Even buyers of large sedans are on the lookout for efficiency these days. You might say some are actually obsessed with it. Fear not, drivers who want the once-impossible dream of abundant room and extreme mileage. The full-size Avalon Hybrid delivers no less than 40 mpg.
What's New for 2016
The Avalon's grille and front turn signals have been restyled for a sleeker front-end look. There's a new entry-level trim known as XLE Plus, and the Touring model has been dropped.
Choosing Your Toyota Avalon Hybrid
All of the strengths of the regular Avalon apply here too: smoothness, comfort, interior refinement. The only difference lies under the hood, where the Hybrid carries a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor, which together produce 200 horsepower. Assisted by an automated continuously variable transmission (CVT), the hybrid setup yields 40 mpg in combined city and highway driving, a remarkable achievement for a sedan of this size.
Of course, you don't get the same level of performance as the gas-only Avalon, but zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds seems perfectly acceptable to us. With the standard 17-gallon gas tank, you're looking at an eye-popping 700 miles of range.
The Avalon Hybrid comes in two XLE versions, plus top-shelf Limited trim:
The new XLE Plus is better equipped than last year's base model, so upgrading to the Premium is only necessary if you need advanced infotainment technology. The Limited pokes into luxury sedan territory, which is fine if that's what you're looking for -- just be prepared for the $42,000 price tag.
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