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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 499 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

Sweet Ride

By on Monday, August 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Luxurious drive for the price"

Cons: "A lttle plain looking"

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

"Actually had rented a few while travelling and became really attracted to the brand. Had had a Lexus 350 a few years before and the similarities are astonishing - the car is a great value for the features"

Best car in it's class

By on Sunday, August 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Large interior and reclining rear seats."

Cons: "No blue tooth."

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

"This 09 Avalon is a very comfortable car to take trips in. We drove 2500 on a 6 day vacation in June and enjoyed the ride and MPG (32) very much."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great auto.

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

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 road car"

Cons: "Cost of replacing headlight bulb."

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

"One of the best cars we've ever owned. Only complaint was the price to replacew a low beam headlight. $179.00 for the bulb and $50.00 labor. Only expense other than maintenence. Great car."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

The only vehicle I've kept for 6 years.

By on Friday, July 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 240,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "ten."

Cons: "Been Great."

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

"It still remains a solid vehicle, and never drips any oil or lose any. I do service it every 3-5000 miles, and it's never failed me."

Excellent car, no problems.

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 137,000

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
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Comfortable, reliable, economical,"

Cons: "Windshield attracts stones"

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

"Reliable, comfortable, economical car. In 8 years have spent money on gas, tires, oil, filters, cap for gas tank, windshield wipers, coolant and battery (original lasted 7 years!). Still on original brake pads (will change soon) and spark plugs. Mostly highway driven - 26.8 mpg overall since new, about .5 mpg less than achieved when car was about 2 years old. Even the paint looks good (mostly garage kept) except for some chips on leading edge and front bumper."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Excellent in all respects.

By on Saturday, July 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Ride, appearance, comfort, finish, reliabity"

Cons: "none"

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

"Having owned several Avalons over the years, I can say without reservation that they are great cars. The 2011/2012 Avalon LTD model that I now drive is just about a perfect car-comfortable, quiet, silky smooth ride, strong performance, good electronics, beautiful fit and finish, good fuel economy, and very reliable. The Avalon Ltd. is a in the family sedan category, but it is certainly a luxury vehicle."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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