2013 Toyota Avalon – Review and First Look
The Toyota Avalon has been around for nearly twenty years, but it isn’t what most people necessarily think of when it comes to large American sedans. Indeed, that privilege usually goes to something rear-wheel drive and American such as the Ford Crown Victoria and the better dressed Lincoln Town Car. With those cars no longer on the market however, the Avalon suddenly finds itself in a segment whose spotlight has lost its subject, and go figure, it is large, and American.
The all-new for 2013 Avalon, now in its fourth generation, was designed, engineered, and built both in and for America. Available with a 286 horsepower V6 or four-cylinder hybrid, the large five-passenger sedan has been in the gym, hoping to get into fighting shape to appeal to a younger buyer and compete for the now-open market segment.
With prices ranging from about $30,990 to $44,000 for a fully loaded Hybrid Limited model, what caught my attention, even more than the head designer’s description of the car as “bitchin” in the introductory video, was the Avalon model not sold on dealer’s lots: the Livery edition, which makes Toyota’s intentions quite clear. With the retirement of the Town Car, a void has been left in a market that will result in the need for vehicles that can be lined up at every airport and conference center in the country. Toyota sees this need (and these lines) filled with the black-on-black Avalon Livery edition. The hybrid Avalon, incidentally, gets 40 mpg (5.9 l/100 km), compared to the Lincoln Town Car’s 19 (12.4).
From the front, the new Avalon looks sporty, with more sculpting and artistic lines that lead back to the jewel-like LED taillights that span the entire trunk as well as the massive rear-wheel overhang that accompanies it. Higher end trims are available with numerous technological and safety features, such as radar cruise control and automatic high beams, and the V6-powered Avalon even has paddle shifters. Inside, leather seats are heated and air-conditioned, and the cabin is large and light, with seats I found far superior to even some of Germany’s best. From the side and rear, I was reminded of French cars such as the Citroën C6 (without the concave rear window), which are artfully designed – but miserable to drive.
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