Over the last few years something has been happening slowly and almost gone unnoticed. Toyota has swapped places with Buick in attracting older buyers and that is a big change.
While all the other manufacturers are trying to cater to the younger crowd, Toyota has been smart to leave one model in the 50+ buyer range aka the Avalon. While you may not realize, buyers in the 50+ age group are among the wealthiest and Toyota is sitting pretty with them.
When Toyota dropped us a 2011 Avalon to review, we took a walk around it in order to find something that would impress us at first sight. To our surprise, 2011 has taken the 2010 design and added some nice touches to it and it actually looks more upscale.
Considering that it is designed and sold with one age-group in mind, Toyota is offering the Avalon with two trims – Standard and Limited. Standard trim has a base MSRP of $32,000 and is loaded with many options as standard. Limited adds a few left over items and starts with a base MSRP of $35,485. The only other option available is the $1,450 navigation system.
Toyota has updated the front fascia with a wider grille and projector headlights thus giving the car that Lexus-like look. 2011 Avalon now sports LED tail lights along with newer wheel choices. We all know that change is something that the older age-group doesn’t like and Toyota has been very careful in updating the Avalon. As far as we can tell, Toyota has done a great job with the restyling of the 2011 Toyota Avalon.
Interior materials of the 2011 Avalon are straight out of a Lexus and you can’t help but appreciate the fine craftsmanship. Leather seats are standard now on Avalon regardless of the trim and the seating position is great with good lumbar support. Move on to the back seats and you will fall in love with the extra room that is available especially compared to other vehicles in the range.
Avalon’s display is known for extra visibility so the display readouts carry the larger font. All the controls are in the correct places and easily reachable. Overall we were very impressed with the quality of the interior and on more than one occasion felt we were driving a Lexus.
2011 Toyota Avalon is powered by a 3.5 liter V6 that produces 268 horsepower and 248 ft-lb of torque. This might be too much for the average Avalon buyer but it does make the ride very smooth. Toyota engineers have been able to come up with a suspension setup that is cushy to say the least. We understand that the car drives like a boat but there is no other car in this range that can top the comfort ratings of the Avalon and that’s where the Avalon excels. If we had to describe our week long experience with Avalon in one word then that would be “Smooth”.
So if we were 60 years old and looking for a car that looks good, has a comfortable and spacious interior, is loaded with extra features like satellite radio and drives us from point A to point B regardless of the condition of the road – we would buy the 2011 Toyota Avalon in a heartbeat!