2017 Avalon Review: Toyota taught a new dog old tricks

A lot of people who want a luxury car for commuting ask what they should get, and a surprising amount of the time I recommend the Avalon.

Of course, they scoff and say they wouldn’t be caught dead in a Toyota, especially when Bob next door just bought a Bimmer. So they go out and spend an extra $25,000 for an Audi with the same feature set and capabilities they’ll never use. And since they can’t actually afford the Audi, they finance it with 8.7-percent interest for 167 months.

Ain’t that the American dream?

They’re missing out on one of the better values in the car market when they do this. At $37,539, my tester was a few grand north of the average new car transaction price. In exchange for nearly 40 large, you get leather everything, heated seats, radar cruise control, lane keeping, and the full suite of phone connectivity, sans Carplay or Android Auto.

And this isn’t even the top of the line car; there are still two trim levels above my XLE Premium, offering even more kit. You also can fit five adults in the car, with enough room in the trunk left to fit everyone’s suitcases.

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