We drive the 2021 Toyota Avalon TRD

The fifth generation Toyota Avalon was introduced last year using the advanced Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). Much more than a new body structure, TNGA brings together new approaches to engineering, design, production and materials. The mechanical manifestation of that process is the TNGA platform, which forms the basis for Avalon and several other new-generation Toyota models.

The high-strength TNGA is shared with many other models such as the Camry, RAV4, Highlander and more. Toyota wanted to introduce a bit more pizzaz into the Avalon by adding a new sporty version. This result is the Avalon TRD, and before you get too excited, this is a very mild package, but it works well.

2021 Toyota Avalon TRD profile

That’s not to say the new-generation Avalon has sacrificed any of its renowned comfort and luxury. On the contrary, the Avalon remains Toyota’s flagship sedan and the Avalon has the reputation of being a quiet and smooth car.  So the TRD package adds some sporty touches, but it remains a very smooth and comfortable car.

The Avalon TRD is powered exclusively by Toyota’s direct-injected, 301-horsepower DOHC 3.5-liter V6 teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission featuring sport mode and paddle shifters. A specially TRD-tuned cat-back dual exhaust system conveys a more aggressive idle and acceleration sound. The exhaust sounds good, but the Avalon TRD gains zero horsepower over the regular Avalon.

TRD went through the Avalon chassis to sharpen agility while preserving ride compliance. They call the suspension Track Tuned, and they are not kidding. The engineers developed this Avalon’s dynamic characteristics through extensive testing at Toyota Arizona Proving Ground, TMC Higashi-Fuji Proving Ground (Japan), and MotorSport Ranch (Texas).

Thicker underbody braces increase torsional rigidity, and unique coil springs lower the Avalon TRD by 0.6 inches for a reduced center of gravity. The chassis is further enhanced with stiffer coil springs and stabilizer bars for increased roll stiffness of 44% in the front and 67% in the rear. A unique set of TRD shock absorbers complete a chassis enhancement that adds to body control, handling agility, and steering precision. The 19 x 8.5-inch matte-black alloy wheels reduce unsprung mass by 18 pounds compared to the 19-inch wheels on the Avalon XSE grade.

2021 Toyota Avalon TRD

The front brakes are larger with 12.9-inch diameter rotors and dual-piston calipers, compared to 12.0-inch rotors and single piston calipers on the Avalon XSE. Brake performance is also tuned to provide more direct feedback.

Outside cosmetic changes include an exclusive aerodynamic body kit, which includes the front splitter, side aero skirts, trunk lid spoiler, and rear diffuser. Inside, Avalon TRD features black SofTex-trimmed heated front seats with suede inserts and red accents. It also gets red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching, red seatbelts, a shift knob with an embossed TRD logo, and unique TRD floor and trunk mats.

TRD Shift Knob

We would call the package a success. The result is a car that will not offend the traditional Avalon buyer, but it is fun to drive daily. It is not as harsh as a sports sedan yet is fun to toss around and the 235/40-19 tires provide good grip around the tight curves. You will not confuse this car with a BMW M3, but it is not supposed to be an M3. It is much better as a daily driving family sedan. It is good enough that all Avalons should have this suspension.

The new Avalon has a 0.27 drag coefficient, which translates into good fuel economy and low wind noise. The EPA rates it as 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is not bad at all for a 301 hp car that has to haul around 3700 pounds.

The only issue we have with the Avalon TRD is pricing. The Avalon TRD is very similar to the Camry TRD but while the Camry TRD starts out at $31,170 the Avalon TRD starts out at $42,375. That is a lot more money to get some extra room, but if you need the extra room, the Avalon is hard to beat.


