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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Toyota Avalon

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Expert's Rating

5.0Excellent

MPG 21 City / 31 Highway
Pros
  • Excellent ride quality
  • Excellent reliability history
  • Roomy interior and excellent fit and finish
  • Comfortable rear seats recline
Cons
  • Side-view mirrors do not fold in
  • Navigation system a step behind
, Automotive Editor -
The Avalon is quite possibly the best full-size sedan currently available, adding quality, interior space and class-leading powertrains and reliability.

Introduction

Customers looking for an affordable full-size sedan are usually more concerned with reliability than flair. Yet this does not create a desire for such bland design as seen on some late-model Toyota sedans. Hoping not to lose loyal consumers thinking similarly, Toyota directed attention toward infusing personality in their big four-door, the Avalon.

Completely new for 2013, Toyota executed a full redesign and added an aesthetic quality never before seen on the large sedan. Not to be lost inside, the Avalon carries an impressive interior cabin while offering roomy seating for five. Toyota recently promised “more exciting vehicles” and the sheet metal that flows over the Avalon does not disappoint.

Though only 2.3 inches shorter in overall length, the new Avalon appears much more sleek than previous models. Looks aren’t the only thing sportier about Toyota’s new design as the handling has also received a much-needed improvement. Powered by a model-standard 3.5L V6 and six-speed automatic transmission, Avalon drivers will no longer be lulled to sleep when accelerating from a stop. Four trims are offered, consisting of the XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Touring and Limited. Though some features are added outside, it is the interior that’s treated to the majority of upgrades when climbing the trim levels. As previously mentioned, the 2013 Avalon is shorter in overall length than the 2012 model, but nevertheless has a more spacious interior, especially in the oft-ignored rear.

The interior room provided by Toyota’s large sedan is hard to beat in this class, yet Buick also equips comfortable accommodations inside the LaCrosse. Plus Buick has focused on advancing the sporty appeal of their brand, which includes the LaCrosse among others. While improved, the Avalon’s performance has more catching up to do when competing against models like the Chrysler 300 and Ford Taurus. Both the Taurus and 300 cost less in base trim than the Avalon while having optional powertrains available along with interiors high in quality and technology. Cousin of the luxurious-looking 300, Dodge offers a similar sedan in the Charger featuring unique-styling that tastefully combines modern design with retro-influence.

With this new generation, the 2013 Avalon has found a logical position in the Toyota lineup, offering affordable value and inviting luxury reminiscent of Toyota’s upscale division.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Toyota Avalon
Starting price
$18,797

2013 Toyota Avalon XLE

Recommended for: Buyers seeking a Toyota that is larger than the Camry but still a four-door sedan.

At the bottom of the price ladder is the XLE trim, which is still nicely equipped relative to competitors. As on all Avalons, the V6 engine delivers 268 HP at 6200 RPM and 248 lb.-ft. of torque at 4700 RPM. The drive system powers the sedan’s front-wheels and fuel-mileage can be up to 21-city/31-highway MPG. Front and rear anti-vibration sub-frames within the unitized body structure provide for a smoother ride and better safety. Weaving its way through the underbody is a dual-chrome tipped exhaust that’s been integrated into the rear fascia’s design. Interior standards include leather-trimmed seats (heated driver/front-passenger) and a 6.1” touch-screen which feeds into eight-speakers and has Bluetooth connectivity. The 40/20/40 rear seat has a fold-down center armrest that also functions as a trunk pass-through.

2013 Toyota Avalon
Starting price
$18,797

2013 Toyota Avalon Limited

Recommended for: Those wanting a long list of standard features and/or the option of Toyota's Technology Package.

With an MSRP nearing $40,000, the Avalon’s Limited trim is pricy for the affordable segment. However this does not go unwarranted with a long list of features usually reserved for a Lexus. Up front, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights are accented by LED daytime running lights. Moving back to the windshield, washer-linked variable intermittent wipers will turn on automatically using rain-sensing technology. The interior’s biggest upgrade is the premium media system with hard-drive based navigation and a high-resolution 7” touch-screen. JBL provides for the Limited’s audio needs with 11 GreenEdge speakers, an amplifier and a subwoofer. Only for Limited driver’s seeking optimal safety, Toyota offers a Technology Package consisting of automatic high beam, dynamic radar cruise control and a pre-collision system.

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