The Avalon is Toyota’s largest sedan with front-wheel drive. It has been around for nearly three decades and five generations. Which is the best year Toyota Avalon?

The Avalon is an excellent choice for those looking for a luxury car on a budget that offers a smooth, comfortable and quiet ride. Its top variants offer quality and features similar to Lexus cars.

2017 is the best year for Toyota Avalon because of the comfort level, performance, and reliability it offers. The car comes equipped with modern features like capacitive touch buttons. The hybrid Avalon is a hot favorite for the impressive fuel economy it delivers on a vehicle this size.

Since its launch in 1995, the Avalon has shared many features with the Toyota Camry. However, the fourth generation sets itself apart and gives the Avalon a unique appearance and recognition. The car can be termed an upper-middle-class sedan with loads of luxury features inside.

Car experts claim that the 2017 Avalon is a vehicle equipped with a strong engine and excellent reliability. They expect the car to run upwards of 200,000 miles without needing major repairs. With proper oil changes, tire rotation, and scheduled maintenance, you can expect the car to last for years on end.

Best Year Toyota Avalon

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2017 Toyota Avalon

The Avalon has long been considered Toyota’s flagship vehicle for Canada, the Middle East, China, and the United States. It was launched in 1994 to replace the Toyota Cressida, a rear-wheel-drive car with an in-line six-cylinder engine. The Avalon had a better-performing V6 engine and focused more on performance, luxury and comfort.

The 2017 Toyota Avalon feels as comfortable as a plush couch, and thankfully it drives nothing like one. It offers a well-built and spacious cabin, rides smoothly, delivers good fuel economy, comes with many features, and is not too heavy on the pocket compared to its competitors. It was featured as the second best affordable large car in 2017.

The 2017 Avalon comes with two powertrain options; the regular V6 and the four-cylinder Hybrid. It was available in a wide range of trims; XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited, and Touring. The Hybrid versions came as XLE and Touring.

Style

In 2013, the Avalon was redesigned to distinguish it from the Camry, which shares a few components with this car. The 2017 Avalon has a unique design, making it stand out from the crowd. The swoopy silhouette with a steep rear glass and widened fenders give the car a sporty yet elegant look.

Look at it from the side, and you will notice the roofline matches the subtly arching beltline. The rear pillar arc blends well with the roofline slope. The large wraparound tail lights offer more of a Lexus feel on the rear. You cannot ignore the flow of the metal sheet from the roof to the doors and how the rear fender gives the car a design boost.

The wide grille and LED headlights give the car somewhat of a sporty look on the front. The bumper and the curving lights mounted on it add to the grace of the vehicle.  

The cabin is spacious and features a modern and clean outlook on the inside. The materials used are of top-notch quality, with the finishing matching standards of Lexus. It is evident that Toyota wanted to give the Avalon a premium look and set it apart from the Camry.

The audio system and climate control have capacitive touch buttons located a little closer to the driver. The dash features elegant wood trim and a striped surface. The overall theme of the cabin can be found on other Toyotas, but the material quality and color tone set the Avalon apart.

Performance

The Avalon comes with two powertrains; the standard 3.5-liter V6 and the 2.5-liter inline-4 Hybrid.

The V6 engine produces 268 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft of torque on the standard Avalon. It is coupled with a six-speed automatic with sport-shift mode. The drivetrain offers a throttle blipping mode, which allows smoother shifting.

All V6 equipped trims have paddle-shifters and drive mode selectors. The selector offers Eco, Normal, and Sport modes, adjusting shifting pattern, throttle response, and steering feel. The V6 Avalon can hit 60 mph in only 6.7 seconds from a stop.

On the Hybrid Avalon, the 2.5 liter Atkinson cycle engine is coupled with two electric motors mounted on the transaxle powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries. The hybrid system works with Toyota’s continuously variable transmission. The powertrain on this version can deliver 200 hp and make the car hit 60 mph in 8.2 seconds.

The Hybrid offers three driving modes, EV, Eco, and Sport. The car runs only on battery power to speeds of up to 25 mph in the EV mode. In Eco mode, the throttle response and other features like air conditioner and heater are cut down. Although not too much faster, Sport mode improves the throttle and transmission to provide a more responsive feel.

The 2017 Avalon borrows a lot from Lexus regarding design and overall personality. The four-door sedan feels controlled and capable, with a smooth and comfortable ride.

Compared to the previous models, the 2017 Avalon’s ride feels much more stable and sorted. The excessive body roll and the spongy motions have been removed. The car delivers a luxury ride that is firm but not rough. The car seems to absorb nearly all of the unevenness of the road.

 The standard and hybrid powertrains make the Avalon feel smaller, thanks to the natural and precise handling, even when running on curvy roads. The Sport mode changes the steering response and gives a firmer and more dramatic feel. The four-wheel disc brakes, with 11.6-inch rotors in the front and 11-inch rotors in the rear wheels, provide strong stopping power to the Avalon.

The Hybrid Avalon is quite a pleasure to drive. It offers impressive fuel economy, and with the growing fuel prices, it is easily the best choice. The Sport mode on the Hybrid gives the driver added confidence to quickly pass other cars and even take high-speed corners with ease.

