27 Best & Worst Toyota Avalon Years (Pictures & Stats)

The Toyota Avalon is a large, premium sedan that was produced for the 1995 – 2022 model years.

It offers a smooth, comfortable ride in a quiet and roomy cabin.

In this article, we’ll be going through all of the best and worst model years of the Avalon.

2022 Avalon

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Toyota Avalon Are:

The best Toyota Avalon model years are 2022 – 2015, 2012, and 2010. The worst model years of the Avalon are 2005 – 2009, 2002, 2003, 2004, 1995 – 2001, 2013, 2014, and 2011. This is based on industry reviews, NHTSA stats and reported problems.

What Are The Best Years For The Toyota Avalon?

2022 Toyota Avalon

The 2022 Avalon is the final model year of the fifth generation, and the final model ever produced. It benefits from over two decades of trial and error and refining.

For 2022, all-wheel-drive and the TRD model were no longer available.

There are 3 trims to choose from: XLE, Limited, and Touring.

When purchased new, prices for base trims ranged from $38,000 to $45,000.

Each model is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine (301 horsepower) mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. 

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2022 Avalon, Edmunds review:

“Driving a hybrid limited! The car is remarkable! Loaded with a lot of safety features at a great price. Last trip I took was 300 miles and I got 47 MPG! For a large car this is fantastic. The quality of the workmanship is second to none! The ride is very smooth and everything works like you would expect!”

2021 and 2020 Toyota Avalon

The 2021 and 2020 Avalon’s boast efficient powertrains, lots of standard safety features, and cavernous trunk space.

New for this model year is the availability of all-wheel-drive on select models, Android Auto as a standard, and high-performance tires for the TRD and Nightshade Edition variants.

There are 6 trims to choose from: XLE, Touring, XSE, Nightshade, Limited, and TRD.

Our favorite safety features are the Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure with Steering Assist, and Intelligent Clearance Sonar.

These sedans also received a perfect 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA. 

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2021 Avalon, Edmunds review:

“Love my new AWD Limited. Thought stepping down to 4 cylinder to get the AWD might be a concern, but not at all. Besides, I didn’t get this car for racing, I got it for luxury and legroom, and this car delivers. Strongly recommend the all weather mat package and the appearance package. Great car, so happy with it. So glad I chose this and not the Highlander.”

2021 Avalon

2019 Toyota Avalon

The 2019 Avalon marks the birth of the fifth generation of Toyota’s once flagship sedan.

Thanks to its major redesign and including lots of standard advanced safety features, buyers can avail Lexus-like quality at a Toyota price.

Auto critics have praised many aspects of the vehicle, highlighting 3 specific areas: comfort, utility, and technology.

Owners, have given the following aspects the thumbs up – interior, comfort, handling, steering, appearance, seats, value, ride quality, safety, and visibility.

For a large sedan, fuel economy is commendable. EPA estimates are 26 MPG for combined driving. 

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2019 Avalon, Edmunds review:

“This car offers the safety, comfort, and luxury that Lexus or Buick sedan many offer, but at a better price… We love the ride. It hold the road like a big sedan. The lane departure safety feature and the back up detection system, especially in parking lots when you backup is terrific, too…”

2019 Avalon

2018 and 2017 Toyota Avalon

The 2018 and 2017 Avalon models are reliable and affordable vehicles that sport an upscale, roomy interior and respectable fuel economy.

New for these models is Toyota’s patented Safety Sense package as standard equipment across the lineup.

This package includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, forward collision warning, automatic pre-collision braking, and automatic high beam headlight control.

There are 5 trim levels available for this model year: XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring, and Limited.

Owners praised the following aspects of these cars: reliability, manufacturing quality, comfort, safety, appearance, driving experience, and transmission. 

2018 Avalon:

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2017 Avalon:

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2017 Avalon, Edmunds review:

“After driving a 2001 BMW 740i for many years, I wasn’t sure how I would feel getting behind the wheel of the Avalon. I have to admit, I’m absolutely thrilled with the quality, ride and performance. The engine is whisper quiet and feels perfectly matched with the car. It never labors and also seems perfectly matched with the transmission…”

2017 Avalon

2016 Toyota Avalon

The 2016 Avalon possesses excellent build quality, solid engine performance and a roomy cabin.

