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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.
Favorite Features

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 470 Ratings for the 2005 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Most enjoyable car ever owned.

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "It's a Lexus without the Lexus price premium!"

Cons: "Cup holders should have some sort of light."

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

"Bought the car because my wife liked the full power adjustments on the front seats. I liked the design. Toyota's reputation was also a strong factor."

non smoker,very clean, well kept, new tires.

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "At 65 mph on fairly level highway 35 mpg"

Cons: "no backup camera"

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

"This is a luxury car that gets a lot of compliments.It always looks nice and very shiny dark gray. If you are particular like I am, you will love this car."

Good car, but not great

By on Friday, March 28, 2014

I don't own this car

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Quiet, quick, gas mileage, spacious, visibility"

Cons: "Wind noise, handling, seat design"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"First of all I DO own this car. For some reason I wasn't able to post using the "I own this car" icon. Anyway, when shopping for a newer car my wife and I wanted a spacious, comfortable, reliable, full size luxury type car to replace my wife's aging 2001 Continental. We looked at all cars that met this criteria including the Genesis, Buick LaCrosse and used Lucernes, Lincoln MKZ and MKS, Audi A6, and some others. We eliminated the Audi due to cost but that was my favorite. The Lincolns are nice cars but outward visibility was lacking and this feature was most important to my wife. (The rear-view cameras are a nice feature but I don't think as reliable as actually seeing out the rear window.) The LaCrosse had the poorest outward vision of them all. I felt like I was in a cave. The Lucerne's were very old school inside even though they met all other criteria. I liked the Genesis but was a bit concerned about the reliability and Hyundai service down the road. I was hesitant to buy a Toyota since there are so many and I would have preferred a less common vehicle. After driving the Avalon (2011 Limited silver on gray) it was obvious that this car met every single criteria we had. It's the most spacious car of any we looked at and probably all that we didn't. It rides like on a cloud. It does everything flawlessly. The NAV and Bluetooth took some getting used to but after reading the manuals they become very intuitive and easy and effective to use. We both like the gray leather interior materials especially on the Limited which has heated and cooled seats, a wood trimmed steering wheel and some other upscale touches that give the car a very pleasant feel inside. And we're hoping that Toyota's famous reliability isn't a thing of myth and legend but the real deal. Here's where I'm not as overwhelmed with this car as so many reviewers are. The compliant ride is at the cost of sharper handling. Many cars today give both the ride and handling that should be expected in a modern car. The Audi is the perfect example of this. Pity it costs so much more. The seats are flat and offer absolutely no lateral support whatsoever. However I do like the depth of the seat bottom because it offers really good thigh support. Also the Limited model has an inflatable thigh cushion built in that adds extra comfort. However, the seat cushion isn't very thick and after a while you can feel the bottom of the seat cushion. Not a luxury feel at all. Zero complaints about the rear seating and comfort. I'm sure it matches or surpasses even a Rolls Royce. I'm disappointed in the amount of wind noise on the highway. More than the 13 year old car we traded in. All in all the Avalon is probably exactly what Toyota had in mind. A comfortable and reliable cruiser for people that aren't too concerned with lateral Gs or not sliding around in their seat when executing a sharp turn. My wife loves it. Me,...I'm not so thrilled. I expected more. If it's as reliable as it's advocates say it is, I'll be pleased with the purchase. But not thrilled."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Surprise! Blew a Head Gasket at 85,000 miles!

By on Saturday, March 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Quietness, rear seat and rear leg room,"

Cons: "Reliability, front seats, passenger blind spot"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I am a "little old lady driver" so I was VERY disappointed to find out my Avalon had blown a head gasket! That is why I gave it gave it a 3/10 for reliability. I had done every recommended maintenance and all regular oil changes. What a bummer! The front seats could be a little more comfortable. I am a "bony little old lady" and I can feel the springs in driver's seat. Very surprised at this. The seats in our 2005 Town and Country are much more comfortable."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best cruising car ever 2012 Avalon

By on Thursday, March 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Style and lines, comfort, mpg, price, spacious."

Cons: "needs firmer and more lumbar support in drvrs seat"

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

"I started out helping my sister look for a 2013 Avalon. She wanted something sporty and luxury based and this is what we ended up with. She loves it! I however didn't care for the stiffer ride so I looked at the older 2012 Avalon and it was just what I was looking for. It handles better than you're led to believe by the professional critics. It's a cruiser not a sports car and it delivers exactly. People 6 ft or more can't believe the room in the back seat, it's limo like and very spacious. The only thing I like better than driving is chilling out in the back seat. The rear seats in the 2012 recline, unlike the bucket like seats in the 2013 and 2014 models which are definitely more sporty.The pick up is quick, and once you get going it's like you're floating. Over all gas mileage is 22-23 mpg, while on the hwy we get 29-30 easy. Gotta love it, considering it's size. Shop around for a good deal, they're out there and you can't go wrong with this car, you'll be glad you bought it."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

BEST I'VE OWNED

By on Thursday, March 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

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
9/10

Pros: "GREAT PICK UP. POWER TO SPARE."

Cons: "MUST GO FAR BACK TO GET SEATBELTS IN FRONT."

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

"GREAT LOOKS, QUALITY SECOND TO NONE. GAS MILEAGE ON HIGHWAY 30 MPG. LOCATION OF FRONT SEAT BELTS COULD BE BETTER. LOVE THE RECLINING REAR SEAT FEATURE."

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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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