We spent some time with the 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD and came away with some conclusions. At first, we were admittedly a little confused as to who the target audience is for this specific trim level, however, after a few days of driving it, sitting in it, and exploring all of its features, we could only decide that it mostly fit someone going through a mid-life crisis.
And while that might sound a little extreme, or even harsh (to anyone going through a mid-life crisis), we will say that it’s eclectic nature will best fit someone that wants maximum comfort with a dash of sportiness. As such, here are the three features that contributed to that main takeaway.
The TRD package is actually functional
Toyota Racing Development is mostly known for having a hand in building off-road-ready trucks and SUVs like the Tacoma TRD Off-Road and the 4Runner TRD, however, we never expected Toyota’s in-house tuner to work its magic on the Avalon. Why? Because putting a body kit and larger wheels on a full-size, comfortable sedan is like throwing a rave at a senior citizen’s home.
All jokes aside, it actually works. The Avalon TRD trim is more than just an appearance package. Starting with the Touring trim level, TRD deleted the stock adaptive suspension and added a stiffer spring and shock suspension that drops the car a little more than half an inch and provides a sportier ride. There’s additionally chassis bracing, too. We will say that the setup is tuned really well as we didn’t feel like the ride was that much stiffer than a normal Avalon. In fact, it very comfortable.
And then there’s the body kit and 19-inch black wheels. It’s a toss-up as to whether or not these additions make the car look too boy-racer-like, however, they do complement the car’s Supersonic Red paint job, so we’ll give it a pass. And lastly, underneath those wheels are larger front brake calipers and rotors that made stopping a little easier, although they don’t exactly have a race-car-like bite.
The JBL Premium Sound System
If you ever happen to buy a Toyota Avalon TRD, then we wholeheartedly recommend opting for the JBL Premium audio system. We honestly never thought it would actually sound as good as it does, however, we shouldn’t have been so surprised considering it does use 14 speakers and subwoofer. Altogether, the system harmoniously puts out 1,200 watts of power, which made just about any genre of music sound amazing. We recommend playing electronic dance music to get the full Avalon TRD experience. There’s also a built-in navigation system, but no one really uses that very much considering Apple Carplay and Android Auto are part of the system as well.
The overall ride and comfort
Now that we explored the dash of sportiness that the Avalon TRD trim level exudes, we can focus on the overall comfort of the car. Truth be told, we half expected the Avalon TRD to feel and drive like an “Autozone special,” but we should know better than to judge a book by its cover. In reality, the ride is very compliant and although it does sit lower than the traditional Avalon trims, the TRD still feels soft enough for the daily drive and we wouldn’t hesitate to take it on a long road trip either.
At first sight, the seats look really bolstered, but they actually feel pretty wide so they’re fit for all American-sized occupants and the Softex red-stitched seats complement the overall look. All-in-all, the interior of Avalon TRD is a really nice place to spend time in, whether you’re carving corners or in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
It’s weird, but it works
At the end of the day, the 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD is weird, no matter how much we squint our eyes or try to convince ourselves that a full-size sedan needs to be lowered and “kitted.” Sure, it’s not for everyone, but if you ever find yourself needing a comfortable sedan that can take you back to your high-school stoplight drag racing days in a flash, then this car will do it because it somehow all works together.