One Step Further: The 2016 Toyota Avalon Touring

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Toyota Avalon
The 2016 Toyota Avalon.
With its 2013 re-design, Toyota moved the Avalon away from its decades-long image of being the sensible car choice for retirees---the car most often found in Luby's Cafeteria parking lots at 4:30 in the afternoon.  It has been a successful strategy.  Perhaps too successful.

In toughening up the Avalon, Toyota made it too tough for returning customers, who Toyota does not want to scare off while it brings the car into the here and now.  So for 2016, most Avalons will get a softer suspension.  The Touring model, on the other hand, gets an even stiffer one.

Rear 7/8 view of the 2016 Toyota Avalon
2016 Toyota Avalon.
There are two bits of good news in that last sentence.  One, the slightly more serious suspension in the 2016 Avalon Touring finishes the job started in 2013 and turns the big sedan into much more of a serious handler than most would ever suspect.  And two, our test vehicle for the week was the Touring.

Under the hood is the same 268-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine as in all Avalons except the Hybrid, teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission and delivering, according to EPA estimates, 21 miles per gallon in the city and 31 on the highway.  It is more than enough power and combined with the handling of the 2016 Touring model, it is a deeply satisfying car.

The base price of $37,050 for the Touring covers everything---a package of standard equipment so comprehensive (click here for the details) that, in an extremely rare move for Toyota, our test vehicle came without a single option.  Add $835 for delivery processing and handling and the as-tested price is $37,885.

Interior view of 2016 Toyota Avalon
2016 Toyota Avalon interior.
The rest of the 2016 story is all about subtle changes---a light refreshing of the front and rear styling, enhanced seat comfort, changes to the brightwork in the cabin to eliminate distracting reflections and glare---polishing what was already a very polished automobile.

In our view, the large sedan segment is a class of one.  The one we'd have is the 2016 Toyota Avalon Touring.