Toyota just announced what might be the last of the Avalon in a special Nightshade trim. That's right, as we confirmed not long ago, the Toyota Avalon isn't long for this world, and the brand will end production of its biggest sedan after the 2022 model year. While the Nightshade Edition is only an appearance package (no performance bits added), it does mark the beginning of the end for the Avalon.
Nightshade trim isn't a new thing for Toyota, since it has already introduced that trim name for the Camry, the big Sequoia body-on-frame SUV, and, of all cars, the little Prius. There was an Avalon Nightshade for 2021 but only for the sporty XSE trim. For the 2022 model year, shoppers can only buy the Nightshade trim on the XSE Hybrid. We prefer the naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6 for its sound and grunt, so it's a bit of a letdown, especially since the Nightshade looks pretty intimidating, unlike the power delivery of the Avalon Hybrid. Oh, well.
In terms of what the Avalon Nightshade gets, in addition to the robust standard equipment found on the XSE Hybrid, there is black trim on the mirror caps, exterior door handles, exterior trim, badges, and 19-inch wheels. Paint colors include Midnight Black Metallic, Wind Chill Pearl, and Celestial Silver Metallic. All Nightshade models receive black SofTex upholstery as standard equipment.
Other standard equipment includes a moonroof, an 8-speaker sound system, a 9-inch touchscreen with navigation, and the comprehensive Toyota Safety System 2.5+ that comes with a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, and automatic high beams. That's a solid set of features that makes the Avalon attractive all on its own.
The truly bad news about all this is that the Avalon is one of the last big sedans on the market. The following big mainstream sedans that are no longer made include the Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala, and Buick LaCrosse. The VW Passat will end after 2022. The Nissan Maxima is still a bit on the smaller side in row 2, so we don't consider it a truly big sedan.
Sadly, the sporty Avalon TRD is gone for 2022. The Avalon trim levels for 2022 include XLE, XLE Hybrid, XSE Hybrid Nightshade, Limited, Touring, and Limited Hybrid. The base MSRP for the XLE is $37,400 including the $1,025 destination charge. The Avalon XSE Hybrid Nightshade is priced at $41,725. Get yours now, otherwise, you'll have to hunt for it on the used market after 2022.