2020 Toyota Avalon XSE Hybrid Review by Mark Fulmer
A Symphonic blend of Elegance and Effeciency
By Mark Fulmer
The Auto Channel
Elegance. This years 5th generation completely redesigned Avalon Hybrid is quite simply impressive. The grille has grown, but not just to be more impressive looking - it keeps the engine cooler and aides with aerodynamics.
The interior feels, and is, spacious. The materials, both leather and synthetic adorn with a look and feel of a sports sedans costing twice as much. The front seats have a plethora of adjustments which are very useful for making the long as well as the short trips quite comfortable. When the road gets twisty, you can power adjust the seats bolsters for premium support.
My passengers really appreciated the 40 inches of legroom afforded them in the second row of seats, allowing them to easily share videos on their phones with each other. And when it comes to space, I was surprised to see the size and depth of the trunk. Not at all reminisent of the tiny trunks of the early hybrids due to their batteries.
Power. The non-hybrid Avalon is pushed by a 3.5-liter V-6 making 301 horsepower, whereas the hybrids have a 176-hp inline-4 and an electric motor making 215 horsepower, but more impressively gave me mid 40's miles per gallon. Paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) what you may miss in passing thrust is overshadowed by the satisfaction of a lot less of your cash being taken away by fossil fuel. The Touring trim has a variable suspension that can be power adjusted.
Safety and Tech. With a five star overall NHTSA rating, the Avalon scored well in crash tests and is equipped with a healthy group of tech assists: the extremely useful adaptive cruise control, blind spot indicators, automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and rear cross-traffic alert. A very good option is the surround-view camera system which can make you park like a pro and avoid hubcap curb scraping.
Can a mid-sized luxury sedan be both elegant and effecient?
Yes, if it is the 2020 Avalon Hybrid.