Now, on its surface, that may not seem too weird. There are a lot of sporty sedans, but this is weird that's, because the Avalon is Toyota's, larger luxury sedan aimed at a more comfort, focused audience, maybe a bit of an older group. If you will, I never thought I would see a sporty Avalon from the factory, and yet this one has sports suspension and a body kit. Let'S start with some background now. The Avalon first came out in 1995 and it's been Toyota's, larger, more luxurious sedan. Ever since the car for people who want a nice comfortable, large luxury sedan, but for whatever reason they don't want a luxury brand name like BMW or Mercedes, Benz or even Lexus, maybe more than any other car on the road. Today that Toyota Avalon has developed a reputation for an older clientele people who want something more relaxed, the kind of people who used to buy the Buick Park Avenue and the Lincoln Town Car. That is the Avalon buyer. So it came as a bit of a surprise when they debuted a high performance, Avalon TRD model. Imagine insisting on having a landline telephone, but the receiver is carbon fiber or playing bingo with Earl from down the street, but you're at a nightclub that's this in car forum, so let's talk specs. This has the same v6 from the regular Avalon, which makes 301 horsepower pretty good, but men. They started adding a sporty bits to turn it in to the Avalon TRD.
So it has sport, suspension, dat, stiffened, chassis, bigger brakes, a lowered ride, height 19 inch, wheels, dual exhausts and a body kit, a body kit, on a Yoda Avalon from the factory. What is this madness? This madness is the Avalon TRD, the same TRD that gave us the fun off roadie, 4runner, TRD pro and various toyota race; cars like the Baja, pickup trucks and Toyotas entrant into NASCAR in various other race series, but now it's in a comfortable, large sedan rapper with A starting price of around forty four thousand dollars, if that seems strange well, it is, and today I'm going to review this car and find out what's going on first I'm gon na. Take you on a thorough tour of the Avalon TRD and show you all of its interesting perks and features. Then I'm gon na get it out on the road and drive it and then I'll give it a dug score. Alright, I'm gon na start the crooks and features at the Avalon TRD by discussing some of its high performance upgrades over the regular Avalon, and that means starting with the grille, which is absolutely huge, look how massively insanely gargantuan this thing is, but then again it has To be this big in order to suck in as much air as possible into this heavily tuned and modified engine with dramatically more power than the standard Avalon, only two little problems with that number one. This has the exact same engine as the right.
One doesn't really need this grille. I think a lot of this is probably for show. The other problem is that most of this grille is fake. You can see a lot of it is just blocked, it's purely for style. In fact, I would guess that only about thirty percent of this grille is actually a grille. The rest of this is just giant front. End trim designed to allow this car to eat, Porsches and BMWs that it hunts down on the Autobahn but there's more to the TRD at elan than just the grille don't eat me. Sorry, I'm. Sorry anyway, there's more to it than that. For one thing, this car is lowered. This actually has factory lowered suspension compared to the regular Avalon and the suspension is sporty er stiffer Springs for better handling. Two things. I never thought we hear about the Avalon. You also have a stiffened body structure again for a tighter experience and better handling compared to the standard, regular, boring, Avalon and check it out, there's still more for one thing: the brakes, this car has larger brakes than the regular Avalon for better stopping power and they've Painted the calipers red, which is, of course, the universal sign of a performance car, you also have larger wheels and I have to say, jokes aside: these look pretty good. These are 19 inch, wheels flat finish, not glossy and they look nice painted black doesn't necessarily suit. The look of the Avalon but it's a nice looking wheel from TRD and next up, you have maybe the most surprising modification, and that would be the body kit.
