The Toyota Avalon has never been particularly sporty, but it’s long been the car of choice for buyers who want something large, spacious, quiet, reliable, and comfortable. Unfortunately for Toyota, the near-luxury sedan segment has gotten increasingly competitive in the last few years.
These days, large cars like the Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Impala, and Nissan Maxima are way more popular than the Avalon. Add in America’s increasing preference for SUVs, and the Avalon’s future looks pretty bleak.
In an attempt to reverse that trend, Toyota redesigned the Avalon for 2019, overhauling the styling, as well as the interior. But how does the Avalon’s new look compare to the outgoing model?
Up front, the Avalon gets much more aggressive, now featuring sharp, angular headlights and an absolutely humongous grille. When we first saw the outgoing Avalon, we could have sworn there was no way its grille could get any bigger, but somehow, Toyota found a way to prove us wrong.
The aggressive new fascia is certainly the Avalon’s most controversial feature, but at least owners won’t have to worry about blending in with other cars. In profile, the new Avalon trades gentle curves for sharper creases and crisp character lines.
From this angle, the outgoing model isn’t as polarizing, but it’s also less distinctive and much more forgettable. Out back, the old angular taillights have a sportier, Camry-like design, but unlike the Camry, the Avalon’s new taillights are connected by a center light strip. The Touring trim also includes quad exhaust tips, which is something we can’t say we expected to see on an Avalon.
Inside, however, the new Avalon isn’t nearly as controversial. In fact, it looks downright luxurious. The cabin is now covered in leather and wood, and the center console has a much cleaner design.
Compared to the outgoing model, we also see a lot less plastic, and the plastic that is used looks much nicer than before. Regardless of what you think about the exterior design, it’s clear that the new Avalon’s strength will be its interior.
At the moment, pricing is still unavailable, but look for that to be announced in the next few months since the redesigned Avalon goes on sale this spring. There’s still no way to tell whether the new look will improve sales, but at least it’s less forgettable than before.