Review and Test Drive: 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

By Jonathan Spira on 7 January 2019
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When a 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited in Parisian Night Pearl – a rather striking color – arrived at our offices right before Labor Day, more than a few staffers thought a Lexus had been delivered by mistake. The confusion was understandable.

Now in its 25th year, the Avalon sports a massive grille (à la Lexus) – complete with a black honeycomb mesh insert. Its lines are the most elegant we’ve seen from Toyota: now on the new TNGA platform shared with the Camry, the fastback-like rear windscreen slopes gently into the rear deck and it’s longer, lower, and wider than that on the outgoing model.

The Avalon, when it was introduced in 1994, ostensibly replaced the Toyota Cressida in the lineup, although the Avalon was longer, wider, taller, and more powerful. Contemporary reviews indicate that Toyota opted to discontinue the Cressida because of the success of its nascent Lexus line of luxury vehicles. The Cressida, incidentally, was the last rear-wheel drive model sold by Toyota in the United States.

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At launch in 1994, the Avalon was the roomiest six-passenger car from a Japanese manufacturer marketed in America. Its success in the marketplace was undoubtedly due, at least in part, to the fact that it offered a front bench seat, making it a true six-passenger sedan in the mold of U.S. carmakers such as Ford and Chevrolet.

Avalon is the stuff of which legends are made. Indeed, it is the legendary island where King Arthur’s sword Excalibur was forged. Later, Arthur was taken there to recover from his wounds after the Battle of Camlann.

INSIDE THE 2019 TOYOTA AVALON HYBRID LIMITED

Open the driver’s door and take a seat and it’s clear that the new Avalon is the 2019 answer to the 1990s Buick Avenue in terms of interior room and plushness, minus the bench seat. Before you press the Start button and get underway, check out the rear accommodations as they truly befit a boulevard cruiser. It’s downright luxurious in the back, with plenty of room to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

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