Previous generations of the Toyota Avalon had, at least in my mind, a reputation as an old person's car.
April 10, 2014 12:05 PM PDTUpdated: April 10, 2014 1:19 PM PDT
Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET
/ Caption by: Antuan Goodwin
Toyota has injected the fourth-generation Toyota Avalon sedan with a youth serum in a bid to attract younger buyers.
The 2014 model features a slicker profile and a more streamlined version of the automaker's corporate grill.
Quad HID headlamps and LED daytime runners accent and illuminate. Active high-beam tech prevents drivers from dazzling oncoming traffic.
The Toyota Avalon is a full-size sedan that is significantly larger than the Toyota Camry.
However, the front-wheel drive configuration and underpinnings will be familiar to anyone who's looked at a Toyota spec sheet.
Lift the hood and you'll be met with a heavily padded engine cover, which contributes to the Avalon's quiet performance.
Under that cover is the automaker's 2GR-FE engine, which outputs 268 horsepower.
That engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that features sport and manual shift programs.
The power train also features Sport and Eco drive modes that adjust the character of the performance.
The Avalon Limited comes with a respectable level of standard safety features.
The standard rear camera's feed is sharp and bright.
The view out of the back also features dynamic guide lines that steer with the front wheels.
The Avalon's interior uses a good blend of materials, shapes, and textures.
Entune navigation, standard here but optional at lower trim levels, features crisply rendered 2D maps and logical routing software.
I'm not a fan of capacitive buttons on the dashboard, but the Avalon's touch points feature nicely machined cutouts.
The 11-speaker JBL Synthesis stereo is surprisingly bass-friendly.
Via a paired smartphone or over the satellite radio connection, Entune apps enhance the cabin tech experience.
At the base of the center stack, our test model was equipped with an optional Qi wireless charger.
Dropping a compatible phone on this pad charges its battery without connecting cables.
In a pocket, you'll find the conventional 12-volt power port, auxiliary and USB inputs, and the power switch for the Qi charge pad.
Blind-spot monitoring and multiple levels of stability control round out the safety tech.
An optional Tech Package adds Adaptive Cruise Control and a Forward Pre-Collision alert system.
Easy access seats, smart key entry, and push-button start are nice convenience features.
Instrumentation is simple and clear.
Between the gauges is a small information display that can be cycled through a wide range of data.
Strakes along the bottom edge of the wing mirrors reduce wind noise at speed.
The spacious rear seats have their own third climate control zone and independently controlled, heated surfaces.
The Avalon's ride was smooth and comfortable, but not so soft that it felt messy.
With luxury rivaling its Lexus cousins, there's a lot to like about the 2014 Toyota Avalon Limited.
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