Combining comfort, quality and impressive fuel economy, the 2018 Toyota Avalon ranks among the best large sedans on the market. A cushioned ride and hushed cabin make the Avalon well-suited for commutes and road trips, and its roomy interior offers plenty of room to spread out. It even offers a dash of speed and performance that befits its mission as a deluxe daily shuttle.
Starting with a well-equipped base model, the Avalon offers a long list of desirable standard features, including a V6 engine, leather upholstery, heated seats and several driver assistance features. From there you can opt into progressively more full-featured models with navigation, enhanced audio and luxury creature comforts such as heated rear seats, upgraded leather and rear-seat climate controls.
For such a large and roomy car, the Avalon returns surprisingly good fuel economy. On our evaluation test loop, the Avalon returned 28.6 mpg, well above its EPA rating. In the remaining miles of mixed driving, we observed 24 mpg — right on the money with its EPA combined mpg rating. More impressive is that this comes from a car with a large V6 engine that generates 268 horsepower and helps the car accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The Avalon is no sport sedan, but an available Touring trim with larger wheels and tighter suspension tuning delivers more enhanced performance.
Overall, we recommend the 2018 Avalon. While there are some other solid choices available for a big sedan, including the Chevrolet Impala, Kia Cadenza and Nissan Maxima, the Toyota Avalon continues to be a standout.
The 2018 Toyota Avalon is available in five trim levels: XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring and Limited. All come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine (268 horsepower, 248 pound-feet of torque) and a six-speed automatic transmission.
The XLE is well-equipped for a base trim and feels expertly assembled. A 3.5-liter V6 engine (268 horsepower, 248 pound-feet of torque) and six-speed automatic transmission come standard, as do 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, and heated and power-adjustable front seats. Additional conveniences include keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen with Toyota's Entune interface and voice controls, and an eight-speaker audio system. Toyota's Safety Sense package also comes standard and includes automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning (with pedestrian detection), automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.
The XLE Plus adds a sunroof and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The XLE Premium offers more significant upgrades such as driver-seat memory settings, a wireless smartphone charging pad, navigation, a nine-speaker audio system, smartphone app integration, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Touring trim is best for those seeking a measure of sport since it comes with 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a sport-tuned suspension and unique interior trim.
The Limited bundles the same features from the Touring trim (minus the interior accents) along with xenon headlights, auto-dimming side mirrors, automatic wipers, ambient cabin lighting, tri-zone automatic climate control, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a rear power sunshade, Safety Connect emergency notification and roadside assistance services, and an 11-speaker JBL premium sound system.