This car has ground effects Flint, you can see them at the base of the bumper and then on the side. You have this large piece coming off the rocker panels to give it kind of a lower sporty er. Look with this red trim. Again, I never thought there'd be an Avalon with a body kit and it's. The same deal in back again there's a little bit of a factory body kit to provide a more aggressive look to this car and things don't stop there, because you move into the Avalon TRD and you're greeted by more TRD performance upgrades, starting with a TRD shift. Knob never mind the fact that the shift knob goes on the gear lever for a rather lazy, 8 speed automatic transmission. You still have a TRD shift, knob, just like you'd find in a Supra from the 90s and another impressive item in here TRD seats. I think these are just the regular Avalon seats with new trim, but I must say, it's pretty comprehensive new trim. You have these Alcantara sides there's a lot of red stitching throughout the seats, and you have the TRD logo printed in the headrests, both driver and passenger, which does make things, look a little sporty er than the regular Avalon. And, of course, we can't forget another detail. The floor mats, regular Avalon mats are gone. Instead, you have these red, trimmed Avalon, TRD mats, just in case your passengers ever forget to respect this thing.
You tell them to look at the floor. Mats TRD and finally, probably my very favorite TRD mod – is in the trunk now to open the trunk there's a little popper back here, but it's not right in the middle that's, where the backup camera is. Instead, you slide your hand all the way over. Here. You can feel it push it and open it up and that's where you discover the TRD trunk mat. This is how you know you have a serious performance automobile when the trunk mat has been modified from the standard, regular version. I hope Toyota dealer parts departments are judicious about who gets these mats because you could get regular Avalon owners trying to pretend they have something they don't by ordering one of these trunk mats, and we got to keep that from happening. You agree, but anyway, beyond that trunk mat, there are still a few more TRD items worth noting back here, starting with this rear spoiler, you have this kind of cool, looking black rear, spoiler mounted on the trunk and speaking of black, all the badges are black. So you have this kind of nice: black trim look as opposed to a chrome or silver on the outside of this car and speaking of badging. You also have a TRD badge, this bright red badge right here on the corner on the trunk lid. Just to remind other drivers that you have exactly the same horsepower as all the other Avalon models and by the way, one other item worth noting in the back of the new Avalon.
Is this rear light bar becoming more and more common in more and more cars? And add the latest Avalon to the list of cars that now has a rear light bar. It seems like the hot new style trend and next up, we move back inside the Avalon TRD to go over some of the rest of the quirks and features like, for example, the center cupholders. There are two one of them is a circle. The other one has a flat top, so in case you have a half circle, half flat, topped cup. It will fit perfectly into your Avalon TRD center console and speaking of that area in the center console an interesting item. You have some stitching that goes through the entire center console here and you can see that stitching is black now directly. Next to this you have the gear lever and you can see that stitching is red to match the sportiness of this car, but I guess they decided that making this middle stitching red would just be a little too sporty for the Athlon, so they kept it black. Next, to the other red stitching and next up, another notable item in the middle is how the center console kind of curves up and becomes the center controls and the infotainment screen. This is probably the most noticeable design element, the entire interior, and I like it. I actually think it looks really cool it doesn't integrate the infotainment screen into the dashboard, but it does integrate it into the center console and I like that.
Look it's kind of an interesting take on center consoles and infotainment screens and how to make them stand out. A little bit and next up another notable item here in the center, you have three different buttons for the three different drive modes. You have eco normal and then sport, which you'll be using all the time in the TRD version, now I'm, not exactly sure what happens in each of these modes. But if you press eco, this little line in the gauge cluster turns green and that's. How you know you're an eco if you press sport, that line turns red just to confirm that you're now in the aggressive, angry sport mode, you get a little red line, so those buttons really make some valuable changes here in the interior. Now, one item: I really do love in the central control stank you can see. There are these three little icons with seat belts. Those are for your rear seat belt. They will light up individually to let you know which seat passenger hasn't buckled their belt it's. A really cool idea, and it helps you to quickly figure out which kids in the back are buckled up without you having to turn around and examine each of their seat belts individually, that's, a smart idea and it's a smart, convenient location for the display. Now one other interesting item here in the center is up on the ceiling and it would be the SOS button which is hidden behind this little door.
