2019 Toyota Avalon First Drive: Turning Back The Clock

– Del Mar, California

The Toyota Avalon has never been classified as a vehicle for young people. The median age of buyers for the outgoing model is 64 years old, in fact. Toyota, however, wants to attract younger consumers – not just to the Avalon, but to the entire Toyota range. To that end, the aging Avalon has undergone a significant makeover, including dramatic styling, some added tech, and a modern new platform, all of which helps transform it from a vehicle reserved for senior citizens to a car for cool dads, and younger buyers in general.

2019 Toyota Avalon: First Drive

The 2019 Toyota Avalon pushes the envelope in terms of styling. Yes, its new face is hard to miss; the unified upper and lower grille design is massive and polarizing, and not particularly attractive in any trim. Lower-spec XLE and Hybrid models feature a chrome surround with horizontal slats that make the Avalon particularly hard on the eyes. But don’t let one design element detract from an otherwise appealing vehicle; upper-trim Sport XSE and Touring models are much improved with gloss-black plastic in place of chrome, and a honeycomb grille.

Styling elsewhere is sleek, aggressive, and actually pretty darn attractive. A ride height lower than its predecessor gives the 2019 Avalon an improved stance, and new 19-inch wheels (available on the Touring trim exclusively) further enhance its sharp appearance. In the rear, the traditional taillights have been replaced with a single unified reflector that extends from one corner of each li...