It has a large trunk, above-average fuel efficiency, and a wide array of standard and optional features.

According to the EPA, this model can hit 24 MPG for combined driving, 21 MPG for city driving, and 31 MPG for highway driving.

There are 5 available variants: XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring, and Limited.

Regardless of trim, you will be getting a massive 3.5-liter V6 engine (268 horsepower). 

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2016 Avalon, Edmunds review:

“I absolutely love everything about this car. The handling is excellent with three selectable modes including a sport mode that is perfect for the mountain roads in northern California. Fit and finish are perfect. The JBL stereo is wonderful as are all the amazing electronic features…”

2016 Avalon

2015 Toyota Avalon

With its quiet and upscale interior, roomy seating, large compartments, and fantastic fuel economy, the 2015 Avalon solidifies itself as one of the standout large sedans of its time. 

New for this particular model year is the introduction of the XLE Touring Sport trim.

Upgrades to the Entune infotainment system, standard paddle shifters on all variants, and blind spot monitoring (exclusive to the Touring models) were new for 2015 too.

This model received a perfect 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA, based on a series of crash tests.

Owners loved the following aspects of this car: appearance, comfort, ride quality, value, handling, steering, engine, and climate control. 

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2015 Avalon, Edmunds review:

“I just got the 2015 limited in year end clearance; I got the best price for the best car. I test BMW 3 series, Cadillac ATS, Buick Regal and Lacrosse. I found Avalon limited on the top line in term of luxury, tech, stylish, smooth and quiet on a freeway on par with Lacrosse but better tech, gas mileage, expect more reliable than Lacrosse…”

2015 Avalon

2012 and 2010 Toyota Avalon

The 2012 and 2010 Avalon models have received impeccable reviews from owners and auto journalists alike.

They also have good visibility, a comfortable ride, a strong and efficient engine, and reclining rear seats.

There are only 2 trims for these model years: Base and Limited.

Both variants come with a large 3.5-liter V6 engine (268 horsepower) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

According to the EPA, fuel economy is 23 MPG for combined driving, 19 MPG for city driving, and 28 MPG for highway driving. 

2012 Avalon:

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 85 / 100

2010 Avalon

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 87 / 100

2012 Avalon, Edmunds review:

“Being in the tire business and an auto enthusiast, I was skeptical at first as I had looked at a Lexus product also. This car has a smooth ride, amazing back seat room, a powerful engine and just delivered an amazing 32.1 MPG on a recent interstate drive. This auto is a “well kept” secret that needs to be unleashed on the automobile public who enjoy a smooth ride, volumes of interior room, etc. and is competitive with Lexus in value and features!”

2012 Avalon

Consumer Scores For Best Toyota Avalon Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2022 Toyota Avalon4.3 / 5.04.0 / 5.080 / 100
2021 Toyota Avalon4.4 / 5.04.0 / 5.081 / 100
2020 Toyota Avalon4.1 / 5.04.0 / 5.079 / 100
2019 Toyota Avalon4.1 / 5.04.0 / 5.082 / 100
2018 Toyota Avalon4.1 / 5.04.4 / 5.082 / 100
2017 Toyota Avalon3.9 / 5.04.4 / 5.082 / 100
2016 Toyota Avalon4.4 / 5.04.4 / 5.081 / 100
2015 Toyota Avalon4.1 / 5.04.4 / 5.083 / 100
2012 Toyota Avalon4.7 / 5.04.7 / 5.085 / 100
2010 Toyota Avalon4.7 / 5.04.7 / 5.087 / 100

Related: Toyota Avalon: 12 Common Problems (Solution Guide)

What Are The Worst Years For The Toyota Avalon?

2005, 2006, and 2007 Toyota Avalon

Alongside the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Avalon’s are a trio of troublesome Toyotas.

CarComplaints.com advises potential owners to avoid the 2006 model like the plague and stamped the other two “Beware of the Clunker”. 

The primary reason behind hundreds of reports and complaints is sudden unintended acceleration, vehicle lurching, and a gas pedal that seems to have a mind of its own.

