Current car market trends show that the glory days of sports sedans are slowly passing. However, sports sedan enthusiasts still have some pretty appealing options. Typically, Toyota with 3 4-door sedans in the 2020 version: Camry TRD, Corolla Apex and Avalon TRD.
In this trio of 4-door sedans for the 2020 version, Avalon is definitely the strangest model when it receives an upgrade from the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) division. Currently, crossovers and SUVs are gradually becoming the trend of the market and pushing sedans off the track. Avalon is certainly no exception with poor sales reflecting that. However, the Japanese automaker believes that Avalon will change the situation and return to the track if a sportier, more masculine version appears. Toyota also hopes that this bold move will attract younger customers to Avalon TRD.
The appearance of the Toyota Avalon TRD is very impressive with many details that bring a strong and attractive design. The car will receive a more masculine appearance and some improvements in the cabin, especially the suspension system upgraded by Toyota Racing Development department. But is the 2020 Avalon TRD really a genuine sports sedan or just wearing a splendid ‘dress’?
Strong and sporty appearance
Developed on the TNGA chassis, the Toyota Avalon TRD 2020 possesses a much stronger and tougher appearance than the standard version. The overall DxRxC dimensions of the Avalon TRD are 4,980 x 1,835 x 1,460 mm, respectively, with a wheelbase of 2870mm. Notably, the 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD received a body-kit from Toyota’s sports car development division, making it the most beautiful Avalon ever.
The TRD unit will complement the Avalon body-kit with aggressive black details including an enlarged grille, front/rear bumpers, side skirts, spoiler, diffuser, 19-spoke multi-spoke wheels inch matte black paint, sporty red brake shackles. What is impressive is that the Avalon TRD, although possessing a stronger and sportier appearance, still maintains the same premium and luxurious feeling as other versions. The reason is probably partly due to the huge size and design style, combined with modern equipment such as LED headlights and long tail lights at the rear. The Toyota Avalon TRD 2020 easily makes many people mistaken for a luxury sedan from Lexus.
The interior compartment of the Avalon TRD is equally attractive – despite the absence of leather material. However, Toyota will offer the option of Touring and Limited variants with the cabin receiving genuine leather trim. For the standard Avalon TRD, the Red/Black 2-tone Softex leatherette layer is probably enough to make the interior space beautiful. The seat system has a soft design with a sporty style, with the red TRD words sewn on the headrests. In addition, Avalon TRD’s seat belts also have prominent red stitching lines. Thus, at least the Toyota Avalon TRD 2020 deserves to be considered a sports sedan.
Operational performance is not impressive
Under the hood of the Toyota Avalon TRD 2020 is a 3.5L V6 engine block – similar to the standard Camry and Avalon – producing a modest capacity of 301 horsepower and maximum torque of 362 Nm. For a sedan weighing 1670 kg like the Avalon TRD, that power is really not enough to meet the standards of high-performance cars. For example, rival Kia Stinger GT has a similar price, reaching 365 horsepower with the help of twin turbochargers for much stronger performance.
The V6 engine of the Avalon TRD 2020 has a little difficulty when the car moves at high speed. The main reason lies in the slow response speed of the 8-speed automatic transmission – and the fact that the V6 needs a few more horsepower. In addition, the Avalon TRD 2020 will not reach the maximum capacity (301 hp) until the engine rpm is increased to 6600 rpm. Thus, compared to other naturally aspirated V6 engines, the power of the Toyota Avalon TRD 2020 is not appreciated.
Relatively good handling ability
Front-wheel drive and a weight of 1670 kg make the Avalon TRD 2020 not really a high-performance sedan. But TRD engineers removed the XSE version’s soft adaptive suspension, replacing it with stiffer springs (10% at the front and 50% at the rear), while lowering the chassis. about 0.5 inches (12.7mm) more to help limit body roll and understeer when cornering. Not only that, Avalon TRD is also equipped with braces under the car, ensuring the suspension system works in the most stable way during travel.
Compared to other sedan s of the same size, Avalon TRD has pretty good handling. Through testing with the XSE version, the Avalon TRD still feels much better to drive. Especially when going through bends, although there is still a body tilt, it is not significant and the TRD feels strong with higher stability. In Sport driving mode, the steering wheel becomes heavier but still ensures sensitivity and provides good feedback from the road surface.
Inefficient brake system
Toyota has made very significant improvements on the suspension and design of the Avalon TRD 2020, but does not pay too much attention to the braking system. According to specifications published by Toyota, the TRD version uses a 12.9-inch front brake disc – larger than any other Avalon version. Meanwhile, the rear brake disc size is still 11 inches and nothing has changed, except for the beautifully painted red brake shackles.
For a car positioned in the sports sedan segment, the 2020 Avalon TRD should have been equipped with a more advanced braking system. Avalon’s weight continues to be a major issue, affecting the performance of the relatively small brake discs and rotors. The driver will have to slam on the floor brake as the 2020 Avalon TRD slowly rolls downhill. Even when traveling on the street, the brake pedal is a bit “fluffy” and requires a strong enough pedal force to stabilize the vehicle.
The question many people ask is: Is the Toyota Avalon TRD a true sports sedan? Perhaps the answer would be no: Avalon TRD too slow, brakes too soft; Although the suspension is significantly improved, it still does not give the Avalon impressive handling like some competitors in the same segment. However, in reality, the Avalon TRD is actually a very charming sedan, despite its shortcomings.
The Avalon TRD may not be the fastest or most versatile car, but it’s still capable of doing exactly what the driver wants. Besides, Avalon TRD also owns an extremely comfortable and spacious cabin with amazing fuel economy. The addition of a body-kit from TRD makes this sedan even more attractive in a different sporty style.