What Changed for 2009:
- New active headrests
- Touring version discontinued
- New Cocoa Bean Metallic paint
Debuting in 1994, the Toyota Avalon is the largest sedan and the flagship of the automaker's car lineup. Often referenced as a large version of the popular Toyota Camry (because it was built on the Camry's platform), the early models did little to differentiate themselves in terms of luxury from their smaller siblings. Now in its third generation, the Avalon has moved decidedly upscale with sleek styling and a wood-trimmed interior. To appeal to the traditional large-car buyer, Toyota has equipped the Avalon with features more commonly reserved for models in the premium segments. As a result, today's Avalon earns the badge as the flagship of Toyota's car lineup.
Toyota made significant changes to the 2008-model Avalon when they updated its transmission, braking system, exterior and option package lineup. A new, standard, electronically controlled, 6-speed automatic transmission was also added. For 2009, Toyota's large family sedan only receives minor updates, including new active headrests and one new exterior paint color-Cocoa Bean Metallic.
The 2009 Toyota Avalon is sold in three trim levels: XL, XLS and Limited. The base XL model includes dual rear exhaust, 9-speaker stereo, dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and reclining rear seats. The XLS includes wood trim on the dash and door panels, power moonroof, 6-disc in-dash CD changer and aluminum door scuff plates. The top-line Limited version of the Avalon includes Toyota's Smart Key system, heated and ventilated front seats, 12-speaker JBL stereo with 360 watts of power, Bluetooth wireless capability, power rear sunshade, and high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights.
Optional equipment on the 2009 Toyota Avalon includes a voice-activated DVD navigation system, dynamic laser cruise control (DLCC), 8-way power passenger seat, and a sporty rear decklid spoiler.
A 3.5-liter V-6 engine that drives the front wheels is found on all 2009 Toyota Avalon models. It generates 268 hp and 248 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine includes both dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and a dual-stage variable intake manifold for steady and smooth power throughout the range, Toyota says. A 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission is standard on all models. During EPA fuel-economy testing, the 2009 Toyota Avalon earned ratings of 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.
Standard safety fare on the 2009 Toyota Avalon includes dual front air bags; front-seat-mounted side air bags; two rows of side curtain air bags; and a driver's knee air bag. The anti-lock braking system includes electronic brake-force distribution (EBD). Safety options, including electronic vehicle stability control (VSC) with traction control and brake assist, are available on all models.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2009 Toyota Avalon earns a 5-star rating in both front and side-impact crashes. The Avalon receives an overall \"Good\" crash test rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Institute also labeled it a \"Top Safety Pick\" for 2009.
The 2009 Toyota Avalon is available with Dynamic Laser Cruise Control (DLCC). The electric cruise control automatically slows the Avalon to match the speed of the vehicle ahead to maintain a safe following distance, the automaker says. The system switches between two modes-the traditional constant-speed mode familiar to all cruise-control users and a vehicle-to-vehicle mode that uses a laser sensor and computer to keep track of the car in the lane ahead. Drivers set a distance that they're comfortable with-ranging from 100 to 245 feet ahead-and the car will adjust the throttle and braking to maintain that distance behind the traffic ahead, Toyota claims. The manufacturer notes that DLCC is not a collision-avoidance system, but rather a vehicle speed-control device best used on highways with light to moderate traffic.