Toyota Avalon Hybrid debuts with more evocative style, promise of improved efficiency

Toyota Avalon Hybrid debuts with more evocative style, promise of improved efficiency

Starting with the exterior design, the sedan is sleeker and more eye-catching than the outgoing model.

According to Toyota, the 2019 Avalon's optional adaptive suspension is a Toyota-first.

On the driving front, the 2019 Avalon will offer an upgraded version of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 as well as the four-cylinder hybrid powertrain also offered in the Camry. Other brands such as Ford have also started offering support for Amazon Alexa as built-in auto features.

The auto is built on the same new platform that underpins the latest Toyota Camry, which marked a major leap in refinement for that model.

A JBL performance audio system is standard on Limited and Touring grades and is available on XLE and XSE grades. The old rear suspension setup of a dual-link MacPherson strut has been replaced by a multilink setup, which has widened the track and lowered the Avalon's center of gravity.

"After Avalon, any (model year 2019) vehicle that adopts the Entune 3.0 platform will receive Apple CarPlay", Inouye said.

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Also included is a wireless smartphone charger and five USB ports, while the new three-year subscription to Remote Connect allows you to lock/unlock the doors, check your fuel level or even start the engine using a smartwatch or Amazon Alexa.

Despite Toyota's commitment to making the Avalon a flagship sedan, it has not generated huge sales for the company.

In addition to the central console's infotainment system, the Avalon has a 7.0-inch display in the instrument cluster to show vehicle information, navigation steps, and various vehicle and safety settings.

Safety-wise, there are 10 airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), traction control, Smart Stop Technology and a reverse camera, all as standard equipment. A Panoramic View Monitor with Alert (PVMA) and an Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) with Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) are available as options. Besides automatically adjusting the dampers based on current conditions, it is also altered by the Touring's exclusive array of drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, Sport+ and Custom.

Production will be handled at Toyota's plant in Georgetown, Kentucky and the first examples should reach showrooms in the fall, where they'll be competing with the likes of the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala and Kia Cadenza.

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