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Toyota Avalon (2019): new saloon breezes into Detroit

Published: 15 January 2018

► Full-sized saloon from Toyota has a Lexus-vibe about it
► The 2019 Avalon makes its debut at the Detroit motor show
► On sale in the USA this spring, deliveries in June

Motown might be a bit of an SUV and pick-up truck love-in, but it's good to see that among the monsters are still some well-styled conventional saloons for the less adventurous types. It's into this market that Toyota rolls out its fifth-generation Avalon saloon.

The Lexus-like executive-sized challenger sits on the longest version of Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA) modular platform, and is sized (if not priced) to go head-to-head with the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6.

It's built in the USA and sits above the locally-produced Camry to rival full-sized challengers such as the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala and Kia Cadenza, and is designed for drivers who want space and luxury, and don't want to go down the SUV route.

Looks like a Lexus, doesn't it?

The 2019 Avalon’s is very angularly styled, and although it lacks the Lexus's cotton-reel grille, there are more than enough similarities to suggest the design team was phoning this one in. Not that it's a bad thing – it's low, wide and purposeful, and boasts an aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.27 Cd.

Powering it is an upgraded version of Toyota’s 3.5-litre V6 for the range-topper, alongside a four-cylinder hybrid drivetrain also offered in the Camry. The company hasn't issues power figures yet, but expect it to range between 200bhp for the four-cylinder hybrid and 300bhp for the V6. That's a lot of grunt for a seemingly cooking front-wheel drive saloon.

The Toyota Avalon looks good, but is the tech up to it?

Toyota Avalon (2019)

There's plenty going on in the cockpit. It has a new infotainment system known as Entune 3.0, and offers the usual must-have features such as Apple CarPlay (no AndroidAuto, though), wireless charging, in-built wifi hotspot, and a very well-equipped 1200-watt JBL stereo.

It's driven by a less-than generously-sized 7.0-inch screen, but you do get the opportunity to double it up as a digital speedometer in addition to the usual satnav and vehicle system screens. 

The 2019 Avalon is due go on sale in the USA in late spring, with deliveries following shortly afterwards. Don't expect to see any in the UK for a very long time, but you'll probably enjoy wheeltime if you regularly travel to the USA and routinely hire cars while out there…

Toyota Avalon (2019)

By Keith Adams

Devout classic Citroen enthusiast, walking car encyclopedia, and long-time contributor to CAR

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