In fact, the Hybrid feels better than the standard Avalon on twisty roads and in corners, which can be credited to the better weight distribution thanks to the heavy batteries located in the vehicle’s rear.

Quality and Comfort

It is hard to find a flaw in Avalon’s quality of materials. The car features comfortable seats, excellent materials, impressive attention to detail, and one cannot help but mention the capacitive touch controls.

Overall, nothing can make you feel that this is anything less than a luxury vehicle. The materials are nothing like the ones used on Camry.

The infotainment system can take a little while to get used to, but it works well once you get the hang of it. Some users find the capacitive buttons a bit tricky to use, especially when driving.

With the traditional buttons, you can use your finger to “read” the buttons before pressing them, but with touch buttons, you need to touch at the right place in your first attempt, which can be challenging when keeping your eyes on the road. However, Toyota has framed the button with a rim, making them a little easier to find and press without looking at them.

The Avalon’s suspension has been upgraded from the previous models, giving it a more precise handling and a firm ride with a controlled body roll. Even with all the suspension upgrades, the Avalon’s ride is remarkably quiet.

The noise inhibition comes from the high-quality acoustic glass used on the windows and the windshield. The wipers also tuck away inside the rear end of the hood to ensure they do not contribute to unwanted wind noise. The engine on the V6 and Hybrid are both quiet, even when cruising at highway speeds.

The Avalon features a spacious and roomy cabin. The front seats sit lower than the back seats but align well with the dashboard. Thanks to the swooping roof design, the back seat offers ample legroom and headroom. The seats provide excellent lumbar and back support to make long trips comfortable and enjoyable.

The cabin is designed to seat four tall adults, but with moderately sized people, you can easily fit three adults in the back seat without cramming. The position of the back seat is well designed for adults and provides adequate back and thigh support.

The backseat legroom and headroom are excellent, but you will need to duck your head a little to come out or get in the car, which is normal for swooping roofline cars.

The Avalon is full of storage spaces; there are storage bins on the front and rear doors, a large console box in the center, and a leather-lidded case towards the front for your smartphone. Smaller items like the keyfob can fit neatly in the stow-away storage bin located just in front of the left knee of the driver.

The trunk features a wide opening and 16 cubic feet of space, which is more than enough for the luggage required for a weekend getaway. However, the Hybrid Avalon’s trunk space comes to 14 cubic feet due to the battery pack.

Safety

The 2017 Toyota Avalon has received impressive scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The car received an overall five-star safety rating. However, the federal testing body awarded Avalon four out of five stars for frontal impact and rollover.

The IIHS awarded the Avalon with a “Good” score, the top score by the testing organization. Thanks to its “Superior” crash prevention system, the 2017 Avalon received the 2017 Top Safety Pick+ award.

The LED headlamps on the Touring trim are certified to be better than the traditional halogen lamps on other trims by the IIHS. The best-rated headlamps are the HID units found on Hybrid and Limited trims.

Many safety features come standard on the Avalon, including:

  • Ten airbags around the cabin
  • Anti Lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and braking assist
  • Electronic stability control system
  • Rearview camera
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Frontal collision warning system
  • Automatic high beams
  • Blind-spot monitors, which signal for anything larger than a motorcycle to ensure no false alerts

On the top trims, Limited and Touring, you will find a 360° radar system with rear traffic cross alert. This system helps you back out of parking spots or your driveway safely.

Features

The 2017 Toyota Avalon has numerous features that come standard on all trim levels. These include:

  • Touch-operated climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Leather seats
  • Power-adjustable and heated seats for front occupants
  • Rearview camera
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • There is also a universal garage door opener on the XLE Plus trim

Both XLE and XLE Plus models offer excellent values thanks to the safety features like adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and lane departure warning systems. The XLE Premium adds to the XLE Plus with a navigation system and Qi wireless charging.

The Touring trim features LED headlights, DRLs, 18-inch alloys, a sporty suspension, and a sporty fascia.

The Avalon Limited is equipped with many Lexus-level features, including:

  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Perforated leather seats
  • Heated and ventilated front seats and heated seats for rear passengers
  • Xenon headlights
  • LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Rear sunshade

The different trims come with three different types of audio systems. The XLE and XLE Plus come with a seven-inch infotainment system, which can run many apps using a data connection from a paired smartphone. The XLE Premium comes with a 490 Watt audio system with navigation features. The top-of-the-line trims are equipped with a JBL premium 785-watt audio system.

Fuel Economy

The standard Avalon, equipped with a V6, gets EPA ratings of 21 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined.

But the real star in terms of fuel economy is the Hybrid version, which delivers impressive EPA ratings of 40 mpg in the city, 39 mpg on the highway, and 40 mpg combined. The fuel economy, coupled with a large tank, gives the Avalon a bladder-bursting maximum range of 680 miles in a single full tank of regular gasoline.

Price Range of 2017 Avalon

The 2017 Avalon can be found anywhere between $19,000 and $33,000, bringing the average price to around $24,000. There are a lot of factors that affect the price of a car, including location, optional features, mileage, and vehicle condition.

Running Costs of 2017 Avalon

It is estimated that an Avalon will cost around $5,000 per year, which includes fuel, repairs, insurance, and maintenance. This annual cost translates to around $25,000 for five years.

About THE AUTHOR

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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