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2021 Toyota Avalon Gets AWD for the First Time

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2021 Toyota Avalon Limited AWD
Photo: Toyota

Toyota has officially announced details for the 2021 Toyota Avalon, which for the first time will be available with all-wheel drive and a special Nightshade Edition model that’s sure to catch the eye.

At a time when many automakers are abandoning sedans, Toyota keeps investing in the Avalon. The car entered its fifth generation in 2019 and it was offered with a TRD performance model for the first time only a year later. Now, the first-ever Avalon AWD will arrive in showrooms this fall, giving customers even more reasons to consider the stylish car.

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2021 Toyota Avalon XSE Nightshade wheels
Photo: Toyota

For 2021, the Avalon is offered in 10 different variants, including three hybrid models. The Avalon Hybrid combines a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine with two electric motors (one drives the wheel and the other charges the battery pack), delivering 215 horsepower. Toyota estimates the Avalon Hybrid will get a combined fuel economy of 44, making it superbly efficient for its size.

If you don’t mind spending more at the pump, there’s always a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 301 horsepower. If you get the Avalon TRD model, the purring V6 gets an aggressive catback dual exhaust system, a unique sport-tuned suspension, an exclusive aerodynamic body kit, and lots of sexy interior details.

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2021 Toyota Avalon Limited AWD interior
Photo: Toyota

The AWD system, however, is only offered with the non-hybrid four-cylinder models, which are rated at 205 horsepower. Toyota says it worked hard to ensure the AWD system did not negatively impair fuel economy (though it still does) and claims that interior space, for both passengers and cargo, and ride quality have not been affected.

The 2021 Toyota Avalon will still come standard with Toyota Safety Sense-P and not TSS 2.5, the automaker’s latest suite of advanced safety technologies. However, it does get an available birds-eye-view camera with perimeter scanning capability, and for the first time, it will also get standard Android Auto smartphone compatibility as well as USB-C charging ports.

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2021 Toyota Avalon XSE Nightshade
Photo: Toyota

As for the Avalon Nightshade Edition, it will add a black grille, rear spoiler, mirror caps, 19-inch alloy wheels, name badges, and other black details. It will be offered on the XSE trim level with both black and silver exterior colors.

If only other automakers had put as much effort into their sedans, maybe they would still exist.