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2018 vs. 2019 Toyota Avalon: What’s the Difference?

  • The 2019 Toyota Avalon is all new with a new platform and a new look.

  • Improved powertrains give the new model better performance and better fuel economy.

  • More technology and a more modern interior make the 2019 Avalon a nice place to be.

Toyota’s flagship sedan is all-new for 2019. The full-size Avalon now rides on a new platform that is being shared with the new Toyota Camry, the Toyota RAV4 and the Lexus ES luxury sedan. It continues the previous generation’s status as being the largest and the most luxurious sedan to wear Toyota’s badge, and the new 2019 model is a display of style, technology and comfort that makes it very competitive in the shrinking full-size sedan segment.

Let’s take a look at what’s new for the 2019 Toyota Avalon and its improvements over the 2018 model.

Exterior

The 2019 Avalon has a new look that’s bold, yet a bit understated. The new front end has a large, gaping grille and signature lighting, and the body is handsomely sculpted throughout. It’s a nicer, more modern aesthetic that we think is an improvement over the 2018 model.

A growing trend we’re seeing in Toyota is distinct looks throughout a model range for different trims. That trend has made its way to the Avalon and depending on which trim you go with, it can change the look of your car pretty significantly.

Along with the new body, the Avalon also has a more athletic stance. The 2019 model is a little longer and wider than the outgoing model while also being an inch shorter. It gives it more of a sporty look while still having a decidedly premium aesthetic.

Interior

The interior of the Toyota Avalon was good in 2018 and got better in 2019. With plenty of room both in the front and in the back, you can very comfortably fit four adults in either model year of the Avalon. With premium materials available like real wood, real aluminum and premium leather seats, the Avalon can have a cabin nice enough to make you think you’re in a more expensive luxury car.

The interior design of the new Avalon is modern and tasteful. It has a floating center stack with a nicely integrated 9-in touchscreen display. It’s a more premium-looking design than the interior of the 2018 model, which was starting to look a bit dated, as the previous generation Avalon got to the end of its cycle. The outgoing model is roomy and comfortable, but not as nice to be in as the new one.

Mechanicals

The 2018 and the 2019 Avalon are both powered by your choice of a 3.5-liter V6 or a hybrid 2.5-liter inline four. While the engines are similar, the new generation brings more favorable numbers for performance and fuel economy. All Avalon models are front-wheel drive and only available with an automatic transmission.

2018 Toyota Avalon Engines

  • 3.5-liter V6; 268 horsepower, 248 lb-ft of torque; 21 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving

  • 2.5-liter hybrid inline four; 200 system net hp; 40 mpg city/39 mpg hwy/40 mpg combined

2019 Toyota Avalon Engines

  • 3.5-liter V6; 301 hp, 267 lb-ft of torque; 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined

  • 2.5-liter hybrid inline four; 215 system net hp, 163 lb-ft of torque; 43 mpg city/44 mpg hwy/44 mpg combined

As you can see by the numbers, there are improvements all around for 2019. The hybrid isn’t as powerful as the V6, but chances are if you’re shopping for a hybrid Avalon, fuel economy is a bigger priority for you than performance, which is where the car shines. A car this size achieving fuel economy numbers well into the 40s is very impressive, and the V6 returns respectable fuel economy as well.

Technology

The 2018 and 2019 Avalon both come standard with the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of safety technology. TSS-P includes lane-departure warning with steering assist, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control and automatic high-beams.

Where there’s a big technological difference between the two model years is in the infotainment system. The 2018 Avalon gets a 7-in Entune infotainment system while the 2019 model gets a new 9-in unit. Both have all of the basics you’d find in any modern infotainment system, like Bluetooth and SiriusXM, but the 2019 Avalon adds Apple CarPlay connectivity. Unfortunately, Android Auto isn’t available in either model.

The 2019 Avalon also adds Toyota Remote Connect which is a feature that can give you some control over your car with a mobile app or even a smartwatch. It allows you to start your car, lock and unlock the doors, check the fuel level and more.

A few features available in both cars include wireless charging, GPS navigation and JBL premium audio.

Pricing

The V6-powered Avalon gets a price hike for 2019, but the hybrid actually gets a lower cost of entry. The starting MSRP of the 2018 Avalon is $33,500 and the 2019 model starts at $35,500. As for the hybrids, pricing starts at $37,500 for the 2018 model and $36,500 for 2019. Both cars can go up into the low-$40,000 range when you get into the higher trims.

Obviously if you’re thinking about going with a hybrid, the 2019 model is the way to go since Toyota has made it more affordable. As for the gas-powered version, the $2,000 lower starting price is a compelling reason to opt out of the many updates the 2019 model brings with it, but we still think the new one is worth the premium.

 

Conclusion

The Toyota Avalon is often overlooked and some see it as merely a more expensive Camry, but Toyota has done a great job with the 2019 update to give its flagship a little more appeal. It keeps many of the virtues of the outgoing model, like a roomy, comfortable interior while making it more engaging to drive and more of a head-turner. There’s also more modern technology for the new model year. To us, that makes the 2019 Toyota Avalon a winner.

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