2020 Toyota Avalon XSE Hybrid in Parisian Night Pearl

The 2020 Toyota Avalon XSE (sport trim) Hybrid offers a sophisticated sports sedan ride with plenty of technology and amenities, great fuel economy and a very competitive price point.

Re-engineered and riding on the new TNGA K Sedan platform, this Avalon delivers premium performance, up-to-date features, current technology along with plenty of comfortable room for five.  

We recently tested the Avalon XSE Hybrid in Hill Country, Texas.  Labeled a mid-size, this longer, lower and wider Avalon looks and rides like a full-size sedan, but delivers a very sporty mid-sized ride and drive experience.

Our Avalon XSE Hybrid came in a Parisian Night Pearl with Black interior.  Complimenting the rich color were several bold exterior elements including a Piano Black Mesh Grille w/Sport Mesh Insert and Active Grille Shutters, Black headlight bezels, mirrors and badges, new LED Vision Tech Reflector Headlamps and LED Daytime Running Lights.


Our XSE also featured a Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof w/Sliding Sunshade, Piano Black Trunk Lid Spoiler, LED Tail lights and Gray Painted Alloy Wheels mounted w/235/45R18 All-Season tires.

The MSRP for our 2020 Toyota Avalon XSE Hybrid was $39,500.  Adding just a couple of accessories, plus upgrading to the awesome JBL Premium Audio, brought the delivered price to $42,259.


A new 2.5L Dynamic Force four-cylinder gasoline engine anchors the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) power plant. Two 650V motor generators (MG1 generator and MG2 front wheel drive) produces 215-net horsepower delivered through a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).  

The performance-biased CVT features a Sport Drive Mode and Sequential Shiftmatic that allows driver ‘shifting’ through six simulated gears using either the steering wheel mounted paddles or the gearshift lever. 

Weighing in at just 3,671 pounds, we found our Avalon XSE to be plenty quick off the line, shifting smoothly through the six gears to highway speed well fast enough for us.  Putting our XSE in Sport Mode got us there even quicker.

We should note that Drive Modes include Normal plus an EV and Eco settings for those wanting to stretch the range.

The Avalon Hybrid is the only full hybrid offering in its segment. Itis fuel economy rated at 43 mpg both city and highway.  We did not measure ours, but expect that our fulltime use of the Sport mode may have trimmed that a bit.

In any case, you should expect over 500 miles of range in the Avalon Hybrid.


The Black interior features Black Perforated Ultrasuede seating, contrast stitching and subtle Aluminum accent trims including pedal covers.

The TNGA K sedan platform allows an additional 7-inches of length in the cabin – translating to plenty of space inside for passengers with, perhaps, one caveat.  Headroom is under 40-inches front and rear, which for some may be a minor annoyance. However, with the over 40-inches of leg room, generous shoulder and hip room – our over 6-foot frame did not complain.

Feature elements included 8-way power adjustable driver and passenger seats, slim console with connectivity and storage, fold-down rear seats with armrest and cupholders, Tilt and Telescopic Steering Wheel with audio and information display controls, paddle shifters and Filtered Dual Zone Climate Control w/Rear-Seat Vents and Humidity Control.

Of Note: The Sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride battery has been repackaged and re-located beneath the rear seat giving the Avalon an improved lower center of gravity.  In doing so, it borrows a bit from headroom (noted above), but retains the trunk capacity of a non-hybrid Avalon.

Technology and Infotainment

Technology elements on our Avalon XSE Hybrid included a 7-inch Driver Customizable Multi-Information Display, four Media Ports, SiriusXM, 12V power outlet, Apple CarPlay, HandsFree Bluetooth, Qi compatible wireless charging, Smart Key system w/Remote Start, Remote Illuminated Entry, Push-Button Start plus Toyota Entune App Suites featuring Dynamic Navigation plus Safety and Service Connect and more.

Our test XSE Hybrid was equipped with the optional JBL Premium Audio system. We are big into high quality sound in our rides – and the JBL in the 2020 Avalon XSE Hybrid steps right up.  Managed through a 9-inch capacitive touchscreen, the JBL system features 14 speakers, a 1200W – 12 Channel amplifier and Quantum Logic Surround Sound with Clari-Fi.



As with all Toyota products, Avalon includes the Standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of safety systems and technologies. Cutting edge systems include Full-Speed Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams, Blind Spot Monitor w/Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Tire Pressure Monitoring

Standard Star Safety Systems added Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution w/Brake Assist, Anti-Locking Braking w/Smart Stop Technology and Rear Backup Camera w/Dynamic Guidelines.

2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Lineup

The Avalon Hybrid for 2020 comes in three trims.  We refer to them as the base – XLE (MSRP $37,000), the sport – XSE (MSRP 39,500) and the luxury – Limited (MSRP 43,300) models. 

Explore each more fully and build one for yourself at https://www.toyota.com/avalonhybrid/

2020 Toyota Avalon Lineup

If you prefer – at least to look – the 2020 Avalon lineup has five trim levels to choose from starting at MSRP $35,875 for the XLE trim level.  You can review all of the standard features and options of each trim at https://www.toyota.com/avalon/

Toyota Hybrids et al

Toyota continues as a leader in hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles.  For our money, they build some of the best.

For 2020, they include – in addition to the Avalon Hybrid – Corolla Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, Prius Hybrid, Prius Prime PHEV, RAV4 Hybrid and the Mirai Fuel Cell Electric.

For more information – go to https://www.toyota.com/ and then to ‘Select Vehicle’ and choose ‘Hybrids & Fuel Cell’ to find a link to each.

KEY DATA:   2020 Toyota Avalon XSE Hybrid   

  • Model:                              Avalon
  • Trim:                                 XSE  (Sport Trim)
  • Class:                                Sedan
  • Segment:                           Mid-Size
  • Seating:                             Five
  • MSRP:                              $39,500          
  • As Tested:                         $42,259 (delivered)
  • Powertrain:                       Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II)
  • Engine:                              2.4L Dynamic Force 4-cylinder
  • Electric Motors:                650-volt (2) Permanent Magnet (MG) Motors
  • Horsepower:                     215 (Combined)
  • Transmission:                   Continuously Variable (CVT)
  • Drive System:                    FWD
  • Wheel size                        19-inch
  • Fuel Economy                   43/43/43 mpg    city/highway/combined