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Found 14 results

  1. Drew Dowdell

    Detroit Preview: 2019 Toyota Avalon

    Full-size family sedans have been on the ropes lately. The Hyundai Azera has been canceled. There is no planned replacement for the Ford Taurus. The Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 both have uncertain futures. Toyota however is about to put a pile of chips on the table with a fully redesigned 2019 Toyota Avalon. They released a teaser picture ahead of the January 15th release at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The picture, which only shows the front left corner of the car shows a very expressive look with a broad lower intake and a somewhat Lexus shaped grille. We expect the new Avalon to ride on a longer variant of the 2018 Toyota Camry platform that was released at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The new Camry platform shaved significant weight over the prior model and that will likely carry over to the new Avalon as well. That should make for some impressive performance numbers as the Avalon is already one of the lightest vehicles in the class. We will have more details and on-site reaction for you as we approach the full release of the 2019 Toyota Avalon at the Detroit Auto Show.
  2. Full-size family sedans have been on the ropes lately. The Hyundai Azera has been canceled. There is no planned replacement for the Ford Taurus. The Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 both have uncertain futures. Toyota however is about to put a pile of chips on the table with a fully redesigned 2019 Toyota Avalon. They released a teaser picture ahead of the January 15th release at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The picture, which only shows the front left corner of the car shows a very expressive look with a broad lower intake and a somewhat Lexus shaped grille. We expect the new Avalon to ride on a longer variant of the 2018 Toyota Camry platform that was released at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The new Camry platform shaved significant weight over the prior model and that will likely carry over to the new Avalon as well. That should make for some impressive performance numbers as the Avalon is already one of the lightest vehicles in the class. We will have more details and on-site reaction for you as we approach the full release of the 2019 Toyota Avalon at the Detroit Auto Show. View full article
  3. William Maley

    Chicago Auto Show: 2016 Toyota Avalon

    Toyota's big sedan, the Avalon has gotten a mild refresh for the 2016 model year. The updated sedan, which debuted today in Chicago gets a number of small tweaks a new trim level. The tweaks begin outside with LED accents for the head and taillights, along with an enlarged front grille. All trim levels get new wheel choices. Inside, new trim pieces and a revised Entune infotainment system on XLE models and up. Powertrains for the Avalon remain unchanged. That means a 3.5L V6 for the standard Avalon, while the Avalon Hybrid goes with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system. What has changed is suspension tuning. Most Avalons will come with a suspension tune that provides a more comfortable ride. The new Touring trim will come a more aggressive suspension tune to provide more sport. The 2016 Avalon arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 First Look in the “Second City:” The Refreshed 2016 Toyota Avalon Premium Mid-Sized Sedan Updated Styling Retuned Suspension for Enhanced Comfort New LED Headlights and Taillights Upgraded Convenience Features CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Call it a trio of firsts in the Second City as the refreshed Toyota Avalon and sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions made their world debuts at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The three models rode into Chicago with a head of steam as the Avalon, Camry and Corolla are each the sales leaders in their respective segments, a first for Toyota. All three vehicles are 2016 models and will go on sale later this fall. Refreshed 2016 Avalon Unveiled as all-new in 2012, the fourth-generation Avalon was the first vehicle to meet Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s challenge to create cars that spark people’s emotions. Toyota mixed its legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) with a strong dose of emotion through fresh new styling, improved performance, and high-tech features. They proved to be winning ingredients as Avalon quickly grabbed the attention of mid-size premium car buyers in segment leading numbers. Five distinct grades on the V6 models will give customers a wide array of choice (XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited and Touring). Hybrid customers can choose from three separate grades, adding luxury features and technology options as they move up the chain from XLE Plus to XLE Premium and Limited. Two unique suspension systems were developed for the 2016 Avalon to better align with diverse customer preferences. One retuned suspension prioritizes a comfortable ride for the XLE through Limited grades. The other, provides a more dynamic and responsive driving experience for the Touring grade. Both of these suspension tunings are new and represent significant improvements over the current production Avalon. The refreshed 2016 Avalon adds more refinement with an array of styling, performance and technology enhancements. New features on all Avalon grades will include: Wider lower front grille with narrow upper grille design Newly-designed turn signals (replacing fog lights) Refined LED taillights Chrome rear bumper accent New gray accent stitching with light gray interior Additional new standard features on the XLE and XLE Plus grades include: Redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels 7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen Premium woodgrain dash ornamentation Tire-specific Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Technology upgrades are added to the Avalon XLE Premium grade as it receives Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and the Qi Wireless Charging as standard equipment. The performance-tuned Avalon Touring grade adds to its sporty styling with new standard features that include: Redesigned 18-inch dark gray painted alloy wheels New sporty front fascia New LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) Unique “Touring” badge The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited rounds out the updates with the addition of new 18-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on gas models, and new 17-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on the Limited hybrid (also optional on gas Limited). The Limited adds optional advanced safety features including automatic high beam headlights, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and Lane Departure Alert.
  4. Toyota's big sedan, the Avalon has gotten a mild refresh for the 2016 model year. The updated sedan, which debuted today in Chicago gets a number of small tweaks a new trim level. The tweaks begin outside with LED accents for the head and taillights, along with an enlarged front grille. All trim levels get new wheel choices. Inside, new trim pieces and a revised Entune infotainment system on XLE models and up. Powertrains for the Avalon remain unchanged. That means a 3.5L V6 for the standard Avalon, while the Avalon Hybrid goes with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system. What has changed is suspension tuning. Most Avalons will come with a suspension tune that provides a more comfortable ride. The new Touring trim will come a more aggressive suspension tune to provide more sport. The 2016 Avalon arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 First Look in the “Second City:” The Refreshed 2016 Toyota Avalon Premium Mid-Sized Sedan Updated Styling Retuned Suspension for Enhanced Comfort New LED Headlights and Taillights Upgraded Convenience Features CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Call it a trio of firsts in the Second City as the refreshed Toyota Avalon and sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions made their world debuts at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The three models rode into Chicago with a head of steam as the Avalon, Camry and Corolla are each the sales leaders in their respective segments, a first for Toyota. All three vehicles are 2016 models and will go on sale later this fall. Refreshed 2016 Avalon Unveiled as all-new in 2012, the fourth-generation Avalon was the first vehicle to meet Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s challenge to create cars that spark people’s emotions. Toyota mixed its legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) with a strong dose of emotion through fresh new styling, improved performance, and high-tech features. They proved to be winning ingredients as Avalon quickly grabbed the attention of mid-size premium car buyers in segment leading numbers. Five distinct grades on the V6 models will give customers a wide array of choice (XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited and Touring). Hybrid customers can choose from three separate grades, adding luxury features and technology options as they move up the chain from XLE Plus to XLE Premium and Limited. Two unique suspension systems were developed for the 2016 Avalon to better align with diverse customer preferences. One retuned suspension prioritizes a comfortable ride for the XLE through Limited grades. The other, provides a more dynamic and responsive driving experience for the Touring grade. Both of these suspension tunings are new and represent significant improvements over the current production Avalon. The refreshed 2016 Avalon adds more refinement with an array of styling, performance and technology enhancements. New features on all Avalon grades will include: Wider lower front grille with narrow upper grille design Newly-designed turn signals (replacing fog lights) Refined LED taillights Chrome rear bumper accent New gray accent stitching with light gray interior Additional new standard features on the XLE and XLE Plus grades include: Redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels 7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen Premium woodgrain dash ornamentation Tire-specific Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Technology upgrades are added to the Avalon XLE Premium grade as it receives Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and the Qi Wireless Charging as standard equipment. The performance-tuned Avalon Touring grade adds to its sporty styling with new standard features that include: Redesigned 18-inch dark gray painted alloy wheels New sporty front fascia New LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) Unique “Touring” badge The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited rounds out the updates with the addition of new 18-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on gas models, and new 17-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on the Limited hybrid (also optional on gas Limited). The Limited adds optional advanced safety features including automatic high beam headlights, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and Lane Departure Alert. View full article
