This week’s tester gives a lesson in semantics. The 2019 Toyota Avalon can easily say it’s one of the best cars in the segment. But, when you consider the large car segment has very little competition, you have to further examine such a statement.

With an all-new design, more power and more room, the Avalon is still safe to make such a boast. And, I’ll bias myself here, but I love large sedans and am sad that they are going by the wayside. So, good job Toyota in keeping the Avalon relevant and dominating this segment.

The Avalon is hard to pigeonhole. It has more luxury than your typical Toyota car, but not quite as much as a Lexus. Simply put, the Avalon is the Avalon and cannot be compared to any other vehicle in the Toyota product line.

EXTERIOR

For 2019, the large sedan has more modern looks. It still has Toyota’s generally conservative styling. The front end features a downplayed grille that is not aggressive and shows what the Avalon intends to be – a comfortable cruiser. LED headlamps stand on guard around the butted front end. On profile, the Avalon has a lot of distinction with indentations adding flare and modern appeal. The back end of the Avalon is quite flashy. A thin light strip spans the entire back of the car. A dual exhaust with quad chrome tips adds to the attractive nature of the back of the Avalon.

PERFORMANCE

Don’t be fooled into thinking that with 33 more horsepower that this year’s Avalon is all of a sudden, a speed demon. It’s not. It doesn’t have to be. But, with the extra power, there’s a little more exciting both off the line and at highway speeds. The 3.5-liter V6 now makes 301 horsepower. This takes the Avalon from slightly underpowered, as it was before, to now adequately powered. The eight-speed automatic transmission is phenomenal and is a nice addition to the improved 2019 model.

INTERIOR

The Avalon’s strength has always been a high-quality interior that teeters on luxury. For 2019, the Avalon takes that even further with a larger cabin and even more luxurious interior that focuses on comfort and quietness.

For a large sedan, the Avalon’s trunk space is on the small side. There’s only 16 cubic feet of cargo room in the trunk, which is near the bottom of this segment. However, the redesigned Avalon gives the increased space to the passengers, with rear passengers having ample legroom and headroom. Three adults can comfortably sit in the back seat of the 2019 Avalon. How many cars can actually say that?

The infotainment system is vastly improved for this model year as Avalon is the first vehicle in the Toyota family to have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (hallelujah!). The integration with smart phones with the intuitive infotainment system is a major win for the Avalon.

A moonroof spans the entire car and driver safety features like blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection are added bonuses for this year’s Avalon.

TRIM/PRICING

There are four trim offerings for the Avalon including XLE, XSE, Limited and Touring. My tester was the top-of-the-line Touring trim which comes with a standard MSRP of $42,200. With the aforementioned sensor-based advanced safety features along with an advanced JBL sound system, my tester had a final MSRP of $44,913.

FUEL ECONOMY

With the redesign and improved performance, comes an increase in fuel efficiency. This year’s Avalon has more than 2 mpg improvement over last year’s car with an EPA rating of 22 mpg/city and 31 mpg/highway. Any time a large sedan can surpass the 30-mpg threshold is a win. And I was able to average to almost 26 mpg in average, suburban driving conditions.

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is not thrilling or exhilarating or any number of other superfluous words. But what it is, it excels at. This redesign, beautiful large sedan offers a luxurious vibe, a comfortable ride and modern amenities. There’s nothing wrong with that!

SPECS

2019 Toyota Avalon Touring

Price/As tested price………………… $42,200/$44,913

Mileage…………………………………… 22 mpg/city; 31 mpg/hwy

Engine……………………………………… 3.5-liter V6

Horsepower…………………………… 301 hp/267 lbs./ft.

Transmission…………………………… 8-speed automatic

Drive Wheels………………………. Front-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point………………….. Georgetown, KY

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Jimmy Dinsmore

For several years Jimmy Dinsmore has reviewed new vehicles, offering up a unique look and an interesting voice in his weekly column. Jimmy looks at vehicles from the consumer’s point of view. Light on the technical jargon, and lacking the cynicism that pervades many other auto reviews, Driver’s Side treats each vehicle fairly, offering a light-hearted take. Email him at - jimmydinsmore@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @driversside.

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