The 2015 Toyota Avalon might not have the come-hither looks or sporty personality enjoyed by a few of its other full-size sedan rivals, but it manages to provide wallet-friendly, comfort-focused daily transportation for families and individuals seeking a big car that won't break the bank. Throw in the Toyota Avalon's well-deserved reputation for reliability and a renewed investment in high tech features, and it's easy to understand why the car has remained a mainstay in the Japanese automaker's line-up for so many years.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2015 Toyota Avalon.
1. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Offers Spacious Accommodations
The 2015 Toyota Avalon might no longer offer seating for six like the previous generation of the car, but it's still one of the most generous full-size sedans on the market when it comes to passenger room. The rear of the Toyota Avalon is configured to handle three-across seating without asking riders to compromise all that much on comfort, which is a rarity even amongst large automobiles. Its trunk is also large for its class, checking in with 16 cubic feet of cargo room, and Toyota has loaded the Avalon with storage bins, nooks, and a useful center console that allows for the easy routing of audio, USB, and charging cables so you can stay on top of your various portable device needs.
2. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Features A Firm, But Comfort-Oriented Ride
There was once a time when the Toyota Avalon stood for a floaty, disconnected driving experience that made it the butt of AARP jokes and kept numerous customers from sampling its charms. Those days are gone, because for 2015 the Toyota Avalon's suspension system, steering, and platform turn in a thoroughly modern performance that banishes the specter of yesterday's land yachts. It would be a stretch to call the Avalon sporty, but that's the point: the sedan's shocks and springs have been designed to protect riders from the worst insults a road surface has to offer without disconnecting them from it entirely.
3. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Benefits From V-6 Power
Helping to keep the 2015 Toyota Avalon feel relatively light on its feet is a standard V-6 engine. Tuned to provide 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque, the Toyota Avalon's V-6 engine allows the car to sprint to 60-mph in 6.4 seconds. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with the car, and it helps the big four-door turn in excellent fuel mileage of 21-mpg in stop and go driving and 31-mpg on the highway. New for 2015 is the inclusion of paddle shifters mounted on the steering column on every single Avalon model, letting drivers choose their own ratios should they decide to take over shifting duties from the automatic gearbox.
4. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Offers A Hybrid Model
If you are looking for even better fuel efficiency, it's hard to argue against the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid. The Avalon Hybrid adopts the same battery-assisted drivetrain found in the smaller Camry Hybrid sedan, which produces 200 horsepower from a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine working together with a single electric motor. A continuously-variable automatic transmission manages the setup, which is capable of delivering 40-mpg in stop and go driving and 39-mpg on the highway. These are excellent numbers for a large hybrid car, with only a slight performance penalty to pay in terms of acceleration.
5. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Comes In Five Trim Levels
The 2015 Toyota Avalon starts out in XLE trim, which includes features such as dual automatic climate control, 17-inch rims, heated front seats with power adjustment, leather upholstery front and rear, Bluetooth connectivity, the Entune touchscreen infotainment system, power windows and door locks, keyless entry and ignition, and a rearview camera. Moving up to the XLE Premium installs a sunroof and improved keyless entry, while the XLE Touring boasts a larger Entune LCD display, a navigation system, 18-inch wheels, fog lights, and smart phone app integration.
The Toyota Avalon XLE Touring Sport spiffens up the interior and exterior of the sedan by way of its HID headlights, blue seat trim, and perforated leather, while the top-tier Limited model offers an upgraded audio system, nicer leather seats (with ventilation for the two forward positions), heated rear seats, and three zones of automatic climate control.
6. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Limited Offers A Tech-Heavy Options Package
In addition to its comprehensive list of standard equipment, it's possible to equip the 2015 Toyota Avalon Limited with an options package that showcases the automaker's investment in advanced safety and convenience features. The Technology package provides Toyota Avalon Limited buyers with access to a wireless cell phone charging system (from third-party partner Qi), along with an adaptive cruise control system, automatic high beam headlights, and a forward collision warning system that's paired with an accident-preparation feature that can get the Avalon ready to best protect passengers in the event of an impact.
7. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Delivers A Respectable Level Of Safety Equipment
In addition to the forward collision warning system and pre-collision preparation feature that comes with the Limited trim's Technology package are a number of other features that assist the 2015 Toyota Avalon in keeping occupants safe out on the road. All versions of the car are equipped with electronic stability control and traction control, as well as side impact airbags front and rear, side curtain airbags that run the entire length of the passenger compartment, dual forward airbags, and front knee airbags. Once you get to the XLE Touring model you also get a standard blind spot monitoring system, while the Avalon Limited includes the Safety Connect telematics service that can automatically contact first responders in the event of a serious accident.
8. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Upgrades Its Entune Infotainment System
The 2015 Toyota Avalon has seen its Entune touchscreen LCD infotainment system improved for the current model year. Although not quite as graphically engaging as the interfaces offered by a number of its competitors, Entune now offers the ability to customize the 'home' screen to include the icons for the apps and features that you use most, as well as a new 'swipe' feature that makes on-screen navigation and app interaction more like what you would experience with a smart phone or tablet. Finally, Toyota has worked to improve the Entune system's ability to comprehend speech in the Avalon, installing a layer of software designed to help it better learn the speaking habits of the driver more effectively.
9. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Is Reasonably Priced
The 2015 Toyota Avalon features an entry-level MSRP of $32,485, a number that keeps it competitive with other cars in its class while also providing adequate separation from the mid-size Toyota Camry. If you want to go all-out with the Toyota Avalon Limited, you're looking at a window sticker of $39,980 (with the Hybrid Limited stretching up just a bit to tag in at $41,700). This is still affordable enough to keep the Avalon from running afoul of smaller in-house luxury options like the Lexus ES, especially if you are seeking the additional interior room that the full-size automobile provides.
10. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Faces Strong Full-Size Competition
One thing's for sure: the 2015 Toyota Avalon is facing perhaps the most stacked deck in the history of the affordable full-size sedan segment. Although traditional rival Honda doesn't have a similarly-large four-door entry to do battle with the Toyota Avalon, the car still has to do battle with vehicles like the Ford Taurus (available in high-performance SHO trim), the refreshed Chrysler 300 (which offers V-8 power and optional all-wheel drive), the Nissan Maxima (all-new for 2016) and the Hyundai Azera and Kia Cadenza (two vehicles which share a platform as well as a penchant for style and value when it comes to equipment). All of these automobiles hover uncomfortably close to each other in price, which makes manufacturers nervous but provides shoppers with an impressive list of options to choose from.