The Toyota Avalon just went through a comprehensive redesign in 2019, so the next redesign is likely not coming for quite a while. The 2021 Avalon will, however, arrive with one significant change to its powertrain: optional all-wheel drive.
Fresh off a 2019 redesign that made it wider and lower and the addition of a sportier TRD model in 2020, we expect no visual changes to the 2021 Toyota Avalon. The only notable difference will be the subtle “AWD” badge on the rear of all-wheel-drive models.
Inside will be much of the same, as this near-luxury Toyota sedan will continue with its classy cabin design and high-tech goodies like the standard Entune Audio Plus infotainment system, 9-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth audio streaming, in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.
The 2021 Avalon's standard powertrain will remain a 301-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission that ships power to the front wheels. The big under-hood change for the 2021 Avalon will be an optional all-wheel-drive system paired with a 205-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
This all-wheel-drive system will boast an electromagnetic decoupling system that will disconnect the rear axle when you don’t need power at all four wheels to help save fuel. When things get slippery, all-wheel drive will activate and ship up to 50% of the engine’s power to the rear wheels.
The current Avalon received the IIHS’ highest honor as a Top Safety Pick+ model thanks to its “Good” scores in all crash tests, “Good” rating in the headlight test with the optional LED projector lights, and “Superior” front-crash prevention with its standard automatic emergency braking. With no changes expected in the 2021 Avalon’s safety equipment, these ratings should carry on unchanged.