You have to open up the door to really confirm you want to press the SOS button. Can you imagine the pressure that goes into pressing that button you're sitting here your spouse is driving honey. I think we have to press it. No don't open the door press the SOS button. They really want to make sure that when you push it, you are certain you want it pushed and next step we move on to the infotainment system, which is a relatively new version of Toyota system, not quite as new as the one I reviewed in the latest Toyota Highlander, but still a fairly modern infotainment and yet it's pretty laggy, for example, I'm on the home screen and look what happens when I hit the navigation map to pull up the map? It takes a second or two to actually pull it up. Go back to the home screen same deal when you go to the radio, it takes a little bit, it's, not instantaneous, like a lot of other car infotainment systems now and that's. Even true when you press the buttons over on the left each button, you can see I'm pressing and it still has a little bit of a lag before it actually does what you want it to now. This is a lot better than infotainment systems for even just three or four years ago, but many modern automakers have developed these systems to respond just like smartphones and immediately to your touch, and this one is a little slower with that said, I generally like this infotainment System for one thing, it's very intuitive everything is laid out precisely as you'd expect, even though it's a little laggy there's, no guesswork as to where you find everything and how you do stuff.
I also like the fact that the four most important physical buttons are on the left on the driver side closest to where your hand would be on the steering wheel. So if you get lost – and you want to go to something quickly, instead of navigating through menus on the screen, just press one of those convenient buttons and you're right where you want to go that's good design now, one interesting configurable setting in the infotainment system is That with in car settings, you can choose animation on or off and decide whether you want the animation on or off. So what exactly? Does that mean? Well, if you have the animation on when you turn on the car, you get to see this little graphic play where these little circles become the gauges and then it says Avalon. It all looks very nice, but if, for some reason, you're a grumpy person and you don't want to see that animation, you can turn it off. Personally, I, like it one other notable item in the gauge cluster. If you have a window rolled down or you turn the car off and start to get out, it will alert you in the gauge cluster that you have a window open. It will even sound a chime, letting you know that way. You don't Park, walk away, not realize your windows down and then someone steals your stuff or rain gets in the car whatever. That is a pretty good idea of a feature I wish.
I saw it on more cars and finally, our last item up front moving into the glove box. Briefly, we have the window sticker here photocopy of it and you can see the sticker price. Forty six thousand two hundred and eighty seven dollars now a base level Avalon. I checked starts around thirty seven thousand dollars, so this is about 9 grand more than your standard avila. Now. Obviously, this has a lot of equipment in addition to all the sporty stuff, but nine grand is going to be a tough sell, especially with no extra power and especially to the Avalon's typical clientele who aren't necessarily looking for sporty vehicles. I'M still a little confused on the target market for a high performance Avalon and next up, we move on to the back seat in the Avalon, where there are two notable items for one thing: it's roomy back here I have the front passenger seat way back and I still have a couple of inches of knee room. This is a nice place to be reminding you that, even though this is the sporty performance, Avalon TRD it's, still an Avalon, so it's still a pretty large comfortable, full size, luxury sedan, and it certainly feels that way back here. The other item worth noting back here is that it's sporty, but not very sporty. You say, for instance, you still have the same red trim floor mats. You did up front, but they no longer say TRD on them.
They just have the red trim and the back seats have the same trim. Also red stitching red trim, just like up front, but TRD is gone from the headrests. I guess Toyota decided they want to be clear. This was the Avalon TRD, but not if it meant spending too much money, so they didn't want to do all those TRD things for the back seats. With that said, you do have the same nice trim back here, like I said, red trim, red stitching. You even have red seatbelts in back just no TRD logos back here. I guess they decided it's, just just enough TRD by leaving it up front. And finally, we move under the hood and you can see this cars engine. The aggressive, bold muscular TRD powertrain, which actually is just the regular Avalon's v6 3.5 liters 301 horsepower 276 pound feet of torque. No engine changes for the TRD model. It is worth noting, though, 0 60 in 6.1 seconds, which is pretty respectable for a fairly large sedan. Like this relatively quick, even without the power boost, you might typically expect from a TRD model, and so those are the quirks and features of the Toyota Avalon TRD now it's time. For me to get this thing out on the road and see how it drives. Alright, driving the Avalon T or D and I've been driving. This thing around I got ta tell you it just doesn't feel that different from an Avalon.
