The 2013 Toyota Avalon is a visually attractive and comfortable answer to the family transportation experience. With improvements to style, performance and interior comforts, as well as a price cut for this model, its appeal has increased roughly $2,000-fold.
The Avalon is available in four trim packages; the XLE, the XLE Premium, the XLE Touring and the Limited. The Limited has an additional tech package option that adds passive high beams, active cruise control and a Pre-Collision System. The array of colors available for the 2013 models are Blizzard Pearl, Champagne Mica, Moulin Rouge Mica, Classic Silver Metallic, Magnetic Grey Metallic, Attitude Black Metallic, Sizzling Crimson Mica, Cypress Pearl and Nautical Blue Metallic.
In addition to its color appeal, the exterior features of the Avalon draw attention from all angles. The XLE and XLE Premium are fitted with 17-in. silver-painted alloy wheels, while the XLE Touring and the Limited packages have 18-in. silver painted alloy wheels. All four packages come standard with LED taillights, color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, an acoustic noise-reducing windshield and a dual chrome-tipped integrated exhaust. The Limited has High Density Discharge Quadrabeam headlights with an auto on/off feature and LED Daytime Running Lights. The XLE package is equipped with Quadrabeam halogen headlights that also are equipped with the auto on/off feature. The XLE Touring and Limited add wide-angle fog lights to help with lower visibility situations.
The interior of the Avalon is comparable to a comfortable evening at home. The dash is covered with hand-stitched material that is soft to the touch. The aesthetic appeal of the dash set up is also notable, as the layered and sculpted surface of the dash creates a sense of seclusion for the driver while opening up the area the passenger overlooks. All packages of the Avalon have a leather trim, wood-grain style interior with smoked chrome accents and door handles.
Comparable to a favorite armchair, the driver’s seat in the XLE package is eight-way power adjustable with power lumbar support. The driver’s seat in the Limited is 10-way adjustable with multi-staged heat and ventilation, as well as having power lumbar support and a power cushion extension. The front passenger seat in the XLE package has four power adjustment options, while the Limited’s front passenger seat is eight-way power adjustable. Seat comfort is not withheld from rear passengers either, as the rear seat has a center armrest with cupholders and folds down with a trunk passthrough for excursions with bigger cargo and fewer passengers.
The XLE and XLE Premium offer dual zone automatic climate controls, display audio with a 6.1-in. touch screen, have an AM/FM CD player with MP3 and WMA playback capability and features eight speakers to reach all passengers equally. A USB port and auxiliary audio jack allow for music input from other sources, as does the music streaming option using Bluetooth wireless technology. The inclusion of multi-information displays, Bluetooth hands-free controls, Optitron instrumentation, navigation with turn-by-turn directions and an ECO Drive Level Indicator make the car current in technological advances, keeping the consumer on the leading edge of vehicle technologies.
The XLE Touring adds Sirius XM satellite radio capability, an HD Radio and iTunes tagging for additional entertainment opportunities. The Limited package adds Entune and JBL to the mix, as well as a 7-in. high resolution touch-screen with split screen capability. The Limited also comes standard with 11 speakers in 9 locations, including a subwoofer and amplifier. Passengers will enjoy the ride in style amidst audio perfection. Entune access is complimentary with each vehicle for three years from purchase.
The 2013 models of the Avalon also have a covered center console with two front cupholders and eBin – a sliding electronic device holder with wire management and illuminated interior storage. There are three 12V auxiliary power outlets, two located in the eBin and one in the center console of the vehicle.
As is expected with a Toyota product, the Avalon is equipped with a wide variety of safety features. These include the Star Safety System, Whiplash-Injury Lessening seats, three-point seatbelts, 10 airbags and both the LATCH system and child protector door locks. In terms of support and exterior protection, the steering column is made to be energy absorbing and collapsible. The front and rear each has energy absorbing crumple zones. There is an anti-theft system with an alarm and engine immobilizer to deter today’s criminal element from targeting your vehicle.
The Avalon gets 25 miles per gallon combined in projected fuel economy. This translates to 21 miles per gallon in city driving and 31 mpg when hitting the highway. With a 17-gallon tank, this means less fuel stops on those family vacations, although pit stops will remain necessary for all the other typical reasons.
In terms of safety and handling, the Avalon boasts an impressive 268 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft of torque in a front-wheel drive car with a six-speed ECT-i automatic transmission. Electrically assisted rack-and-pinion steering, ventilated disc front brakes, solid disc rear brakes and standard ABS enhance the control and confidence for the individual behind the wheel. Blind Spot Monitors and a Rear Cross Traffic Alert eliminate the dangers of a second’s distraction in a family neighborhood, something no one would ever want to experience.
The Blind Spot Monitor uses radar to warn of vehicles in adjacent lanes that might be out of view, while the Rear Cross Traffic Alert is enabled when the vehicle is in reverse and detects moving objects that enter the warning radius. All packages above the XLE also come equipped with a backup camera standard that shows a view of the area not easily monitored from the driver’s seat.
The price tag for the 2013 begins at $31,785, a $2,205 cut from the price for the 2012 model. This price is also cheaper than rivals in the midsize sedan category, such as the Buick LaCrosse or Nissan Maxima. It is, however, slightly undercut by the Ford Taurus, which is available with a base price tag of just over $27,000.