2022 Toyota Avalon Range Gets The First-Ever XSE Hybrid Nightshade Edition

Among Toyotas cars, the Avalon is the model that sits at the top of the range. The automaker is talking about some of the changes and available models for the 2022 Avalon and has confirmed pricing and available powertrains. One of the highlights for the 2022 model year is that Toyota is offering an XSE Hybrid Nightshade Edition for the first time.

Avalon XSE Hybrid Nightshade Edition

Certainly, one of the highlights for the 2022 model year for Avalon fans is the availability for the first time of an XSE Hybrid Nightshade Edition. The model is differentiated from other Avalon trim levels by getting a sportier blacked-out look for the exterior. Nightshade buyers get a black grille, black mirror caps, a black rear spoiler, and black badges.

The Nightshade Edition rolls on black 19-inch alloy wheels and features black door handles and window trim. Toyota offers the Nightshade Edition with three different exterior colors, including Celestial Silver Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, and Wind Chill Pearl. No matter the exterior color chosen, all Nightshade Edition models come with the same black perforated SofTex and Ultrasuede trimmed interior.

V6 Powertrain

Toyota offers two different powertrains for the Avalon range. All non-hybrid Avalon models use front-wheel drive and a 24-valve DOHC 3.5-liter V6 engine. The V6 utilizes Toyota D-4S fuel injection that uses both direct injection with supplemental port fuel injectors. The V6 also utilizes Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide technology able to change the engine to the Atkinson cycle to reduce fuel consumption.

The standard Avalon powertrain delivers EPA estimated fuel economy of 22 MPG city, 32 MPG Highway, and 26 MPG combined for the XLE trim and 22 MPG city, 31 MPG Highway, and 25 MPG combined for all other grades. While that's not the best fuel economy you'll find by far for a 2022 Toyota, considering the V-6 produces 301 horsepower and 267 pound-foot of torque, the estimated fuel economy isn't bad.

On XLE and Limited grades, buyers also get a drive mode selection system with Eco, Normal, and Sport modes. The Touring grade gets four drive modes, including Eco, Normal, Sport/Sport+, and Custom. The Sport+ mode in the Touring grade improves the exhaust sound using sport-modified baffles and an Intake Sound Generator, Active Noise Control, and Engine Sound Enhancement system.

While many drivers will welcome more sporty sound, Toyota also allows all of those systems to be switched off when driver and passengers prefer to enjoy the quietness of the vehicle's interior. All versions of the Avalon with the V6 engine use a Direct Shift eight-speed automatic transmission. Toyota fitted the transmission with closer mid-range ratios to improve performance when passing on the highway. The transmission also utilizes rev-matching during downshifts to improve smoothness.

Avalon Hybrid

Avalon buyers wanting the best fuel economy possible will want to choose the Hybrid versions. Toyota expects the Avalon Hybrid range to achieve an EPA estimated fuel efficiency of 43 MPG city, 44 MPG highway, and 44 MPG combined for the XLE Hybrid. Other Hybrid grades are expected to achieve 43 MPG city, 43 MPG highway, and 43 MPG combined.

Avalon Hybrid models utilize the Toyota Hybrid System that combines power from a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine and power from a pair of electric motors designed to charge the hybrid battery pack. The combined power output is 215 horsepower. An interesting feature of the XSE Nightshade Edition is that it utilizes Sequential Shiftmatic technology for the standard hybrid ECVT transmission. That allows the driver to use paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, or the console-mounted shift lever, to mimic changing gears in a six-speed automatic.

One of the key components of any hybrid vehicle is the battery pack. While Toyota doesn't say how large the lithium-ion battery pack in the hybrid versions of the Avalon is, the platform the car is based on places the battery pack beneath the rear seat so no trunk space is lost compared to other Avalon models. Hybrid versions also feature Auto Glide Control system meant to be utilized for those trying to squeeze the most fuel economy possible out of the vehicle.

The Auto Glide Control system gives the car a coasting feature by eliminating engine braking to prevent slowing down during coasting. Essentially, that system acts as a neutral gear so the vehicle can coast on downgrades and in other situations.

Safety and Technology

All Avalon models come standard with Toyota Safety System 2.5+ active safety systems. That suite of safety features includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, roadside assistance, and lane tracing assist. In addition, all grades of the 2022 Avalon also have integrated Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross-Traffic Braking.

Those features are designed to alert drivers in situations like backing out of a parking space in a crowded lot to know that other vehicles are coming before they can see them. All versions of the car have a backup camera, but Toyota adds a Birds Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan to Limited and Touring grades. That upgraded camera system allows drivers to see all around the vehicle utilizing cameras mounted in the front, sides, and rear of the car, creating an image as seen from above the vehicle.

Avalon XLE, XLE Hybrid, and XSE Hybrid Nightshade trims have a standard Toyota Audio Plus infotainment system with eight speakers and a standard Connected Navigation App and App Suite. The most interesting aspect of that system is that it features the ability to use third-party applications inside the car.

It utilizes a nine-inch touchscreen with support for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa. An optional JBL premium audio system (standard for Limited and Touring) features 14 speakers and 1200 watts of power. One of the more exciting features for Avalon models is smartwatch and Alexa-enable device connectivity integrated with the Toyota Remote Connect system. That system allows Apple Watch users or users with a compatible Amazon Alexa-enabled device or smartwatch to lock or unlock doors, start the engine, and check fuel levels.

Pricing

Toyota has confirmed pricing for the 2022 Avalon range. The entry-level model is the XLE with V6 starting at $36,375, while the XLE Hybrid starts at $37,350. The Limited grade with V6 starts at $42,675, with the Limited Hybrid starting at $43,650. The new 2022 XSE Hybrid Nightshade starts at $40,700, and the top-of-the-line Touring V6 starts at $43,075. None of the MSRPs include Toyota's $1025 destination fee.