  5. Toyota has quite the showing at the Chicago Auto Show next week. First off is a refresh for the full-size Avalon sedan. We don't much about the refresh, but judging from a from teaser shot, Toyota has made some slight tweaks to front end. We'll have more information come next week. The other two reveals are special edition models of the Camry and Corolla. The Camry Special Edition starts off as the SE model equipped with four-cylinder engine and gets some more aggression. This begins on the exterior with a choice of either Blizzard Pearl or Blue Streak Metallic paint; 18-inch wheels with black accents, and smoked taillights. Inside are a set of sport seats with blue stitching and black bolsters, Entune Audio Plus stereo, push-button start, and a moonroof. Toyota plans on building 12,000 Camry Special Editions starting in August. The Corolla Special Edition takes the Corolla S Plus model and adds a set of gloss black 17-inch wheels and a choice of Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl, or Super White colors. Inside is red stitching and accents for the seats, dashboard, and door trim. You'll also get push-button start and special edition floor mats. Toyota plans on building 8,000 Corolla Special Editions starting in August. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota to Create Turbulence in Windy City with Sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions Camry and Corolla to Create Excitement With Special Edition Debuts Limited Production Models Equipped With Unique Sport-Themed Features Refreshed Avalon to be Unveiled at Chicago Auto Show CHICAGO, (Feb. 5, 2015) – Winds of change will be blowing into the Chicago Auto Show. Toyota’s Camry mid-size sedan, the best-selling car in America for the past 13 years, and Corolla compact sedan, the world’s best-selling car of all time, will debut special edition models at next week’s Chicago Auto Show. The debuts will be part of a press conference that will also feature a refreshed Avalon sedan. Camry Special Edition When redesigning the Camry for 2015, Toyota went bumper to bumper and floor to roof, changing or re-engineering nearly 2,000 parts. Only the roof remained unchanged, and it capped off the boldest Camry ever. Now, only one year after this major redesign, America’s best-selling car will offer the 2016 Camry Special Edition for owner’s looking for an extra dose of both aggressiveness and technology. Based on the youthful Camry SE, the limited production Camry will add sporty interior and exterior features. In addition to features found on the Camry SE, standard equipment on the Special Edition will include: Unique 18-inch alloy wheels with machined face contrasted with gloss black painted accents Power tilt/slide moonroof Smoked tail lamp treatment High contrast blue stitching on the seats, shift boot, and dash Exclusive sport appearance seats trimmed with black SofTex bolsters and blue patterned inserts Sport meter cluster with blue details and white background Entune Audio Plus Available Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite Smart Key with Pushbutton Start Qi Wireless Charging Two exterior colors: Blizzard Pearl and new Blue Streak Metallic Floor mats with logo and unique exterior badge The Camry Special Edition will be powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Like all Toyota vehicles, the Camry Special Edition will come standard with the Star Safety System. Production of the Camry Special Edition will be limited to approximately 12,000 units and will run from August 2015 to January 2016. Corolla Special Edition The iconic Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling name plate of all-time with over 40 million sold since 1966. With its all-new 11th generation introduced in 2014, the current Corolla is the roomiest and most fuel-efficient ever. Corolla will add more driving excitement with the launch of the 2016 Corolla Special Edition. Sporty styling features, inside and out, complement a spirited driving experience made possible with steering wheel paddle shifters, rear disc brakes and Sport Driving Mode along with an array of additional standard features. Based on the sporty Corolla S Plus grade, the 2016 Corolla Special Edition will turn heads as it adds: Unique 17-inch alloy wheels with gloss black finish Black interior with red contrast stitching Red accented dash and door trim Smart Key System with pushbutton start Three colors: exclusive Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl and Super White Special Edition floor mats with logo and unique exterior badge Toyota’s Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and power tilt/slide moonroof will be available as options. The Corolla Special Edition will be produced between August and December 2015 and will be limited to 8,000 units. In addition to the Camry and Corolla Special Editions, Toyota will unveil the refreshed 2016 Avalon premium mid-size sedan during a press conference in the Toyota display at Chicago’s McCormick Place on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m. CST. View full article
  6. Toyota has quite the showing at the Chicago Auto Show next week. First off is a refresh for the full-size Avalon sedan. We don't much about the refresh, but judging from a from teaser shot, Toyota has made some slight tweaks to front end. We'll have more information come next week. The other two reveals are special edition models of the Camry and Corolla. The Camry Special Edition starts off as the SE model equipped with four-cylinder engine and gets some more aggression. This begins on the exterior with a choice of either Blizzard Pearl or Blue Streak Metallic paint; 18-inch wheels with black accents, and smoked taillights. Inside are a set of sport seats with blue stitching and black bolsters, Entune Audio Plus stereo, push-button start, and a moonroof. Toyota plans on building 12,000 Camry Special Editions starting in August. The Corolla Special Edition takes the Corolla S Plus model and adds a set of gloss black 17-inch wheels and a choice of Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl, or Super White colors. Inside is red stitching and accents for the seats, dashboard, and door trim. You'll also get push-button start and special edition floor mats. Toyota plans on building 8,000 Corolla Special Editions starting in August. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota to Create Turbulence in Windy City with Sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions Camry and Corolla to Create Excitement With Special Edition Debuts Limited Production Models Equipped With Unique Sport-Themed Features Refreshed Avalon to be Unveiled at Chicago Auto Show CHICAGO, (Feb. 5, 2015) – Winds of change will be blowing into the Chicago Auto Show. Toyota’s Camry mid-size sedan, the best-selling car in America for the past 13 years, and Corolla compact sedan, the world’s best-selling car of all time, will debut special edition models at next week’s Chicago Auto Show. The debuts will be part of a press conference that will also feature a refreshed Avalon sedan. Camry Special Edition When redesigning the Camry for 2015, Toyota went bumper to bumper and floor to roof, changing or re-engineering nearly 2,000 parts. Only the roof remained unchanged, and it capped off the boldest Camry ever. Now, only one year after this major redesign, America’s best-selling car will offer the 2016 Camry Special Edition for owner’s looking for an extra dose of both aggressiveness and technology. Based on the youthful Camry SE, the limited production Camry will add sporty interior and exterior features. In addition to features found on the Camry SE, standard equipment on the Special Edition will include: Unique 18-inch alloy wheels with machined face contrasted with gloss black painted accents Power tilt/slide moonroof Smoked tail lamp treatment High contrast blue stitching on the seats, shift boot, and dash Exclusive sport appearance seats trimmed with black SofTex bolsters and blue patterned inserts Sport meter cluster with blue details and white background Entune Audio Plus Available Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite Smart Key with Pushbutton Start Qi Wireless Charging Two exterior colors: Blizzard Pearl and new Blue Streak Metallic Floor mats with logo and unique exterior badge The Camry Special Edition will be powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Like all Toyota vehicles, the Camry Special Edition will come standard with the Star Safety System. Production of the Camry Special Edition will be limited to approximately 12,000 units and will run from August 2015 to January 2016. Corolla Special Edition The iconic Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling name plate of all-time with over 40 million sold since 1966. With its all-new 11th generation introduced in 2014, the current Corolla is the roomiest and most fuel-efficient ever. Corolla will add more driving excitement with the launch of the 2016 Corolla Special Edition. Sporty styling features, inside and out, complement a spirited driving experience made possible with steering wheel paddle shifters, rear disc brakes and Sport Driving Mode along with an array of additional standard features. Based on the sporty Corolla S Plus grade, the 2016 Corolla Special Edition will turn heads as it adds: Unique 17-inch alloy wheels with gloss black finish Black interior with red contrast stitching Red accented dash and door trim Smart Key System with pushbutton start Three colors: exclusive Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl and Super White Special Edition floor mats with logo and unique exterior badge Toyota’s Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and power tilt/slide moonroof will be available as options. The Corolla Special Edition will be produced between August and December 2015 and will be limited to 8,000 units. In addition to the Camry and Corolla Special Editions, Toyota will unveil the refreshed 2016 Avalon premium mid-size sedan during a press conference in the Toyota display at Chicago’s McCormick Place on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m. CST.
