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2019 Toyota Avalon earns IIHS Top Safety Pick+

It even did commendably in the new passenger small overlap crash test.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read
Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

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.

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Toyota must have borrowed the Avalon's grille design from baleen whales. Look at the size of that lad!

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

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.

The Toyota Avalon puts a bold face forward

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