Toyota Avalon TRD Gets a Sportier Look

May 16, 2023
Justin Ankus

Toyota Racing Development (TRD), also known as TRD for short, is the group responsible for giving Toyota's lineup an athletic aesthetic through special trim and accessories. Their efforts have produced some truly great vehicles such as the GR Yaris; more recently it's even helped bring that spirit to the mainstream Avalon sedan with its TRD variant.

The TRD Avalon stands out from other Avalon models with its striking exterior styling, helping it stand out from others in its class. It maintains the signature grille from its predecessor but adds distinctive bumper, rear diffuser and trunk lid spoiler from other Avalons. Furthermore, lightweight 19-inch wheels, 10 percent firmer front springs (15 percent stiffer rear springs), revised nonadaptive dampers with internal return springs for increased performance, thicker underbody braces, larger front brake rotors clamped by two-piston calipers than one-piston calipers on lesser models; thicker underbody braces and seductive exhaust emit from its otherwise unchanged 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

These mechanical changes make the Avalon TRD feel lighter and more exciting to drive than its more opulent sibling, the standard sedan. Its eight-speed automatic is quick and smooth when shifting gears; drivers can manually operate it using paddle shifters on their steering wheel when in Sport mode. In terms of fuel economy, only slightly less efficient, with the EPA rating it at 21 city and 30 highway mpg respectively.

However, the Avalon TRD should not be mistaken for a true sports sedan. While its sport mode provides for quick city driving and plenty of power for highway cruising, its front-wheel drive layout and lack of limited-slip differential limit how aggressively one can throw it around corners.

Inside, the TRD stands out with its darker, more aggressive color scheme featuring red contrast stitching and TRD logos in various places. Other than that, its cabin is almost identical to that of a standard Avalon which makes for an enjoyable driving experience with generous legroom, supportive driving position and superb visibility front to side.

The Toyota Avalon's spacious back seat is ideal for adults to relax comfortably, as well as an easy way to expand cargo capacity to up to 96 cubic feet. Although shallow for its class, its cargo hold still offers sufficient room for groceries or luggage - with its wide opening and floor being easy for loading/unloading items from. All Avalon models including TRD come standard with Toyota's Safety Sense P driver aid suite which includes forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning/keep assist/lane keep assist/and automatic high beams - while backup cameras can also be added as options on all models.

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