High-tech stuff at a surprisingly low price point

In the race to pack in as many gadgets and features as possible on new vehicles, automakers are gravitating towards adaptive suspension systems as a means to bridge the gap between sporty handling and a comfortable ride. It’s not always an easy balance to find, which means these systems are usually relegated to pricey models from Europe - unless you’re talking about the 2019 Toyota Avalon, that is.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

The Adaptive Suspension On The 2019 Toyota Avalon Works Wonders Exterior
- image 778122
Dubbed Adaptive Variable Suspension, the system incorporates real-time damping control at each of the four corners.

Toyota frames the 2019 Avalon as “Attainable Premium,” and to that end, the Japanese automaker equipped the sedan with as many new and shiny features as is reasonable for the mid-size segment.

To achieve the desirable top-shelf feel, Toyota started with the bones of the machine. Under the skin, the 2019 Avalon is built on the freshly updated TNGA K Sedan platform, which offers a mix of rigidity and low weight to give the suspension every opportunity to work its magic.

There’s also a new multi-link suspension setup for the rear that enhances the handling and ride, while also giving the 2019 Avalon a wider rear track and a lower center of gravity. Complementing the multi-link are revised trailing arms and an updated rear suspension geometry.

However, drivers are most likely to notice the fresh adaptive suspension components, a Toyota brand-first for the segment. Dubbed Adaptive Variable Suspension, or AVS, the system incorporates real-time damping control through the use of solenoid valves that independently control the wheel movement at each of the four corners. G-force sensors were placed at both ends of the vehicle to monitor its attitude on the road, be it smooth and comfortable cruising, spirited driving inputs, uneven road surfaces, or a mix thereof. From these sensor readings, the system uses the onboard ECU to make adjustments to the shock absorber solenoids, giving it a unique handling profile and a more stable ride.

The solenoids work their magic by restricting the shock absorber fluid, and as a result, changing the dampening characteristics. The dampers are continuously variable, offerings as many as 650 individual steps in the damping control settings, with adjustments made every 20 milliseconds.

All told, drivers will definitely notice the difference between the individual drive modes, which include Eco, Normal, Sport, and Sport+.

“The astute setup reduces Avalon’s posture fluctuations under hard or sudden directional changes, limits body movements, and yet absorbs nasty undulations for a comfortable, flat ride,” Toyota explains.

The Adaptive Suspension On The 2019 Toyota Avalon Works Wonders Exterior
- image 778161
The 2019 Avalon rides great, and the adaptive suspension is well-suited to long-distance travel and commuting.

I recently had a chance to try out the adaptive suspension for myself, and by the end of my drive, I was impressed. The 2019 Toyota Avalon rides great, and the adaptive suspension is well-suited to long-distance travel and commuting. The adaptive components are complemented further by the comfortable seating and quiet interior, and even on uneven, choppy pavement, the sedan never felt out of sorts.

At the other end of the spectrum, that is when the corners start to ask you to explore the Sport settings, the Avalon responds with decently nimble feedback, a characteristic helped even further by the solid torquey whomp made by the hybrid models (read more about it here). While it didn’t feel as connected and planted as Toyota’s more sport-oriented models (such as the lightweight 86 coupe), the mid-size sedan still felt about right for a premium segment offering. This is a machine that’s totally at home on country club lanes, which is exactly what you should expect.

And although the 2019 Avalon felt nimble enough on the road, I did occasionally struggle to find the edges of the car in low-speed, parking lot-style maneuvers. Here, the vehicle’s size really started to show, with a wide turning radius and vague edges to the body panels. A city car, the Avalon is not.

The Adaptive Suspension On The 2019 Toyota Avalon Works Wonders Exterior
- image 778123
This is a machine that’s totally at home on country club lanes, which is exactly what you should expect.

That said, Toyota should be proud of what it did with the 2019 Avalon’s suspension and handling setup. It’s just right for the segment, and buyers will surely appreciate the balance it manages with those adaptive components.

Buyers can get the adaptive AVS suspension setup with the top-trim 2019 Toyota Avalon Touring model, which starts at $42,200. And yes, there are cheaper vehicles out there with adaptive suspension components, but it won’t be easy to find one in this segment that mixes both sportiness and comfort quite like the 2019 Toyota Avalon - unless, of course, you’re willing to spend a lot more money.

The 2019 Toyota Avalon heads to dealers in May. Stay tuned for our full written review.

References

Toyota Avalon

The Adaptive Suspension On The 2019 Toyota Avalon Works Wonders Exterior
- image 778129

Test Drive: The 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Has Some Surprising Punch

The Adaptive Suspension On The 2019 Toyota Avalon Works Wonders Exterior
- image 778130

The 2019 Toyota Avalon’s Interior Looks Fantastic

The Adaptive Suspension On The 2019 Toyota Avalon Works Wonders Exterior
- image 778165

Read our full review on the 2019 Toyota Avalon.

2016 Toyota Avalon High Resolution Exterior
- image 616782

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Avalon

no article
- image 741755

Read more Toyota news.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: