Back in the 2013 model year, Toyota fully redesigned the Avalon, giving it a sleeker, sexier, and more luxurious look. Along with this redesign, Toyota made the Avalon’s body slightly shorter and wider, improving its stance and giving passengers more shoulder and hip room. Despite being the third-best-selling full-size sedan in 2014, Toyota unveiled a refreshed version for the 2016 model year at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

With the Chicago Auto Show’s opening in the books, we now get to see what the refreshed Avalon looks like. I honestly expected a little more from Toyota, but considering its place in the sales list and the fact that it has no hopes of catching up to the Impala, which more than doubled the Avalon in 2014 sales, I can’t say I’m surprised the refresh was so minor.

Updated 02/13/2015: We’ve added a series of images taken during the 2016 Avalon’s official debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Toyota Avalon.

  • 2016 Toyota Avalon
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    268
  • Torque @ RPM:
    248
  • Displacement:
    3.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.2 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • Price:
    31500 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Toyota Avalon High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Toyota Avalon High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Toyota Avalon High Resolution Exterior
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Starting up front, Toyota’s big sedan carries a redesigned lower grille that is wider and lower than the 2015 model

For the 2016 model year, the Avalon features revisions to its front and rear fascias. Starting up front, Toyota’s big sedan carries a redesigned lower grille that is wider and lower than the 2015 model, a narrower upper grille, and redesigned turn signals. Essentially, it almost looks as if Toyota took the 2015 model’s grille, flipped it upside down and stretched it, whereas the upper grille looks squashed.

On the rear, the LED taillights have been “refined.” Also added is a chrome accent on the rear bumper.

In addition to the updated fascia, the Touring trim also features a set of 18-inch, dark-grey-painted wheels, LED headlights and LED daytime running lights to accentuate is sporty nature.

On the XLE and XLE Plus trims, Toyota revised the standard 17-inch wheels and added a new tire pressure monitoring system.

While the revisions are very light, the new face seems a little sportier than the 2016 model. I would have liked to have seen a little more, but for a mid-cycle refresh, I can’t complain.

2015 Avalon vs. 2016 Avalon

2016 Toyota Avalon
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Interior

2016 Toyota Avalon Interior
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2016 Toyota Avalon Interior
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2016 Toyota Avalon High Resolution Interior
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On the XLE and XLE Plus trim levels, Toyota added in a standard 7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen and standard premium woodgrain accents.

On the inside, the Avalon has always been near the top of its class in terms of features, so Toyota didn’t meddle too much and kill its mojo. Across all trim levels, the 2016 Avalon received new light grey interior color with grey accent stitching. How exactly Toyota can call grey on grey an “accent” is beyond me, but it does.

On the XLE and XLE Plus trim levels, Toyota added a standard 7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen and standard premium woodgrain accents.

Otherwise, comparing the images of the 2015 Avalon to the 2016 model show no changes. But like I said, that’s not really a bad thing.

Drivetrain

2016 Toyota Avalon High Resolution Exterior
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Toyota made no mention of the 2016 Avalon’s drivetrain, so I assume it will continue on with the same engine as the 2015 model: the 3.5-liter V-6 that cranks out 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Sure it’s not powerhouse, but it’s adequate for this sedan.

In 2015, this engine mated to a six-speed, paddle-shift transmission, and my guess is that this will continue into 2016. This transmission and Toyota’s 3.5-liter engine are capable of delivering 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

On the suspension side of the equation, Toyota has split the XLE-through-Limited trims from the Touring trim, and given the former a more comfortable ride and the latter a more sport-tuned suspension.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 3.5-Liter V-6
Output 268 HP at 6,200 RPM
Torque 248 LB-FT at 4,700 RPM
Transmission Six-Speed Automatic W/ Paddle Shifters

Prices

2016 Toyota Avalon High Resolution Exterior
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Given this is just a simple refresh, I don’t expect to see a huge jump in price from the 2015 model’s $32,285 base MSRP. We may see a few hundred bucks for inflation, but not much more.

