Toyota April 2018 U.S. Sales: 192,348 Vehicles Sold, Down 4.7% + 2019 Avalon Hybrid First Drive

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, May 13, 2018.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Toyota’s flagship is uniquely designed, equipped, and over the top efficient!

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – May 13, 2018

    2019 Toyota XSE Hybrid

    The 43/44 and 43/43 mpgUS city/highway ratings, XLE and XSE/Touring trims respectively, from a large midsize is UBER impressive!!!​

    From the Detroit 2019 Toyota Avalon Reveal in Detroit to the 2019 Toyota Avalon Tech and Marketing Presentation in Del Mar last month, let me add a few impressions.

    The TNGA based all-new 5th gen 2019 Avalon is longer, lower, and wider than its predecessor. Like the 18 Camry, the Avalon’s height was lowered by an inch to 56.5 in., the aluminum hood (down by 1.2 in.), and rear deck (down by 0.8 in). The front and rear overhangs have been decreased by 0.4 in. and 1.0 in., respectively. It is wider by 0.4 in./1.5 in front and rear respectively and its wheelbase is up by 2.0 in. to 113.0 in. That extra 2.0” of wheelbase has provided rear seat passengers with another 1” of leg room where it is most needed most.

    From a volume perspective, the Avalon provides .6 more cu ft. of passenger volume (102.9 cu. ft.) and a much needed 2.1 cu .ft. more cargo volume (16.1 cu .ft.) over the previous gen. That trunk volume increase came about because the Hybrid traction battery is now located under the rear seats instead of protruding into the trunk area. Another huge plus here as it not only increases cargo volume, it lowers the CG offering better R&H characteristics!

    2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Exterior

    Up front, the Avalon is uses a geometrically vertical 9-bar horizontal open-mouthed grille with a chrome border and slim headlamps as part of the XLE and Limited trims. The XSE - no Touring trim HEV - includes a piano black mesh grille and black headlamp bezels. As mentioned in the reveal, Toyota may be stepping out in front of themselves with these wild grille designs and even with the sporty black mesh, there is too much and all within an unorthodox shape. This was one of my few nits with the 2019 Avalon as it stands before us.

    The XLE and XSEs optional LED Vision Tech headlamps w/ three reflectors for the DRLs and the Limited and Touring incorporate thin lighting modules Adaptive LED Cornering lamp and a Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signals were not tested as the drive was day time use only. Trust me, I tried to get one out after dark for testing to no avail.

    The Avalon’s profile includes a full chrome Day Light Opening (DLO) surrounding the windows. A character line that runs through the front door handles while a lower rocker panel cutout upsweep providing symmetry as it mirrors the character lines fall off through the rear door. The Hybrid XLE arrives with upscale painted 17” alloys while XSE and Limited trims include 18s. Blacked out on the XSE vs chromed on the Limited. The roofline has a long rear slope which probably is why the Cd has fallen by 0.01 to 0.27. The profile is the most attractive aspect of the Avalon imho.

    Out back, the Avalon badge is integrated into a full width tail lamp and the lower rear diffuser upsweep area has been expanded significantly. The turn signals have a unique flash providing both direction and intent as they flash from inside to out.

    2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Interior

    XLE trim with its comfortable softtex interior.​

    The location where we spend thousands of hours is the area where the all-new Avalon stands out.

    A 9-inch center display with chrome-surround running all the way back to the center console and chrome buttons to control menus is upscale although the thin HVAC control switches below the screen are a bit small.

    A three-spoke wheel with satin chrome accents around multifunction controls, a 7-inch Drivers Display shows turn-by-turn navigation, and various vehicle settings and the Limited’s 10-inch Head-Up Display (HUD) check all the boxes.

    Faux wood trim inserts are found on XLE, while Limited features real wood. Aluminum accents adorns the XSE. Perforated Ultrasuede wraps all seating XSE while Softex is std. in the XLE includes artistic vertical stitching. The Limited adds a quilt pattern, special perforation, and two-color stitches. I liked all three with the Limited’s quilted leather inserts and seating stand out as the full boat luxury choice. Another plus is the cloth textured covered A-pillars matching the headliner.