  7. William Maley

    2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 25, 2013 Can a vehicle have a midlife crisis? If your answer is the "Toyota Avalon', then the answer would be yes. For the past two generations, the Avalon was positioned for older buyers who wanted to stay in the Toyota family. This plan worked for sixteen years, but it also earned the Avalon the dubious honor of the Japanese Buick. Ouch. With the third-generation Avalon, Toyota had a quandary. Do they stick with the old person's car or do they go down a different road? They went with the latter option and made the Avalon younger. Toyota turned to their U.S. branch and gave them a mission; design and build an Avalon that attracts a younger audience. 'Younger' in this case is 40 to 60 year olds. Going younger to attract a younger audience? I decided to find out if that was possible and an Avalon Hybrid was dropped off for a week. The Avalon Hybrid is one of the more striking full-size sedans on the market today. A coupe-like roofline is the major styling point of the Avalon, helping the vehicle look much more youthful. The front end utilizes a two-tier grille layout. The bottom grille is large and wide, somehow reminding me of an Aston Martin. On top is a slim chrome bar the extends the length of the front end and features Toyota's emblem. The side features sculpturing along the doors and a distinctive line running from the front door to the trunk lid. There are also a fair number of hybrid badges throughout the Avalon Hybrid's body. Moving inside, the Avalon Hybrid is very well-appointed. In the Limited trim, you get leather throughout and stitching on the dashboard and door panels. The only item I wish Toyota would fix is the wood trim since you can tell it's plastic. Build quality is excellent. The Avalon Hybrid's center stack is one of the nicest stacks I have seen and used in awhile. You have a textured material surrounding the six or seven-inch touchscreen and climate control that feels very premium. There is also Toyota's IntelliTouch controls, which is what the brand calls the capacitive buttons throughout the center stack. Toyota deserves a lot credit with their IntelliTouch controls since they don't require someone to hit them about seventeen different times to have something happen. Touch it once and an action happens. My Avalon Hybrid came equipped with the seven-inch touchscreen which brings forth the infotainment system from Lexus. I have to say this is much better than the infotainment system used on the six-inch screen since its much better to look at and use on a daily basis with a much newer interface that has larger touch points and a bit more color. Comfort is mostly excellent throughout the interior. Driver and passenger get a set of leather seats with power adjustments and the choice of either heat or ventilation. Backseat passengers get loads of legroom. Headroom can be tight for taller passengers due to the sloping roof. On the Limited trim, backseat passengers also get heated seats. Nice touch. Enough about the comfort and luxuries, lets dive into the powertrain. Under the Avalon Hybrid's hood is Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system which pairs a 2.5L Atkinson-Cycle four cylinder (156 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque) and an electric motor (105 kW and 199 pound-feet of torque). Total output stands at 200 horsepower. A continuously-variable transmission routes the power to the front wheels. With a curb weight that's over 3,500 pounds, the hybrid's powertrain specs seem a bit low. However, the Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain is very much up to the job. It takes a few ticks longer to get up to speed when compared to the V6, but it offers the same smoothness and refinement. The CVT doesn't make itself known to everyone unless you floor the throttle and whine of the transmission appears. You have the choice of four different drive modes on the Avalon Hybrid to alter the behavior of the engine and other bits. They include; EV Mode: Allows a vehicle to travel on electric power for a short distance Eco Mode: Increases the resistance to push down on the pedal, adjusts engine and climate control for better fuel economy. Sport Mode: Adjusts throttle and steering response Normal Mode: Balance between Eco and Sport To change from one mode to another, there is a set of buttons just behind the gear selector. For the majority of the week, I left the vehicle in Eco and found it to be ok in normal driving. There were times when I switched it back to normal or to sport to get moving and keep up with traffic as the throttle response wasn't there. The 2013 Avalon Hybrid is rated ay 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined. During the course of a week, I averaged 40.7 MPG in mixed driving. Very impressive. As I wrote in my first drive of the Toyota Avalon and Avalon Hybrid last November, I described the handling characteristics as being Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde since it was smooth and comfortable when driven normally, but becomes surprisingly agile when pushed. I want to revisit that for a moment. Compared to the Chevrolet Impala and Kia Cadenza I recently drove, the Avalon Hybrid isn't as smooth or comfortable. I found that it would let more bumps and road imperfections into the interior. This is due to the Avalon's suspension tuning leaning more towards sport than comfort. As for driving fun, the Avalon is still tops in this class. The suspension keeps the Avalon Hybrid's body roll in check and the steering has the heft and feel that you'll find in sporty vehicles. Toyota has seemingly pulled off a fountain of youth trick with the Avalon Hybrid. A vehicle which was the equivalent of the couch you would find at your grandparent's house has undergone massive transformation into a well-done full-size sedan that offers a fine blend of fuel economy and a somewhat sporty drive. Sometimes a midlife crisis is a very good thing. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Avalon Hybrid, insurance, and one tank of gas. Year: 2013 Make: Toyota Model: Avalon Hybrid Trim: Limited Engine: 2.5L 16-valve DOHC with VVT-i Atkinson-Cycle Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Continuously-Variable Transmission Horsepower @ RPM: (Gas) 156 @ 5,700; (Electric) 105 kW @ 4,500; (Combined) 200 @ N/A Torque @ RPM: (Gas) 156 @ 4,500; (Electric) 199 @ 0 - 1,500 rpm; (Combined) N/A Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 40/39/40 Curb Weight: N/A lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, Kentucky Base Price: $41,400.00 As Tested Price: $44,853.00* (Includes $795.00 destination charge) Options: Technology Package - $1,750.00 Blizzard Pearl Paint - $395.00 Floor and Trunk Mats - $225.00 Wireless Charging Capability for eBin - $200.00 Emergency Assistance Kit - $59.00 First Aid Kit - $29.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  8. William Maley

    2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 25, 2013 Can a vehicle have a midlife crisis? If your answer is the "Toyota Avalon', then the answer would be yes. For the past two generations, the Avalon was positioned for older buyers who wanted to stay in the Toyota family. This plan worked for sixteen years, but it also earned the Avalon the dubious honor of the Japanese Buick. Ouch. With the third-generation Avalon, Toyota had a quandary. Do they stick with the old person's car or do they go down a different road? They went with the latter option and made the Avalon younger. Toyota turned to their U.S. branch and gave them a mission; design and build an Avalon that attracts a younger audience. 'Younger' in this case is 40 to 60 year olds. Going younger to attract a younger audience? I decided to find out if that was possible and an Avalon Hybrid was dropped off for a week. The Avalon Hybrid is one of the more striking full-size sedans on the market today. A coupe-like roofline is the major styling point of the Avalon, helping the vehicle look much more youthful. The front end utilizes a two-tier grille layout. The bottom grille is large and wide, somehow reminding me of an Aston Martin. On top is a slim chrome bar the extends the length of the front end and features Toyota's emblem. The side features sculpturing along the doors and a distinctive line running from the front door to the trunk lid. There are also a fair number of hybrid badges throughout the Avalon Hybrid's body. Moving inside, the Avalon Hybrid is very well-appointed. In the Limited trim, you get leather throughout and stitching on the dashboard and door panels. The only item I wish Toyota would fix is the wood trim since you can tell it's plastic. Build quality is excellent. The Avalon Hybrid's center stack is one of the nicest stacks I have seen and used in awhile. You have a textured material surrounding the six or seven-inch touchscreen and climate control that feels very premium. There is also Toyota's IntelliTouch controls, which is what the brand calls the capacitive buttons throughout the center stack. Toyota deserves a lot credit with their IntelliTouch controls since they don't require someone to hit them about seventeen different times to have something happen. Touch it once and an action happens. My Avalon Hybrid came equipped with the seven-inch touchscreen which brings forth the infotainment system from Lexus. I have to say this is much better than the infotainment system used on the six-inch screen since its much better to look at and use on a daily basis with a much newer interface that has larger touch points and a bit more color. Comfort is mostly excellent throughout the interior. Driver and passenger get a set of leather seats with power adjustments and the choice of either heat or ventilation. Backseat passengers get loads of legroom. Headroom can be tight for taller passengers due to the sloping roof. On the Limited trim, backseat passengers also get heated seats. Nice touch. Enough about the comfort and luxuries, lets dive into the powertrain. Under the Avalon Hybrid's hood is Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system which pairs a 2.5L Atkinson-Cycle four cylinder (156 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque) and an electric motor (105 kW and 199 pound-feet of torque). Total output stands at 200 horsepower. A continuously-variable transmission routes the power to the front wheels. With a curb weight that's over 3,500 pounds, the hybrid's powertrain specs seem a bit low. However, the Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain is very much up to the job. It takes a few ticks longer to get up to speed when compared to the V6, but it offers the same smoothness and refinement. The CVT doesn't make itself known to everyone unless you floor the throttle and whine of the transmission appears. You have the choice of four different drive modes on the Avalon Hybrid to alter the behavior of the engine and other bits. They include; EV Mode: Allows a vehicle to travel on electric power for a short distance Eco Mode: Increases the resistance to push down on the pedal, adjusts engine and climate control for better fuel economy. Sport Mode: Adjusts throttle and steering