This is the new Toyota Avalon Nightshade Edition. [Photos: Toyota]
The 2021 Toyota Avalon expands the ‘Nightshade’ package option to another model
Toyota’s flagship sedan lives on, and the 2021 Toyota Avalon is available with a four or six cylinder engine, front and all-wheel drive and now a Nightshade Edition. That new Nightshade Edition is available on the XSE and Limited. On top of that, the Avalon Hybrid remains, as does the sportier TRD version.
That’s several combinations available, unfortunately, you cannot combine too many. There is no AWD V6 TRD or Hybrid Nightshade, at least not yet. Still, you can get even more variety with even more choices.
More on the Toyota Avalon AWD
Mechanically, very similar to the Toyota Camry AWD, the Avalon AWD comes in the XLE and Limited grades. Called “Dynamic Torque Control AWD,” this setup is only available with the 201 horsepower 2.5-liter four cylinder engine. It’s hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
According to Toyota’s own explanation on the matter:
“Dynamic Torque Control AWD provides effective traction for inclement and slippery weather while minimizing AWD’s typical drag on fuel economy. The system can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels in response to acceleration from a start or slippage at the front wheels. When AWD isn’t needed, the electromagnetically controlled coupling on the rear drive axle can disengage the propeller shaft to prioritize fuel efficiency. The AWD is designed to re-engage in an instant when needed, with operation that is transparent to the driver and passengers.”
Several components, including the suspension, were upgraded to handle the AWD system. According to Toyota, it doesn’t impede on noise, handling, ride or passenger comfort. The EPA numbers on the Avalon AWD is 25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined.
We tested the Avalon (and Camry) AWD and the system works well.
Toyota Avalon Nightshade Edition
The new-for-2021 XSE Nightshade Edition is only available on the 2020 XSE trim. Avalon’s Nightshade Edition is an appearance package, not a handling performance upgrade like the TRD package.
This is what you get (in addition to the XSE upgrades):
- Black grille, mirror caps, rear spoiler and name badges
- Black-painted 19-inch alloy wheels
- Black window trim and
- Black door handles and a black shark fin antenna.
- The Avalon XSE Nightshade Edition comes in Midnight Black Metallic, Wind Chill Pearl and Celestial Silver Metallic exterior colors.