    A slide-open eBin containing a 12-volt plug and a standard wireless Qi mobile device charger plus a trio of USB ports (3 up front, 2 out back) are located inside the center console. Toyota continues to offer that reach in area under the central console. I am not a fan as my hands cannot retrieve “stuff” out of the space like my wallet and phone. A part cup-holder, part phone cradle located atop the front console, sits adjacent to the gear selector; and soft padding on either side of the console’s lower tunnel kept my knees from rubbing hard plastic like many Toyota’s I own and drive. The one problem found in most Toyota’s is also present in the Avalon. That being too short of lower seat cushions and not enough telescopic reach of the wheel. No lower seat cushion extension is offered like that in the Lexus ES either. :(

    Rear seat passengers are provided a rear cup and device holder, piano black and satin chrome-finish accents. Within the rear seat passengers arm reach are the air vents, controls for the “available” seat warmers, and USB charging port(s) plural. Optional rear seat heaters are missing for some reason although the additional leg room was excellent.

    2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Drivetrain

    What I had hoped would happen did. That being the new 40+ percent thermodynamically efficient Camry Hybrid drivetrain has been installed in the all-new 2019 Avalon Hybrid. The all -new Avalon HEVs 43/44/44 vs the previous gens 40/39/40 is real. In addition, Toyota eeked out another 15-total system hp (215 hp from the 2019 Avalon HEV, 208 from the 2018 Camry HEV, and 200 hp from the 2018 Avalon HEV) while still offering city efficiency that nobody in the midsize or full-sized segment comes close to matching. In a simple 15-mile drive consisting of 60 percent higher speed (65+ mph) Interstate, 20 percent mid speed (30+ mph) stop and crawl Interstate, and 20 percent city, the Avalon Hybrid provided an indicated 72 mpg. You could tell as soon as traffic slowed, or I transitioned to the all-city environment, the large Avalon Hybrid just took off! Nobody is going to touch this level of efficiency for a while. This was and will be for the near future the Avalon’s highlight as it offers good punch from a stop, normal feeling acceleration and braking, and a stupid level of efficiency. Like the 4th gen Prius and 8th gen Camry, this new hybrid drivetrain just buries its predecessor and all competitors. With fuel prices rising, forgo the V6 and any competitors. Just buy the Avalon Hybrid and cut your weekly refueling costs in half!!!

    What was unexpected was the use of a NiMH traction battery? Longevity and C-rates are its strengths, but power and energy density are a decade or more behind the latest Li-Ion tech used by other Toyota Hybrid offerings. I did not receive a good reason why Toyota designed the all-new Avalon to use an aging NiMH pack design?

    2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Safety

    Avalon’s standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) bundles Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB). Additional standard safety technology includes Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Back Guide Monitor (BGM). Finally, a full package with the front, sides and rear somewhat protected vs. the hodge podge that most including Toyota has offered in packages in the past.

    All 2019 Avalon’s have 10-standard airbags, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology.

    The Radar CC continues to be one of the best in the business with only the very latest from VW/Audi providing a wider beam. What is missing however is that the all-new 2019 Toyota Corolla’s Safety Sense2.0 Pre-Collision System? I was told it is a product cadence issue as the Corolla Hatch was designed after and thus received the very latest TSS system. This means there is no new cyclist detection, improved low-light capabilities, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), or the Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist with Road Edge Detection. I found it strange that the flagship was not equipped with the upcoming Corolla Hatches safety equipment.

    2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Driving Impressions

    With no Avalon Hybrid Touring trim offered, the brands all-new Adaptative Variable Suspension from the 3.5L is not offered. From the previous gens short lead back in 2012 IIRC, I thought the new suspension provided superior handling and typical ride. We had Avalon members here tell me I am full of $**t as the ride was notably degraded despite the vastly improved handling aspect. Toyota experienced similar push back from owners and this all-new TNGA platform’s independent rear end has been tuned to provide more compliance while still offering a sharper turn in, less yaw, and more confident handling. A graph that I was not allowed access to show the Touring trims Adaptative Variable Suspension provides the softest ride of the XLE and even more stability than the XSE at the limits. It was interesting to note that the XLE, Limited, XSE and Touring all had different feel, yet all still provide what I would want from a luxury cruiser. I sure wish the Hybrid was offered in Touring trim with that suspension as it negates any need whatsoever for one to consider the all-new Lexus ES Hybrid.