response Normal Mode: Balance between Eco and Sport To change from one mode to another, there is a set of buttons just behind the gear selector. For the majority of the week, I left the vehicle in Eco and found it to be ok in normal driving. There were times when I switched it back to normal or to sport to get moving and keep up with traffic as the throttle response wasn't there. The 2013 Avalon Hybrid is rated ay 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined. During the course of a week, I averaged 40.7 MPG in mixed driving. Very impressive. As I wrote in my first drive of the Toyota Avalon and Avalon Hybrid last November, I described the handling characteristics as being Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde since it was smooth and comfortable when driven normally, but becomes surprisingly agile when pushed. I want to revisit that for a moment. Compared to the Chevrolet Impala and Kia Cadenza I recently drove, the Avalon Hybrid isn't as smooth or comfortable. I found that it would let more bumps and road imperfections into the interior. This is due to the Avalon's suspension tuning leaning more towards sport than comfort. As for driving fun, the Avalon is still tops in this class. The suspension keeps the Avalon Hybrid's body roll in check and the steering has the heft and feel that you'll find in sporty vehicles. Toyota has seemingly pulled off a fountain of youth trick with the Avalon Hybrid. A vehicle which was the equivalent of the couch you would find at your grandparent's house has undergone massive transformation into a well-done full-size sedan that offers a fine blend of fuel economy and a somewhat sporty drive. Sometimes a midlife crisis is a very good thing. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Avalon Hybrid, insurance, and one tank of gas. Year: 2013 Make: Toyota Model: Avalon Hybrid Trim: Limited Engine: 2.5L 16-valve DOHC with VVT-i Atkinson-Cycle Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Continuously-Variable Transmission Horsepower @ RPM: (Gas) 156 @ 5,700; (Electric) 105 kW @ 4,500; (Combined) 200 @ N/A Torque @ RPM: (Gas) 156 @ 4,500; (Electric) 199 @ 0 - 1,500 rpm; (Combined) N/A Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 40/39/40 Curb Weight: N/A lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, Kentucky Base Price: $41,400.00 As Tested Price: $44,853.00* (Includes $795.00 destination charge) Options: Technology Package - $1,750.00 Blizzard Pearl Paint - $395.00 Floor and Trunk Mats - $225.00 Wireless Charging Capability for eBin - $200.00 Emergency Assistance Kit - $59.00 First Aid Kit - $29.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 26, 2012 Toyota is in the midst of a sea change. The company who is currently known as the brand who builds bland, boring, and reliable vehicles has been issued an edict by CEO Akio Toyoda to design and build vehicles with passion. We’re beginning to see some of the fruits of this edict bear out with the Scion FR-S and Lexus GS. Now, Toyota has introduced the next vehicle to follow this in the form of the 2013 Avalon. You might be wondering, the Avalon?! Well yes, Toyota wants break the adage that Avalon is for old people by giving the new Avalon a very sleek look, new interior, and a sporty ride. Does the change from couch on wheels to sport-infused big sedan work? The big thing Toyota hammered into our heads during the regional press preview in Ann Arbor, MI besides 'the new Avalon isn’t your grandfather’s car', was that the new Avalon was built with America in mind. Bill Fay, Group Vice President & General Manager, Toyota Division said during the Detroit launch, the new Avalon is “designed, engineered, manufactured, sold and serviced in America, the 2013 Avalon marks the beginning of a new era for Toyota… with the company developing more vehicles here specifically for the U.S. market.” Toyota's CALTY Design Research group was in charge of the new Avalon’s design and they did an excellent job. The overall look chucks the plain box look of past Avalons and goes for something that is very sleek and muscular. Up front, the most prominent design touch is a two-tiered grille layout. The bottom features a large chrome grille that makes a reference to new Aston Martin models. Above the chrome grille is a wide chrome strip with the Toyota emblem sitting in the middle. The side profile features a lot of deep contours, a coupe-like roofline, and a raked c-pillar. The back end gets two-tiered taillights and dual exhaust outlets. Inside the Avalon, Toyota put a lot of emphasis on making the Avalon look and feel very special. Materials range from soft-touch plastics, stitched door and dash panels, and leather seats. The only ding I’ll give the Avalon’s interior is the use of ‘plood’, it really doesn’t belong in this very handsome interior. The center stack features either a 6.1 or 7-inch touchscreen (depends on model), climate control, and what Toyota calls IntelliTouch controls, which are capacitive buttons. The capacitive buttons responded very quickly when pressed. Also appearing inside the new Avalon is Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Entune uses your smartphone to provide applications like Bing, OpenTable, iHeartRadio, and Pandora in the vehicle. Entune also provides traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports, and stocks info. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance to play around with Entune during the event. Hopefully when I do get a vehicle equipped with Entune, I can go deeper into it. While the outgoing and new Avalon share the same wheelbase length, the new model is actually smaller in all exterior dimensions. Interior dimensions are largely unchanged from the outgoing model, meaning there is a load of head and legroom through out the new model. For safety, the new Avalon comes equipped a Rear Cross Traffic Warning system which warns the driver of vehicles in the way when reversing. There is also a Blind Spot Monitoring system, ten airbags, radar cruise-control, and optionally, a Pre-Collision System. Next: Shall We Drive? The new Avalon uses the same 3.5L V6 engine from the last-generation Avalon. The engine is rated at 268 HP and 248 lb-ft of torque going through a six speed automatic. The engine has got the oomph to move car at a very rapid pace, something that cannot be said of the previous Avalon. This is mostly due to weight loss of the new Avalon, dropping around 110 lbs from the outgoing model. The engine is also very smooth and quiet when you decide to drive it at a normal pace. The six-speed automatic provides is well-suited for this application providing some very smooth shifts. Toyota also fitted paddle shifters and ‘Dynamic Rev Management’, which blips the throttle on a downshift. On paper this sounds completely ridiculous for a big sedan like the Avalon, but when you actually try it, it works beautifully. I do wonder though if the age group that the new Avalon is targeted at (40 to 60 year olds) will actually use this feature. For those who are looking for some greenness in their big sedan will lean towards the new for this generation Avalon Hybrid. The Hybrid comes equipped with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive which in this uses a 2.5L Atkinson-Cycle four cylinder producing 156 HP and 156 lb-ft of torque, a electric motor with 105 kW and 199 lb-ft of torque, and a nickel-metal hydride battery. Total system output is 200 HP going through a CVT. Performance is adequate with the run to 60 MPH taking about 8.2 seconds, about 1.5 seconds slower than the V6. Otherwise, the powertrain is very quiet and smooth whenever you’re in electric or hybrid mode. The CVT is a does a good job of keeping you moving and doesn’t make its presence known unless you push the pedal further down and the engine noise is abundant. The handling characteristics of the new Avalon and Avalon Hybrid can be described as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When driven normally, the Avalon provides a very luxurious and gentle ride. Wind and road noise are kept to a minimum. It’s only when you take the Avalon onto a curvy road and show it some aggression that Mr. Hyde appears. Despite being a large sedan, the Avalon shows a surprising amount of agility when driven through a corner. The suspension keeps the Avalon planted while the steering has the right amount of weight and firm feel that you would want in a sporty vehicle. This is a one-eighty from the last-generation Avalon which had all the steering feel of a used-and-abused arcade racing game. Plus, the old Avalon felt like it going to tip over when driven enthusiastically due to its marshmallow-fluff suspension. So how was Toyota able to pull this coup off with the new Avalon? For one, Toyota added a number of welds to the new Avalon’s body giving it more rigidity. Toyota also fitted Dual link MacPherson struts in the back, stabilizer bars, and a new electric rack-and-pinion steering system. Finally, there is drive mode select which offers three different modes (four in the Avalon Hybrid) which modifies throttle response and steering effort. The modes are as followed, EV Mode (Only on Avalon Hybrid): Allows a vehicle to travel on electric power for a short distance Eco Mode: Increases the resistance to push down on the pedal, adjusts engine and climate control for better fuel economy. Sport Mode: Adjusts throttle and steering response Normal Mode: Balance between Eco and Sport The new Avalon goes on sale next month with a base price around $31,750 (includes the $760 destination charge) for the XLE V6. If you want the Avalon Hybrid, be prepared to shell out $36,315 for the XLE Premium. Toyota expects to sell around 70,000 Avalons within the first year, a huge increase from 23,078 Avalons sold through October this year. Toyota expects 80% of the new 2013 Avalon to be the V6 while the rest will be the hybrid. Toyota has taken their couch on wheels and has made the new Avalon into a big sedan that is able to balance comfort and sport pretty well. Will the Avalon's new balancing act bring in the younger generation of buyers that Toyota is aiming for? Author's Note: Special thanks to Toyota and Toyota’s Midwest PR office for inviting Cheers & Gears to check out the new Avalon, and providing breakfast and lunch at the Weber’s Boutique Hotel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. -WM Year - 2013 Make – Toyota Model – Avalon Engine – 3.5L DOHC 24-valve dual VVT-i V6 Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM – 268 HP (@ 6,200 RPM) Torque @ RPM – 248 lb-ft (@ 4,700 RPM) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/31/25 w/17-inch wheels, 21/31/24 w/18-inch wheels Curb Weight – 3,461 lbs Year - 2013 Make – Toyota Model – Avalon Hybrid Engine – Hybrid Synergy Drive: 2.5L 16-valve DOHC with VVT-i Atkinson cycle 4-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, CVT, Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) Battery Pack Horsepower @ RPM – 2.5L: 156 HP (@ 5,700 RPM); Electric: 105 kW (@ 4,500); Combined: 200 HP Torque @ RPM – 2.5L: 156 lb-ft (@ 4,500 RPM); Electric: 199 lb-ft (@ 0-1,500 RPM) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 40/39/40 Curb Weight – 3,585 lbs - 2013 Avalon Pricing: XLE: $31,750 XLE Premium: $33,955 XLE Touring: $36,260 Limited: $40,410 - 2013 Avalon Hybrid Pricing: XLE Premium: $36,315 XLE Touring: $38,010 Limited: $42,160 *Note: All prices include a $760 destination charge. