By on August 14, 2019

In the bittersweet recent history of the traditional full-size sedan, no move comes across quite as desperate as Toyota’s TRD-ification of the admittedly competent Avalon. No one — repeat, no one — thinks of the Avalon as a taught, corner carving sports sedan, though the model did gain stiffer bones and better handling via its 2019 model year revamp. Frankly, few people think of the Avalon at all.

Which is a shame, as no one loves large, conservative cars more than your author. Add to that the fact that the current inhabitants of the full-size segment have a lot going for them, cargo capacity excluded, and the Avalon is well-known for being among the longest-lasting vehicles on the road.

In donning the Toyota Racing Development badge, the Avalon can’t help but get noticed, though the reaction of passers-by might fall along the lines of “WTF,” rather than “Oh, dammnnnn…” That’s assuming they ever see one.

According to pricing guides seen by Cars Direct, the sportified Avalon TRD splits the pricing difference between the former top two trims: Limited and Touring. With an after-destination starting price of $43,255, the Avalon TRD falls $200 above the Limited and the same amount below the Touring.

There’s plenty of choice when it comes to selecting an Avalon, and last year’s test drive of the new 2019 model revealed a concerted push by Toyota brass to push the then-sportiest XSE model to a younger crowd. In this driver’s opinion, a competent chassis and spacious (if somewhat unharmonious) interior was let down by a laggy eight-speed automatic that failed to make best use of the 3.5-liter V6’s 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Dialing up extra firmness was accomplished by a drive mode selector, and indeed, the firmest of the modes was too firm.

If memory serves correct, the Avalon’s perfectly pleasant hybrid variant left a better lasting impression. Regardless, many of the go-fast bits added to the XSE appear on the TRD model, joined by an underbody with extra bracing, upgraded brakes, beefier springs, a 0.6-inch suspension drop, dual cat-back exhaust with look-over-here chrome tips, and lightweight 19-inch matte black wheels. Aero add-ons flourish.

If the Avalon already catches your eye, the ballsiest, most noticeable variant just might be your thing, though the price tag and power specs attached to this front-drive cruiser will inevitably garner the question “why?” should you sign on the dotted line.

After all, a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack offers full-size space, a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 (485 horsepower, 475 lb-ft), and a sportier rear-drive layout for $1,515 less than an Avalon TRD. Different strokes for different folks?

Whatever your bag, the Avalon TRD goes on sale alongside its Camry TRD cousin this fall. Report back if you see one.

Image: Toyota

[Images: Toyota]

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60 Comments on “Pricing Revealed for Toyota Avalon TRD, Tapout Shirt Excluded...”


  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I’m fairly certain I won’t notice it even if one happens to pass by.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Camry TRD?!? Avalon TRD?!? (double facepalm)

  • avatar

    “No one thinks of the Avalon as a taut…” Not taught. And yes no one does think of the Avalon as taut, corner-carving sports sedan. Nor should they. That is not it’s mission.

  • avatar
    d4rksabre

    No one asked for this

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Gently used and heavily depreciated? De-badge it of everything except the Toyota logos?

    Then I’d consider it seriously.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m not anti-TRD Camry or Avalon. These are in the same spirit as the original Marauder, Sport Fury GT, Impala SS, Bonneville SSE, and many other flashy, kind of sporty big sedans. I have generally been a fan of such things.

    HOWEVER, they didn’t do a very good job here. IMO the Avalon looks bad in any trim and the Camry TRD has an completely goofball rear wing on it that looks straight out of 2002. Also black wheels. As was mentioned, a transmission re-calibration would be the biggest help here, not an aggressive body kit.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I think all the cars you mentioned, except maybe the Bonneville SSE (Thogh the SSE-I was the top performance dog) got more power. The Maurader got the Cobra motor, The Impala SS got an iron block Corvette motor, The SSE-I got the supercharged 3800 and I admit, I don’t know what the Fury got. The Avalon gets black wheels.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        This car, like every Avalon, is faster than all of the cars you mentioned. It didn’t need more power. It needed a chassis capable of using the power it already has.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Time marches on. The newest of those cars was made in 2003. As was mentioned, one can get a scat pack charger should they need to go fast with 4 doors for the same money. Those aren’t likely cross shopped though. Nor is the Alfa Giulia that starts for thousands less.