“I was backing into my garage and suddenly I could not control my car. It accelerated and I could not stop it. I hit the brake and the car didn’t stop until it crashed into my refrigerator in the garage.”

“While backing out of the driveway, in reverse, the car suddenly and without warning accelerated at a high rate on it’s own without depression of the accelerator pedal. Brakes were applied at full force during the acceleration with out effect.”

Engine problems were widespread too, with numerous owners reporting oil leaks.

  • The 2005 Avalon had a total of 293 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 32 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2006 Avalon had a total of 441 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 170 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2007 Avalon had a total of 294 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 84 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Oil leak
  • Check engine light is on
  • Terrible smell
  • Complete loss of engine oil without warning light
  • Cracked dashboard
  • Engine knocking
  • Oil baffle failure
  • Transmission stopped working
  • Defective ignition coils

2007 Avalon

2008 and 2009 Toyota Avalon

The 2008 Avalon received a high number of complaints and although the 2009 model was less problematic it shared similar issues.

The most common and widespread complaint associated with these two models was headlight failure.

The problem was not caused by the bulbs and was due to a defective headlamp assembly.

“January 14th 2015 while driving during the night, all of the headlights except for low beams quit working. This caused a dangerous condition while driving in the country on unlighted roads because of requiring to drive substantially below the speed limit.”

“While driving, both the driver and passenger side headlights suddenly shut off. Upon inspection, the contact discovered that both light bulbs had shattered inside the head lamp housing.”

There were also a number of complaints from owners who experienced unintended acceleration of their vehicle and vehicle lurching, much like the previously mentioned years.

  • The 2008 Avalon had a total of 411 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 72 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2009 Avalon had a total of 109 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 11 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Headlights go out randomly
  • Major oil leak
  • Rack and pinion leaking
  • Piston pop
  • Headlights go off while driving
  • High beams do not work

2002, 2003, and 2004 Toyota Avalon

The 2002, 2003 and 2004 Avalon’s were widely affected by the Takata airbag recall.

The Takata airbag recall is one of the most notorious recalls in the motor industry with millions of units affected.

The airbags were prone to exploding firing shrapnel into the cabin with potentially lethal consequences.

Due to the backlog of repairs, owners complained due to the long waiting times and thus having to drive around in unsafe vehicles.

Unintended acceleration as also reported, with owners reporting that the engine would rev by itself, in some cases causing an accident.

  • The 2002 Avalon had a total of 145 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 7 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2003 Avalon had a total of 352 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 5 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2004 Avalon had a total of 248 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 8 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Airbag lights stay on
  • Seatbelt lights stay on
  • Temperature control switch gets stuck
  • Engine turns over
  • Vehicle does not start
  • Overheating
  • Engine light is on
  • Oil sludge in engine
  • Equipment rattling

1995 – 2001 Toyota Avalon

The 1995 to 2001 Avalon model years suffered from a wide range of problems and are generally less reliable than many of the newer models.

The ’95 and ’96 models received most of their complaints for engine sludge buildup despite vehicles being subject to reasonable maintenance.

The ’97 and ’98 models were known to have suspension issues with the front struts which was an ongoing issues that spanned from 1995-2001. Owners reported that the front wheels would bounce and this was accompanied by a rattling sound.

The ’99, ’00 and ’01 models were plagued by unintended vehicle acceleration issues and owners also reported several airbag issues such as, airbags failed to deploy and airbag warning indicator stays illuminated.

  • The 1996 Avalon had a total of 119 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 3 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 1997 Avalon had a total of 154 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 1 complaint at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 1998 Avalon had a total of 204 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 11 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 1999 Avalon had a total of 111 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 4 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2000 Avalon had a total of 215 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 15 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2001 Avalon had a total of 165 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 7 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine using excessive oil
  • Engine smoke
  • Strong sulfur smell from engine
  • White smoke comes out of tailpipe
  • Check engine light is on
  • Doors fill up with rain water
  • Gas smell
  • Whirring sound
  • Black transmission fluid
  • Dash lights go haywire
  • Sudden unintended acceleration
  • Auto lock malfunction
  • Vehicle speed control failure

1997 Avalon

2013 and 2014 Toyota Avalon

The 2013 and 2014 Avalons were known to have a few visibility issues for a variety of reasons.

