Thursday, November 8, 2012

2013 Toyota Avalon Test Drive

Toyota's premium sedan forsakes its forgettable past with more mojo, more style, and less weight, plus a hybrid option.

What's New: just like the 3 generations that came before it, this latest Avalon shares beaux arts and powertrain parts with the midsize Camry. however that is wherever the similarities to its predecessors finish. Despite a grille that appears am fond of it was raised straight from the 2013 Ford Fusion and a sloping roofline that appears like every range of latest models, the outside is sleek and eclipses the forgettable  styling of previous generations, upstaging the Camry within the method. Body dimensions are tightened, reducing front and rear overhangs. The track is wider front and rear, the roofline is down an in., the beltline is lower, associate degreed daring front-to-rear character creases lend an aura of action-readiness.

Suspension standardization vindicates the swoopy promise of the flat solid, there is many space fore and aft, and a hybrid joins the lineup for the primary time, victimisation an equivalent Toyota Hybrid natural process Drive offered within the Camry. The design, engineering, and development all happened within the U.S. Assembly is afoot at Toyota's Georgetown, Ky., facility.

Tech Tidbit: The Avalon Hybrid transaxle is formally a unendingly variable sort, per Toyota. However, whereas its operation is analogous, the transaxle case homes a planetary gear mechanism, for combining engine power with the electrical motor. The hybrid will run on wattage, however just for a mile, at low speed.

Driving Character: Previous Avalons appealed primarily to drivers World Health Organization thought cornering ought to be preceded by associate degree environmental impact statement. With improved chassis and firmer suspension, the new Avalon attacks corners, changes direction pronto, and limits rock and roll body motions—in distinction to the sea boat dynamics of earlier generations. The V6 provides brisk acceleration—Toyota forecasts vi.7 seconds to sixty mph. And with paddle shifters, the six-speed automatic delivers prompt gear changes. The hybrid, for its half, is not slow (0 to sixty in eight.2, per Toyota) and its operation is completely clear.

Favorite Detail: the inside appointments of the new Avalon lineup qualify as each tasteful and opulent, with soft materials, 2 grades of animal skin upholstery, and designer color combos. A delicate however distinctive component is that the stunning done-by-hand sewing that distinguishes the dashboard and seats. it is the quite thoughtful bit that reinforces the owner's purchase call whenever he or she opens the door.

Driver's Grievance: as a result of it enhances fuel economy, electrical assist steering mechanism can before long be universal. The road feel it conveys, however, varies wide from one vehicle to a different. that is true of the new Avalon. In V-6 models, steering effort will increase with speed, however remains numb. The hybrid version could be a very little a lot of informative, and Toyota engineers admit that there is a distinction in system electronic standardization. however each versions leave one thing to be desired.

The Bottom Line: when 3 generations of sentimental obscurity, the Avalon got some serious styling for 2013 and athletic moves to travel with it. The engineering team claims associate degree overall gain of twelve % in torsional rigidity, and curb weight reductions of up to a hundred and fifty pounds, a praiseworthy action in sight of steady escalating crash standards. The addition of a hybrid version offers the Avalon bragging rights due to its forty city/39 main road Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy, and a possible vary of 680 miles that exceeds the endurance of most human bladders.

Like its predecessors, the most recent Avalon was designed around Camry beaux arts parts, however it's bigger—based on interior volume, the Environmental Protection Agency classifies it as an outsized car—with adult-size commodiousness front and rear. Add handsome interior treatments and quiet operation and enticing valuation, and therefore the Avalon's charm expands well on the far side its previous limits.

On Sale Date: December 1

Price: $31,750 to $42,160

Competitors: Buick LaCrosse, Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera

Powertrains: 3.5-liter V-6, 268 hp, 248 lb. ft., 6-speed automatic; 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, 156 hp, 156 lb. ft., plus AC synchronous electric motor, 141 hp, 199 lb. ft. (combined system hp: 200), CVT.

EPA Fuel Economy (city/hwy): V-6, 21/31; Hybrid, 40/39

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