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2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/20/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid gains an updated Entune multimedia interface and paddle shifters on all trim levels. XLE Touring models gain blind spot detection as standard equipment.

Research

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is a large front-drive semi-premium hybrid sedan powered by a 2.5-liter I-4 paired to an electric motor for a total system output of 200 hp. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is the only gearbox available. Fuel economy is impressive at 40/39 mpg city/highway. There is also a gas-powered Avalon with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine for buyers seeking more power.

Overview

While the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid isn't a sports sedan, the car drives relatively well and stays relatively stabled and composed. The car's hybrid powertrain provides plenty of power for daily driving as well as passing and merging maneuvers at high speeds. Engaging Sport mode makes the throttle more responsive and adds weight to the steering while the CVT keeps the car in its powerband.

The 2015 Avalon's interior design is modern, featuring controls that are laid out logically and an available seven-inch touchscreen. Space is plenty for passengers up front and in the back with plenty of head- and legroom all around; however, the trunk is smaller than gas-powered Avalons at 14 cubic feet and isn't expandable due to the lack of split-folding rear seats. There's also too much bright chrome pieces inside the car, which produce an excessive amount of glare. Extra sound deadening and acoustic improvements make the Avalon Hybrid's interior a pleasant place to be, with little noise entering the cabin.

The NHTSA gave the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS evaluations, the car received a good score in five categories and is designated a Top Safety Pick (good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid remains as one of few large semi-premium sedans that offer impressive fuel economy and a spacious interior in a refined package. In a 2014 First Test review, we said that the extensive use of sound-deadening material and improved acoustics "keeps things quite inside" the cabin. It also drives fairly well for a large comfort-oriented sedan, feeling stable and composed on the move. The excessive chrome trim used throughout the car's interior, however, creates too much glare during the day time. Additionally, the 14 cubic-foot trunk isn't expandable since all Avalon models don't come with split-folding rear seats. The Avalon V-6's trunk can hold 16 cubic feet of cargo.

You'll Like

  • Great gas mileage
  • Quiet and comfortable cabin
  • Peppy hybrid I-4

You Won't Like

  • No split-folding rear seats
  • Too much chrome inside the car
  • Powertrain gets buzzy at higher speeds

Key Competitors

  • Buick LaCrosse eAssist
  • Lexus ES 300h
  • Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Rating

4 star

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