I came into my review of the 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD with one pre-formed opinion of what I thought it would be. That seems pretty normal and textbook human nature to me. However, after testing it, I walked away with a completely different opinion.
The newest member of Toyota Racing Development’s (TRD) lineup of performance Toyota models will begin hitting dealership lots within the next few weeks. Customers will soon have the opportunity to see the all-new 2020 Avalon TRD and test it out for themselves. My job is to give you a sneak preview of what to expect.
Just what is the 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD anyway?
Toyota just redesigned its full-sized Avalon sedan for the 2019 model year, complete with sleek styling inside and out. It also made many improvements and additions in the areas of safety and technology.
Just like the 2020 Camry TRD coming this fall, Toyota created a combination of luxury and track-tuned performance with their 2020 Avalon TRD. Think of a 2019 Avalon XSE super-sized with the look and driving feel of a track car.
Highlights are TRD-tuned front and rear suspension, aero-enhanced exterior styling and black-with-red TRD-themed interior.
The 2020 Avalon TRD exterior styling is very unique
Of course, I knew ahead of time I was going to be researching and testing a new Avalon. This is Toyota’s signature full-size sedan and carries with it a pedigree for luxury that is smooth and quiet and comfortable. Thus, I was expecting one thing. I found something very different – quite unique.
Toyota’s design studio, Calty, brought big styling improvements unlike any I have seen in a previous model Toyota. Glossy black and red are the themes with Avalon TRD and figure prominently into this overall look.
I was immediately drawn to the wide side aero kit that extends the from door to door, in black with subtle yet prominent red pinstripes (did I just oxymoron myself there).
Also, the front end features an aero splitter that screams a little of Fast and the Furious. Other exterior highlights are 19 x 8.5-inch matte-black alloy wheels with red brake calipers, black badging and stainless steel TRD exhaust tips.
The sound emanating from the exhaust is completely “un-Avalonlike.” Toyota calls it a specially-tuned cat-back dual exhaust. I think enthusiasts will appreciate the muscular, throatier exhaust that reminds us just how sporty and high-performance this vehicle really is.
Great handling with 2020 Avalon TRD
For my test drive I chose a combination of city streets and a nice long stretch of Highway 540 near Raleigh NC. There is this ideal country road named Umstead Church Road that is secluded with winding curves and sharp turns perfect for testing the new suspension and handing.
As soon as I got to this country road, I immediately knew I liked the Avalon TRD. The car drove smooth and felt like it was gliding along the road. You can see in my test drive video that the Avalon hugged even the sharpest of curves and never felt like I would not have total control of the car. This is important, because we all have times where we have misjudged just how sharp of a curve we are on. You will love the control the TRD offers.
I was impressed with the pickup and 0-60 of the Avalon. It comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 301 horsepower and is matched with a direct-shift 8-speed automatic transmission. Combine that with thick underbody braces and specially-tuned shock absorbers and you have a luxury sedan with nice acceleration, a smooth ride and lively agility.
My highway test drive was just as successful and it solidified my positive impressions of 2020 Avalon TRD. I found the Avalon cruised along the road with a low level of road noise. The cabin was relatively quiet as well. I found there was a minor amount of wind noise, but it was not atypical of any car at highway speeds, and certainly not to the point where it would be anything close to annoying.
Interior styling of 2020 Avalon TRD
Black and red are the themes you will find throughout the cabin of Avalon TRD. I found the black SofTex sport heated front seats surprisingly comfortable and they hugged my body in a way that made me forget I was even driving in a car at times. We are in our seats for enough time already. Comfort is important.
The red accents really completed the interior look, with red stitching, red accents and even red seatbelts. You will also find TRD headrests, shift knob and carpet and trunk mats.
Inside the car felt like a departure from the Avalon norm which is refreshing and should strongly appeal to enthusiasts looking to match sportiness with Avalon’s traditionally luxurious feel.
Check out my 2020 Avalon TRD test drive and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily automotive news analysis.
My final thoughts
I enjoyed researching and testing the 2020 Avalon TRD – even more than I thought I would. It has an ideal blend of eye-catching exterior accents, along with a sporty interior, and great technology and safety features.
It is my recommendation that you should give the new Avalon TRD consideration for your next vehicle. Be sure to report back and let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story where I am reviewing the 2019 Toyota Sienna van, including two video reviews.
Bookmark Jeff Teague's Toyota News and Reviews at Torque News Toyota. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at ToyotaJeff1.