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Toyota Avalon Hybrid Performance

The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid has sufficient acceleration, according to critics, and it gets excellent fuel economy for the class. Most agree that it has secure handling and a comfortable ride.

  • "While Toyota's 2015 full-size Avalon sedan is thrilling to drive, it's not your typical thrill ride. The thrill comes from discovering a big, comfortable car that is still agile enough at high speed to instill confidence. The steering is firm, the brakes strong and the V6's ability to accelerate is undeniable. The Avalon Hybrid feels equally strong and earns a 40-mpg combined fuel-economy rating." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In general, the Avalon Hybrid is just plain easy to drive." -- Edmunds
  • "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 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which combined make 200 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. The 2015 Avalon Hybrid gets 40/39 mpg city/highway according to the EPA, which is on par with other hybrid sedans’ fuel economy, and excellent for an affordable large car. The 2015 Avalon Hybrid has three selectable driving modes: EV, which uses only the electric motor to power the vehicle over short distances; Eco, which lowers throttle response to improve fuel economy; and Sport, which increases throttle and transmission for a more athletic power delivery.

Auto writers report that the 2015 Avalon Hybrid has decent acceleration and that the engine and electric motor work seamlessly. Some critics mention that the CVT and four-cylinder engine sometimes sound rough when accelerating.

  • "The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid's 200 hp isn't a whole lot for a big car like this, but for the most part, acceleration is perfectly adequate. The Avalon Hybrid is also exceptionally quiet, though the CVT can cause the engine to drone during acceleration. Otherwise, the Avalon Hybrid is the equal of other hushed large luxury sedans." -- 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

Most test drivers write that the Avalon Hybrid has a comfortable ride, responsive steering and composed handling, but think it isn’t the most engaging car to drive. They also comment that the brakes can feel touchy at times, although that is a common complaint with hybrids’ regenerative brakes.

  • "This big sedan also feels respectably secure and sure-footed around turns. The brakes can feel grabby under light braking, but that's pretty common for hybrids, and most owners should acclimate to them fairly quickly." -- 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)
  • "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: 1/23/15

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