DETROIT—In the wake of the all-new Camry midsize sedan launched for 2018, Toyota unveiled the redesigned 2019 Avalon large sedan at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Like Camry, the new Avalon moves to the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), a platform that will eventually host most of the brand’s cars and crossovers.
The fifth-generation Avalon was developed at Toyota’s Calty Design Research facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Overall dimensions were altered a bit for a slightly sleeker profile–the new Avalon is about an inch lower and an inch longer overall than the previous-generation car, and the wheelbase grows by two inches.
The Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of safety features is standard equipment. Included in TSS-P are a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert with blind-spot detection, automatic high beams, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Media control comes via Entune 3.0, the latest iteration of Toyota’s touchscreen infotainment system. In addition to smartphone-like pinch and swipe functionality, the system brings with it in-car Wi-Fi, Qi wireless-device charging, and Apple CarPlay functionality (but not Android Auto). Also available is Toyota Remote Connect, which enables smartwatch or Amazon Alexa connectivity features such as remote locking/unlocking, vehicle starting, and fuel-level check.
The new Avalon’s 3.5-liter V6 engine (paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission) and 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gas/electric hybrid powertrain (paired with a continuously variable transmission) are shared with the Toyota Camry. The powertrains are rated at 301 horsepower and 208 horsepower respectively in the Camry, though Toyota has not yet released horsepower and fuel-economy estimates for the Avalon.
Newly available is an adaptive suspension which Toyota claims will improve handling.
The new Avalon is scheduled to go on sale in late spring 2018, and will be built at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky assembly facility. No word yet on pricing.
Avalon has never been positioned as a cutting-edge vehicle, catering instead to more conservative shoppers looking for comfortable and unchallenging transportation. While updates included in the 2019 redesign will bring Avalon up to date connectivity-wise, we suspect the car’s generally relaxed demeanor will not be compromised—and that’s a good thing. There’s still a market for big, comfortable sedans, even if that market is shrinking.