2021 Toyota Avalon TRD review: Weird in theory, awesome in practice

My, what a big grille you have.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Toyota’s normcore veneer splits each so usually, allowing odd stuff out of the woodwork, like a skunkworks Prius rally automobile or a Yaris with way as well a great deal horsepower. One particular these types of automobile that is bound to elicit a double just take from most anybody is the 2021 Avalon TRD. I have no strategy who this automobile is for, but I am really happy it exists.

Do not Like

  • Costly
  • Could use a skosh a lot more energy and probably all-wheel travel

Aesthetics for the young at coronary heart

“Sheesh.” That is what I stated when I very first noticed the Toyota Avalon TRD. It’s… a ton to process. All Avalons have that substantial grille up front, but on the TRD it would seem to make a lot more perception, what with the odd amounts of aggression oozing from each other corner of the automobile. Sharp lips and protrusions surround the reduced section of the entire body, whilst 19-inch alloy wheels fill the wells correctly. Most of the Avalon’s badges and trim are blacked out, which would make the TRD’s cat-back again exhaust stand out even a lot more. The full sedan sits .six inches reduced to the floor, as well.

Positive, the automobile seems to be like a random aftermarket tuning store experienced its way with it, but the Avalon TRD is entertaining in a way that Toyota’s larger autos so almost never are. Like the aforementioned Prius rally automobile, I like when cars and trucks are taken out of their stereotypical aspects and created to adapt to some strange new earth. What entertaining is lifestyle if you are not able to get a minor odd?

Within, issues are a minor lighter on the senses. The Avalon TRD’s inside is rather close to the conventional design, with a number of notable exceptions like pink contrast stitching, TRD logos in various places and some really loud floor mats. Oh, and the seatbelts are shiny pink, as well — just like in sporty Mercedes-Benz autos, if you want to consider and spin that positively.

Regardless of all the boy-racer frippery, the Avalon remains a big relatives sedan at coronary heart, so its usability stays along individuals traces. You can find a metric truckton of practicality in below. The heart armrest and door cubbies are substantial, the flat tray forward of the cup holders is wonderful for phones or masks and the rear seats have hundreds of room for even taller adult passengers. The Avalon’s 16-cubic-foot trunk is major adequate for golf clubs, groceries and suitcases aplenty, beating the Nissan Maxima’s cargo capacity, though it lags a bit guiding the Dodge Charger.

Driving dynamics typically for the young at coronary heart

The Avalon TRD does a rather superior task approximating a activity sedan without the need of going full hog. Its 3.five-liter V6 puts out the exact same 301 horsepower and 267 pound-toes of torque as any other variant, and that energy is routed by means of the exact same ol’ 8-pace automatic transmission heading only to the front axle. You can find a lot more than adequate ahead movement for switchbacks and freeway on-ramps, and whilst the TRD-certain exhaust appears superior throughout the rev range, I am still left wishing for about fifty a lot more hp, which would be just adequate to sense thoroughly sprightly.

Underneath the sheet steel, Toyota added stiffer springs and sway bars, wider wheels, more substantial brakes and tweaked static dampers. In typical driving, the TRD feels just a smidge stiffer than regular, carrying a number of extra street undulations into the cabin, but it really is even now one hundred% Avalon in below, with a precedence on a quiet cabin and a sufficiently easy ride. This sedan is entertaining to chuck all over, and it stays rather flat, but most of these changes do not essentially change the encounter. The all-time Michelin tires have the exact same limitations as any other Avalon, whilst a lack of each AWD and a constrained-slip differential signifies individuals front piggies will squeal and wrestle a bit to move the full procedure ahead. Adding just one of individuals two merchandise would be welcome injections of character, and borrowing the adaptive dampers from the Avalon Touring may possibly bestow it with a lot more of a greatest-of-each-worlds vibe.

The Avalon TRD is the the very least-economical Avalon on provide, but not by a great deal. The EPA costs it at 21 mpg town and 30 mpg freeway, numbers that I come across pretty achievable, and it really is only a hair significantly less economical than the foundation and XLE variants.

Slap some summer months tires on this poor boy and you could have a mighty entertaining time.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Tech for absolutely everyone

I am a major supporter of automakers that do not very poor-disgrace reduced trims with shrunken screens and obscene bezels, which is section of the rationale why I dig the Avalon. All trims, TRD or or else, occur conventional with a 9-inch touchscreen that features each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to satellite radio and 4 USB charging ports (just one USB-A and just one USB-C per row). Navigation is optional, section of a $1,720 package that features peppier JBL speakers. The full method works rather nicely the graphics are dated and a minor big-structure for my preferences, but it has all the things most consumers will want, and it functions nicely adequate to hold the youths from having offended.

On the basic safety front, each Avalon also will come with the Toyota Security Feeling P package, a suite of energetic and passive driver aids. Ahead-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-hold assist, automatic high beams and whole-pace adaptive cruise command are all present and accounted for. It all works as flawlessly as it does on any other Toyota. The only matter I want the Avalon TRD experienced is parking sensors, given that it really is a major boy and nobody would like to scuff up that major ol’ grille. That stated, they are out there on other trims.

Toyota’s UI is a minor dated these times, but it really is even now functional.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Down to brass tacks

While a number of essential updates to the Avalon TRD would seriously wake it up in my view, I am not so sure the value would be ready to deal with it. As it is, the 2021 Toyota Avalon TRD begins at $43,870, like $995 for vacation spot and managing. That puts it over each single other Avalon trim, help you save for the tippy-tippy-top Limited Hybrid. Thinking of you can get a Dodge Charger with a 485-hp V8 (and a excellent infotainment method) for just about the exact same scratch, you have to seriously want the Avalon TRD to make a robust financial scenario.

But if sporty-ish Japanese sedans are your bag, then the 2021 Toyota Avalon TRD will certainly scratch your itch. It might not leap forth in a way that actually separates it from the relaxation of the Avalon group, but it really is a entertaining 4-door that bucks the idea that Avalons are mainly shepherds carrying grandma from Boca Raton to the Pearly Gates.