The 2011 Buick Lucerne is probably the closest rival to the Avalon; like the Toyota, it—along with the Hyundai Azera—favor comfort over performance, and both have V-6 engines that aren't quite as satisfying as either the Avalon or the Taurus.
The Ford Taurus is a strong alternative for those who want a vehicle equipped with all the latest tech features but are willing to sacrifice some back seat space.
Also worth consideration—and potentially a great deal, as it's likely in its last model year—is the Chevrolet Impala, which continues unchanged with a rather simple feature set but impressive interior comfort.
Also, the rear-wheel-drive 2011 Chrysler 300 is substantially refreshed, with a new standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that promises both better performance and refinement; the 300 doesn't have as much interior space as the Avalon but is worth a look.
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|20 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||12 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Gas I6||Gas V6||Gas I4||Gas V6||Gas V6|
|4-Door Sedan (GS)||4-Door Sedan 328i RWD SULEV||4-Door Sedan C 300 Sport RWD||4-Door Sedan I4 Manual (Natl)||4-Door Sedan||4-Door Sedan SE RWD|
|Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4dr Sdn|