Toyota's 2011 Avalon is being positioned to capture a lot of the customers who are looking for a large front-wheel drive premium sedan. The 2011 Avalon's general structure and form are unchanged for the most part but it now has a larger front grille flanked by slimmer projector headlights. The foglights have new encasings; more chrome outlines the greenhouse; and it also now has chiseled skirts.
At the rear, we see a sculpted trunk lid and a dual exhaust that is integrated smoothly into the bolder diffuser. LED elements are incorporated into the taillights. The reverse and turn signals are also incorporated into one sleeker package.
The fresh wheel designs also add to the new look. Toyota took its own sweet time to modify the interior. The new color choices and premium touch points make the car appear luxurious. The two trim levels, Avalon and Limited, come standard with an eight-way power driver seat, backup camera, dual zone climate control, moonroof, and 17-inch wheels.
The Limited's standard features list includes a power passenger seat, driver seat cushion extension, rain sensing wipers, smart key, and cooled seats. Also made optional on both cars are a JBL Synthesis sound system, heated seats, and navigation. Considered standard are Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, USB and auxiliary ports, and a revised DVD-based navigation.
Another tweak that we especially like is the improvement to the nav's maps and usability. There is more backseat room due to enlarged reclining seats. For more convenience, the carmaker put in an electronically controlled rear window shade.
There's still only one engine option -- a 3.5-liter V-6 VVT-I. However, this is tuned for improved fuel economy and lower emissions. The ULEV-certified mill generates 268hp at 6200 rpm and 248 pound-feet of torque at 4700 rpm while mated to its six-speed automatic gearbox. The combo also returns an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg highway, or 23 mpg combined, a slight improvement over last year's 19/28/23 rating.
For safety features, Toyota is offering a seven-airbag safety net, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, and TRAC traction control. Notably, the model also has redesigned accelerator pedal and brake override system.
There are three new exterior colors -- Zephyr Blue Metallic, Cypress Pearl and Sizzling Crimson Mica. Avalon grade buyers can choose from three leather colors that include Ivory, Light Gray, and Black, while Limited grade owners can specify Ivory, Light Gray, and Black Bordeaux.