          Now those all bring different attributes than the Toyota and would again, not likely be cross shopped. But it does raise the question, who is this car for? It does all the same stuff well the normal Avalon does but the looks write checks the car can’t cash and hint of attributes that no Avalon buyer cares about. If they wanted a sports sedan and had to have a Toyota, they’d be at the Lexus dealer. If they weren’t sold on Toyota they’d almost certainly be elsewhere. If they want a comfy, reliable, largeish A to B car, then I would recommend the Avalon, but again, they likely dont want any pretense of sport or low profile tires.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          All of those cars were, however, much better looking.

          The Avalon used to be a nice looking car. There are very few worse looking cars on the market right now. For that money you shouldn’t have to back in the garage so you don’t see that front clip when you leave in the morning.

  • avatar

    Touche. Lol.

  • avatar
    dwford

    This reminds me of a middle age dad who went to the sporting goods store and came home wearing athletic wear designed for 20 year olds. Um, dad, your polo shirt and chinos from Kohl’s looked just fine on you….

  • avatar
    nels0300

    Good Lort!

    A Charger Scat Pack for the same $$ as a TRD Avalon?

    Who is this for?

    OK, the Charger is too redneck for you, fine, but why wouldn’t you get a Kia Stinger? Because it’s a Kia?

    I guess this is for people who absolutely won’t buy anything but a Toyota.

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    Looks are subjective. In CaddyDaddy’s eyes this thing is beyond ridiculous. It is just cartoon-ish appearing to be designed by the Anime crowd right out of the Akihabara District in Tokyo.

    The 94′ – 96′ Impala SS worked, it was tasteful and had the bones to back up its looks. ….. so did the Buick T types of lore for that matter…..

    I can’t really say what looks worse, the maw or the arse?

    Toyota, what is your target market? Are you trying to sell an old women a young man’s car? This is neither?

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      I think this car is visually un-attractive too. That said, I can see any number of 30-something dads in my hometown buying one. The design certainly pays tribute to the tuner car culture in Japan and elsewhere, and I believe there are enough of those enthusiasts to make this trim package successful.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Does any aftermarket firm offer a de-uglify front end kit for these?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    No one in the B&B can ever complain again about Ford’s use of ST or GM’s use of RS. At least for RS in GM, it has always been more of an appearance package than a performance package.

    Front-wheel drive, same HP as any other model, and existing models already have options for sport tuning, adjustable dampers, etc. This feels like grasping at straws.

    Wonder if any of the rental agencies will grab a few of these sleds on discount.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I used to attend the Long Beach Grand Prix each year. I think I understand the genesis of this car. Toyota was/is a big sponsor of Long Beach. Between sessions they would dispatch a fleet of Camry course cars that were whisper quiet but had clearly had their suspensions sorted with the intention of getting around the track faster than the ST class race cars. They were spectacular to watch and had me thinking about building the ultimate Q-ship, which would be a car that has the stealth, thrust, efficiency and robustness of a V6 Camry combined with the cornering limits of an M3. Sadly, they made the Camry TRD too overt, but I might buy an Avalon TRD if there is a muted enough color offered.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Total sidebar. One year I was in Long Beach just days after the Grand Prix. Some of the course barriers were still up, grandstands were still up in places, along with some of the temporary track markings. All of the thick black skid marks on the sharper course turns was still on the road.

      Words cannot express how disappointed I was to have a feckin’ Chevy Captiva as a rental sled.

  • avatar
    PeterKK

    I want one! That looks rad. And the big ol’ sedan really does have appeal to me. Probably because I’m an in and digging my 04 right now. :)

  • avatar
    Urlik

    As hideous as the nose is, the OCD in me hates it even more because it would be nearly impossible to keep all those teeny nooks and crannies in the fake grill clean.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I am not going to complain, even if: nobody will buy it, nobody asked for it, etc. As all they say above^^
    Looks good. If someone wants to maintain expensive tire and brake changes – why not? Does not cost me anything.

  • avatar
    lstanley

    I. Love. This. Car.

    Except the grill. ay, Dios míos

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Dark colors are your friend on an Avalon.

      I’m actually weirdly delighted that my Regal has a largely functional grill with very little block off area.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Looks like a phantasy Buick Lacrosse GT and is thus a contradiction in terms. A phat phront drive wobbler-de-luxe with a body kit. Lord, be still my fluttering heart! My dreams are coming true!

