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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 524 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

agreat car

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

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: "most miles on this car is road miles"

Cons: "none"

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

"bought this car new. It has been maticulasly maintained,has new tires /80,000ile warranthy-michelones, car is in show room condition"

very nice ride comfortable

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "all the bells and whistles.fun to drive."

Cons: "high cost, tire wear."

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

"purchased car 7/17/2012. At 36000 had to replace tires, at 41000 had to replace battery. That's a little soon to me for a $42000 vehicle.I've owned the car 2yrs 6months. Other than that,the car is great, rides and handles and has plenty of power. Other than the cost,it's a heck of a great car."

Almost excellent

By on Thursday, January 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 147,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Gas mileage, mechanical quality, spacious & roomy"

Cons: "Headlight problems, radio reception, door locks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Great car for my family - one 6'5", one 6'7", one 5'9" and one 5'5". Roomy, comfortable even with tall people in front and back. Excellent mileage (29-31 mpg overall), no mechanical problems and interior has held up well. Gentle on tires (running same Michelin tires as original) and only on 3rd set. Rotors tend to warp easily and electronics have been disappointing, but the Nav system works well. All 4 electronic door locks failed within a month of each other, radio reception poor (no external antenna) and known headlight problem Toyota refuses to recall. (High beam bulbs explode if used for more than a limited time.)"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

A Lexus but cost less!

By on Saturday, December 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,450

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

"Everything about this car is amazing! We love it. We had a 2002 Avalon and drove it until it had 196,000 miles. We loved it too and wanted to get another newer model. We test drove the new 2015 XLE but didn't like it as much as the 2002 XLE. The 2015 is smaller and felt cramped compared to the 2002. The ride was much stiffer and I could feel every road bump through the steering wheel. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great car, but it just wasn't the same. We then noticed a used 2012 Limited that was very well maintained. We test drove it and fell in love with it. The 2012 is the same size as the 2002 but rides and handles a bit better than the 2002. The 2012 also gets great mileage. On trips so far we average 30 to 31 MPG and it's rated at 28 Highway. We highly recommend this vechicle to anyone. Oh, by the way if you haven't guessed, we purchased the 2012 Avalon Limited. We will keep it until it gets 196,000 miles too!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

super vehicle

By on Friday, December 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,300

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
9/10

Pros: "mostly all positives"

Cons: "needs more road feel in steering,but this is minor"

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

"Great car on all levels.too bad Toyota ruined Avalon In 2013. Car is now smaller,and looks like a poor copy of a Camry.Avalon should be changed to either Camalon,or Avray in name."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Drove Cadillac forforty years. I really enjoy this

By on Monday, November 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,500

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: "Fair price, good value for a car"

Cons: "Hoped it would hold value better"

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

"I really enjoy driving this car. I had to replace the battery, but that is expected when you live in Florida. Very reliable and comfortable."

7 people out of 12 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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