Ace of Base: 2020 Toyota Avalon XLE

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2020 toyota avalon xle

There’s comfort in a big sedan, both literally and figuratively. The familiarity of a stretch-em-out interior and ability to chew up the miles like candy is like a rejuvenate tonic for those of us who enjoy large cars. Sure, hot hatches are a great bit of fun, but full-size whips are like shaking hands with an old friend.

The Toyota Avalon has been around for longer than you may think, showing up at the Chicago Auto Show in 1994 before going on sale later that same year as a 1995 model. Twenty-five years later, the model remains atop the Big T’s range of cars — and now includes a gonzo TRD version, for some reason. What does the entry-level trim bring? Let’s find out.

All trims of Avalon, save for the hybrid models, are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 making 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Spending more money to move up the food chain nets naught in terms of power. Point for the base car, then. These numbers compare well with other large cars in its rapidly shrinking segment, as the V6 Charger makes around the same amount of grunt — as did the just-departed Impala. An eight-speed automatic funnels all power through the front wheels.

That’s a big grille on the schnoz, so let’s offset it with some brown paint. Opulent Amber, shown here, is actually one of two brown options, a revelation sure to please members of the Brown Car Appreciation Society [link]. Flashy Ruby Red and Wind Chill, both pearl finishes, are the only two shades that cost extra. LED head- and taillights are standard on this base XLE.

A raft of active safety features are included, like pre-collision systems designed to sense when the car is about to mow down a pedestrian, along with the likes of lane keeping and dynamic radar cruise control.

Three different interior hues are available, none of them costing anything above and beyond the base price. Your author prefers the black Softex but understands if retirees in Scottsdale choose beige for heat retention reasons. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard, as are heated seats and a tilt/telescope wheel. All the power windows are auto up/down, meaning all hands can hear the announcer at the drive-in bingo.

Four USB ports is an impressive showing, making up for the fact that wireless charging is an option. Perhaps Toyota knows their demographic better than I. The infotainment duties are taken care of by a large 9-inch touchscreen, a system that features Apple CarPlay plus satellite radio and eight speakers. This is the same standard system installed in other Avalon trims costing thousands more.

Will a base 2020 Avalon set anyone’s world on fire? Likely not. Is it very well-equipped and a great Ace of Base candidate? Comfortably.

[Images: Toyota]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

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2 of 31 comments

    The Toyota Avalon is the only Toyota I would buy. And, the AVALONR license plate in California is still available.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 09, 2020

    Agree the older I get the more appealing an Avalon is to me. A bought a neighbor's low mileage 2012 LaCrosse E-assist for a very low price. A low mileage Avalon would be a good used car but even at 35k a base new Avalon is still not a bad deal. If I were buying new the 2020 Impala Premium trim would be the one I would buy.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.