Luxury Driving Without The Luxury Price-Meet The Toyota Avalon Hybrid
From the moment you sink into the leather seats of the Toyota Avalon Hybrid, you know that this car is head and shoulders above the rest.
Sleek and stylish, built for comfort and a smooth ride, so quiet you don’t even realize that the engine is on, armrests that are the perfect height whether you’re driving to the store or cross-country and a navigation system that gets you there in back safely and easily with no “last minute surprises” or the dreaded voice informing you “recalculating” , the Toyota Avalon absolutely makes a statement wherever you go.
I had the opportunity to put the Avalon through its paces on a recent trip to Florida and whether I was exploring the neighborhoods of Windemere and the Orlando area, or heading out on an adventure to experience what it was like to drive a race car at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, the Toyota had everything you could possibly want in a car and so much more. Here’s a closer look at just a few of the features I fell in love with:
Designed For Luxury And Comfort
Never before have a felt as if the design of the interior was created with me in mind. The leather seats, which had both seat warmers and seat coolers-perfection. The Avalon Hybrid looks like a more expensive European model, inside and out.
Comfort is assured by a spacious interior designed with upscale materials and featuring the latest must-have amenities, from adaptive cruise control to a touchscreen infotainment system. The back seat was spacious enough for both of the boys, who just happen to be 6’4″ have all the room that they needed and then some, and that was with the driver’s seat all the way back.
Add in a dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar support) and a four-way power front passenger seat, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, adaptive cruise control and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and the added in the convenience that Avalon remembers the driving preferences for not just one but two different drivers and it pretty much anticipates and takes care of your every need, you almost begin to wonder why you even need to ever get out of the car-it is just that comfortable.
Safety First Safety Always
The 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid’s list of standard safety features includes traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front- and rear-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags.
All models now come with Toyota Safety Sense, which includes adaptive cruise control, a forward pre-collision warning, and mitigation system with pedestrian detection, a must have when trying to pul in and out of parking spaces in shopping centers and thanks to the lane departure warning with steering assistance I never felt safer in my life.
I loved the automatic light features, especially with the everchanging Florida weather from minute to minute. Even better, For 2017, the Toyota Avalon Hybrid now comes equipped with the previously optional Toyota Safety Sense package as standard equipment. It includes forward collision warning, automatic pre-collision braking, and lane departure warning and intervention.
Whether you’re driving on your own in unfamiliar territory, or with very precious cargo, the safety features alone give you a peace of mind so that the worry about what other people might do is all taken care of for you.
Luxury Features At An Affordable Price
The features that come standard with the Toyota Avalon Hybrid leave you not know just where to start when gushing about it to your friends. First let’s start with sharp looking 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights (including high beams), adaptive cruise control, heated outside mirrors, and a sunroof which is perfect for those balmy Florida nights.
Add in to all of the above xenon headlights, automatic wipers, auto-dimming outside mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded gauge cluster, a rear power sunshade, ambient lighting and an 11-speaker JBL premium sound system and it’s pretty much everything you could ever want in a car and things you never knew you needed until now.
All The Technology And Then Some
There isn’t a piece of technology that isn’t a part of the Toyota Avalon Hybrid. Electronic features include keyless ignition and entry, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera and Toyota’s Entune Audio Plus setup that consists of a 7-inch touchscreen display, voice controls and an eight-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB-media interface.
The center console storage box is deep and has a flexible divider to organize the space. Under the wireless charger tray is a wide, hidden storage cubby with several different types of auxiliary, USB, and 12-volt outlets. The Qi wireless smartphone charging and Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite, which includes a navigation system, smartphone app integration and nine speakers and was absolutely the best navigational system I have ever tested.
Not only could I search for places, but it gave me three different route options and once programmed, gave me plenty of warning when a turn was coming up, told me what name I needed to be in with enough time to be in that lane and alerted me to any and all changes of road conditions up ahead.
Again it anticipated my every need plus it even had what direction I was traveling on the rear-view mirror. No more guessing if I was heading east, west or somewhere in between. And if all of this hasn’t sold you, located below the climate controls is a small storage space covered by a tray that doubles as a wireless charging pad.
To activate it, press the wireless charger switch and place your compatible mobile device on the tray. An amber light means charging is in progress; a green one means charging is complete. No more searching for charging cords and external battery packs.
Power Under The Hood
When driving the 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid it was smooth sailing all the way. True story, the first time I turned it on to drive it, the engine was so quiet-as in silent-I had no idea it was even on. Powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor that’s fed by a trunk-mounted battery pack, the Avalon has two power units produce 200 horsepower, which is sent to the front wheels by way of a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).According to EPA estimates, the Avalon Hybrid returns 40 mpg in combined driving (40 city/39 highway).
Plenty Of Room And Then Some
Whether you’re the driver or the passenger, in the front seat or in the back, the Toyota Avalon is spacious with room to spare. The front seats are comfortable and supportive and feature a wide range of adjustability.
In back the seats are as much more spacious than we ever expected. The interior also features a number of storage spaces including a large center console compartment and smaller bins for wallets and other paraphernalia of daily living. A designated “e-bin” in the center console features a cable pass-through for charging cellphones via the adjacent 12-volt and USB outlets. This cubby is also home to the Qi wireless charging system that works with compatible cell phones.
The trunk easily held all of my suitcases and luggage plus allowed me to fully stock up my son with groceries and all the other things that moms buy their kids when mommy comes to town, again all with room to spare. I loved that the trunk came equipped with a cargo net that was perfect for making sure things weren’t rolling all over the back.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect family car or the kids are on their own and now it’s your turn to get out and explore and discover, if you’re looking for a luxurious car without the luxury price, look no further than the all-new Toyota Avalon Hybrid, the car designed with you in mind. Then the only thing left to worry about is where will your new Toyota take you?
Disclosure: We were given a 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid automobile to test drive for one week through our partnership with Toyota and DriveShop, however, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are 100% our own.