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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago in the AAA Green Car Guide, which initially focused entirely on rating fuel-efficient, low-emitting vehicles.

For the 2021 edition, we've expanded the focus of the guide to include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and the development of autonomous vehicles.

home Home » Search Results » 2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XSE
How The Car Guide Rating Works
Test Results and Rankings:
The green cars tested by the ARC are evaluated on the basis of 13 categories: emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, braking, acceleration, handling, cargo-carrying capacity, ride quality, interior noise, ease of entry and exit, maneuverability, roominess, and visibility. The scores for the categories are totaled, and the cars are ranked from high to low.

2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XSE

Vehicle Type: Large Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 3
Vehicle Price
Base Price: $39,350
Price as Tested: $42,836
Fuel Information
Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 13.2
EPA City mpg43
EPA Highway mpg43
EPA Combined mpg43
Advanced Safety Features
Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
Advanced Headlights [S]
Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
Blind-Spot Warning [S]
Forward-Collision Warning [S]
Lane-Departure Warning [S]
Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
[S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:
star star star star star
Overall Observations
If you think cars with excellent fuel economy are by nature small, funky looking, or both, check out the Toyota Avalon Hybrid, the marque's flagship sedan, which is rated at an EPA-estimated 43 mpg in combined city/highway driving. The word that best describes this full-size sedan's exterior is elegant, bringing to mind the products of Toyota's upmarket Lexus brand. Aesthetically, our XSE-trim-level test car diverged in a slightly sportier direction from the XLE and Limited versions, with larger, dark-painted wheels and blacked-out bits that included a black mesh grille and a rear spoiler. The cabin offers distinctive aluminum trim and perforated faux-leather and -suede seating surfaces. The interior is spacious throughout, though taller rear-seat passengers might wish for more headroom. In the back, the 16-cubic-foot trunk is downright huge and, unlike some other hybrids, doesn't give up any space to the battery pack, which is housed below the backseat. Rear seatbacks also fold down to accommodate larger cargo. The Avalon's comfort-tuned suspension delivers a smooth ride, accentuated by the interior's overall hushed ambiance. Handling is surprisingly confident, and the 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder under the Avalon Hybrid's hood plus twin electric motors (215 hp total) deliver satisfying acceleration.
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Strengths and Weaknesses
Strong Points
  • Smooth powertrain
  • Bright LED headlights
  • Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is standard
Weak Points
  • Rear visibility is slightly limited
  • Cabin's design is a little on plain side
  • Navigation system's occasional late-turn notification
Vehicle Specifications
Model year tested: 2020
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 3720.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 195.9 / 72.8 / 56.5
Wheelbase (in): 113.0
Number of air bags: 10
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Bridgestone Turanza EL 440
Front and rear tire size: 235/45 R18
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: Front wheel
Engine/motor: 2.5L 4-Cyl. Dynamic Force
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 176 @ 5700
Combined system horsepower: 215
Test Data
Test Vehicle Scores
Advanced Safety Features: 10.00
Fuel Efficiency: 7.24
EPA Emissions Score: 7.00
Acceleration: 4.43
Braking: 3.73
Crashworthiness: 4.86
Handling: 7.28
Ride Quality: 7.67
Interior Size: 2.96
Easy of Entry and Exit: 6.47
Visibility: 5.70
Interior Noise: 7.28
Cargo Capacity: 1.35
2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Large
More Details
Vehicle Type:  Large
Fuel Type:  Hybrid
mpg: 28/31
Price as Tested:  $73,840
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2020 BMW X3 XDrive30e
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Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Hybrid
mpg: 21/27
Price as Tested:  $65,020
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2020 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place SUV/Minivan
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Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 127/114
Price as Tested:  $53,190
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2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Small
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Vehicle Type:  Small
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 127/108
Price as Tested:  $43,735
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2020 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE
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Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 80/72
Price as Tested:  $84,276
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