I’ve had a lot of Toyota hybrids over the years, and they’re quite good. This 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is no exception. While it’s similar to it’s Lexus cousin, the Avalon is more affordable, and slightly less luxurious. The suspension is soft and comfortable, the steering is light without too much road feel, but you’d expect that in a comfortable daily driver like the Avalon. The Avalon has room for 5 actual adults. Rear legroom is downright huge. The interior is quiet and supple, it’s just a really nice car.
The hybrid drivetrain is good as usual. I got almost 40mpg in combined city and highway, even in heavy traffic. The Avalon has a good amount of power, however it takes a while to access it. The CVT transmission is always smooth but can be a bit lazy. Power delivery feels like the CVT is “spooling up” for a few seconds. Instant response isn’t there, but when you need it the Avalon has more than enough passing power. The standard V6 in the Avalon is more responsive, but doesn’t get as good gas mileage. Whether or not the hybrid is worth the $2300 difference between it and it’s non hybrid sibling will depend on how much you drive.
Overall the Avalon Hybrid is a fantastic and comfortable 5 passenger sedan. I can’t really think of anything that competes with it. Most manufacturers are going for sport sedan attributes, and this car is geared towards comfort while getting fantastic fuel economy. If you’re looking for a relaxed everyday car, the Avalon is a great choice. It doesn’t really have any sporting credentials, but it doesn’t try to either, and I’m OK with that. Great all around car.