The 2016 Toyota Avalon builds on the major design changes done way back in 2013. This year, the automaker's flagship of its carfleet gets a larger front grille while running lights and turn signals get slimmed down a notch. Underneath the Touring models, the suspension has been stiffened for a sportier ride. Finally, a new trim named the XLE Plus slots neatly between the entry-level XLE and the mid-level XLE Premium. The Plus comes with most of the features from the lower trim then adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, keyless access, and a sunroof.
Not including the hybrid (sorry, hybrid fans), the Avalon is offered in XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring and Limited versions for the 2016 model year. Power continues to be provided by a 3.5-liter V6 that's been a mainstay among Toyota vehicles for years. Output is 268 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of torque which are channeled to the front wheels via the standard six-speed automatic transmission. EPA estimates with this combo are 21 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.* Drivers can adjust throttle sharpness and steering feel through the eco and sport-oriented drive modes.
"The 2016 Toyota Avalon's V6 engine is smooth and powerful and should provide more than enough punch to please most drivers," points out Edmunds after some time behind the wheel. "Furthermore, that performance is delivered in a very quiet, unruffled manner, which adds to the Toyota's appeal as an effortless open highway cruiser. The Avalon exhibits a slight amount of body roll through corners, but overall it is surprisingly composed when the road gets twisty."
The 2016 Toyota Avalon is a full-size sedan that nicely straddles the mainstream family car and luxury vehicle segments. It comes with plenty of high-end amenities, a long list of standard equipment and options, and a near-luxurious ride. Materials used throughout the modern cabin are superb and fit-and-finish is top-notch. Tall passengers will find plenty of room even in back. Trunk space is also cavernous.
All Avalons come with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, stability and traction control system, and 10 airbags as standard. The front row seats have been designed to minimize whiplash. Notable features found on the XLE include automated headlamps, leather upholstery, power and heated front seats, push-button ignition, Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera. Toyota's advance Entune infotainment system is found in all models with increasing number of features as one goes up the trim ladder.
Speaking of features, a blind spot monitoring system, a wireless device charger and Toyota's Safety Connect system are just a few of the notable ones found in higher trim levels.
*All vehicle mileage based on 2016 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.