Every year, it gets harder for a new car to earn the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ accolade, but Toyota's latest big-body cruiser didn't seem to have much issue.
The IIHS announced this week that the 2019 Toyota Avalon has earned the Top Safety Pick+ award. In order to achieve this highest safety rating, a vehicle must do well in a battery of crash tests that go above and beyond the standard federal ones, in addition to evaluations of several safety-adjacent technologies.
The Avalon cruised through the crash tests with ease, earning the top score of Good in almost every single crash test. It did, however, receive a score of Acceptable in the IIHS' new passenger-side small overlap crash test, but that's still a passing score as far as TSP+ is concerned.
Toyota's latest sedan also received a Superior rating for its crash-prevention technology. Since the car comes standard with a bevy of active and passive safety systems, including the all-important automatic braking, the Avalon didn't have any problem here. Its autobrake system prevented crashes at both 12 mph and 25 mph.
Headlight evaluations also factor into the score, and again, the Avalon did well -- sort of. The Limited and Touring trims come with LED projector headlights, which the IIHS bestowed with a Good rating. However, the standard LED reflector headlights on the XLE and XSE trims received a Poor rating due to inadequate low-beam visibility.
The new Avalon is a big step forward, helping ditch its stereotype as a car for the geriatric sort. Its standard 3.5-liter V6 puts out 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, but there's also a gas-electric hybrid variant on offer for some additional emm-pee-gees. The interior puts a focus on comfort, with a wide variety of standard and optional cabin tech, including Amazon Alexa integration.