• Toyota’s flagship sedan gets roomier and even more Lexus-like for 2019
  • First Toyota to offer Apple CarPlay (finally)
  • V6 power returns, as does Avalon Hybrid
  • Prices should continue to start in the $35,000 range
  • Scheduled to go on sale later this spring


Toyota unveiled the all-new 2019 Avalon full-size sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and with it comes both the expected enhancements in style and sophistication, and one very welcome surprise in the technology department.

This marks the fifth generation of the Avalon flagship sedan, and it’s the latest model based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform that also underpins the Camry, itself well-received as an all-new model just last year. Designed, engineered and to be again built in America, the Toyota Avalon has been revamped inside and out.

New style inside and out

Beginning with the skin, the 2019 Toyota Avalon is sleeker and more eye-catching than the outgoing model. In keeping with its premium appeal, the Avalon’s design isn’t as aggressively sporty as the latest Camry, but has a more hunkered-down, svelte appearance than the current model. Toyota says it took a philosophy of “Technical Beauty” in crafting the new Avalon. Aesthetically and dimensionally, Toyota’s flagship sedan benefits from nips and tucks in the right places. Its height has been reduced an inch, while overall length, width and wheelbase have been increased, the latter by two inches.

The 2019 Avalon’s 5-passenger cabin gets a makeover of its own. The current Avalon already impresses with Lexus-like quality and materials, and that premium nature only moves forward with this new model. For example, the interior now has available Yamaha-sourced wood trim and aluminum accents, not to mention more and more of the soft-touch materials that help separate a premium car from an ordinary one.

What is already one of the Avalon’s best attributes – a spacious interior – also improves in the 2019 model. Rear-seat legroom and shoulder room have grown, though rear-seat headroom is down slightly, a likely consequence of the new Avalon’s overall reduced height. Still, Toyota says its preliminary dimensions are segment-best, and are ahead of the Chevrolet Impala.

Tech upgrades, including CarPlay

Beyond more space and plusher amenities, the new Avalon’s cabin is imbued with new technology. And let’s face it, the digital components are becoming more important than the analog aspects for many new-car buyers. Along those lines comes some of the biggest news not just for the Avalon but for Toyota in general. The new Avalon will be the first Toyota to offer Apple CarPlay, one of the 10 Best Automotive Technologies available today. Toyota has been among the last holdouts to not integrate Apple CarPlay into its vehicles, but that finally changes with this new model. CarPlay will be standard across the Avalon lineup, and we think it’s safe to say you can count on it flowing into other Toyotas down the line. If you have an iPhone, this is welcome news.

In addition to CarPlay, which delivers hands-free functionality of major iPhone apps and a familiar interface on the new 9-inch capacitive touchscreen, Toyota’s new full-size sedan features Entune 3.0, the latest version of the automaker’s infotainment system. The Avalon will also be the first Toyota to offer integration with a smartwatch and Amazon Alexa-enabled devices. Still MIA, however, is Android Auto compatibility.

Other tech highlights include a standard Wi-Fi hotspot, a total of five USB ports, Qi wireless phone charging and an impressive audio system that includes a standard 14-speaker setup or an optional 1,200-watt JBL system. Also available is a massive, 10-inch color heads-up display that projects driving data and other information onto the windshield.

Toyota’s latest cars also come equipped with an impressive roster of active safety and driver-assist features, and here too the Avalon ups its game. The latest version of Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) is standard, bundling a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with steering assist to get you back in lanes, and full-range dynamic cruise control. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is also part of the standard equipment set.

Choice of two powertrains

The new Avalon will again be available with two powertrains: a standard V6 engine or a hybrid system with a 4-cylinder engine and battery-fed electric motor. Toyota says the new 3.5-liter V6 engine “develops more power with less fuel consumption than ever before,” but hasn’t released precise figures yet. The 3.5-liter V6 offered in the new Camry makes 301 horsepower, however, and it's safe to say the new Avalon will meet or exceed that figure.

If fuel economy takes a higher priority, the 2019 Avalon Hybrid has a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a battery-electric propulsion system. A similar setup in the new Camry Hybrid earns 47 mpg combined, but figures for the new Toyota Avalon Hybrid are still to be determined.

All Avalon models will continue to be front-wheel drive. The standard V6 gets a new 8-speed automatic transmission, a step up from the 6-speed, while the 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid will again use a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for optimal efficiency.

Four trims available

The 2019 Avalon will be available in four trims: the new XSE and Touring, which have an aggressive flair, or the XLE and Limited models, which Toyota describes as more “opulent.” The 2019 Avalon Hybrid will be offered in three trims: XLE, Limited and XSE.

The top-line Touring comes with unique features, including multi-mode drive select. In addition to the standard three modes of Eco, Normal and Sport, the Avalon Touring will have a Sport+ mode, as well as a driver-adjustable Custom setting. Also new is an Adaptive Variable Suspension system, which provides real-time damping for better control and handling.

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is set to go on sale in late spring. Stay tuned for pricing and further information closer to its launch.

2019 Toyota Avalon Exterior and Interior Pics

 

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