Starting MSRP
Engine Type Gas
Transmission 8-speed shiftable automatic
Drive Type Front wheel drive
Cylinders V6
Combined MPG 25
Total Seating 5
Basic Warranty 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Drive Type Front wheel drive
Transmission 8-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel & MPG
Fuel & MPG
Combined MPG 25
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy) 21/30 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity 15.8 gal.
Fuel Type Regular unleaded
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy) 331.8/474.0 mi.
Dual Fuel Injection yes
Base Engine Size 3.5 l
Base Engine Type Gas
Cam Type Double overhead cam (dohc)
Cylinders V6
Horsepower 301 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque 267 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
Turning Circle 38.6 ft.
Valve Timing Variable
Valves 24
2 Front Headrests yes
3 Rear Headrests yes
LED Headlamp yes
Auto Delay Off Headlamps yes
Blind Spot And Lane Departure Warnings Accident Avoidance System yes
Child Seat Anchors yes
Daytime Running Lights yes
Dual Front And Dual Rear Side-Mounted Airbags yes
Dusk Sensing Headlamps yes
Engine Immobilizer yes
Front And Rear Head Airbags yes
Post-Collision Safety System yes
Pre-Collision Safety System yes
Remote Anti-Theft Alarm System yes
Stability Control yes
Tire Pressure Monitoring yes
Traction Control yes
4-Wheel ABS yes
Emergency Braking Assist yes
Passenger Airbag Occupant Sensing Deactivation yes
Rear Center 3-Point Belt yes
Rear Door Child Safety Locks yes
Rear Height Adjustable Headrests yes
Turn Signal Mirrors yes
Ventilated Front Disc / Solid Rear Disc Brakes yes
Preferred Accessory Package +$379
Four Season Floor Mat Package +$428
Preferred Accessory Package W/Carpet Mats +$404
Protection Package +$657
Preferred Accessory Package W/All-Weather Floor Liners +$404
In-Car Entertainment
In-Car Entertainment
1 Subwoofer(S) yes
3 Months Of Provided Satellite Radio Service yes
8 Total Speakers yes
USB Connection yes
Auxiliary Audio Input And USB With External Media Control yes
Satellite Radio W/Real Time Traffic Satellite Radio yes
AM/FM Stereo yes
Comfort & Convenience
Comfort & Convenience
Adaptive Cruise Control yes
Electric Power Steering yes
Front And Rear Cupholders yes
Front And Rear Door Pockets yes
Front Seatback Storage yes
Keyless Ignition yes
Overhead Console With Storage yes
Rear View Camera yes
Tilt And Telescopic Steering Wheel yes
Universal Remote Transmitter (For Garage Door, Security System, Etc.) yes
Transmission, Cruise And Audio Controls On Steering Wheel yes
Electrochromatic Inside Rearview Mirror yes
Interior Air Filtration yes
Leather Steering Wheel yes
Turn Signal In Mirrors yes
Dual Illuminating Vanity Mirrors yes
Dual Zone Front Climate Control yes
Power Features
Power Features
4 One-Touch Power Windows yes
Hands-Free Entry yes
Heated Mirrors yes
Interior Options
Interior Options
TRD Carpet Trunk Mat +$90
TRD Carpet Floor Mats +$169
Carpet Floor Mats +$169
Carpet Trunk Mat +$99
Cargo Tray +$99
Premium Audio W/JBL And Clari-Fi +$1,720
All-Weather Liner/Cargo Tray Package +$259
Cargo Tote +$51
Universal Tablet Holder +$99
Illuminated Door Sills +$379
TRD Shift Knob +$72
Carpet Mat Package +$259
All Weather Floor Liners +$169
Carpet Cargo Mat +$90
Clock yes
Compass yes
External Temperature Display yes
Tachometer yes
Trip Computer yes
Front Seat Dimensions
Front Seat Dimensions
8 -Way Power Driver Seat yes
8 -Way Power Passenger Seat yes
Bucket Front Seats yes
Height Adjustable Driver Seat yes
Height Adjustable Passenger Seat yes
Leatherette/Sueded Microfiber yes
Multi-Level Heating Driver Seat yes
Multi-Level Heating Passenger Seat yes
Driver Seat With Power Adjustable Lumbar Support yes
Front Head Room 37.4 in.
Front Hip Room 55.8 in.
Front Leg Room 42.1 in.
Front Shoulder Room 58.3 in.
Passenger Seat With Power Adjustable Lumbar Support yes
Rear Seat Dimensions
Rear Seat Dimensions
Folding Center Armrest yes
Rear Ventilation Ducts yes
Rear Head Room 37.5 in.
Rear Hip Room 54.8 in.
Rear Leg Room 40.3 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 57.1 in.
Split-Folding Rear Seatback yes
Exterior Options
Exterior Options
All Season Tires yes
TRD 19″ Matte Black Alloy Wheels +$1,040
Mudguards +$85
Special Color +$425
Rear Bumper Applique +$69
Alloy Wheel Locks +$80
Door Edge Guards +$140
Body Side Moldings +$209
Paint Protection Film +$395
Paint Protection Film (Front Bumper) +$485
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place 16.1 cu.ft.
Curb Weight 3655 lbs.
EPA Interior Volume 119.0 cu.ft.
Ground Clearance 5.3 in.
Height 55.9 in.
Length 195.9 in.
Overall Width Without Mirrors 72.8 in.
Wheel Base 113.0 in.
Exterior Colors
  • Ice Edge w/Midnight Black Metallic
  • Windchill Pearl w/Midnight Black Metallic
  • Midnight Black Metallic
Interior Colors
  • Black/Red, leatherette/sueded microfiber
Tires & Wheels
Tires & Wheels
Inside Mounted Spare Tire yes
Painted Alloy Wheels yes
Temporary Spare Tire yes
19 In. Wheels yes
All Season Tires yes
P235/40R19 Tires yes
Four-Wheel Independent Suspension yes
Front And Rear Stabilizer Bar yes
Basic 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Free Maintenance 2 yr./ 25000 mi.
Roadside 2 yr./ unlimited mi.
Rust 5 yr./ unlimited mi.





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