The XLE serves as the base trim, but it's still a $40,000 Toyota with leather seats, keyless access, dual zone climate control, and a sunroof. The Avalon Limited requires another $2095 and adds HID headlamps with LED DRLs, blind spot monitoring, nicer leather, heated and cooled seating, and a bunch of other items.
During the middle of May, we spent a week driving around Halifax, Nova Scotia, in a 2015 Toyota Avalon Limited loaned to us by Toyota Canada, but this car was also fitted with the $3100 premium package: JBL 11-speaker audio, heated rear seats, pre-collision, auto high beams, rear seat climate control, radar cruise control, and a power rear window sunshade.
• Massive rear seat
• Easy control layout
• Unimpeachable build quality
• A hint of junior Lexus
• Shocking real-world mileage
|THE BAD |
• Whither the bolstering?
• Overall quiet makes tire hum obvious
• The Camry+ aura
• Not exactly a handler
• Poor brake feel
As ever, the fourth-generation Toyota Avalon is related to the Camry, Canada's best-selling midsize car. The Avalon is only 4.4 inches longer and 104 pounds heavier and shares the engine of the 2015 Camry XSE V6 we drove this past winter. The Avalon is also obviously related to the Lexus ES, which offers a cabin that's only 2% smaller and a trunk that's only 5% smaller. As a result of its connections to two popular cars which bear a number of key similarities, the Avalon has always found it difficult to locate its niche.
Not since 2005 has Toyota Canada sold more than 2000 copies of the Avalon in a single year. Since 2006, Toyota has averaged fewer than 800 annual Canadian sales. After 2013's year-over-year trebling of volume to 1264 sales, 2014 Avalon volume slid 21%.
Toyota is refreshing the fourth-generation Avalon for the 2016 model year – sales are down 14% through April – so we're taking a look at this outgoing model. Yes, choosing your Avalon will be easy, but finding one? It's never a common car on the lots of Toyota's Canadian dealerships, but don't be surprised if later this year a few remaining 2015s can be had with impressive discounts.