First Impression of the 2017 Toyota Avalon Limited

Hey, grandpa got a new car… but, that’s not a Buick… Let’s hop in.

Immediately you’re immersed in the handsome interior design and upholstery detail. It’s very comfortable, and feels very refined. I bet it drives like a boat though…

2016_Toyota_Avalon_LTD_03_D1C3B403E2968A5B43CB285B1B1AC81E41EAFE4C

One Week Later

So turns out, it’s basically a Lexus ES. Actually, if you compare features and value between the Toyota Avalon and Lexus Es 350, you might fare better going with the Toyota badge. More on that later.

The 2017 Toyota Avalon Limited isn’t a sports car, and certainly isn’t super exhilarating, but it is surprisingly fun to drive. I say fun because I expected it to just be comfortable and “easy” to drive, but it’s got some pep in it. Power is available on demand for an easy overtake, or for a little spirited jaunt when the good part of that one song you like comes on the radio. The suspension is a bit stiffer than I would have assumed, but it’s not “race car” stiff, so it is still really comfortable. Also worth noting, the 2017 Avalon still uses the trusty Toyota GR V6 engine, pushing close to 270 hp to the front wheels. So no, it doesn’t really drive like a boat after all!

2016_Toyota_Avalon_LTD_08_33BC6C1B1832A5B140876ABC155D62BECA978996

There’s no Android Auto / Apple CarPlay available unfortunately, but you can still get by on the offerings of the included infotainment system. The stereo system has really nice sound by the way. The bass won’t blow your windows out or anything. But to visualize, the audio quality is basically what you’d expect to match the level of the interior finish. The smoked woodgrain and soft leather interior contrast beautifully, and everything feels nice to the touch. The backseat is huge, and the ambient lighting is a nice touch at night. Compared to the other competing full size sedans currently on the market, the Toyota Avalon is one of the best in terms of value and luxury. I could totally see Matthew McConaughey driving this thing if you know what I mean… alright.

Back to the Lexus. So the 2017 Toyota Avalon Limited and 2017 ES 350 share the same platform, engine, and transmission. They have different exterior and interior styling of course, and you can most likely spec out the Lexus way beyond the Toyota. If having the Lexus badge is a must, then I guess go ahead and get that Lexus. If you’re fine with driving a Toyota then step right in and check this out. You can get that Toyota Avalon Touring or Limited with all the options for basically the same price as the entry level ES. Either way you’re going to have the same performance, but for the same money… you can get more out of the Toyota variant.

2016_Toyota_Avalon_LTD_05_7CFA5E90E7842E422514276E87471C978903E5EF

The design has been relatively unchanged for a few years, but for good reason… it’s fine as it is. While the interior is rich and inviting, the exterior doesn’t beg and scream for attention… but that’s fine because that’s precisely what is wanted in a car like this. There are several trim options available, with the Touring being probably the best value to feature ratio. If you’re in the market for a more mature full size sedan, the 2017 Toyota Avalon Limited is worth a look.