Review and Test Drive: 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

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The front is more business like. While there’s ample personal space, the large center console, while it doesn’t impinge on the space, does make it feel tighter than it actually is. Toyota’s use of soft materials and real wood trim gives the interior a posh feeling and the ergonomics are quite good as well.

Perforated leather heated and cooled seats? Yes, please, at least in the Limited model (shades of Buick?).

The 2019 Avalon is the first Toyota to come with Apple CarPlay, and that alone made its appearance at our offices worth cheering about, although it doesn’t yet offer Android Auto. This is all part of the automaker’s Entune 3.0 infotainment system, which includes a 9” center display that accepts gestures similar to a smartphone display. It includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, Qi wireless charging, and five USB ports.

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Our Avalon Limited came with the concert-hall like 1,200-watt JBL sound system that made for an extremely satisfying listening experience when on the road.

DRIVING THE 2019 TOYOTA AVALON HYBRID LIMITED

The Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline four paired to two electric motors powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack, now under the rear seat instead of the trunk. Together, the powertrain develops a combined 215 horsepower, 15 more than the outgoing model although, with a zero-to-60 mph (zero-to-96 km/h) acceleration of 7.8 seconds, it’s somewhat slower than the fourth-generation Avalon Hybrid.

The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission that is particularly well suited to the task.

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