    To whom is this thing supposed to appeal? A current Camry RS TRD back-road carving driver with stringback driving gloves, a retrofit wooden steering wheel rim and attitude? That’s how Akio strikes me with his exciting new Supra featuring double bubble roof from 1959 and a Daffy Duck bill for a rear spoiler. Completely out of touch.

    Toyota as a company has more and better PR/marketing fantasizers than actual performance engineers and is fixated on execrable front end styling, ears closed to any criticism. If life were like Toyota, food would consist only of cheese-food-topped burgers and fries for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This Avalon TRD adds a dollop of mayonnaise and a sliver of unripe tomato to make sure you’re getting your veggies.

    Give me a break.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      The Supra and the 86 are to me, a white flag from Toyota when it comes to drivers cars. This is strange to me since they built the LF-A a few years back. The Supra is especially egrigious to me since Lexus sells a RWD coupe. Yes, it has a v6 and not an inline 6, but a blown v6 tht is actually a Toyota motor would have been no less offensive to the purists than a rebodied BMW.

      It’s like coffee makers. Toyota is Mr. Coffee. It will have you a pot of mediocre coffee ready every morning. Same bland cup. morning after morning. I’d rather screw with the Gaggia and get a memorable cup every morning.

      The problem here is that we all remember the MK IV Supra which gave me Gaggia coffee with all the reliability of the Mr. Coffee for just a hair more cash. Where are those engineers and designers?

  • avatar
    R Henry

    In that Avalon TRD—Charger Scat-Pack cross shop:

    Seeya at your local Dodge Boys!

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      A no brainer to all except the “But muh Consumer Reports says…” crowd.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Or to anyone who has owned a Toyota and a Mopar/Daimler/Cerberus/Fiat or a book. Find a used Charger with an unbranded title. They must handle great!

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I don’t buy used unless we are talking some classic I missed out on back in the day or a bucket list car. And do you mean to imply that no FCA sedans handle? The Alfa Giulia would like a word. I can actually get the one I want (Sport with those sexy paddle shifters) for a few grand under the Avalon. Again, not cross shopped, but nobody that would care about an Avalon that handles is buying an Avalon either and the Giulia is actually a sports sedan.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    No, Toyota likes to fill every single niche it can think of, but this is one niche that no one asked about, anymore than they wanted a Fleetwood 60 Special with a six-speed back in the day. To me, Avalon buyers were always those people wide of stern who weren’t comfortable in Camry seats, and who should have spent more effort in their Jenny Craig program. The old wives tale of “Toyota Builds a Buick”(the Crown and Cressida models) currently includes the Avalon, I feel. The TRD moniker may as well add the missing ‘U’.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Sooooo…..Where can I get this 6 Speed Fleetwood 60 Special?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        There’s a fair number of Crown Vic 6 speed manual conversions out there…

        The first time I heard “Toyota Builds A Buick” was in C&D and it was in reference to the first gen Avalon – “If Toyota built a Lesabre this would be what it was like.”

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          So if one can convert a Crown Vic to a 6 Speed, one should be able to do the same to a Town Car. Additionally, if a 4.6 fits, it would stand to reason that a Coyote should fit with minimal issue. I posted earlier about German metal powered by LS power was likely in my future, but this could be equally fun and just as terrible enough of an idea to make it worth looking at.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    So if the Camry and Avalon are automotive sweat pants, are the TRD versions automotive Adidas track suits worn to the mall?

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    My thoughts on the Avalon and the reasons for its demise are well documented elsewhere.

    This model right here is what you get when the OEM’s actually listen to and respond to “enthusiasts” and “automotive journalists” – instead of real customers. (Further detail available upon request.)

    Excerpted from ToolGuy’s Guidelines for the Automotive Business (TM):
    12. Enthusiasts will steer you wrong 87.2% of the time.
    16. When the fuel filler door sheet metal is as tortured as that first picture shows, something is seriously wrong with your design.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Pretty much every enthusiast I know wants to manual transmission all of the things. I don’t know of any that want to Buick all of the things unless it involves a wildcat or Grand National.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        Art,

        Reading comprehension – it’s helpful.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I guess I just don’t see an actual enthusiast giving a second thought about an Avalon unless they are suggesting a last ride to their aged parents or their spouse cares not about cars and even the last one is a stretch…I have to ride in it on occasion.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            “I guess I just don’t see an actual enthusiast giving a second thought about an Avalon unless they are suggesting a last ride to their aged parents or their spouse cares not about cars

            I would never do that to my family.


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