    The high end JBL Audio w/ Clari-Fi sounded pretty good but did not blow me away. The base Entune 3.0 system in the XLE was not as clean but still sounded good as well.

    Pricing was in-line with a fully loaded luxury sedan. Better in fact when compared against tits German and American counterparts providing real world efficiency of half.

    2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Retail Pricing
    • 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE - $36,500
    • 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XSE - $39,000
    • 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE - $42,800
    D&H adds another $920 to the retail price above.

    If the polarizing front end suits you, you have shorter than a 34” inseam, and can forgo Android Auto, I cannot think of a better vehicle to take you from location to location without much concern for fuel price spikes or in manner befitting a luxuriously appointed touring sedan. Of all the Toyota’s available today, this one is the most comfortable, best equipped and imho, the best Toyota has ever offered. I mean really, 72-mpg from an almost full-sized sedan after a short drive from one beach location to another? Hot damn!!!

    2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XSE along the Pacific

    The most luxurious Toyota ever offered in my favorite trim.​

    Toyota April 2018 U.S. Auto Sales

    Toyota reported it sold 192,348 vehicles in the United States in April, down 4.7 percent below the 201,926 sold in April of 2017. Sales were up 3.2 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis in which there were 24 selling days in April of 2018 vs. 26 in April of 2017.

    Toyota on its own achieved April sales of 170,706 vehicles, down 5.1 percent on a volume basis and up 2.8 percent on a DSR basis.

    Lexus posted April sales of 21,642 vehicles, down 2.1 percent on a volume basis and up 6.0 percent on a DSR basis.

    Toyota’s YTD sales of 764,381 were up 4.1 percent above the 734,537 sold through the same period of 2017.


    Of all the Toyota’s and Lexus vehicles sold in April, the Prius Prime PHEV stood out with the highest percentage increases of any Toyota or Lexus model not incl. the NXh with much smaller volumes. Prius and RAV4 Hybrids were purchased in decent volumes but it is the Prime that is grabbing notoriety as it continues to outsell the Bolt, Volt, and LEAF.

    Prime sales of 2,626 were up 44.4 percent above the 1,819 sold in April of 2017. On a DSR basis, sales were up an even stronger 56.4 percent. YTD sales of 9,094 were up 47.5 percent over the 6,165 sold through the same period of 2017.

    2017 Toyota Prius Prime

    Parked amongst a few million $s of SUVs and Pickups at last year’s TAWA Truck Rodeo. :)

    April 2018 U.S Automotive Industry Results

    Despite GMs lack of monthly sales details, here is the U.S. April Automobile sales breakdown.

    While April's overall sales volume was down 2.1 percent, on a daily selling rate basis - 24 selling days in April of 2017 vs. 26 selling days in April of 2017, sales were up a healthy approximate 6.1 percent.



    B and C-segment Items of note: Not much to add.


    D and Utility Segment items of note: In the D-segment, there are huge losses other than the Camry which is far out in front and the Mazda6 which is making a late in life push. On the utility side, I added the Wrangler to the list and what a month to do so. Almost 30k vehicles sold!


    Pickup segment items of note: The Titan fell off from its recent 5 to 7k/month run. I have no explanation for the surge or the fall? Ridgeline continues to languish despite accolades.


    Electrified segment items of note: Prius regains its perch at the top of the hybrid sales results just 40 vehicles ahead of the RAV4 Hybrid. Fusion Hybrid is fading now that Ford is de-emphasizing its role in the future of the company. We will be watching this one closely. The big news within is the Ioniq finally kicked into gear as dealerships are finally offering $2k + discounts.

    On the electric side of the fence, Prime continues to dominate the segment. Any wonder with the super discounts available on the East Coast. The new LEAF experienced a nice uptick as well. Nissan is spending a lot on adverts here on the West Coast to help.

    U.S. Automobile April 2018 vs. April 2017 Market Share Comparison


    April 2018 Market Share items of note: Ford's share was down .5 percent.

