Toyota almost owns the mid-size hybrid car market with its wildly popular Prius. It also has an advantage in the full-size car hybrid sector with the Toyota Avalon Hybrid. The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, on the other hand, stands out not only for its remarkable fuel economy—an EPA-estimated combined rating of 40 mpg—but also for the numerous appealing amenities it shares with its non-hybrid sibling. The Avalon’s sleek exterior style is reminiscent of many European luxury sedans, while the interior’s high-end materials, ample passenger room, and extensive list of high-end standard equipment make it pleasant and convenient to drive. When it comes to hybrid full-size sedans, the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is an obvious choice as our Editors’ Choice.
The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid comes in three trim levels, starting at $36,470 for the XLE Premium, $37,800 for the Hybrid XLE Touring, and $41,700 for the Limited. A $1,950 Technology Package, $499 remote start, $225 carpeted floor mats and trunk liner, $379 illuminated door sill choices, and a $825 destination charge round out our Limited test car’s ultimate price of $45,578.
What Does It Include?
The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is available in three trim levels, each with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 156 horsepower and a 105-kilowatt electric motor supplied by a battery in the trunk for a total of 200 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission sends power to the front wheels (CVT).
The Limited trim we tested includes 17-inch alloy wheels, HID headlights, LED running lights, a sunroof, three-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and seats, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, keyless entry and starting, a power rear sunshade, Bluetooth for phone and audio, the Entune App Suite infotainment system with a 7-inch display and backup camera, and a JB Hi-Fi audio system. Adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, a pre-collision system, and Qi wireless smartphone charging are all included with the Technology Package.
How is the technology?
For various reasons, Toyota’s Entune is one of our favorite infotainment systems. We like that drivers may use their connected smartphone and its data instead of paying a subscription to access cloud-connected features like streaming music and local search via applications like Pandora and Yelp. However, we’ve had intermittent connectivity issues with Entune in numerous Toyotas, with some applications working while others don’t, so there’s a trade-off.
The 7-inch touch-screen interface on the Avalon Hybrid is simple to use and allows you to rearrange the icons on a screen so that you can quickly access the ones you use the most, as well as configure the home screen in a two- or three-panel layout. The low-profile capacitive controls on either side of the LCD aren’t our favorite, but their touch sensitivity can be modified, and the car has huge volume and tuning knobs.
Our test car also includes an unusual wireless phone charging option that worked well, however it requires a specific cover if your phone does not have built-in Qi wireless charging. The driver assistance features in the automobile are simple to use and configure, with clear displays and alerts.
How well does it work?
The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 200-horsepower engine in the 2015 Avalon Hybrid is on the modest side for a car of this size, and acceleration is poor but passable. However, no one buying this car expects it to perform well. Although the CVT causes the engine to drone under heavy acceleration, the Avalon Hybrid is luxuriously silent. The ride is strong yet compliant enough to make the car easy and comfortable to drive, and it is smooth through turns for such a huge sedan.
Should I Purchase It?
The 2015 Avalon Hybrid is clearly the best full-size sedan hybrid on the market. The Buick LaCrosse Hybrid is the only serious contender, although it is significantly less efficient, averaging only 36 mpg combined. While we enjoy Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system, Toyota’s Entune comfortably outperforms it in terms of cost and ease of use. As a result, the Avalon Hybrid is an easy recommendation for hybrid car shoppers, as well as our Editors’ Choice in the segment.
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