There are certain cars I look forward to driving all year long. Sometimes they’re tiny and sometimes they’re huge. This year, there was one car in particular that I’ve been looking forward to more than any other: the 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid.
The Avalon may seem like a strange car to be enamored with- especially for a writer who regularly encounters high-dollar exotics from Mercedes, Porsche, and Nissan at his day job- but hear me out. For starters, the Toyota Avalon is a seriously nice car. It’s big, roomy, soft, and rides like your grandmother’s old Buick Roadmaster in the best possible way. The Avalon is a land yacht in a time when every car is trying to be a BMW. Beyond that, though, it’s probably the biggest, roomiest, softest, land yachtiest car you can buy today … and it doesn’t saddle you with a luxury nameplate, either.
That’s right. I’m arguing that having a “fashionable” badge like Audi on the nose of the car would actually detract from the experience of driving the 2017 Toyota Avalon. That’s because those badges, fairly or not, say something about the person behind the wheel. They’re fashion statements. They say to the world that you think four plastic rings on the nose of a car is worth a 10-20% markup over what is, mechanically, a virtually identical VW.
Toyota, though? Toyota is beige. It’s a badge that’s so mainstream it hurts. It’s camouflage, in other words. You could be anyone in a Toyota- and you could be a very comfortable anyone in a Toyota Avalon.
That should be enough blatant rear-end affection for Toyota to get me on the Avalon list for 2018, don’t you think? Before we sign off, though, I do want to share a few more thoughts about the latest take on Toyota’s big four-door.
2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid | About the Car
The car still looks like a catfish. Don’t get me wrong, the 2017 Toyota Avalon is a much better automotive catfish than an Audi A7 or Mercedes-Benz CLA-class, in my opinion, but it’s there. That’s OK, though- the textured metal on the dashboard’s touchable surface more than makes up for any aesthetic complaints by being super fun to touch. The contrast-colored seats in this tester also looked great. Although, I was worried, as my daughter is a bit of a kicky toddler. I needn’t have worried, though- the Toyota Avalon is just big enough that she can’t reach back of the front seats without a serious effort. Enough of an effort, apparently, to make kicking the back of daddy’s seat a chore.
Score another one for the Avalon.
Finally, this is a green car blog, so it should be noted that the Avalon continues Toyota’s history of delivering excellent MPG numbers while in my care. In the case of the Avalon, I fell a bit short of the car’s claimed 40 city / 39 highway. I credit that more to the car’s willingness to quietly hum along at almost 90 MPH with the same sort of calm my Civic exhibits at 50. Which, you know- again: it’s a really nice car.