The Toyota Avalon offers up a full-size sedan with lots of room inside, a large trunk for cargo, and standard features galore. The Avalon Hybrid also bumps up the fuel efficiency to another level not seen on many large sedans. If it’s fuel economy you are looking for, the Avalon Hybrid is a must-look and drive.
We did just that recently when we tested the 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited.
Did we mention it kicks up the luxury to another level too?
What’s New For 2017
The 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid now comes standard with the previously optional Toyota Safety Sense package. It includes forward collision warning, automatic pre-collision braking, and lane departure warning and intervention.
Features & Options
The 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited ($42,550) comes standard with many features for the money. It comes with fog lights, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver-seat memory settings, and Qi wireless smartphone charging. The Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite includes a navigation system and smartphone app integration.
The Limited comes with even more goodies like xenon headlights, automatic wipers, auto-dimming outside mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded gauge cluster, upgraded leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver’s seat, and an eight-way power front passenger seat. Heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a rear power sunshade, ambient lighting, and an 11-speaker JBL premium sound system complete the list of features.
Total MSRP as tested, including destination: $43,639.
The Avalon cabin is modern, stylish, and thoughtfully planned out. Our tester came with an attractive all-black motif with contrasting stitching and there’s plenty of soft-touch materials. Interior materials are excellent quality, with matching wood grains, metallic trim, and attractive black surfaces. The heated and cooled front seats with supple leather are especially comfortable and it’s easy to find the perfect driving position.
The controls are easy to find too and not complicated to use, unlike many luxury cars on the market. There’s a handy smartphone charger just ahead of the gear shifter, and it opens underneath to a nice cubby space to store valuables. The only complaint we have with the interior is how it doesn’t have a heated steering wheel.
We could have used it this week with the super cold temperatures in Denver.
The back seat comes with its own climate controls. There’s plenty of legroom and headroom for taller adults to stay comfortable with the heated seats. The Hybrid gets a bit smaller trunk (14 cubic feet) to house the battery underneath.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The Avalon Hybrid powertrain features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, mated with two motors tucked into the transaxle, which are powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries. Power is sent to the front wheels by way of a planetary power-split continuously variable transmission. The system combines for 200 horsepower.
The Hybrid model gets an EPA estimated 40/39 city/highway and 40 combined mpg. We averaged 36.3 mpg during our week with the full-size sedan.
The Avalon is a full-size sedan, but drives like a much smaller car. We were able to navigate the city traffic without issue and the big sedan thrives on fuel-efficiency in the urban environment. The efficiency of the Hybrid works especially well in stop-and-go traffic, plus it can go 680 miles on a tank of regular unleaded gas. This would be great for a realtor who uses their car as a second office – passengers would be comfy riding around looking at houses.
The ride is smooth thanks to special shock absorbers and large anti-roll bars that offer up capable and controllable handling. The suspension has been retuned with the Limited model for a comfort-oriented setup.
Three driving modes are available to choose from: EV, Eco, and Sport. EV mode allows running on battery power alone at speeds of up to 25 mph, while Eco mode cuts down on throttle response and HVAC output. Sport mode sharpens the Avalon Hybrid’s throttle and transmission responses to feel quicker, even if it’s not actually much quicker. Sport mode firms up the steering too.
The 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is a full-size sedan that gets excellent fuel mileage. It’s a comfortable ride for both driver and passengers. For those hauling clients around, it’s an excellent choice as an office on wheels. It’s quiet and comfortable inside and the cabin is stylish and modern.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy