Flagship sedans have fallen from grace as consumers snap up crossovers in greater numbers. But the 2018 Toyota Avalon reminds us that classic sedan looks, generous standard features, and advanced technologies keep such models relevant. They’re also cost effective and efficient, delivering a full package for a reasonable price.

Best Value

Toyota offers the 2018 Avalon in five trims: XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring and Limited. A hybrid model is available in three trims, but marketed separately.

The Avalon Limited ($42,195, including $895 in destination charges) is the best value of all five trims as it offers every conceivable amenity in this segment, and for a price that will likely see healthy discounts.

Top features include HID headlamps with LED daytime running lights, perforated leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, and a power rear window sunshade. You’ll also enjoy an 11-speaker JBL audio system, three-zone climate control, and navigation, and have the protection of a comprehensive safety system including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and auto braking with full stop.

  • Model: 2018 Toyota Avalon Limited
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6
  • Output: 268 hp/248 lb.-ft.
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 21 city/30 highway
  • Options: The 2018 Toyota Avalon Limited does not offer any standalone options.
  • Base Price: $42,195
  • Best Value Price:$42,195

Performance

Toyota Avalon

The 2018 Toyota Avalon comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine with an output of 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Toyota pairs this engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain combination isn’t the modern unit found in the all-new midsize 2018 Camry delivering 301 horsepower, but it gets the job done. Look for a new engine and transmission combination when the all-new 2019 Avalon debuts sometime in 2018.

As for the model at hand, it checks off all the important boxes in the segment, including a quiet interior, soft ride and surprising control – none of that is good for handling, but then again, it's a Toyota Avalon.

Style

This sedan’s handsome exterior has aged well, featuring a sporty grille, graceful lines and elegant wheels. It isn’t as forceful of a design as the Ford Taurus, but it matches up well with the Chevrolet Impala.

Inside, you might think you’re riding in a Lexus, especially in the top-trim models. Standard leather, woodgrain trim, and a capacitive touchscreen center console display blend elegance with sophistication.

True to its claim, the Avalon seats five and comfortably so with generous rear legroom and sufficient hip room. Even with the sloping roof, there’s ample headroom for taller passengers. The front seats are nicely contoured and offer modest bolstering — that’s a welcome change from earlier models which offered soft, flat front seats.

The trunk’s wide opening and low liftover height are certainly welcome. A power trunk is standard; the Avalon offers 16 cubic feet of cargo space and useful room at that.

The Best and Worst Things

A spacious interior, standard leather trim and a classic look serve the Toyota Avalon well. On the other hand, if you’re looking at top-trim models, why not simply go for a Lexus ES?

Right For? Wrong For?

Toyota Avalon

This car is right for drivers who demand a large, plushy sedan. Although the segment has certainly steadily shrunk over the past decade, the 2018 Avalon won't disappoint customers who like large sedans. This model shares its platform and running gear with the Lexus ES and does so without the ES’ high price point.

Although the Avalon stays composed when pressing the pedal to the metal, you won’t find an all-wheel drive option as you do in the Buick LaCrosse and Ford Taurus. That’s a disadvantage some shoppers may not be able to overlook, especially if they reside where wintry conditions are likely.

The Bottom Line

If you want Lexus-like comfort without the higher price point, the Toyota Avalon delivers. A bevy of luxury, technology and safety features keep this model at the top of the segment, delivering everything customers want in a premium sedan.