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  10. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 26, 2012 Toyota is in the midst of a sea change. The company who is currently known as the brand who builds bland, boring, and reliable vehicles has been issued an edict by CEO Akio Toyoda to design and build vehicles with passion. We’re beginning to see some of the fruits of this edict bear out with the Scion FR-S and Lexus GS. Now, Toyota has introduced the next vehicle to follow this in the form of the 2013 Avalon. You might be wondering, the Avalon?! Well yes, Toyota wants break the adage that Avalon is for old people by giving the new Avalon a very sleek look, new interior, and a sporty ride. Does the change from couch on wheels to sport-infused big sedan work? The big thing Toyota hammered into our heads during the regional press preview in Ann Arbor, MI besides 'the new Avalon isn’t your grandfather’s car', was that the new Avalon was built with America in mind. Bill Fay, Group Vice President & General Manager, Toyota Division said during the Detroit launch, the new Avalon is “designed, engineered, manufactured, sold and serviced in America, the 2013 Avalon marks the beginning of a new era for Toyota… with the company developing more vehicles here specifically for the U.S. market.” Toyota's CALTY Design Research group was in charge of the new Avalon’s design and they did an excellent job. The overall look chucks the plain box look of past Avalons and goes for something that is very sleek and muscular. Up front, the most prominent design touch is a two-tiered grille layout. The bottom features a large chrome grille that makes a reference to new Aston Martin models. Above the chrome grille is a wide chrome strip with the Toyota emblem sitting in the middle. The side profile features a lot of deep contours, a coupe-like roofline, and a raked c-pillar. The back end gets two-tiered taillights and dual exhaust outlets. Inside the Avalon, Toyota put a lot of emphasis on making the Avalon look and feel very special. Materials range from soft-touch plastics, stitched door and dash panels, and leather seats. The only ding I’ll give the Avalon’s interior is the use of ‘plood’, it really doesn’t belong in this very handsome interior. The center stack features either a 6.1 or 7-inch touchscreen (depends on model), climate control, and what Toyota calls IntelliTouch controls, which are capacitive buttons. The capacitive buttons responded very quickly when pressed. Also appearing inside the new Avalon is Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Entune uses your smartphone to provide applications like Bing, OpenTable, iHeartRadio, and Pandora in the vehicle. Entune also provides traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports, and stocks info. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance to play around with Entune during the event. Hopefully when I do get a vehicle equipped with Entune, I can go deeper into it. While the outgoing and new Avalon share the same wheelbase length, the new model is actually smaller in all exterior dimensions. Interior dimensions are largely unchanged from the outgoing model, meaning there is a load of head and legroom through out the new model. For safety, the new Avalon comes equipped a Rear Cross Traffic Warning system which warns the driver of vehicles in the way when reversing. There is also a Blind Spot Monitoring system, ten airbags, radar cruise-control, and optionally, a Pre-Collision System. Next: Shall We Drive? The new Avalon uses the same 3.5L V6 engine from the last-generation Avalon. The engine is rated at 268 HP and 248 lb-ft of torque going through a six speed automatic. The engine has got the oomph to move car at a very rapid pace, something that cannot be said of the previous Avalon. This is mostly due to weight loss of the new Avalon, dropping around 110 lbs from the outgoing model. The engine is also very smooth and quiet when you decide to drive it at a normal pace. The six-speed automatic provides is well-suited for this application providing some very smooth shifts. Toyota also fitted paddle shifters and ‘Dynamic Rev Management’, which blips the throttle on a downshift. On paper this sounds completely ridiculous for a big sedan like the Avalon, but when you actually try it, it works beautifully. I do wonder though if the age group that the new Avalon is targeted at (40 to 60 year olds) will actually use this feature. For those who are looking for some greenness in their big sedan will lean towards the new for this generation Avalon Hybrid. The Hybrid comes equipped with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive which in this uses a 2.5L Atkinson-Cycle four cylinder producing 156 HP and 156 lb-ft of torque, a electric motor with 105 kW and 199 lb-ft of torque, and a nickel-metal hydride battery. Total system output is 200 HP going through a CVT. Performance is adequate with the run to 60 MPH taking about 8.2 seconds, about 1.5 seconds slower than the V6. Otherwise, the powertrain is very quiet and smooth whenever you’re in electric or hybrid mode. The CVT is a does a good job of keeping you moving and doesn’t make its presence known unless you push the pedal further down and the engine noise is abundant. The handling characteristics of the new Avalon and Avalon Hybrid can be described as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When driven normally, the Avalon provides a very luxurious and gentle ride. Wind and road noise are kept to a minimum. It’s only when you take the Avalon onto a curvy road and show it some aggression that Mr. Hyde appears. Despite being a large sedan, the Avalon shows a surprising amount of agility when driven through a corner. The suspension keeps the Avalon planted while the steering has the right amount of weight and firm feel that you would want in a sporty vehicle. This is a one-eighty from the last-generation Avalon which had all the steering feel of a used-and-abused arcade racing game. Plus, the old Avalon felt like it going to tip over when driven enthusiastically due to its marshmallow-fluff suspension. So how was Toyota able to pull this coup off with the new Avalon? For one, Toyota added a number of welds to the new Avalon’s body giving it more rigidity. Toyota also fitted Dual link MacPherson struts in the back, stabilizer bars, and a new electric rack-and-pinion steering system. Finally, there is drive mode select which offers three different modes (four in the Avalon Hybrid) which modifies throttle response and steering effort. The modes are as followed, EV Mode (Only on Avalon Hybrid): Allows a vehicle to travel on electric power for a short distance Eco Mode: Increases the resistance to push down on the pedal, adjusts engine and climate control for better fuel economy. Sport Mode: Adjusts throttle and steering response Normal Mode: Balance between Eco and Sport The new Avalon goes on sale next month with a base price around $31,750 (includes the $760 destination charge) for the XLE V6. If you want the Avalon Hybrid, be prepared to shell out $36,315 for the XLE Premium. Toyota expects to sell around 70,000 Avalons within the first year, a huge increase from 23,078 Avalons sold through October this year. Toyota expects 80% of the new 2013 Avalon to be the V6 while the rest will be the hybrid. Toyota has taken their couch on wheels and has made the new Avalon into a big sedan that is able to balance comfort and sport pretty well. Will the Avalon's new balancing act bring in the younger generation of buyers that Toyota is aiming for? Author's Note: Special thanks to Toyota and Toyota’s Midwest PR office for inviting Cheers & Gears to check out the new Avalon, and providing breakfast and lunch at the Weber’s Boutique Hotel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. -WM Year - 2013 Make – Toyota Model – Avalon Engine – 3.5L DOHC 24-valve dual VVT-i V6 Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM – 268 HP (@ 6,200 RPM) Torque @ RPM – 248 lb-ft (@ 4,700 RPM) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/31/25 w/17-inch wheels, 21/31/24 w/18-inch wheels Curb Weight – 3,461 lbs Year - 2013 Make – Toyota Model – Avalon Hybrid Engine – Hybrid Synergy Drive: 2.5L 16-valve DOHC with VVT-i Atkinson cycle 4-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, CVT, Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) Battery Pack Horsepower @ RPM – 2.5L: 156 HP (@ 5,700 RPM); Electric: 105 kW (@ 4,500); Combined: 200 HP Torque @ RPM – 2.5L: 156 lb-ft (@ 4,500 RPM); Electric: 199 lb-ft (@ 0-1,500 RPM) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 40/39/40 Curb Weight – 3,585 lbs - 2013 Avalon Pricing: XLE: $31,750 XLE Premium: $33,955 XLE Touring: $36,260 Limited: $40,410 - 2013 Avalon Hybrid Pricing: XLE Premium: $36,315 XLE Touring: $38,010 Limited: $42,160 *Note: All prices include a $760 destination charge. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  11. William Maley

    Toyota Talks About The New Avalon's Power

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 26, 2012 Toyota has revealed the powertrain details on the new 2013 Avalon. As expected, the new Avalon will still use the 3.5L V6 from the previous Avalon. The V6 is rated at 268 HP and 248 lb-ft. of torque and will go through a six-speed automatic. EPA rates the V6 at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. Toyota has equipped the Avalon V6 with three different power modes (Eco, Normal, Sport) and certain models get paddle-shifters for a more “sporty” experience. The new Avalon will also come in a hybrid model. The hybrid comes equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and electric motor producing a combined 200 HP. EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid at 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined. The new Avalon goes on sale later this year. