Is The 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Right For You?

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Contributing Writer

Steve Cypher is a contributing writer for CarsDirect.com and Senior Editor for Lotpro.com. When not covering the latest automotive news or reviewing vehicles, Steve calls upon his years of experience selling cars to explain the car buying process and all things subprime at AutoCreditExpress.com.

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, Contributing Writer - November 30, 2016

Is the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid a good fit for your car-shopping priorities? Especially if you have a family, want luxury but aren't hung up on a luxury badge, and crave an eco-friendly sedan with plenty of room, the answer is yes.

After spending a week with the Avalon Hybrid, we found that there's a lot to like about Toyota's slick-looking midsize hybrid, although we have to admit that it's not for everyone.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Right for


Family buyers

A fixed back seat means the hybrid Avalon isn't as versatile as the gasoline-only version. Hauling an entire soccer team is also out of the question. At the same time, there's room in the back for up to three adults, and cruising on the freeway is as serene as it gets.

Green buyers

The Avalon Hybrid comes with an EPA-estimated 40/39/40 city/highway/combined mpg, while our observed fuel economy was 39.3 mpg in mostly city driving. Although hardly Prius-like, these figures beat the non-hybrid Avalon by a whopping 16 mpg and make it one of the most fuel-efficient sedans of its size without a plug.

Luxury buyers

While it may lack the badge and dealer experience, the Avalon does have a sleek profile with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seats (heated in front), a heated steering wheel, and express up/down windows all around. Those touches, along with its smooth, quiet ride, give the Avalon Hybrid all the ambiance of a luxury vehicle at an affordable price (the XLE Plus costs $4,500 less than the Lexus ES 300h).

Commuting buyers

Not only will you save money at the pump, but you'll also enjoy a smooth, controlled ride at all times. Very little in the way of road, tire, wind, or engine noise enters the cabin, even at freeway speeds. The windshield and front windows are make of acoustic glass, and there's a bevy of sound-absorbing materials under the skin. You'll cruise to work in comfort and quiet.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Wrong for:


Performance buyers

The words "performance" and "hybrid" usually aren't found side-by-side, and such is the case with the Avalon. While accelerating around town or on the highway is never a problem, the hybrid develops 68 fewer horsepower that the regular Avalon (200 vs. 268), and the battery pack adds 133 pounds. The hybrid also comes with a performance-robbing CVT instead of the gasoline model's conventional six-speed automatic.

Budget buyers

Sitting at the top of Toyota's sedan food chain, the Avalon Hybrid most definitely isn't an entry-level model. MSRP, including destination, starts at $37,515 for the XLE Plus and tops out at around $40,000 for a fully loaded XLE Premium.

Single buyers

While the current Avalon isn't the snoozer it once was, there are a lot of more entertaining sedans in this price class. And while it's not an SUV, the Avalon is slightly longer than the Land Cruiser, which could make parking in urban spaces a challenge.

Safety tech buyers

For 2016, a rear camera is standard, and blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert are available on the Premium and Limited trims only. Toyota's Safety Connect system is optional on the Limited only. The good news is that all 2017 Avalon Hybrids will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control.

Learn more about the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, along with this month's best deals and incentives »

Toyota Avalon Hybrid

, Contributing Writer

Steve Cypher is a contributing writer for CarsDirect.com and Senior Editor for Lotpro.com. When not covering the latest automotive news or reviewing vehicles, Steve calls upon his years of experience selling cars to explain the car buying process and all things subprime at AutoCreditExpress.com.

Follow On: Twitter

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