    April 2018 U.S. Auto Sales and Rankings for the Top 18 Manufacturers
    1. GM April 2018 U.S. Sales*: 237,800 vehicles sold, down 2.7 percent below the 244,406 sold in April of 2017
    2. Ford April 2018 U.S. Sales: 204,651 vehicles sold, down 4.7 percent below the 214,695 sold in April of 2017
    3. Toyota April 2018 U.S. Sales: 192,348 vehicles sold, down 4.7 percent below the 201,926 sold in April of 2017
    4. FCA April 2018 U.S. Sales: 184,149 vehicles sold, up 4.5 percent above the 176,176 sold in April of 2017
    5. Honda April 2018 U.S. Sales: 125,701 vehicles sold, down 9.2 percent below the 138,386 sold in April of 2017
    6. Nissan April 2018 U.S. Sales: 87,764 vehicles sold, down 28.1 percent below the 121,998 sold in April of 2017
    7. Hyundai April 2018 U.S. Sales: 56,063 vehicles sold, down 11.1 percent below the 63,050 sold in April of 2017
    8. Kia April 2018 U.S. Sales: 50,585 vehicles sold, down 5.2 percent below the 53,358 sold in April of 2017
    9. Subaru April 2018 U.S. Sales: 53,170 vehicles sold, up 1.5 percent above the 52,368 sold in April of 2017
    10. Mercedes-Benz April 2018 U.S. Sales: 30,115 vehicles sold, up 2.1 percent above the 29,490 sold in April of 2017
    11. VW April 2018 U.S. Sales: 28,794 vehicles sold, up 4.5 percent above the 27,557 sold in April of 2017
    12. BMW April 2018 U.S. Sales: 27,213 vehicles sold, up 4.2 percent above the 26,105 sold in April of 2017
    13. Mazda April 2018 U.S. Sales: 23,056 vehicles sold, down 4.6 percent below the 24,164 sold in April of 2017
    14. Audi April 2018 U.S. Sales: 19,104 vehicles sold, up 2.1 percent above the 18,711 sold in April of 2017
    15. Jaguar/Land Rover April 2018 U.S. Sales: 8,467 vehicles sold, up 0.3 percent above the 8,441 sold in April of 2017
    16. Volvo April 2018 U.S. Sales: 8,333 vehicles sold, up 17.0 percent above the 7,121 sold in April of 2017
    17. Mitsubishi April 2018 U.S. Sales: 7,990 vehicles sold, down 4.6 percent below the 8,375 sold in April of 2017
    18. Porsche April 2018 U.S. Sales: 5,570 vehicles sold, up 0.7 percent above the 5,529 sold in April of 2017
    * April Estimate

    April 2018 Manufacturer sales of note: Honda moved ahead of Nissan due to a devastating month by the TN automaker. Subaru fell behind Kia despite positive results. MB moved ahead four spots, VW fell one, while BMW and Mazda both fell 2 spots. Jaguar/Land Rover and Volvo moved ahead of Mitsubishi.

    2018 YTD estimated sales of 5.5 million was up .05 million or .9 percent over the 5.45 million sold through the same period of 2017.

    #Toyota #Avalon
  2. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Super Moderator

    The reason is not only does Toyota own the battery company, they also own the nickel mines. Investing in a technology when you don't know if it will be relevant 5 years later is a really bad move. Better to outsource the batteries.
    xcel likes this.
  3. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Durability. Nimh can be discharged to 0 and still be fine. Do that to a lithium ion and it is for sure damaged and probably ruined.

    So, in a way, any car with a lithium battery has a ticking time bomb inside ... just waiting on a one time mechanical, electrical, computer or human error to ruin the battery.
    No ticking with Nimh.
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    xcel likes this.
  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Discharging the NiMH that deeply will shorten its life. That's why Toyota and others keep the charge range at 40% to 80%. Honda was allowing the pack to discharge below 40%, and their hybrids were suffering early battery deaths with it.

    Now, it could stand up better to such abuse than Li-ion, and it does perform better at freezing temperatures, but those advantages come at the cost of higher weight and even price. At this point, Toyota is probably to only company paying less for NiMH than Li-ion.
    xcel likes this.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Guys:

    I was just surprised as that NiMH pack probably weighs 50 to 75 more lbs than an equivalent Li-Ion and mass is everything in today's automotive world.

    I have to say the new TNGA platform Toyota is using up and down their lineup is starting to prove itself mightily. Good handling platforms while not beating you to death on rough Interstate.


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