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2013 Toyota Avalon Features Both Gasoline and Hybrid Powertrains TORRANCE, Calif. (June 26, 2012) – When the all-new, North American designed and engineered 2013 Avalon goes on sale later this year, consumers can choose between a powerful V6 gasoline powertrain and Toyota’s proven Hybrid Synergy Drive. The efficiency offered by the new hybrid model will help the all-new premium mid-size sedan achieve excellent fuel economy with an EPA-rating of 40 mpg combined. In addition to offering a hybrid powertrain, the new Avalon features a stunning design, improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies. Powerful, Efficient V6 Engine The 2013 Avalon will feature a proven 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transaxle, which has been enhanced to offer more responsive and efficient performance. The all-aluminum six-cylinder engine will produce 268 horsepower and 248 lbs. ft. of torque, which will propel the new sedan to 60 mph in under seven seconds. Compared to the previous-generation Avalon, this 2013 powertrain combination offers improved fuel economy, performance, superior shift feel and response, with upgraded drivability and quietness. This enhanced powertrain’s programming has been updated to offer ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT Modes. The ECO mode prioritizes fuel efficiency by reducing power application at lower speeds and reducing energy consumed by the air-conditioning system. The SPORT Mode provides increased acceleration responses though altered engine control unit (ECU) programming, and it offers a more direct and responsive EPS programming to enhance steering feel. In addition, the new transaxle is equipped with a numerically lower differential gear drive ratio (3.23), designed to help improve fuel economy. The V6-powered 2013 Avalon achieves an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined (21 city/ 31 hwy). The transmission operation has been made more efficient and responsive with the adoption of a flex-start control feature lock-up clutch. With lock-up control, the transmission’s torque converter fully engages at a lower RPM during standing starts to improve acceleration response and help suppress unnecessary engine revolutions. The new transmission is also kept at an optimal temperature with an automatic-transmission fluid warmer, helping enhance efficiency. The multi-mode automatic transmission console shifter offers a D range and can be moved into an S-mode gate, which allows manually operated sequential shifting using the console shifter or available (Touring and Limited models) steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The gear can be selected by moving the shifter up to (+) position or lower using the (-) position to experience highly responsive shifts. By using the paddles or in S-range, the transmission uses a quick responding shift-logic that includes throttle blipping for downshifts. The gear changes and range-of-gear selections are displayed in the color multi-information display. Avalon Adds Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive For consumers seeking a premium mid-size sedan with excellent fuel economy ratings and an environmental message, the new Avalon features a full power-split hybrid system. Coupled with reductions in vehicle weight and improvements in aerodynamics, the Avalon Hybrid is expects to achieve impressive fuel economy ratings. The 2013 Avalon incorporates the latest advances in Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, building upon Toyota’s 14 years of hybrid-development experience. The Avalon Hybrid features a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, and a pair of electric motor/generators within the transaxle. A power-control unit located in the engine compartment houses an inverter, a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter (raises voltage to a maximum of 650 volts) and the hybrid-drive ECU, which governs the seamless operation of electric-motor power application and regenerative braking. The power control unit relies on liquid cooling to maintain an efficient temperature. The Avalon Hybrid achieves a total system output of 200 horsepower and offers three unique modes of operation: EV, ECO and SPORT. The Avalon Hybrid models achieve an EPA-rated 40 mpg in the city, and a 39 mpg on the highway for a combined 40 mpg EPA-rating. The 2013 Avalon Hybrid offers an EV mode that, under certain conditions, allows the vehicle to operate solely on electric propulsion. EV mode can be engaged, provided other conditions are correct, for up to one mile at speeds up to 25 mph, providing an all-electric option that is convenient in residential areas or parking garages. The ECO drive mode engages the gasoline motor, but reduces throttle response and HVAC output to help improve overall efficiency. The SPORT Mode takes full advantage of the new Avalon’s dynamic character, improved chassis, and enhanced suspension by altering the engine’s throttle response and enhancing steering feel. The Avalon’s hybrid’s battery pack is comprised of 204 cells and is located in the vehicle trunk behind the rear seats, while still providing ample trunk space. The scroll casing for the battery cooling system’s blower fan has been designed to produce extremely quiet and efficient airflow, helping reduce interior noise and elevating refinement. The power-control unit, located in the engine bay, houses the inverter, DC-DC converter. The efficient hybrid transaxle in the new Avalon contains two high-output electric motor/generators, a power-split device, an open differential and the final drive ratio. Motor/Generator 1 (MG1) is used to start the gasoline engine and generate the energy that is returned to the battery to power the system. Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) is primarily responsible for electric drivetrain propulsion and regenerative braking. The hybrid vehicle transaxle also incorporates a flywheel-damper design that helps reduce noise and vibration during engine engagement. Captivating Styling with a Spacious, Luxurious Interior Experience The new 2013 Avalon is the product of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s striking exterior and luxurious interior design was conceived by a youthful, talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc., facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focus, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at the award-winning Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products. Powertrain Specs Avalon V6 Avalon Hybrid Gasoline Engine Type/Displacement 2GR-FE / 3.5L 2AR-FXE / 2.5L Max Horsepower 268 hp 154 hp Max Torque 248 lbs.-ft. 153 lbs.-ft. Transaxle Type 6-speed AT E-CVT Electric Motor Max Output - 140 hp Max Torque - 200 ft. lbs. Battery Type - Nickel-Metal Hydride Nominal Voltage - 245 volts Number of Cells - 204 Cells Max Output - 34 kw or 45.6 hp Total System Output - 149 kw 200hp Key Dimensional Comparison 2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon Overall Length 195.3 in. 197.6 in. Overall Width 72.2 in. 72.8 in. Overall Height 57.5 in. 58.5 in. Wheelbase 111 in. 111 in. Front Tread 62.6 in. 62.2 in. Rear Tread 62.2 in. 61.6 in. Front Overhang 38.8 in. 39.4 in. Rear Overhang 45.5 in. 47.2 in. Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (V6), 3594 lbs. (Hybrid XLE) 3,616 lbs.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 26, 2012 Toyota has revealed the powertrain details on the new 2013 Avalon. As expected, the new Avalon will still use the 3.5L V6 from the previous Avalon. The V6 is rated at 268 HP and 248 lb-ft. of torque and will go through a six-speed automatic. EPA rates the V6 at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. Toyota has equipped the Avalon V6 with three different power modes (Eco, Normal, Sport) and certain models get paddle-shifters for a more “sporty” experience. The new Avalon will also come in a hybrid model. The hybrid comes equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and electric motor producing a combined 200 HP. EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid at 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined. The new Avalon goes on sale later this year. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2013 Toyota Avalon Features Both Gasoline and Hybrid Powertrains TORRANCE, Calif. (June 26, 2012) – When the all-new, North American designed and engineered 2013 Avalon goes on sale later this year, consumers can choose between a powerful V6 gasoline powertrain and Toyota’s proven Hybrid Synergy Drive. The efficiency offered by the new hybrid model will help the all-new premium mid-size sedan achieve excellent fuel economy with an EPA-rating of 40 mpg combined. In addition to offering a hybrid powertrain, the new Avalon features a stunning design, improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies. Powerful, Efficient V6 Engine The 2013 Avalon will feature a proven 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transaxle, which has been enhanced to offer more responsive and efficient performance. The all-aluminum six-cylinder engine will produce 268 horsepower and 248 lbs. ft. of torque, which will propel the new sedan to 60 mph in under seven seconds. Compared to the previous-generation Avalon, this 2013 powertrain combination offers improved fuel economy, performance, superior shift feel and response, with upgraded drivability and quietness. This enhanced powertrain’s programming has been updated to offer ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT Modes. The ECO mode prioritizes fuel efficiency by reducing power application at lower speeds and reducing energy consumed by the air-conditioning system. The SPORT Mode provides increased acceleration responses though altered engine control unit (ECU) programming, and it offers a more direct and responsive EPS programming to enhance steering feel. In addition, the new transaxle is equipped with a numerically lower differential gear drive ratio (3.23), designed to help improve fuel economy. The V6-powered 2013 Avalon achieves an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined (21 city/ 31 hwy). The transmission operation has been made more efficient and responsive with the adoption of a flex-start control feature lock-up clutch. With lock-up control, the transmission’s torque converter fully engages at a lower RPM during standing starts to improve acceleration response and help suppress unnecessary engine revolutions. The new transmission is also kept at an optimal temperature with an automatic-transmission fluid warmer, helping enhance efficiency. The multi-mode automatic transmission console shifter offers a D range and can be moved into an S-mode gate, which allows manually operated sequential shifting using the console shifter or available (Touring and Limited models) steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The gear can be selected by moving the shifter up to (+) position or lower using the (-) position to experience highly responsive shifts. By using the paddles or in S-range, the transmission uses a quick responding shift-logic that includes throttle blipping for downshifts. The gear changes and range-of-gear selections are displayed in the color multi-information display. Avalon Adds Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive For consumers seeking a premium mid-size sedan with excellent fuel economy ratings and an environmental message, the new Avalon features a full power-split hybrid system. Coupled with reductions in vehicle weight and improvements in aerodynamics, the Avalon Hybrid is expects to achieve impressive fuel economy ratings. The 2013 Avalon incorporates the latest advances in Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, building upon Toyota’s 14 years of hybrid-development experience. The Avalon Hybrid features a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, and a pair of electric motor/generators within the transaxle. A power-control unit located in the engine compartment houses an inverter, a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter (raises voltage to a maximum of 650 volts) and the hybrid-drive ECU, which governs the seamless operation of electric-motor power application and regenerative