Performance » 7
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
strong brakes are easy to modulate
velvety ride quality
Car and Driver
no great surprises
Road & Track
among the quickest big sedans in this price range
Experts at TheCarConnection.com note that the 2009 Toyota Avalon is far from the sportiest vehicle on the road—but it does a good job of providing a smooth, luxurious ride.
The sole powerplant in the Avalon, the dual VVTi engine, cranks out an enthusiastic 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. "The current Avalon is among the quickest big sedans in this price range, thanks to a very potent 3.5-liter V6," attests Edmunds. Motor Trend finds it carries the "Avalon to the 60 mark in a purposeful 6.2 seconds," and that's with the older five-speed automatic transmission, which has been replaced with a six-speed in more recent years. Acceleration is up with the new transmission.
The Avalon's fuel economy ratings are among the highest in its class of large sedans, at 19 mpg city, 28 highway.
Edmunds finds that the 2009 Toyota Avalon is "at its best on the open highway." Clearly, straight lines must be the 2009 Avalon's forte, as most reviewers criticize the Avalon's handling, including ConsumerGuide: "Poised enough for a big family sedan," they begin, but are quick to add, "Some testers want more steering feel and weight." They also note "body lean is pronounced as cornering speeds increase." Car and Driver is more positive; the reviewer comments that "the Avalon's independent suspension provides a tauter, sportier ride-and-handling compromise than its forebear" and notes its "velvety ride quality."
Edmunds likes the 2009 Toyota Avalon's "tidy turning circle" that "makes the Avalon feel unexpectedly nimble on tight city streets." Motor Trend praises the Avalon's stability control system, calling it "a particularly cushy catcher's mitt, grabbing wayward chassis gyrations without a stinging rebuke back to the driver." ConsumerGuide remarks that the "strong brakes are easy to modulate, but simulated panic stops induced marked nosedive."
The 2009 Toyota Avalon is designed to handle smoothly and provide a comfortable ride—and it does so quite well.