Avalon 2016 Release date, Toyota Avalon 2016, 2016 Toyota Avalon

2016 Toyota Avalon: First Look
Competes with: Ford Taurus, Kia Cadenza, Hyundai Azera, Chevrolet Impala Looks like: Toyota turned the grille from a look to a frown

Drivetrain: 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 or 156-hp, 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder hybrid, six-speed automatic transmission or two-speed CVT (hybrid), front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Fall 2015

Toyota wowed crowds when it revealed the past form of its Avalon sedan that is large the New York International Auto Show in 2012, switching the top sedan from one thing frumpy and boring into a classy, emotionally styled cruiser. It's the perfect time for an update, so Toyota is trotting out of the refreshed 2016 Avalon during the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, giving the automobile an extremely, very mild makeover inside and out — good thing the existing model currently looks appealing.

Changes are restricted to front that is new and rear-end styling with a wider and lower front side grille, new turn signals and redesigned LED taillights. The changes join updated 17- and wheels that are 18-inch dependent on which of five V-6 or three Hybrid trims going for. The look is equivalent for the XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium and Limited trims, only changing once you choose the Touring trim, when that front bumper and grille are changed by a sportier variation. There is a new chrome rear bumper accent that all models now wear.

Inside, all 2016 Avalons now get grey accent stitching with the light gray interior, while the XLE and XLE Plus trims get new woodgrain dashboard trim, the 7-inch Entune Audio Plus multimedia display and a tire-specific tire-pressure monitoring system. The XLE Premium grade now adds Entune Premium sound with navigation and Toyota's software suite, as well as Qi wireless charging as standard. Upgrading to the top-of-the-line Limited brings a great deal of optional security equipment, including automated high-beam headlights, radar-based dynamic cruise control, a collision warning system and lane departure alert.
Under the Hood

The powertrains are unchanged through the previous Avalon, with the same 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 as standard, powering the front wheels through a six-speed transmission that is automatic. For the fuel-economy minded, the Hybrid version utilizes Toyota's Synergy Drive, pairing a 156-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder motor with an electric drive system. It employs a two-speed continuously variable transmission instead of the six-speed automatic, but nevertheless powers just the front wheels. The only real mechanical differences for the 2016 model are the change to two available suspension tunes — all models use a new tuned suspension aimed at a more luxurious ride, nevertheless the Touring trim includes a more aggressive suspension upgrade meant to provide a sportier driving experience.

The refreshed Avalon should hit dealerships sometime this fall.