braking. The power control unit relies on liquid cooling to maintain an efficient temperature. The Avalon Hybrid achieves a total system output of 200 horsepower and offers three unique modes of operation: EV, ECO and SPORT. The Avalon Hybrid models achieve an EPA-rated 40 mpg in the city, and a 39 mpg on the highway for a combined 40 mpg EPA-rating. The 2013 Avalon Hybrid offers an EV mode that, under certain conditions, allows the vehicle to operate solely on electric propulsion. EV mode can be engaged, provided other conditions are correct, for up to one mile at speeds up to 25 mph, providing an all-electric option that is convenient in residential areas or parking garages. The ECO drive mode engages the gasoline motor, but reduces throttle response and HVAC output to help improve overall efficiency. The SPORT Mode takes full advantage of the new Avalon’s dynamic character, improved chassis, and enhanced suspension by altering the engine’s throttle response and enhancing steering feel. The Avalon’s hybrid’s battery pack is comprised of 204 cells and is located in the vehicle trunk behind the rear seats, while still providing ample trunk space. The scroll casing for the battery cooling system’s blower fan has been designed to produce extremely quiet and efficient airflow, helping reduce interior noise and elevating refinement. The power-control unit, located in the engine bay, houses the inverter, DC-DC converter. The efficient hybrid transaxle in the new Avalon contains two high-output electric motor/generators, a power-split device, an open differential and the final drive ratio. Motor/Generator 1 (MG1) is used to start the gasoline engine and generate the energy that is returned to the battery to power the system. Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) is primarily responsible for electric drivetrain propulsion and regenerative braking. The hybrid vehicle transaxle also incorporates a flywheel-damper design that helps reduce noise and vibration during engine engagement. Captivating Styling with a Spacious, Luxurious Interior Experience The new 2013 Avalon is the product of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s striking exterior and luxurious interior design was conceived by a youthful, talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc., facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focus, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at the award-winning Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products. Powertrain Specs Avalon V6 Avalon Hybrid Gasoline Engine Type/Displacement 2GR-FE / 3.5L 2AR-FXE / 2.5L Max Horsepower 268 hp 154 hp Max Torque 248 lbs.-ft. 153 lbs.-ft. Transaxle Type 6-speed AT E-CVT Electric Motor Max Output - 140 hp Max Torque - 200 ft. lbs. Battery Type - Nickel-Metal Hydride Nominal Voltage - 245 volts Number of Cells - 204 Cells Max Output - 34 kw or 45.6 hp Total System Output - 149 kw 200hp Key Dimensional Comparison 2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon Overall Length 195.3 in. 197.6 in. Overall Width 72.2 in. 72.8 in. Overall Height 57.5 in. 58.5 in. Wheelbase 111 in. 111 in. Front Tread 62.6 in. 62.2 in. Rear Tread 62.2 in. 61.6 in. Front Overhang 38.8 in. 39.4 in. Rear Overhang 45.5 in. 47.2 in. Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (V6), 3594 lbs. (Hybrid XLE) 3,616 lbs. View full article
  13. Drew Dowdell Managing Editor Cheersandgears.com April 5th, 2012 Toyota today unveiled the 2013 Toyota Avalon at the New York Auto Show. The Avalon moves to the new Corporate face of Toyota as seen on the Camry while also moving to the new Camry platform introduced late last year. Toyota calls the styling on the Avalon bold and sporty... which we will leave that judgement up to you. The host of suspension and performance improvements are detailed in the press release on page 2. The Sensational New 2013 Toyota Avalon Makes World Debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show NEW YORK, (April 5, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. revealed the all-new 2013 Avalon premium mid-size sedan today at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The new Avalon is re-conceived for the premium mid-size sedan segment with a progressive and emotionally styled exterior design. When it arrives to dealerships late this year, the new Avalon will offer improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies. The new 2013 Avalon is the result of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s dramatic exterior and interior design was conceived by a youthful and talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc. facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was principally led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focused theme, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at Toyota’s facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products. Enhanced Avalon Dynamics In addition to its stunning design, numerous structural and chassis improvements were made to the new Avalon to enhance the ride quality, straight-line stability and handling. The body structure gains improvements in torsional rigidity thanks to additional and strategically placed welds, improved body bracing, and high-strength steel in key areas in order to provide a stiffer chassis and optimize suspension performance. The new Avalon suspension relies on MacPherson struts with advanced valving and rebound springs to balance handling and agility with ride comfort. Coil spring rate and front and rear sway bar stiffness was increased from the current model to help improve body control and body roll. The Avalon’s electric power steering (EPS) system has been tuned to help deliver enhanced controllability and vehicle agility while also realizing superior linear stability. The new Avalon offers three distinct drive modes that help tailor dynamic performance to the driver’s needs. The drive modes - Normal, Eco, and Sport -are made available through driver-selectable switches. In Sport mode, throttle response is enhanced and steering effort is weighted from center to offer a sportier character. Eco changes throttle response and A/C power usage to help improve fuel economy. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters help provide a sportier drive while in the D or S Mode, where the revised throttle helps improve shift response to help maximize engine power and vehicle performance. Dynamic Exterior Styling The new Avalon’s dynamic exterior styling defines a sleek and expressive profile that helps communicate a sense of motion for the vehicle even when it is at rest. The beltline has been lowered to accentuate a strong stance. Compared to its predecessor, the new Avalon is a bit more compact yet displays better proportions with a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, and reduced front and rear overhangs, lower vehicle height, and reduced body-to-tire gap. New 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel and tire combinations fill the wheel well to enhance the vehicle’s dynamic exterior expression. Key exterior design elements include the square Double-eye PES (Projector Ellipsoid System) headlamps with HID (High-Intensity Discharge)and elegant DRL (Daytime Running Lights) feature available that provide excellent night time visibility while helping define a narrower, more taut and muscular exterior expression. A wider, more assertive grille design provides a bolder front perspective. At the rear, high-performance LED combination tail lamps are adopted which are more integrated with the revised rear-body styling. The dual rear tailpipe outlets further the more cohesive design theme. Modern Interior Experience Design elements enhancing comfort, convenience and technology help create the luxurious experience that will prove tempting to buyers of the next Avalon. The 2013 Avalon offers a modern, spacious, premium interior highlighted by abundant rear seat legroom, while featuring a myriad of available features. Beyond mere dimensions, the new Avalon’s interior design enhances the cabin’s sense of spaciousness and comfort. The front seat’s hip point has been lowered by 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) to help create improved headroom. The new power front seat design with increased side bolstering is more supportive and offers an expanded range of downward adjustment. In addition, the structural components of the sunroof and the headliner design have been optimized to help increase the cabin’s roominess. A concave dash panel design, located in front of the passenger, helps create an expansive feeling. While the rear overhang has been reduced by 1.7 inches, the luggage compartment capacity is 16.0 cubic feet, an increase of 1.6 cubic feet as compared to the outgoing model. The Avalon’s premium interior attains a high level of refinement by reducing wind, engine and road noise inside the cabin. The resultant interior is even significantly quieter and more comfortable than the current Avalon and it creates an ideal environment to enjoy conversation, music or Toyota’s available multimedia system, Entune™. Sound absorbing materials have been strategically placed around the cabin and body structure while not inhibiting a reduction in overall vehicle weight. The windshield and front side-glass panels utilize acoustic glass that helps control sound intrusion into the cabin. Reductions in wind noise have been realized by optimizing exterior shape, specifically cowl and louver sealing, outer mirror shape and position, and wiper-blade position, which have all been developed to dramatically reduce wind noise generation. Exterior gaps and steps have also been minimized to reduce wind noise around the door glass areas. The new Avalon’s interior utilizes premium materials and a high degree of craftsmanship to offer an upscale experience. Rich, supple leather trims the steering wheel, shift knob, and seat upholstery helping add visual and tactile appeal. Hand-crafted, decorative stitching is adopted for the steering wheel, and soft-touch materials on the dash panel and door trim elevate the vehicle’s sense of tactile luxury. Smoked chrome-metallic accents are applied to the instrument panel, center console, door panel, and steering wheel surfaces to help add distinction and exceptional feel. Available push-button controlled soft white ambient lighting illuminates key regions of the interior to help convey the sense of luxury. The new Avalon’s center console includes a convenient console tray that is ideal for the storage of electronic hand held devices. The new Avalon’s console area is equipped with a USB port, AUX input terminal and three 12-volt power outlets to help facilitate device interface and charging. The new Avalon will offer innovative technologies such as advanced capacitive touch switches with positioning and sensitivity that makes them ideal for vehicle system controls. Other premium in-car technologies include three color display screens that support the multi-information display, the audio/navigation interface, and the climate control panel. An easy to use Display Audio system with 6.1 inch touchscreen is standard on the new Avalon; while a JBL Synthesis Premium Audio system, HDD Premium Navigation with 7” screen, dynamic radar cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a three-zone air conditioning system are also on the list of available features and equipment. Safety Like all Toyota models, the new Avalon will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System™ standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. The new Avalon helps to prioritize occupant safety with a best-in-class10 airbags system. A Pre-collision system is also available that is designed to “sense” an impending frontal collision and can help mitigate damage. A variable ratio brake pedal is adopted that varies the initial and final pedal effort ratios to help realize excellent brake pedal feel. In addition to a rearview monitor, Avalon offers an available Blind Spot Monitoring system which is designed to help detect vehicles behind the outer mirrors and to help alert drivers in addition to a new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system (RCTA) that can alert drivers of cross traffic when they are backing up. Key Dimensional Comparison 2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon Overall Length 195.3 in. (4960 mm) 197.6 in. (5020 mm) Overall Width 72.2 in. (1835 mm) 72.8 in. (1850 mm) Overall Height 57.5 in. (1460 mm) 58.5 in. (1485 mm) Wheelbase 111 in. (2820 mm) 111 in. (2820 mm) Front Tread 62.6 in. (1590 mm) 62.2 in. (1580 mm) Rear Tread 62.2 in. (1580 mm) 61.6 in. (1565 mm) Front Overhang 38.8 in. (985 mm) 39.4 in. (1000 mm) Rear Overhang 45.5 in. (1155 mm) 47.2 in. (1200 mm) Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (estimated) 3,616 lbs. (Avalon model)
