2021 Toyota Avalon TRD review: Weird in theory, awesome in practice

My, what a large grille you have.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Toyota’s normcore veneer splits just about every so typically, permitting bizarre stuff out of the woodwork, like a skunkworks Prius rally vehicle or a Yaris with way too a lot horsepower. A single these kinds of vehicle that is bound to elicit a double acquire from most everyone is the 2021 Avalon TRD. I have no strategy who this vehicle is for, but I am pretty glad it exists.


  • Exciting to travel
  • Wild styling for an Avalon
  • Intriguing engine notice

Will not Like

  • High priced
  • Could use a skosh a lot more power and probably all-wheel travel

Aesthetics for the younger at coronary heart

“Sheesh.” That’s what I stated when I 1st observed the Toyota Avalon TRD. It’s… a lot to method. All Avalons carry that huge grille up entrance, yet on the TRD it looks to make a lot more feeling, what with the odd amounts of aggression oozing from just about every other corner of the vehicle. Sharp lips and protrusions surround the lessen section of the physique, while 19-inch alloy wheels fill the wells correctly. Most of the Avalon’s badges and trim are blacked out, which would make the TRD’s cat-again exhaust stand out even a lot more. The entire sedan sits .6 inches lessen to the ground, too.

Guaranteed, the vehicle seems like a random aftermarket tuning shop had its way with it, but the Avalon TRD is pleasurable in a way that Toyota’s greater automobiles so not often are. Like the aforementioned Prius rally vehicle, I like when cars and trucks are taken out of their stereotypical components and created to adapt to some weird new world. What pleasurable is everyday living if you are unable to get a tiny bizarre?

Inside of, things are a tiny lighter on the senses. The Avalon TRD’s interior is rather near to the standard design, with a couple of notable exceptions like red distinction stitching, TRD logos in numerous areas and some pretty loud flooring mats. Oh, and the seatbelts are vibrant red, too — just like in sporty Mercedes-Benz automobiles, if you want to test and spin that positively.

Despite all the boy-racer frippery, the Avalon continues to be a large spouse and children sedan at coronary heart, so its usability stays along those lines. You can find a metric truckton of practicality in listed here. The heart armrest and door cubbies are huge, the flat tray in advance of the cup holders is great for telephones or masks and the rear seats have masses of space for even taller adult travellers. The Avalon’s sixteen-cubic-foot trunk is significant adequate for golf clubs, groceries and suitcases aplenty, beating the Nissan Maxima’s cargo capability, while it lags a little bit behind the Dodge Charger.

Driving dynamics primarily for the younger at coronary heart

The Avalon TRD does a rather excellent work approximating a activity sedan without having likely entire hog. Its three.5-liter V6 places out the identical 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque as any other variant, and that power is routed as a result of the identical ol’ eight-pace automated transmission heading only to the entrance axle. You can find a lot more than adequate forward motion for switchbacks and highway on-ramps, and while the TRD-precise exhaust seems excellent across the rev selection, I am remaining wishing for about fifty a lot more hp, which would be just adequate to come to feel appropriately sprightly.

Underneath the sheet metallic, Toyota included stiffer springs and sway bars, broader wheels, even larger brakes and tweaked static dampers. In normal driving, the TRD feels just a smidge stiffer than normal, carrying a couple of more road undulations into the cabin, but it is nonetheless a hundred{446c0583c78045abf10327776a038b2df71144067b85dd55dd4a3a861892e4fa} Avalon in listed here, with a priority on a silent cabin and a adequately smooth trip. This sedan is pleasurable to chuck all around, and it stays rather flat, but most of these alterations really don’t essentially alter the knowledge. The all-season Michelin tires have the identical limits as any other Avalon, while a lack of both AWD and a limited-slip differential means those entrance piggies will squeal and wrestle a little bit to shift the entire procedure forward. Introducing 1 of those two items would be welcome injections of character, and borrowing the adaptive dampers from the Avalon Touring may well bestow it with a lot more of a very best-of-both-worlds vibe.

The Avalon TRD is the the very least-effective Avalon on give, but not by a lot. The EPA costs it at 21 mpg town and 30 mpg highway, numbers that I uncover pretty achievable, and it is only a hair considerably less effective than the foundation and XLE variants.

Slap some summer months tires on this bad boy and you could have a mighty pleasurable time.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Tech for all people

I am a significant supporter of automakers that really don’t bad-shame lessen trims with shrunken screens and obscene bezels, which is section of the reason why I dig the Avalon. All trims, TRD or usually, come standard with a nine-inch touchscreen that involves both Apple CarPlay and Android Car, in addition to satellite radio and four USB charging ports (1 USB-A and 1 USB-C per row). Navigation is optional, section of a $one,720 package deal that involves peppier JBL speakers. The entire program functions rather perfectly the graphics are dated and a tiny large-format for my tastes, but it has every thing most potential buyers will want, and it features perfectly adequate to continue to keep the youths from having angry.

On the protection entrance, just about every Avalon also comes with the Toyota Security Perception P package deal, a suite of energetic and passive driver aids. Ahead-collision warning, automated crisis braking, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-continue to keep assist, automated large beams and comprehensive-pace adaptive cruise control are all existing and accounted for. It all functions as flawlessly as it does on any other Toyota. The only point I wish the Avalon TRD had is parking sensors, since it is a significant boy and no one wants to scuff up that significant ol’ grille. That stated, they’re accessible on other trims.

Toyota’s UI is a tiny dated these days, but it is nonetheless useful.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Down to brass tacks

Even though a couple of crucial updates to the Avalon TRD would really wake it up in my belief, I am not so confident the value would be ready to deal with it. As it is, the 2021 Toyota Avalon TRD starts at $forty three,870, which includes $995 for location and handling. That places it above just about every solitary other Avalon trim, help you save for the tippy-tippy-major Constrained Hybrid. Taking into consideration you can get a Dodge Charger with a 485-hp V8 (and a superior infotainment program) for practically the identical scratch, you have to really want the Avalon TRD to make a powerful monetary circumstance.

But if sporty-ish Japanese sedans are your bag, then the 2021 Toyota Avalon TRD will unquestionably scratch your itch. It might not leap forth in a way that genuinely separates it from the rest of the Avalon group, but it is a pleasurable four-door that bucks the idea that Avalons are in essence shepherds carrying grandma from Boca Raton to the Pearly Gates.