Competition

Chevrolet Impala

2014 - 2015 Chevrolet Impala High Resolution Exterior
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The Impala was the sales winner in its class by a long shot, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a better car than the Avalon. At $27,060, the Impala certainly has price in its favor, but in terms of style, it is a little flat.

In its engine compartment sits a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder that wheezes out 196 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The optional engine is a 3.6-liter V-6 that trumps the Avalon at 305 horses and 264 pound-feet of torque. Both engines have their power routed to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

In order to meet the level of luxury that the base-level Avalon offers, you would have to bump up to the 1LTZ trim level, which bumps the price of the Impala to $34,465.

Kia Cadenza

2014 - 2015 Kia Cadenza High Resolution Exterior
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The Cadenza is still an up-and-comer in the sub-luxury sedan realm, as buyers still seem a little leery of dropping $34,900 on a Kia. Well, I spent a week with one, and it felt like it was worth twice that amount. Badges be damned, it was smooth, quick, agile enough, and very well-equipped.

Under its hood is a 3.3-liter V-6 that delivers 293 horses and 255 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed auto transmission. This is enough oomph to get the big sedan to 60 mph in under seven seconds, putting it in line with the Avalon.

In terms of luxury, I think the Cadenza is one of the best in the segment for its price. It comes standard with a 12-speaker audio system, a rearview camera, leather seating, heated front seats, and much more.

Conclusion

2016 Toyota Avalon High Resolution Exterior
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I’ve long been a closet fan of the Avalon, as it represents a great value in the industry, with legendary Toyota build quality. You really can’t lose. When Toyota revised it for 2013, I thought it needed a little something more. With this refresh, I think the Toyota fixed a lot of the flaws, putting the Avalon on the right track for continued success. Who knowns, it may even start reeling in the best-selling Impala.

  • Leave it
    • * Likely no engine updates
    • * Refresh is a little on the light side

Press Release

Unveiled as all-new in 2012, the fourth-generation Avalon was the first vehicle to meet Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s challenge to create cars that spark people’s emotions. Toyota mixed its legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) with a strong dose of emotion through fresh new styling, improved performance, and high-tech features. They proved to be winning ingredients as Avalon quickly grabbed the attention of mid-size premium car buyers in segment leading numbers.

2016 Toyota Avalon High Resolution Exterior
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Five distinct grades on the V6 models will give customers a wide array of choice (XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited and Touring). Hybrid customers can choose from three separate grades, adding luxury features and technology options as they move up the chain from XLE Plus to XLE Premium and Limited. Two unique suspension systems were developed for the 2016 Avalon to better align with diverse customer preferences. One retuned suspension prioritizes a comfortable ride for the XLE through Limited
grades. The other, provides a more dynamic and responsive driving experience for the Touring grade. Both of these suspension tunings are new and represent significant improvements over the current production Avalon.

The refreshed 2016 Avalon adds more refinement with an array of styling, performance and technology enhancements. New features on all Avalon grades will include:

  • Wider lower front grille with narrow upper grille design
  • Newly-designed turn signals (replacing fog lights)
  • Refined LED taillights
  • Chrome rear bumper accent
  • New gray accent stitching with light gray interior
    Additional new standard features on the XLE and XLE Plus grades include:
  • Redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels
  • 7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen
  • Premium woodgrain dash ornamentation
  • Tire-specific Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
    2016 Toyota Avalon Exterior
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    Technology upgrades are added to the Avalon XLE Premium grade as it receives Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and the Qi Wireless Charging as standard equipment. The performance-tuned Avalon Touring grade adds to its sporty styling with new standard features that include:

    2016 Toyota Avalon High Resolution Exterior
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  • Redesigned 18-inch dark gray painted alloy wheels
  • New sporty front fascia
  • New LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • Unique “Touring” badge
    The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited rounds out the updates with the addition of new 18-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on gas models, and new 17-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on the Limited hybrid (also optional on gas Limited). The Limited adds optional advanced safety features including automatic high beam headlights, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and Lane Departure Alert.
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Press release
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