By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – There is a lot we can say about the 2021 Toyota Avalon. It had been recently redesigned to give it a more coupe like silhouette.
Our test vehicle had a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that made 205 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The almost full-size sedan got 25 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg combined. It had new Android Auto compatibility as well as new USB-C charging ports.
But none of that mattered. It snowed every day during our week-long test drive. And we got six inches of the white stuff a couple of days before the sedan was to go back.
Thus, the most important equipment the 2021 Toyota Avalon Limited had was its new all-wheel-drive system. Two out of six gasoline trim lines, the XLE and Limited, can be equipped with it.
The system directed up to half of the torque to the rear wheels. During our week-long test, the streets were always covered with snow. It was just a matter of how much. The system engaged instantly when needed, we never felt a wheel slide.
This AWD feature will make the Avalon far more appealing in this part of the country as well as the East Coast, though that doesn’t seem relevant right now.
We’ve not engaged the system after the substantial snowfall of last night. After we dig the snowblower out of the garage and go get some gasoline for the blower not the car, we’ll let you know how it faired.
We were grateful that heated front seats (they were cooled too) did not default back to off when we pushed the engine off button. Neither did the heated steering wheel.
Although we didn’t have any passengers, we feel safe in saying that we think backseat passengers would have appreciated those heated seats as well.
Our test car was a dark blue with a saddle tan interior which was quite relaxing. Of course, fit and finish were great, and it made the floating infotainment screen stand out even more.
The test Avalon had all the expected features: Bluetooth, voice controls, a navigation system, a 10-inch head up display, LED headlights and daytime running lamps and a navigation system.
Safety systems included lane departure alert with steering assist, blind spot alert, a full speed dynamic cruise control with pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic alert with braking and automatic high beams. There was also a surround camera system.
The 2021 Toyota Avalon was nicely equipped. And with a sticker of $44,699, it was reasonably priced. We just wish there were a little drier pavement and milder temperatures to conduct the test.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com.