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2011 Toyota Avalon

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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 565 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

Lexus quality at a Toyota price

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,800

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: "quality, dependability, drivability, performance"

Cons: "None"

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

"Our second Avalon my wife has an 2006 LTD with 149K miles you couldn't pry it away from her. She says when ready she will buy another one but hoping I sell her mine but doubtful :-). Toyota rates MPG at 19 /26. I get 25-26 city and 31/32 Hwy consistently. Best car ever owned 2nd to none. I especially like the timing chain feature in lieu of a timing belt."

So good, I got another one!!

By on Monday, January 04, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Traded for another one w/lower miles and different trim ie Limited

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
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Rear room, low cost of mntnce, engine, reliability"

Cons: "No AUX or Bluetooth with this year model"

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

"4 years ago, 01/2012, the 06 Avalon XLS was purchased used w/130k miles. I recently traded it in (w/176,260 miles, trade offer was $4100 from dealer) for another 06 Avalon but this time the Limited trim. I don't have the navigation option, but that is fine. So as you can see, the 06 Avalon still had good value 10yrs later w/high mileage. Depends on the dealer too. Anyways, it is true about the reliability as you can see with the mileage and that is why I had no problem getting another one recently with 95k miles to start out with. The Avalon is truly a beast of a car, sorry to sound trendy with using the word "beast" but it is. The ride is luxurious and the engine is smooth and quiet and I would confidently say that this engine is the best V6 out there. This car can really move and merge. It responds to you. Very low in cost maintenance. Only wear and tear stuff. I only had to change the alternator (@175k miles), get 1 new battery, and the ignition coils, (3). You can actually do some yourself, well the front bank ones. That's the other beauty about owning an Avalon, a lot of easy DIY work. The car is 10 yrs old, but its aged well. You won't standout unless you sort of change the look like with tint and of course rims, classy rims though, but other than that or if any cons, its mostly personal preference, like for me, I wish this model/year had the AUX or Bluetooth, but I have my other tech stuff to use, but still. 08 and up I believe have these features, but that could easily be added if I wanted it. Oh, may I please add that the AVALON has the most ridiculous rear room ever. At 6'0 and with a wife that is 5'11, long trips do not hurt at all, no seat adjustments needed, sometimes she rides in the back to use the reclining rear seat, and now my daughter does it too, lol. Best family Sedan to have for room and comfort!!!!!! I will stick with the 3rd Generation Avalons."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

I love my Toyota Avalon

By on Friday, December 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,631

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Easy to drive. Not tiring to drive. Good road car"

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

"This is my second Toyota Avalon XLS. I love to drive it and the feel of it. My passengers are always impressed with the roominess of the back seats and they love to ride in my car. My car is 9 years old and I haven't had any real issues. This year there has been parts to be replaced CV boot and alternator. Maybe time to replace, maybe."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

GREATEST FWD TOYOTA sedan has ever built

By on Tuesday, December 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

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: "Very spacious, Quiet cabin and a great performer"

Cons: "None really."

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

"I'm the second owner, and I absolutely love the car. It can keep going and going. The only reason I'm selling is because I want a RWD Lexus. The car is great on gas (The best I got was 29.9 MPG). Absolute joy to drive. Very torquey motor. I surprise plenty of German sedans with the acceleration. I never had an issue with the car. Just preventative maintenance and the car keeps running. The car is great for local and long distance drives. The car has more seating space and legroom than cars costing twice the money. The money I spent on maintenance in the last 6 years on the car is a fraction of what my wife spent on her European in 2 years. 2GR-FE motor is great and will keep running. A well maintained Toyota will run for hundreds of thousands of miles with little expense. Can't say the same for the European cars I've (or my wife has) owned."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Great vehicle

By on Friday, September 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"This is one of the best cars I have ever owned for comfort and reliability. If I had to find one point they could improve "a little" it would be to make the seats a little plusher, but I'm picking. This is a great car especially the comfort in the back seat, or so I am told by my guests. Lots of legroom and can actually recline the back seat. Bill"

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

AVALON - Touring

By on Thursday, September 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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: "Reliability is solid"

Cons: "Resale value stinks"

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

"I purchased my Avalon, Touring back in July, 2005. I purchased the car for my wife who only drives it occasionally. As such, its current mileage is 8,100 (yes, 8,100 total miles). Well, the car is still in mint condition as it sits in my garage the majority of time. However, when I looked at KBB.COM, I was surprised to see that my car was only worth about $11k. All in all, it still like the cat, however, the resale value stinks as the car sticker was $35k new."

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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