Is the Toyota Avalon a Luxury Car?

Toyota has an all-star lineup, and the Avalon is one of the grandest of them all. The Toyota Avalon is known for its elegance and its refined driving experience. But is it truly a luxury car? 

The Toyota Avalon is plush and powerful 

Toyota’s Avalon offers many upscale amenities, but it’s not a real luxury car. However, it certainly comes close, since it’s technically graded as a premium sedan. We often compare the Avalon to its corporate sibling, the Lexus ES, because of its dashing looks. Additionally, the Avalon’s comfort and silky smoothness makes it an affordable alternative to greats like the Audi A6.

What’s new for 2021?

The 2021 Toyota Avalon features a new a bold Nightshade Edition trim.
2021 Toyota Avalon Nightshade Edition | Toyota

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There’s a lot to like about the 2020 Avalon, but the 2021 version takes it a step further. The 2021 Avalon features the same 301-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine that’s standard on the outgoing model. We appreciate the Avalon’s V6 for its satisfying power and its relatively quick acceleration. What’s intriguing about that 2021 version, though, is that it offers a brand-new powertrain option.

As Toyota announced earlier this past summer, the 2021 Avalon will be available with the first-ever all-wheel-drive option. The AWD option is ideal for those who want additional control and driving confidence in slick road conditions.

A 2021 Toyota Avalon with AWD driving through snow.
2021 Toyota Avalon AWD | Toyota

If you’re interested in the Avalon’s available AWD, you’ll want to zone in on the XLE and Limited trims. Instead of the standard V6, these trim levels have a 205-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder. However, road testers at U.S. News have already noted that the four-cylinder can make this large sedan feel underpowered at times. And if fuel economy is among your top priorities, consider the hybridized Avalon.

Additionally, the 2021 Avalon will offer more unique looks. If you’re into a darker, bolder design, the new Nightshade Edition could be perfect for you. The sporty Avalon TRD variant has a two-tone paint design. Additionally, Toyota is introducing new colors across the 2021 Avalon lineup, including a new Blueprint paint option.

Cabin comforts 

The front seats of a 2021 Avalon.
2021 Toyota Avalon Nightshade Edition | Toyota

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On the inside, the Avalon is simple yet luxury-focused. Its car cabin is remarkably spacious, and its supportive seats make long car rides more pleasant. We like that Toyota added more classy touches inside, such as genuine wood trimmings. The Avalon’s front row has faux leather upholstery and heated seats. You can also opt for faux leather and heated seats in the back row and leather-trimmed front seats. 

The 2021 Avalon also delivers when it comes to in-car technology. It comes with a 9-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, and now Android Auto. Amazon Alexa connectivity and a wifi hotspot are standard features too. Overall, the Avalon’s infotainment system is straightforward. Regarding active safety equipment, the Avalon comes with features including automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. 


The estimated cost for the 2021 model is $35,876. As you can tell, the current Avalon offers something for everyone. Furthermore, the Avalon’s excellent reliability history contributes to its current ranking as the #1 large sedan according to the U.S. News.