Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Compact Car Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000
Go

2011 Toyota Avalon

Overview
Share this page
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

Buying this car?

2011 Toyota Avalon Review

By

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

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

Buying this car?

2011 Toyota Avalon Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 540 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
    9.3/10

Excellent vehicle

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: new car

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Never had a repair other than body work after being struck in the rear. Extremely reliable, comfortable and dependable car."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best car ever owned

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000

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: "Great price, clean, very dependable."

Cons: "What cons?"

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

"Haven't had a bit of trouble with this car. Every scheduled service done, wheels aligned every 5,000 miles, and rotated and balanced every 5,000 miles. New rack and pinion at 80,000 miles. Last summer trip to Lake Powell got 39 mpg. Love this car, but need newer car with more safety features for old folks."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best vehicle for me for the second time

By on Friday, April 24, 2015

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
10/10

Pros: "This vehicle owes me nothing. Low ownership costs"

Cons: "Not promoted by Toyota as a model."

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

"This is my second Avalon Limited owed. Both have been super with a very low cost of ownership; minimal to no vehicle recalls and easy on the pocketbook. Love the features and the ride. I will be a repeat buyer."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Excellent car over ten years of ownership

By on Monday, April 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 162,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable highway cruiser & extremely reliable"

Cons: "Handling not very sporty"

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

"This car has provided me with safe, comfortable, and reliable transportation for the ten plus years of ownership. Other than oil changes and a couple of brake jobs the car has required very infrequent maintenance. The power steering pump ($400+) and the steering rack ($900 rebuilt) needed to be replaced after about 130,000 miles were the only real repairs during my span of owning this. The car is a comfortable highway cruiser and it handles very predictably, but it's definitely not sporty. My real world gas mileage has ranged from 21 to 29 mpg. The premium JBL sound system has the clearest sound and frequency distribution I've experience of any car I've ever been in."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

The nicest and most comfortable vehicle

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very comfortable."

Cons: "Small access hole from the rear seat to the trunk."

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

"This is the nicest driving, nicest riding, most comfortable car I have ever owned. Our model has the V6 engine which is crazy powerful. Gas mileage for the V6 averages about 27 hwy."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

my 2nd Avalon

By on Friday, April 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

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: "quiet, comfortable for long trips, great value"

Cons: "wind & road noise could be better"

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

"I am in my 70's and have had several new cars. I have had a Avalon 2005 and put 127,000 on it before selling it myself in one day and currently have a 2011 with 41,000 miles. Never a problem with either and I will be getting a 2015 or 2016 soon. The Avalon is the best overall car I have ever had. economical, very dependable & comfortable, very little depreciation. For us it is a prefect car."

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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

Buying this car?