Sedans & Coupes

Toyota’s Forgotten Sedan Just Racked up Another Award

It’s no fun to be overlooked. The Toyota Avalon is less popular with buyers than either the Toyota Camry or the Toyota Corolla, but it’s been noticed by critics. The 2021 Toyota Avalon recently won two awards from U.S. News. Here’s a look at why critics are so impressed with this Toyota sedan.

The 2021 Toyota Avalon – the best large car for families

U.S. News puts out its awards for the “Best Cars for Families” each year. While large sedans might not currently be the top choice for families, U.S. News points out that they provide a lot of benefits. Although a similar size to crossovers, sedans generally cost less and have better fuel efficiency too. Like SUVs, they often have powerful engines and available all-wheel drive.

Plus, says U.S. News, sedans are “safe, roomy, easy to maneuver and park, and they ride smoothly and handle well.” Award winners all have positive reviews plus good safety and reliability ratings, plenty of passenger and cargo room, and family-friendly features. The Toyota Avalon is the winner of the U.S. News’ Best Cars for Families award for 2021 in the large car category.

The 2021 Toyota Avalon – the best large car for the money

In addition to the 2021 Avalon’s win as the best large car for families, it also won U.S. News‘ 2021 “Best Car for the Money” award in the large car class. This award goes to cars that provide both value and “excellent ownership experiences.”

U.S. News & World Report determined value by looking at five-year total ownership costs as provided by Vincentric along with transaction prices as provided by TrueCar. To determine quality, U.S. News looked at its own overall scores given to vehicles. Those overall scores are based on the many reviews of the automotive press plus data on “fuel economy, cargo space, and safety and reliability.”

Vincentric’s data show that the 2021 Avalon has “the lowest insurance, operating, and repair costs in its class.” It also has the “best fuel economy in its class” too. Vincentric also named the 2021 Avalon to be the winner of its “Best Value in America” award in the large sedan class. It’s the thirteenth time Avalon has won this award. Vincentric rates value as the five-year ownership costs divided by the market price. It found the Avalon’s ownership costs, adjusted for price, are 2.3 percent below the expected average.

U.S. News factors in the Vincentric data along with its own overall rating of 8.2 out of 10 for the 2021 Toyota Avalon. The features of note that make the 2021 Avalon a good deal also make it good for families, features like trunk space, safety, reliability, and fuel efficiency.

An overview of the new 2021 model

RELATED: You Might Not Even Want a 2021 Toyota Avalon With All-Wheel Drive

There’s a lot to like about the 2021 Toyota Avalon. Its interior is nicely finished, and it has a standard 301-hp V6 engine that’s strong and fuel-efficient. This engine comes only with front-wheel drive, and it has a smooth ride. There is an available smaller 205-hp four-cylinder engine, which comes standard with all-wheel drive. There is also an available Avalon Hybrid.

The 2021 Avalon comes standard with plenty of advanced safety features. It received strong ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with five out of five stars for both overall safety and the side crash test plus four out of five stars each for frontal crash and rollover crash tests.

The Avalon earned the top rating of Good in the six crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Its headlights, which were rated Poor on some trims, prevented it from getting a Top Safety Pick. The car also has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power, says U.S. News.

There’s plenty of space in the Avalon’s comfortable seats. U.S. News finds the front seats to be particularly supportive. The Avalon has the most head- and legroom in the rear seats but less shoulder room in the rear seats than some competitors. The 2021 Avalon has an average-sized trunk for a large car with 16.09 cubic feet.

The Avalon has a list of standard features that are great for families. It comes with synthetic leather upholstery along with heated front seats, heated power exterior mirrors, and dual-zone automatic climate control. It also comes standard with a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa.

In addition, it has HD Radio, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, and five USB ports. Available features include heated rear seats, heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front seats, ambient interior lighting, wireless device charging, navigation, a head-up display, and a moonroof.

The 2021 Avalon also has great fuel efficiency. With the V6 engine and front-wheel drive, the different trims get 21 MPG or 22 MPG in the city and 30 MPG to 32 MPG on the highway. With the four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, it gets 25 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway.

The 2021 Toyota Avalon may be an often-overlooked large car, but buyers should take note of the awards it’s receiving. Its safety, reliability, space, features, and fuel efficiency make it a great pick for families, and it’s a great value as well.