I know that Toyota really thinks that it is, and they've really tried to make some strides. I mean in years past having a performance trim, really meant a couple of badges and maybe some seats at least they've done stuff to this one sports suspension. You know better brakes better wheels things that actually have some some difference, but I got ta tell you I'm driving it, and I don't really see that much difference. The steering is still slow, doesn't really feel any quicker to me. Maybe it is a little bit, but I don't know the handling doesn't feel any better for sure, it's still floaty it's, just not not quick poised, precise any of the words that you would want to use to describe an actual sporty car it's. Definitely pretty quick, especially in sport mode, which I think does tighten up throttle response. You can kind of tell especially compared to Eco mode, where it's definitely slower to respond, but that's not any different from the regular Avalon, the regular Evans, the same powertrain I don't know. If the regular everyone has a sport button, but the point is you're looking at the same basic performance that doesn't really make much of a difference. I will say I happen to like how this car looks. I think the front grille is over the top ridiculous, but I kind of like the body kit. I, like the wheels I'd like to do exhaust and love the color.
I like all of these changes to it. I just I have a really hard time trying to figure out who they think is gon na buy this car, and I think this is precisely the car that's born out of good economic times. This car came out six months ago, or maybe even you know a little bit more and they just thought you know we can get a few more dollars out of a few more people and it must have been relatively cheap for them to do in order to Do it they also made a TRD Camry and that one makes a little bit more sense to me of having like a sporty midsize car like that, and I think a lot of the parts are probably shared. The Sport Suspension, maybe the wheels I don't know, but I think a lot of that stuff is not really that much different, and so I figured why not do the Avalon also personally, except for the Prius, I can't think of a car that I'm more surprised to Have a TRD version of and by the way, keep in mind they never really did do a full TRD version of the 86 there's like a TRD handling package and they never gave it more power, but they're doing TRD. Avalon'S, like Turner, makes some really strange decisions. I think now I will say as far as Avalon's go the Avalon in general I haven't reviewed the new Avalon at all, yet let alone the TRD – and I have to say this – remains a pretty good car, it's, nice and comfortable it's quiet on the road.
It has a ton of room in here I like driving this car on longer trip. You know if I'm going places if I'm on the highway, if I'm just sitting there. This is a good car for that. It really is it's, just not a performance car, even if you put some wheels on it, a TRD badge and a few other changes, but the new add one is still a good car. I still don't quite understand the target market for the Avalon in general. Why don't these people just buy Alexis? I don't get it, but I guess there were some people who want to avoid a brand that they perceive as snobby, and so they just want a nice Toyota. They'Ve had Toyotas for years now they want to get kind of the best one they're in their twilight years, but fighting a market for this car, I think, is going to be a lot and so that's the TRD Toyota Avalon. This car is deeply confused, but in a fun weird kind of way. Clearly, spurred by the success of the TRD Tacoma and the TRD 4runner Toyota decided to see what else they could TRD fi. The Avalon was a bit of a surprise, but as someone who appreciates weird cars, I kind of liked it anyway now it's time to give the Avalon TRD a dug score and the dug score is 53 out of 100, which isn't a particularly strong, showing it places.
The Avalon here against some other modern, luxurious sedans, really none of these cars are direct competitors with the Avalon, except maybe the Lincoln Continental, because the f1 has a weird market position: a luxurious large sedan from a mainstream non luxury brand. Then the TRD Avalon is a sporty version of that. Nothing else like this really exists anyway. The Avalon doesn't really hold its own against luxury brand rivals. Most of them perform better than the Avalon and they're all cooler and more eye catching in terms of design, and they have a stronger, more impressive brand name. Even Lincoln and Cadillac. The Avalon TRD doesn't even really represent a great value: it's a reliable, comfortable car, but nearly 50 grand is big money, especially considering the Avalon carries the Toyota brand name and it's a bit short on the latest tech features. This is a good car for a very specific buyer demographic, a very specific buyer demographic, but the upgrades don't stop with the grille don't eat me there's a lot just that this madness is the Avalon TRD pro the same TRD pro leveling that off rhodiola.