According to a new report, the Toyota Avalon will not live beyond the 2022 model year. The Avalon is the largest sedan and the flagshippiest model in Toyota's lineup (we're not counting Lexus here), but it appears to be another victim of the crossover takeover.
The report comes from Automotive News, which reports that the Avalon was originally slated to get a mid-cycle refresh next year. Instead, Toyota's purchasing department sent out a letter to suppliers saying that Avalon production would draw to a close at the carmaker's Kentucky plant. AN was able to confirm the decision with a Toyota spokesperson.
The Avalon was introduced in 1994 (for MY 1995) as a full-size successor to the rear-wheel-drive, straight-six Cressida, which ended production in 1992. However, the Avalon bucked company tradition by offering front-wheel drive and a V6 in a large sedan. While it received decent reviews as a comfortable cruiser, it had the reputation of a Japanese Buick, a large boaty sedan for pensioners.
Later generations received fairly powerful engines and made excellent long-distance road trippers. The most recent update, as recently as the 2021 model year, mated all-wheel drive with a 301-horse V6 and an eight-speed automatic. There was even a TRD version introduced in 2019.
Despite a solid foundation, the increasing size of the Camry and its better name recognition made the Avalon in many ways redundant. Add to that the diminishing sedan market, and it's not surprising Toyota has decided to ax the Avalon after 27 years and five generations.
These days, big SUVs serve as better flagships anyway, and Toyota has no shortage of capable and genuine ladder-frame off-roaders to serve that purpose (even it if is killing the Land Cruiser too for the U.S. market). With the departure of the Avalon, Toyota follows Ford, GM and the Hyundai Group in leaving the large sedan market. Only the Nissan Maxima, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger remain.