporated on the door cards, the steering wheel, the center console, the dash, and the seats. In addition, the layout of the cabin is straightforward and unfussy.

We really like how spacious it feels overall though some taller drivers might need to recline their seat to fit without rubbing the headliner. Rear seat headroom is a bigger problem but most passengers will likely be fine. In addition, visibility is a big win for the Avalon thanks to good sight lines and very small blind spots. Cargo space is above average too. The trunk itself features up to 16 cubic feet of cargo space and the folding 60/40 bench seat in the back can provide more when lowered.

Entertainment & Technology

2021 Toyota Avalon - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Avalon - pressroom.toyota.com

Across the entire lineup, a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard and overall it’s very good. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa are all included too though the native system is easy enough to use that you can get by without those apps. The base sound system is equipped with eight speakers and we like it but a premium 14-speaker unit is available on the Limited trim and we prefer it. That same trim also gets a heads-up display. The only complaint we have is that the reverse camera is a bit outdated compared to much of the competition.

Safety Features

Toyota supports a great safety net in the Avalon by equipping each one with adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and automated emergency braking. In addition, the NHTSA has given the Avalon a five-star crash test rating. Despite that, it was not given any awards by the IIHS.

2021 Toyota Avalon Trims & Pricing

2021 Toyota Avalon XLE - carsforsale.com
2021 Toyota Avalon XLE - carsforsale.com

XLE – $37,150

The base Avalon comes with the V6 but the four-cylinder is available with AWD. In addition, it gets 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, LED tail lights, heated front seats, power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and four USB ports.

2021 Toyota Avalon 2.5L I4 Hybrid - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com
2021 Toyota Avalon 2.5L I4 Hybrid - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com

XLE Hybrid – $38,125

The XLE hybrid has the same features as the XLE but adds four drive modes including Normal, Eco, EV, and Sport. Of course, it also has the hybrid four-cylinder powertrain and front-wheel drive.

2021 Toyota Avalon XSE Nightshade - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Avalon XSE Nightshade - pressroom.toyota.com

XSE Nightshade – $40,700

Adds black 19-inch wheels, microsuede front seat inserts, black exterior trim, and an integrated garage door opener.

2021 Toyota Avalon sunroof - carsforsale.com
2021 Toyota Avalon sunroof - carsforsale.com

XSE Hybrid – $40,625

Instead of 19-inch wheels, the hybrid version of the XSE gets 18-inch wheels. It also comes with paddle shifters, a black rear spoiler, a sunroof, and a wireless charger.

2021 Toyota Avalon Limited - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Avalon Limited - pressroom.toyota.com

Limited – $43,850

The Limited gets integrated navigation, 18-inch wheels, a heads-up display, 14 speakers, ambient lighting, real wood interior trim, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats.

2021 Toyota Avalon Touring - Steve Taylor AutoTube on youtube.com
2021 Toyota Avalon Touring - Steve Taylor AutoTube on youtube.com

Touring – $44,150

Buyers who get the Touring trim will have 19-inch wheels, aluminum exterior trim, faux-leather upholstery, and quad exhaust tips.

2021 Toyota Avalon TRD - netcarshow.com
2021 Toyota Avalon TRD - netcarshow.com

TRD – $44,150

The sportiest version of the Avalon adds a sport-tuned suspension, an aerodynamic body kit, lightweight 19-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, red seat belts, and a performance exhaust.

2021 Toyota Avalon Limited Hybrid - pressroom.toyota.com
2021 Toyota Avalon Limited Hybrid - pressroom.toyota.com

Limited Hybrid – $44,425

This trim adds adaptive headlights, a heated steering wheel, and the rest of the features from the normal Limited trim.

Warranties

Every Avalon comes with a three-year or 36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Toyota also provides two years or 25,000-miles worth of complimentary maintenance. That’s just one reason that it beat the Chrysler 300 in our comparison.

What we think

2021 Toyota Avalon - pressroom.toyota.com

2021 Toyota Avalon – pressroom.toyota.com |  Shop 2021 Toyota Avalon on Carsforsale.com

There are a few annoying pain points regarding the Avalon like the lack of a sporty AWD version but beyond that, it’s just an excellent all-around sedan. It’s fuel-efficient, it’s spacious, and it’s very well built. In addition, the bevy of options and trims available means that just about anyone can find one to suit their own lifestyle and needs. Finally, the addition of complimentary maintenance and standard advanced safety equipment make it the best full-size sedan in its class.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen Rivers is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion, extending to nearly all car cultures. After obtaining an occupational studies degree in sports medicine, Stephen turned his attention to sports cars. He was employed as an auto shop manager, spent time in auto sales, and worked as a software developer for a racing company, but Stephen began writing about cars over 10 years ago. When he's not in front of a computer screen, he's racing his own Bugeye Subaru WRX in as many autocross and rallycross competitions as he can.

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