2021 Avalon vs. Maxima Comparison

Nothing says you've made it more than buying a premium sedan that comes standard with all the best features. Whether you want high-quality interior options or outstanding engine performance, these two vehicles are excellent combinations of both.

On the performance side, both sedans have lots of horsepower, but only the Avalon has an available hybrid engine option too.

Little details on the interior are what make the Avalon truly standout. For those wanting more luxury-styled features, the Avalon has more room inside and is specially designed to reduce cabin noise during your drive. The Maxima is a little smaller and its interior specs don't mention features that help keep road noise to a minimum.

As we continue this head-to-head comparison, discover which sedan is best for you.

Published Date: 08/24/2021

Interior of 2021 Avalon

Interior

  • The Avalon has a larger passenger volume than the Maxima.
  • If you're wanting a large touchscreen, the Avalon beats the Maxima on all models.
  • The Avalon base model has more USB ports than the base model Maxima.

Looking for superior interior amenities and tech touches? These two sedans have it in spades.

Passenger Volume

If you want more room to spread out, the Avalon has an EPA passenger volume of 104.3 cu. ft., while the Maxima SV has an interior passenger volume without a moonroof of 98.5 cu. ft.

The interior space is larger in the Avalon, and it also comes with a bigger 9-inch touchscreen standard. All Maxima models have an 8-inch touchscreen display.

You’ll feel like you've hit the multimedia jackpot in the Avalon, which has hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology, Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Plus, you also can enjoy SiriusXM® with a 3-month Platinum Plan trial. On top of all of that, keep your devices charged with one USB media port and four USB charge ports standard in the Avalon. On the other hand, the Maxima has similar features but lacks Amazon Alexa compatibility and only has one USB port and one USB-C port standard in the Maxima SV. To get two USB ports and two USB-C ports, you'd need the Maxima SR or higher.

Avalon driving fast down a road covered in leaves

Performance

  • The Avalon has better gas mileage ratings than the Maxima.
  • For even more impressive fuel economy ratings, the Avalon has an available hybrid engine.
  • The Maxima doesn't have an AWD option but the Avalon XLE does.

The Avalon isn't all just about looks. With an available hybrid engine and AWD drivetrain, this sedan has options for the eco and safety-conscious driver.

Mileage

Looking at the gas models, the Avalon XLE has an EPA-estimated 22/32/26 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating and an EPA-estimated 25/34/28 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating with available AWD. Comparatively, Maxima models have an EPA-estimated 20/30/24 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating.

For more savings at the pump, the Avalon also has an available hybrid engine on the XLE, XSE, and Limited. The XLE Hybrid has an EPA-estimated 43/44/44 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating and the XSE and Limited Hybrid models have an EPA-estimated 43/43/43 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating. The Maxima does not have a hybrid model available for 2021.

If you want AWD, the Avalon XLE and Limited are your best options since the Maxima doesn't have an available all-wheel drive drivetrain option.

Isolated black Avalon

Design

  • The Avalon has standard acoustic noise-reducing windshield and driver and front passenger side windows and High Solar Energy-Absorbing (HSEA) glass. The Maxima doesn't mention these features on their specs page.
  • Get an extra reminder before you change lanes with the Avalon's blind spot warning indicators.
  • Engine Sound Enhancement (ESE) is available in the Avalon XSE Nightshade and standard in the Touring.

The Avalon and Maxima provide more than just interior features and performance.

Quiet Ride

Have a quiet and comfortable ride with the standard acoustic noise-reducing windshield and driver and front passenger side windows and High Solar Energy-Absorbing (HSEA) glass with the 2021 Avalon. The Maxima specs page doesn't mention such features.

For style and functionality, the Avalon comes with color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with turn signal and blind spot warning indicators. Comparatively, the Maxima has standard heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators.

Feel and hear the rush every time you put the pedal to the metal with Engine Sound Enhancement (ESE) available in the Avalon XSE Nightshade and standard in the Touring. The similar Active Sound Enhancement is standard in the Maxima SR. There is only about a $600 difference between the Avalon Touring and the Maxima SR.

Without the extras, the Avalon XLE still comes with a lot for a starting MSRP of $36,125 compared to the starting price for the Maxima SV at $37,090.

People walking near a 2021 Avalon parked on the street

Conclusion: Avalon vs. Maxima

  • The Avalon gives you a lot more standard features for less than the Maxima.
  • Fans of all-wheel drive will be happy to know the Avalon has AWD available.
  • Unlike the Maxima, the Avalon also has an available hybrid engine.

There's more to finding the right car than just pointing to the one that looks the prettiest sitting on the lot. When you take into consideration price, standard features, and design, the Avalon surely shines.

For a starting MSRP of $36,125, the Avalon gives you more interior space, a larger infotainment touchscreen, and loads of connectivity features. The Maxima starts at a higher price point of $37,090 and falls short with its standard interior features.

Plus, if you choose the Avalon you have more drivetrain options with the available all-wheel drive. You can even get a hybrid model if you're looking to take advantage of some gas savings.

Overall, the 2021 Avalon is a standout sedan.