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2013 Avalon Reimagines Luxury Vehicle

The wheels-up redesign of Toyota’s 2013 Avalon emphasizes design, function, and performance.

December 2012, by Chris Wolski - Also by this author

The 2013-MY Toyota Avalon will be built in Kentucky.
The 2013-MY Toyota Avalon will be built in Kentucky.

The saying “everything old is new again” sums up Toyota’s 2013 Avalon.

“Avalon symbolizes the ‘new’ Toyota,” said Jack Hollis, vice president of marketing during a press briefing in Yountville, Calif., October 25.

All-new from the wheels up, the 2013 Avalon emphasizes a more “elegant, athletic,” and sustainable approach to the vehicle, with a sculptural look and feel that connects the driver to the car, according to the automaker.

The result is a vehicle designed to appeal to a more youthful executive demographic — drivers in their 40s and 50s; downward from the traditional 60-something group that has been the primary buyer of the earlier iterations of the Avalon. The company is targeting a sales goal of 70,000 units for calendar-year 2013. The vehicle was available for delivery beginning in December.

Entering the Hybrid Market

For the first time with MY-2013 versions, the Avalon will be available in either a gasoline only or a hybrid version. The gasoline version is available in four trim levels: XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Touring, and Limited with an MSRP of $30,990 to $39,650. The hybrid version is available in three trim levels: XLE Premium, XLE Touring, and Limited with an MSRP of $35,555 to $41,400. The vehicles will have a $795 destination fee. As of press time, there is a $500 fleet incentive.

The gasoline version features a 3.5L DOHC V-6 engine that achieves 268 hp and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The hybrid version utilizes a 2.5L Atkinson cycle, four-cylinder engine with an E-VCT that houses electric motors powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery to produce a total system output of 200 hp.

When looking to refresh the stalwart Avalon model, Toyota involved drivers, dealers, and journalists to deliver a vehicle that met the needs of the market. This resulted in what Chief Engineer Randy Stephens said is a “bold, athletic design with dynamic performance that is high-tech and easy to use.”

Significantly, the Avalon was redesigned by Toyota’s U.S.-based engineering team. The model will be built in Kentucky.

“The Avalon is our investment in the U.S. market,” said Dave Lee, product education and development administrator with the University of Toyota.

High Mileage, Affordable Price

Whether the choice is a gasoline or hybrid powertrain, the Avalon delivers a smooth, high-mileage ride at an affordable price.

The gasoline version is rated at 21 mpg city/31 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined. The hybrid version is rated at 40 mpg city/39 mpg hwy/40 mpg combined, and has a range of 680 miles.

The gasoline version features three drive modes: Normal, ECO, and Sport. The hybrid version features ECO, EV, and Sport drive modes.

The Avalon comes with a 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle and additional 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranties. The hybrid-related components have a eight-year/100,000-mile warranty. The 2013 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid will also come standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

The improved interior styling features a sculpted dash with central display panel. The Avalon can seat five passengers and has an overall passenger volume of 103.6 cubic feet.

The Avalon also has a 1.6 cubic foot larger trunk for the gasoline version — 16 cubic feet. The hybrid version’s trunk is slightly smaller at 14 cubic feet.

The all-new Avalon, also includes 10 air bags, and Toyota’s STAR Safety System, which includes vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brake system, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, and smart stop brake-override technology.

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