A Brief History of the Toyota Avalon – Toyota’s Luxury Full Size Car

Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2017 by North Hollywood Toyota

The Toyota Avalon is Toyota’s full-sized vehicle offering which has been produced and sold since 1994. The first Avalons rolled off the production line in February in 1994 as 1995 models. At that time, it was the largest passenger vehicle being produced by a Japanese auto manufacturer and offered for sale at Toyota dealers in Southern California and elsewhere.


The vehicle was well-received by car buyers, who like the Toyota Camry but desired a bigger vehicle with more room. The first generation ended in 1999 to prepare for an updated and even bigger Avalon model that entered production in 1999 as a 2000 model.

The second generation Avalon was the first vehicle of its kind in its car class to offer a 115V AC power inverter outlet.

The Avalon underwent a mid-cycle refresh with minor updates to the exterior and interior features to make them more stylish. The second generation Avalon also received the highest safety crash rating from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) and was listed as a “Top Safety Pick.”

Production of the second generation was discontinued in November 2004; since Toyota had developed and completely redesigned Avalon, it was releasing it as a 2005 model year and the third generation. One of the key distinctions with the third generation Avalon was a move to make the full-sized passenger car more luxurious.

Toyota expanded the trim options for the Avalon to four packages, with higher-end features and options being offered in the Limited and XLS trims, like rain-sensing windshield wipers, keyless entry, and push-button start.

Throughout the third generation, Toyota expanded several features and options across all trim packages, as well as made minor refreshes as newer technologies became available. For the 2011 model year, Toyota scaled back the trim packages to two options: Basic and Limited, as this was the last year of production for this generation. However, Toyota did incorporate backup cameras into the model year.

The third generation Avalon received numerous awards, among those a five-star rating in all crash test categories for the 2011 model year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2011 Avalon was also named a “Top Pick” by several automotive authorities, including Edmonds.com, Motor Trend, and Consumer Reports.

The fourth and current generation of Avalon began production in 2012 as a 2013 model year. The Avalon underwent another complete redesign, which was based on Toyota’s Lexus ES design to make the Avalon even more luxurious. The 2013 model year also saw the introduction of hybrid models.


The fourth generation underwent a refresh for the 2016 model year and is unchanged for the 2017 model year, with one exception: The standardization of Toyota’s Safety Sense P package across all trim levels. The 2016 and 2017 Avalons have also received their fair share of awards, including:

  • Top Safety Pick by IHHS
  • 2017 Edmonds Most Wanted Vehicle
  • 5-Star Overall Safety Rating by the NHTSA
  • Best Resale Value by Kelley Blue Book
  • The Most “Best Overall Value Awards” for 2016

To experience the 2017 Toyota Avalon for yourself, please feel free to stop by North Hollywood Toyota today or call us at (800) 800-6730!


  1. https://www.toyota.com/avalon/awards/