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#6

in Affordable Large Cars

MSRP: $35,805 - $41,650
Invoice: $32,224 - $37,486
MPG: 40 City / 39 Hwy
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Toyota Avalon Hybrid Performance

Most test drivers write that the 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid isn’t as fun to drive as other cars in the class, but they agree that it has a comfortable ride, decent acceleration and handling and great fuel economy for a large car.

  • "Your first thought when driving the 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid might be one of mild surprise, as the big sedan feels more responsive and surefooted than previous Toyota Avalons. The steering is somewhat slow, but still feels reassuringly precise during typical driving maneuvers. Overall, the Avalon Hybrid just feels easy to drive." -- Edmunds
  • "While its performance abilities may not leave you grinning from ear to ear, the 2013 Toyota Avalon delivers on its promise to provide a pleasantly sedate driving experience." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "Previous Avalons appealed primarily to drivers who thought cornering should be preceded by an environmental impact statement. With improved chassis and firmer suspension, the new Avalon attacks corners, changes direction readily, and limits rock and roll body motions-in contrast to the lifeboat dynamics of earlier generations." -- Popular Mechanics (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor, which produce 200 horsepower combined. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. According to the EPA, the 2014 Avalon Hybrid gets 40/39 mpg city/highway, which is mid-pack for a hybrid sedan, but exceptional for an affordable large car.

Automotive journalists agree that the 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid has satisfactory acceleration, though some complain that the Avalon Hybrid’s four-cylinder engine doesn’t sound as refined as the V6 engine in the non-hybrid Avalon.

  • "The hybrid model's 200-horsepower rating isn't a whole lot for a big car like this, but for the most part, acceleration is perfectly adequate." -- Edmunds
  • "Whereas the V-6 is muscular and produces a healthy exhaust note, the Hybrid's four-banger sounds embarrassed and slightly distressed." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "The hybrid, for its part, isn't slow (0 to 60 in 8.2, according to Toyota) and its operation is absolutely transparent." -- Popular Mechanics (2013)
  • "In normal driving, we found that the gasoline engine and electric motor deliver adequate acceleration." -- Autoblog (2013)

Handling and Braking

Some test drivers say the 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid isn’t very fun to drive, while others write that it has sharp handling and communicative steering. A few critics complain that its brakes can be touchy, though this is a common complaint about regenerative braking systems in hybrids. As with most cars in this class, reviewers say the Avalon Hybrid has a comfortable ride.

  • "The one significant gripe we have is that the brakes can feel grabby under light braking until you acclimate to them." -- Edmunds
  • "The 4th-generation Avalon benefits from improved steering feel, sharper suspension tuning and additional chassis rigidity without compromising the trademark ride quality." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "Jack LaLanne himself would be pleased with the Avalon's transformation from flabby and sloppy to tight and athletic." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "This is the sort of inoffensive, unobtrusive ride that is the hallmark of a modern Toyota sedan. Enthusiasts won't get excited about it, but it's exactly what I'd be looking for in a large premium sedan were I in the market for one." -- CNET (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/12/14

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