A common complaint was that the vehicle’s headliner would fall down making it difficult to see properly out the back of the vehicle.

“Headliner at sunroof coming down. Appears to be a problem with this model while doing online research. Just bought this car used a few weeks ago and noticed this problem two weeks later.”

Another common issue was that the rear window shade (which should automatically go down when you put the car in reverse) was stuck in the up position which made it difficult to see clearly when backing up.

“The Toyota Avalon has a reoccurring issue with the sunshade in the rear view window breaking and staying in the up position.”

Lastly, owners reported that the dashboard would melt, creating a shiny surface that would reflect sunlight into the driver’s eyes (as well as attracting hair, dirt and bits of fluff).

  • The 2013 Avalon had a total of 158 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 33 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2014 Avalon had a total of 117 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 33 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Seat backrests falling off
  • Odor from air conditioning
  • Unexplained engine acceleration
  • Air conditioner stopped working

2011 Toyota Avalon

Owners of the 2011 Avalon had to deal with an unresponsive, unreliable, and defective steering system which was mainly caused by a loose steering column (with some owners reporting that no warning indicator came on despite the presence of the issue).

The report below best explains what has happened to several owners as a result of this issue:

“While driving, the steering column telescopic lever comes loose and the column depresses. It has happened several times while pulling up on the bottom of the steering wheel, during sharp turns for example, and the lever unlocks. Then as soon as you press on the steering wheel, perhaps some time later, the steering wheel goes completely into the dash. It is almost as if the steering wheel is falling away from me, and I have partially gone through two (thankfully empty) intersections because I lost control of the car because the steering column collapsed unexpectedly.”

The 2011 Avalon had a total of 124 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 41 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Paint peeling off of car roof
  • Rack and pinion failure

Related: How Long Do Toyota Avalon Hybrids Last? (12 Important Facts)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2022 Toyota Avalon050
2021 Toyota Avalon1121
2020 Toyota Avalon082
2019 Toyota Avalon7624
2018 Toyota Avalon3292
2017 Toyota Avalon2202
2016 Toyota Avalon7273
2015 Toyota Avalon16532
2014 Toyota Avalon331174
2013 Toyota Avalon331584
2012 Toyota Avalon8364
2011 Toyota Avalon411241
2010 Toyota Avalon2507
2009 Toyota Avalon111097
2008 Toyota Avalon724116
2007 Toyota Avalon842946
2006 Toyota Avalon1704417
2005 Toyota Avalon322937
2004 Toyota Avalon82483
2003 Toyota Avalon53522
2002 Toyota Avalon71451
2001 Toyota Avalon71642
2000 Toyota Avalon152152
1999 Toyota Avalon41112
1998 Toyota Avalon112041
1997 Toyota Avalon11541
1996 Toyota Avalon31190

What Problems Do Toyota Avalons Have?

  • Sudden acceleration
  • Paint peeling off of car roof
  • Complete loss of engine oil with no warning light
  • Cracked dashboard
  • Engine knocking
  • Oil baffle failure
  • Transmission stopped working
  • Defective ignition coils
  • Headlights go out randomly
  • Rack and pinion leaking

Related: 10 Common Toyota Avalon Problems (Explained)

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Toyota Avalon?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Honda Accord8.4$27,295 – $29,610City: 29 /Highway: 37
Kia K58.3$25,290 – $31,690City: 24 – 27 /Highway: 32 – 37
Toyota Camry8.2$26,220 – $36,645City: 22 – 28 /Highway: 31 – 39
Hyundai Sonata7.9$24,950 – $34,975City: 23 – 28 /Highway: 33 – 38
Subaru Legacy7.7$24,895 – $38,195City: 23 – 27 /Highway: 31 – 35
Nissan Altima 7.4$25,290 – $34,990City: 25 – 27 /Highway: 34 – 39
Chevrolet Malibu6.8$25,100 – $31,500City: 27 /Highway: 35

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: Toyota Avalon Alarm Going Off? (13 Causes & Solutions)












  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...