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2011 Toyota Avalon

Overview
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2011 Toyota Avalon Review

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The flagship of Toyota's sedan fleet has been treated to a modest makeover for 2011 intended to put a bit more contemporary spin on its admittedly boomer-and-beyond primary appeal. In addition to a simplification of available trim levels, this well-calculated fine-tuning process nets the 2011 Toyota Avalon exterior and interior tweaks that couple a touch of much-needed visual spark with more functional interior luxury – and even yield a slight bump in fuel economy for good measure. Collectively, these enhancements help raise the 2011 Avalon's profile and desirability index as it battles with other full-size four-door rivals to grab a greater share of the mature market.

You'll Like This Car If...

Partisans of neo-classic auto design whose driving desires lean heavily towards safe and serene cruising in a spacious, near-luxury environment will find plenty to like about this latest version of the Toyota Avalon.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those seeking a big sedan with more expressive appearance, one that offers a high-performance engine option or one that just plain caters to a younger mindset will probably feel more at home in a Buick LaCrosse, Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus or Hyundai Genesis.

What's Significant About This Car?

A subtle but welcome rethink of the basic formula melds the XL/XLS trims into a single standard Avalon model, which like the remaining Limited, nets a tasteful facelift, better-focused packaging and even more practical amenities to complement its amazingly accommodating passenger compartment.

Driving the Avalon

Driving Impressions True to its heritage, the 2011 Toyota Avalon remains at its best in unabashed cruise mode. Compliance definitely trumps precision control in this spacious sedan, although few Avalon buyers are...

likely to take much issue with the relative balance that's been struck between the two. Steering response and brake pedal feel also exhibit that same kind of family four-door character. So too the front buckets which, while offering comfort and adjustability to go the distance, are decidedly light on lateral support when the venues do get twisty. As for the Avalon's aft quarters with a standard 60/40-spllt reclining rear seatback and superb leg/head room, they're simply the best in class. While a relatively low center tunnel makes three-across at least a short-term possibility, the two outboard spots are clearly the locations of choice. One caveat: Because the seatbacks don't fold flat and trunk capacity is a mere 14.7 cubic-feet, the Avalon's cargo-toting skills are relatively modest.

Optional DVD-based Navigation system
The 2011 update brings a new-generation DVD-based navigation voice-activated system that features a larger, LCD touch screen with improved graphics, more intuitive controls and an overall higher degree of user-friendliness.

Reclining rear seatbacks
Including on both Avalon models, the 60/40 split seatback offers five positions of manually-adjustable recline that adds even more long-distance appeal to the Avalon's exceptionally accommodating aft quarters.

2011 Toyota Avalon Details
2011 Toyota Avalon photo Interior

Quiet and well-isolated, the cabin of the 2011 Toyota Avalon also enjoys a healthy helping of enlightened "newness." Key gains include a revamped dash design that boasts even-more-legible Optitron electroluminescent gauges and a reconfigured center stack that accommodates the fitment of Toyota's latest voice-activated touch-screen DVD-based navigation package with its 7.0-inch LCD screen. The de facto merging of last-year's XL/XLS models also brought standard leather trim to the new base Avalon and nets the Limited even more elegantly upholstered perches that now provide both heating and cooling capabilities as well as even richer-looking wood-grain accent trim.

Exterior
2011 Toyota Avalon photo

The Avalon and Avalon Limited share understated but effective nose and tail revamps that impart a fresher and more crisply defined character to the otherwise carryover main bodywork. Highlighting this transformation process are a restyled grille and fascias, new halogen/HID headlamps and bolder LED-infused taillamps plus an extra helping of chrome trim on the door sills, decklid and mirrors. The lineup simplification now sees 17-inch alloy wheels fitted across the entire slimmed-down board. However, the primo Limited variant gets new 10-spoke mirror-finish rims, which, like the standard Avalon, are wrapped in 215/55 all-season tires.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base Avalon boasts an impressive features roster that includes a full array of power assists, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, wood-grain trim, power moonroof, nine-speaker premium audio system with XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB/Aux/iPod inputs, a rear-view monitor, power front seats, class-exclusive reclining rear seatbacks, seven airbags and Toyota's comprehensive Five Star Safety System with new brake override circuitry. The Avalon Limited adds a 12-speaker/660-watt JBL Premium Synthesis audio system, full climate controlled front seats, enhanced perforated-leather and wood-grain trims, four-door Smart Key with Push Button Start, a power rear sunshade, full HID headlamps and more.

