The 2013 Toyota Avalon made big news when it was introduced back in 2012because it was, well, pretty. It showed that a big, comfy front-drive Toyota sedan could indeed be attractive and, more importantly, was proof that the automaker’s design department had awoken from its long slumber. Well, now that they’re awake, Toyota’s designers just couldn’t leave well enough alone, as evidenced by the new 2016 Avalon revealed at the 2015 Chicago auto show.
The most overt change is the wider grille, which trades the current gleaming grin for a down-turned perma-frown. The current model’s fog lamps disappear in favor of vertical turn signals, and the headlamp innards have been slightly redesigned, with dual-wing LED running lamps added to Touring models. Out back, all Avalons receive new taillamps and chrome garnishes on the bumper.
The Avalon model line has grown from four to five trim levels for 2016: XLE, new-for-2016 XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring, and Limited. Hybrid models will be offered in XLE Plus, XLE Premium, and Limited forms. All Avalons come standard with Toyota’s Entune audio system with a seven-inch touch screen, while XLE Premium models add tech goodies such as navigation and wireless device charging. The Touring model sports a unique front fascia, LED headlamps, and redesigned dark-gray 18-inch wheels. Limited models also get 18-inch wheels—finished in “Super Chrome”!—as well as optional safety stuff such as adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, and lane-departure warning.