How Sport, Eco, Normal & Custom Modes work on Toyota Avalon

The 2020 Toyota Avalon is available with some of the most advanced drive mode features Toyota has ever made. These settings have the ability to completely transform the Avalon experience, all at the push of a button.

Toyota Avalon Fifth Generation XX50 – (photo by Toyota)

All Avalon models can switch between Normal, Eco and Sport modes, except for the Avalon Touring, which swaps the Sport mode for a grade-specific Sport S, Sport S+, and Custom modes.


The currently selected drive mode is displayed on the vehicle’s multi-information display, or MID, and can also be determined simply by the color of the MID’s lower footer area. These drive modes alter the performance characteristics of the vehicle’s engine, transmission, power steering, adaptive suspension, air conditioning and cabin acoustics, namely the active noise control and engine sound enhancement systems.

Availability of features can vary by model, which means that some of the settings are not applicable to or adjustable on select models. Specifically, the two cabin acoustic systems are only available on XSE and Touring models, while adaptive variable suspension is exclusive to the Touring model.

Normal Mode

In Normal Mode, all systems are set to a pre-determined balance ideal for every day driving, including the adaptive variable suspension system found on Avalon Touring. For XSE and Touring models set in normal mode, active noise control is enabled, while engine sound enhancement is disabled, the MID does not display any drive mode text and the lower area is left in the standard black and blue theme.

Eco Mode

Eco mode is very similar to Normal, except that the engine, transmission and air conditioning settings have been altered in an effort to optimize fuel efficiency when possible. In this mode, the MID reads, ECO, and the lower area has a green color.

Sport Mode

Compared to Normal mode, Sport sets the engine and transmission to a performance maximizing profile, and the electric power steering system is changed to a sport setting.

For XSE models set in Sport Mode, active noise control is enabled as is the engine sound enhancement system, emphasizing a powerful engine sound throughout the cabin, especially at start up and full throttle. In this mode, the MID reads, SPORT, and the lower area has a red color.


Sport S

Exclusive to Avalon Touring, Sport S Mode is identical to the Sport Mode of other models, except that the electric power steering system is left at a normal setting. In this mode, the MID reads, SPORT S, and the lower area has a red color.

Sport S+: Also exclusive to Avalon Touring, the maxed-out Sport S+ takes the sporty settings of Sport S up a notch, by setting both the adaptive variable suspension and electric power steering systems into a performance-oriented profile. In this mode, the MID reads, SPORT S+, and the lower area has a red color.

Custom Mode

Lastly, Avalon Touring offers a Custom Mode which enables drivers to adjust system settings individually, creating a safe profile that suites them and their driving habits. In this mode, the MDI reads, CUSTOM, but maintains the default black and blue footer theme of Normal Mode. Regardless of Avalon model, all drive modes selections can be chosen via a set of three buttons located on the center console, directly beneath the shift lever.

Contact the author: stevietobias@wheelsjoint.com


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