Toyota Avalon XLE Sport Touring Edition.
The Toyota tagline is all about going places, and with its classy design and comfortable ride, the 2015 Avalon is a great choice for taking you wherever you want to go, which these days for most of us around the country, is some place warm. Warm and sunny.
My family recently had the chance to test drive the Toyota Avalon for a few days, so we headed south, down to the beach.
We ultimately ended up experiencing all four seasons in a matter of days and drove through every kind of weather, sunny days, rainy afternoons—finding that’s when the Avalon impressed us most—in the downpour. That’s when we realized just how quiet the interior is and how great the car handles.
Toyota Avalon offers a very smooth, comfortable ride, with great ‘get up and go’
We were test-driving the 2015 Avalon XLE Sport Touring model. This is one sleek machine, the only color offered is ‘attitude black’, which shows shades of blue when you take a closer look. Those blue accents pop up throughout the interior, too. It’s a really stylish look, which complements the sharp, aerodynamic exterior design.
As for what’s under the hood, the Avalon XLE Sport Touring model has a strong 3.5-liter, V6 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The 268 horsepower propels quick acceleration—0 to 60 in less than seven seconds- and there’s great handling with 248 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels.
The anti-lock brakes are super sensitive (I know this because one particular driver pulled out in front of me from a side street and I had to put them to the test in a way that I’d prefer not to have to live through again).
Almost as impressive is the comfort factor
Driving eight and a half hours, we needed to be comfy and we were. The car seats five, though there were just four of us, so we used the fold down middle seat in the back for the cup holders.
The heated seats were great as we left the cold weather and headed south…and the eight-way power-adjusted driver’s seat gave me the customized lumbar support I was looking for. Even the front passenger seat has four-way power-adjustable options.
We only had to stop once on our 8 and a half hour trip to put gas in the tank…the sticker says it gets 21/31 mpg city/highway…we may have done better than that.
We weren’t just escaping cold—we were also visiting family and delivering a ton of hand-me down toys—which we packed into the spacious trunk. We literally fit a huge Disney princess castle back there—without having to take it apart into pieces—along with bags and bags of other toys and clothes for nieces and nephews we were visiting.
One relative remarked that she liked the car and considered buying it before, but thought it was for older people. I disagree wholeheartedly…especially with this sleek, stylish Sport Touring model. This is perfect for a small family or the professional looking for a classy car with lots of room.
The 18-inch alloy wheels, HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights and LED daytime running lights finish out the fancy design. But it’s important to mention the tech in this vehicle is pretty incredible, too, with the Entune App Suite, which provides access to smartphone apps like Pandora Internet radio. It has HD radio, HD traffic and weather in major metro areas, integrated backup camera display showing the projected path with alerts, USB 2.0 port with iPod connectivity and control, advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone capability, phone book access and music streaming through Bluetooth wireless technology.
It’s a quiet, comfortable ride that I’d happily rely on to take me more places, especially the warm ones. If you want to see video of our journey—which made me look like a hero to the kids, watch this.
WHAT WE LOVED
- Sleek exterior
- Quiet, yet powerful ride
- Plenty of comfort, even in the back
- High tech reminders if you forget your key, leave a door open, etc
- Lots of trunk space
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Only one color option (though Attitude Black is a good one)
- Takes regular gas
- Upgraded Entune infotainment system
- New XLE Touring Sport Edition trim
- 3.5L V6 Automatic
- Price: $37,170; only a limited number were produced
Note: The Toyota Avalon XLE Sport Touring Edition was provided for a test drive; opinions expressed are my own.