First Drive – 2016 Toyota Avalon Touring Adds Lux and Youthful Flair

by Tony West and Sommer Thornton

The 2016 Toyota Avalon adds a refreshed Touring model to its popular lineup that also includes a new Hybrid XLE. The 2016 Avalon Touring, on sale for $36k is nearly fully loaded, with a new unique grille, LED lighting and a ultra-premium interior.


New for 2016

2016 Toyota Avalon Touring
2016 Toyota Avalon Touring

The Toyota Avalon adds a more muscular front fascia to the Touring model with a wider front grille, LED head lights, daytime running lights, and a more chiseled profile.

18 inch wheels and a new sporty suspension makes this mid-size sedan ride like a sporty luxury whip.

All new Toyota Safety Sense-P option for the Limited model includes a ton of new driver-assist technology


Aggressive Sultry new Exterior Design

The 2016 Toyota Avalon Touring seems to be the best looking yet. The midsize sedan picks up where the Camry leaves off offering a wide grille that nearly extends the length of the entire front fascia. I like the wider more planted look the Avalon achieves with lower chassis, body lines in the grill and the deeper concave for the LED fog lights. The new Avalon also comes in cool colors like Ooh La La, Rouge Mica, Sizzling Crimson Mica and Parisian Night Pearl.

2016 Toyota Avalon Touring
2016 Toyota Avalon Touring

The 2016 Touring model also boasts available 20 spoke alloy wheels along with smoke LED tail lights and color-keyed heated outside mirrors with puddle lights. From the outside, the 2016 Avalon Touring looks smaller. But with a 110 inch wheelbase, the whip is actually very spacious inside with a luxurious leather trimmed cabin that has tons of leg and head room for all 5 passenger.

Dual chrome-tipped exhausts are also a nice touch.



Smooth Touring Performance

The Toyota Avalon’s most notable feature is typically its smooth performance during both street cruising and high speeds. The 2016 Touring model has a 3.5 liter DOHC V6 engine with an impressive 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. The 24-valve engine features Toyota Direct Injection, dual variable valve timing with intelligence.

The front-wheel drive has a 6 speed ECT-i automatic transmission with Sequential Shift Mode and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Torque distribution is smooth in manual and automatic mode with a coefficient drag of .28. Suspension is on luxury class levels with independent MacPherson strut front suspension and independent dual link MacPherson strut front suspension. The Avalon also accelerates great with a gentle thrust of power at the tap of the gas. Electrically-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is fluid and responsive, making corning and parking in tight spots simple.

2016 Toyota Avalon
2016 Toyota Avalon

The 2016 Avalon seems to add more efficiency to the new model to compliment its Hybrid companion. The Touring model has a combined mpg of 24 mpg (21 mpg city/ 31 mpg highway.) Eco mode adds more efficiency adjusting A/C functions and balancing rpms.

Sport mode revs up the driving experience by adjusting throttle response, electric power steering, and transmission shifting – including throttle blipping downshift control.

The 2016 Avalon Touring boasts ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes that could use more grip.

The Avalon’s Star Safety System is more of the same with standard ABS and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The 2016 Avalon also has a standard tire pressure monitoring system. The whip has 10 airbags and driver and front passenger whiplash-injury lessening seats.

The available Pre-Collision system with Pedestrian Detection is designed to help mitigate the effect of certain frontal vehicle impacts, by first tightening the front seat belts and applying the brakes.

Available Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, uses a radar sensor at the front of the Avalon to help control speed and keep a pre-set distance from the vehicle traveling directly ahead.

Safety Connect, available in the Limited model includes emergency assistance, Stolen Vehicle locator, roadside assistance, and automatic collision notification.


Tech-Advance Interior adds more Luxury

Toyota makes the 2016 Avalon Touring’s best highlight it’s luxury tech-savvy driver-focused cockpit. The new Avalon Touring has a leather-trimmed 5 passenger cockpit with 42 inch of front legroom and 39 inches of rear legroom, the roomiest in the midsize sedan segment. Standard with the Touring model is the driver’s 8 way heated and ventilated power seat and a passenger 4 way adjustable heated and cooled seat. The Limited Avalon has heated rear seats.

The Avalon’s luxurious cabin makes it a standout in the segment. Three interior color themes offered including almond, light gray, and black have available smoke chrome trim on the center panel and the doors.

2016 Toyota Avalon interior
2016 Toyota Avalon interior

The luxurious cabin also has a much insulated cabin, with a combination of sound absorbing and sound-insulating materials, acoustic-type glass for the windshield and side glass, and foam injected into the A-, B-, and C- pillars and the rocker panels.

The interior of the 2016 Avalon Touring also has dual-zone climate control with an air filter, along with a cool moonroof, power rear sunshade, and Smart Key System with push button start.

The leather-trimmed cabin has soft leather seating, brown leather accents, black wood-grain style and chrome trim. The new Avalon Touring has a sweeping dash that connects to the center console. As a result, the driver is more comfortably nestled but with the center stack infotainment controls still in reach. Legroom is also abundant. The new instrument panel has an Optitron-type gauges and a 3.5 inch thin-film transistor color multi-information display that shows useful digital info like average fuel economy, range, speed, navigation, drive mode, warning messages, and navigation on the Limited model exclusively.

2016 Toyota Avalon Touring interior
2016 Toyota Avalon Touring interior

New for the 2016 Touring model is the eBin sliding electronic storage tray in the center stack with wire management feature that can charge 2 electronic devices at once with 12-volt jacks located below. It also has LED lighting

I also like the white ice interior ambient lighting that creates a low glow so drivers can see center stack controls, cup holders, and storage without having to turn on the dome lights.

The leather-trimmed steering wheel has controls for the multi-information display, Bluetooth, audio, and voice command.

The center stack in the 2016 Toyota Avalon is new and improved with Intellgent Touch surfaces for audio and climate around the standard 7 inch hi-resolution touch screen. The cool 7 inch screen houses navigation, the backup camera, audio and infotainment settings with a cool split-screen function. I like how I can adjust audio with the navigation still on screen.

The 2016 Toyota Avalon Touring has a standard 9 speaker Entune audio system with HD Radio, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, traffic and weather, plus Gracenote album cover art. The Entune Multimedia Bundle adds a USB port, advance voice recognition, hands-free phone capability and Bluetooth.

The Entune AppSuite adds cool features like AM/FM cache radio, which allows listeners to pause up to 20 minutes of broadcast to play later, predicative traffic and Doppler weather overlay.

Entune AppSuite, which functions with a smartphone brings applications including Destination Search, iHeartRadio,, OpenTable, and Pandora to the Avalon’s 7 inch display screen.

The cool new Toyota Avalon refreshed interior and exterior flair gives it new appeal. While its starting to look more like a Camry, I like the big new grille and leather lux interior. The smooth well-balanced efficient performance is an added bonus. Next I want the contoured Avalon to straighten out the smoothed edges into front and rear to give it back its masculine character.