  14. Drew Dowdell Managing Editor Cheersandgears.com April 5th, 2012 Toyota today unveiled the 2013 Toyota Avalon at the New York Auto Show. The Avalon moves to the new Corporate face of Toyota as seen on the Camry while also moving to the new Camry platform introduced late last year. Toyota calls the styling on the Avalon bold and sporty... which we will leave that judgement up to you. The host of suspension and performance improvements are detailed in the press release on page 2. The Sensational New 2013 Toyota Avalon Makes World Debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show NEW YORK, (April 5, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. revealed the all-new 2013 Avalon premium mid-size sedan today at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The new Avalon is re-conceived for the premium mid-size sedan segment with a progressive and emotionally styled exterior design. When it arrives to dealerships late this year, the new Avalon will offer improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies. The new 2013 Avalon is the result of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s dramatic exterior and interior design was conceived by a youthful and talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc. facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was principally led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focused theme, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at Toyota’s facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products. Enhanced Avalon Dynamics In addition to its stunning design, numerous structural and chassis improvements were made to the new Avalon to enhance the ride quality, straight-line stability and handling. The body structure gains improvements in torsional rigidity thanks to additional and strategically placed welds, improved body bracing, and high-strength steel in key areas in order to provide a stiffer chassis and optimize suspension performance. The new Avalon suspension relies on MacPherson struts with advanced valving and rebound springs to balance handling and agility with ride comfort. Coil spring rate and front and rear sway bar stiffness was increased from the current model to help improve body control and body roll. The Avalon’s electric power steering (EPS) system has been tuned to help deliver enhanced controllability and vehicle agility while also realizing superior linear stability. The new Avalon offers three distinct drive modes that help tailor dynamic performance to the driver’s needs. The drive modes - Normal, Eco, and Sport -are made available through driver-selectable switches. In Sport mode, throttle response is enhanced and steering effort is weighted from center to offer a sportier character. Eco changes throttle response and A/C power usage to help improve fuel economy. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters help provide a sportier drive while in the D or S Mode, where the revised throttle helps improve shift response to help maximize engine power and vehicle performance. Dynamic Exterior Styling The new Avalon’s dynamic exterior styling defines a sleek and expressive profile that helps communicate a sense of motion for the vehicle even when it is at rest. The beltline has been lowered to accentuate a strong stance. Compared to its predecessor, the new Avalon is a bit more compact yet displays better proportions with a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, and reduced front and rear overhangs, lower vehicle height, and reduced body-to-tire gap. New 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel and tire combinations fill the wheel well to enhance the vehicle’s dynamic exterior expression. Key exterior design elements include the square Double-eye PES (Projector Ellipsoid System) headlamps with HID (High-Intensity Discharge)and elegant DRL (Daytime Running Lights) feature available that provide excellent night time visibility while helping define a narrower, more taut and muscular exterior expression. A wider, more assertive grille design provides a bolder front perspective. At the rear, high-performance LED combination tail lamps are adopted which are more integrated with the revised rear-body styling. The dual rear tailpipe outlets further the more cohesive design theme. Modern Interior Experience Design elements enhancing comfort, convenience and technology help create the luxurious experience that will prove tempting to buyers of the next Avalon. The 2013 Avalon offers a modern, spacious, premium interior highlighted by abundant rear seat legroom, while featuring a myriad of available features. Beyond mere dimensions, the new Avalon’s interior design enhances the cabin’s sense of spaciousness and comfort. The front seat’s hip point has been lowered by 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) to help create improved headroom. The new power front seat design with increased side bolstering is more supportive and offers an expanded range of downward adjustment. In addition, the structural components of the sunroof and the headliner design have been optimized to help increase the cabin’s roominess. A concave dash panel design, located in front of the passenger, helps create an expansive feeling. While the rear overhang has been reduced by 1.7 inches, the luggage compartment capacity is 16.0 cubic feet, an increase of 1.6 cubic feet as compared to the outgoing model. The Avalon’s premium interior attains a high level of refinement by reducing wind, engine and road noise inside the cabin. The resultant interior is even significantly quieter and more comfortable than the current Avalon and it creates an ideal environment to enjoy conversation, music or Toyota’s available multimedia system, Entune™. Sound absorbing materials have been strategically placed around the cabin and body structure while not inhibiting a reduction in overall vehicle weight. The windshield and front side-glass panels utilize acoustic glass that helps control sound intrusion into the cabin. Reductions in wind noise have been realized by optimizing exterior shape, specifically cowl and louver sealing, outer mirror shape and position, and wiper-blade position, which have all been developed to dramatically reduce wind noise generation. Exterior gaps and steps have also been minimized to reduce wind noise around the door glass areas. The new Avalon’s interior utilizes premium materials and a high degree of craftsmanship to offer an upscale experience. Rich, supple leather trims the steering wheel, shift knob, and seat upholstery helping add visual and tactile appeal. Hand-crafted, decorative stitching is adopted for the steering wheel, and soft-touch materials on the dash panel and door trim elevate the vehicle’s sense of tactile luxury. Smoked chrome-metallic accents are applied to the instrument panel, center console, door panel, and steering wheel surfaces to help add distinction and exceptional feel. Available push-button controlled soft white ambient lighting illuminates key regions of the interior to help convey the sense of luxury. The new Avalon’s center console includes a convenient console tray that is ideal for the storage of electronic hand held devices. The new Avalon’s console area is equipped with a USB port, AUX input terminal and three 12-volt power outlets to help facilitate device interface and charging. The new Avalon will offer innovative technologies such as advanced capacitive touch switches with positioning and sensitivity that makes them ideal for vehicle system controls. Other premium in-car technologies include three color display screens that support the multi-information display, the audio/navigation interface, and the climate control panel. An easy to use Display Audio system with 6.1 inch touchscreen is standard on the new Avalon; while a JBL Synthesis Premium Audio system, HDD Premium Navigation with 7” screen, dynamic radar cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a three-zone air conditioning system are also on the list of available features and equipment. Safety Like all Toyota models, the new Avalon will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System™ standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. The new Avalon helps to prioritize occupant safety with a best-in-class10 airbags system. A Pre-collision system is also available that is designed to “sense” an impending frontal collision and can help mitigate damage. A variable ratio brake pedal is adopted that varies the initial and final pedal effort ratios to help realize excellent brake pedal feel. In addition to a rearview monitor, Avalon offers an available Blind Spot Monitoring system which is designed to help detect vehicles behind the outer mirrors and to help alert drivers in addition to a new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system (RCTA) that can alert drivers of cross traffic when they are backing up. Key Dimensional Comparison 2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon Overall Length 195.3 in. (4960 mm) 197.6 in. (5020 mm) Overall Width 72.2 in. (1835 mm) 72.8 in. (1850 mm) Overall Height 57.5 in. (1460 mm) 58.5 in. (1485 mm) Wheelbase 111 in. (2820 mm) 111 in. (2820 mm) Front Tread 62.6 in. (1590 mm) 62.2 in. (1580 mm) Rear Tread 62.2 in. (1580 mm) 61.6 in. (1565 mm) Front Overhang 38.8 in. (985 mm) 39.4 in. (1000 mm) Rear Overhang 45.5 in. (1155 mm) 47.2 in. (1200 mm) Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (estimated) 3,616 lbs. (Avalon model) View full article

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