The 2015 Toyota Avalon is in a class of its own.
After reviewing the Camry a few weeks ago, and having driven several very nice sedans, I didn’t expect to be impressed by the Avalon. After all, it’s just a larger version of the Camry, right?
Luxury without screaming
Have you ever stayed in a really nice hotel that just got everything right? There are no fancy off-the-wall features that make you think “Wow! That’s the coolest thing ever!” but there is nothing lacking either. In fact, every detail has been paid attention to and finely tuned so that you want for nothing and your experience is a good night’s rest and a refreshed feeling in the morning. It’s not just comfortable; any hotel can have a comfortable bed and nice pillows. It’s luxurious without saying so.
That’s what the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited is like. From the moment I got in it for the first time until the day I had to return it I felt at home and spoiled in that car. I didn’t have to look for things or mess around with knobs and buttons to get the hang of things. Everything made sense and worked just as it should. To me, that is great design.
A Few of My Favorite Things
Flat buttons, known as Intelligent Touch Capacitive Controls. Why didn’t someone think of these sooner? They’re flush with the panel so they don’t collect dust or break off and you barely have to touch them! Every car should have these.
Next: My kids loved that the back seats were just as nice as the front. Toyota calls this “Second row, first class” and they’re right. The rear seats are heated and the whole space feels luxurious as if someone was meant to enjoy that space vs. it just being an extra seat for unplanned guests.
Power Rear Sunshade. I’ve seen a lot of cars with a rear window sunshade to help keep the back seat cool, but the Avalon’s is powered so an adult doesn’t have to crawl back there and pull it up and hook the shade onto something at the top to keep it in place. Genius!
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control senses when you’re getting near something and automatically slows you down to help avoid collisions. This can feel a little odd when you first notice it, but it’s very smooth and actually quite nice!
Automatic High Beams. Only available on the Limited edition of the Hybrid model. Should be available on every car on the market. So handy!! I love that the car detects oncoming vehicles up to 2,000 feet away and turns its high beams off for you.
The Smart Key System has me totally spoiled. I keep getting into my own cars, tossing my purse onto the passenger seat and reaching for the non-existent power button. Duh. My cars start with an old fashion key which I have to dig through my purse to find!
The Toyota Avalon is a Great Family Sedan with Class
After driving the Avalon I wish we’d bought one instead of the Camry we own. It is definitely roomier and will actually seat three people across the backseat! The front seats are bigger too, and there’s more head space which is especially nice for us since my husband is 6′ 2″ and hits his head on the roof of our Camry. The fuel ecomamy is great too! I don’t think the Avalon came in a hybrid when we were shopping for a family sedan in 2011. Oh well!
Word of warning from a mom
If you’re buying this for a family car I recommend something other than the cream (almond) interior. Don’t get me wrong; it’s beautiful, especially with the Parisian night pearl blue exterior. It just doesn’t feel family friendly. I took my kids to a play date one morning and when we came home I had to bum trash bags off my friend to lay on the seats and the floor and put the boys’ boots in so as not to decorate the car with the 2 inches of clay they’d picked up from playing outside after a rainstorm. And even when their hands were clean I’d almost hyperventilate when I’d see them touch the seat belts. Let’s just say all this car reviewing is going to make me a very informed and opinionated buyer when it comes time to look for a new vehicle!
What We Loved
- 40 MPG city & 39 MPG highway. Oh yeah
- Actually seats 5. No joke
- Wireless charging tray for phones
- Intelligent Touch capacitive controls
- Heated rear seats
- Rain Sensing windshield wipers
What You Need to Know
- Starting price: $41,700; price for the model I drove, $44,475.00
- Hybrid Synergy Drive System
- 2.5L 4-Cylinder DOHC 16V
- 17″ Alloy Wheels
- 7″ Touch Screen Console Panel
- Multi-Information Display
Note: Toyota provided the Avalon for my review. Opinions expressed are my own.