Optional Equipment

The extras list for either version of the 2011 Toyota Avalon is a short one. Key enhancements for the standard Avalon include the same 660-watt JBL premium audio system that comes in the Limited – with or without a DVD-based navigation system that trims the disc count in the CD changer from six to four. Also on offer are heated front seats, alone or as part of a package that includes a driver seat/power mirror memory system and an eight-way power passenger seat. Save for a dealer-installed remote engine starter that also can be fitted to the base Avalon, the Limited limits its options to the aforementioned DVD-based navigation system.

Under the Hood

The Avalon's sole engine/transmission combo – Toyota's 3.5-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission – delivers an impressive combination of swiftness, smoothness and now even better economy. Although the engine's 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque are hardly the stuff of legend, it features efficiency-boosting VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) on both the intake and exhaust side. Coupled with a responsive multi-mode six-speed automatic transmission, it helps this roughly 3,600-lb sedan impressively sprint from 0-60 mph in less than seven seconds. Although Toyota says it made no mechanical or electronic changes underhood for 2011, the latest EPA test regimen awarded the new Avalon 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway compared to the 19/28 mpg numbers it carried 2010.

3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29

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2011 Toyota Avalon Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 514 Ratings for the 2005 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Marvelous vehicle

By on Thursday, November 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "For traveling this car is hard to beat."

Cons: "Wish it had electric retractable side mirrors."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"What an elegant operating and riding car! Stylish, yet conservative. Incredible amount of room inside and be rear leg room in rear I have ever seen. New Avalons are shorter and take away space at rear seat. The reclining rear seats and heated front seats are awesome. Fuel mileage is terrific for a large car. (over 30 mpg on highway) Sound system is super."

Close to Perfect.

By on Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Lovely car to own and drive."

Cons: "Bring back ambient lighting."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my second Avalon. Toyota is very near creating the perfect luxury sedan at an affordable price. Interior ambient lighting should be brought back. Some electronic link issues with Bluetooth need to be perfected. Automatic wiper function is less then perfect. When fully loaded with luggage and guests, it is not a very good ride Other than these small details it is a very enjoyable and lovely car to drive and own."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great car and great value

By on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Still looks like new!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Same car as a Lexus only $20K cheaper! Very satisfied!People can't believe it is a 2006, looks like new."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Six years and still happy.

By on Monday, October 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Economical, comfortable and reliable"

Cons: "Highway road noise, lack of "sportiness""

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I purchased this car brand new six years ago and it has served me well. Although not quite as sporty looking as the Lexus ES, it is the same car without the insulation....and the price tag. I got the Limited package and everything has worked flawlessly through the years. The only maintenance I have done is the obvious, service the fluids regularly and buy tires. After 82K, I've not even had to have a brake job....though it will come soon. Without getting into the minutiae, the Avalon has adequate power and gets great gas mileage. (29 mpg on long trips) It is not as quiet as it's Lexus counterpart, due to less insulation, but the ride is still comfortable. I gave it a six for driving dynamics because it drives...like you would expect a front wheel non-performance sedan to drive, sluggish when cornering and light on the back end and a noticeable lag when punching the accelerator to the floor. My grown son told me when I bought it, "It's a nice car but it ain't very sexy!" It all depends on what your looking for. I found comfort and reliability in an economical package."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

A joy to drive, great preformance.

By on Thursday, October 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

2007 Toyota - Avalon A real joy ride!

"Beautiful ride inside and out. Great accelerations with a smooth ride. Lots of room in car and truck. Great gas mileage."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

2007 Toyota - Avalon A real joy ride!

Best car we have ever owned!

By on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,265

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great mileage, comfortable ride, great leg room."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Single owner. Complete maintenance records. Voice activated Nav system, 6 CD in-dash w/AM/FM radio. Tires and brakes rated in the Green at last (July) inspection. Tried to upload photo; but after downsizing it three times, the system still would not take it. Sorry!"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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