“To think the Avalon is a ‘grandpa’ car would be a huge mistake. The Avalon surprised us with ample power, responsive steering, and an overall experience that we’ve never felt in other sedans of this price range.”
2016 Toyota Avalon – The New Family Cruiser
With the majority of sedans under 40k wanting to be something they’re not (sports cars), the Avalon has always catered to a more mature audience, and why not say—senior citizen crowd. Such may have been the case before, but after spending a week with the 2016 model, I can tell you it’s not that way anymore.
A Pleasant Surprise
Not just for myself as the primary driver, but also for the passenger, and most definitely the kids in the back seat. The Avalon features a well-crafted cabin that I can only compare to vehicles costing 20 grand more than this Avalon. The dashboard has a three-dimensional effect which gives it a very nice and classy touch, while the center console controls feature a tactile touch system that makes them easy to understate and operate, regardless of your age.
The exterior was recently refreshed by Toyota, and it certainly awards the Avalon its best look so far. It is sleek, sculpted, and the anthracite 18 inch multi-spoke wheels transform the Avalon from a ‘grandpa’ car to a swanky family cruiser.
Here’s what makes the 2016 Toyota Avalon a superb family sedan.
It’s Mighty Comfortable
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise, as after all, this is an Avalon, but the root of the comfiness is deeper than just plush leather seating. The Avalon’s suspension setup has been retuned, along with the steering calibration, which results in a smooth and effortless experience without being uncommunicative and sterile like in previous years.
The driving position behind the wheel, and on every other seating surface is spacious, non-restricted and ergonomically on point. Not to mention the driver’s seat power adjustments allow it to comfort to my body, or Missi’s 5’2 tiny self.
It’s not Boring!
Quite the contraire. The 268 horsepower engine delivers smooth, progressive and confident power under acceleration in such manner that’ll have you do a double take at the name badge. Once you’re up to speed, the Avalon corners like an agile large sedan, and brakes like a much smaller and lighter weight vehicle. It never feels like you’re driving a 3,500 pound machine.
Think of the Children
While most people think they must acquire some sort of crossover, SUV, or minivan upon receiving the great news of parenthood, the truth is that it’s not really necessary. In fact, a sedan can sometimes be as utilitarian and even more comfortable than any of those vehicles.
We took a short road trip during our time with the Avalon, and the girls absolutely loved the rear accommodations. The backseat center console features AC/heater vents (which we love), as well as a household type power outlet for everyone’s power-hungry electronics. The seats themselves are extremely well padded, and they feature two sets of lower and upper LATCH car seat anchors. An oversized and comfy armrest with two cupholders can also be retracted.
Because safety is key for any vehicle whether you have a family or not, the Toyota Avalon comes standard with a total of ten airbags, including a driver and front passenger knee airbags, and side curtain airbags. This way, all of your precious cargo including yourself can have piece of mind.
I didn’t need to wait until the end of our test to thoroughly analyze the Avalon and form my opinion. There are times when it only takes a few hours behind the wheel to get a feel for what a vehicle might be like on a daily basis, and the next few days simply confirm such theories. While you may still see the Toyota Avalon outside Bingo parlors across the country, I can guarantee you this sedan is worthy of many, many family driveways. The best part? At $37,885 for this particular model, it begs to ask the question—Lexus ES who?
- Starts at: $37,050
- Price as tested: $37,885