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2013 Toyota Avalon Debut

2013 Toyota Avalon looks to shed its sedate image for something sporty


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What's New

Toyota’s venerable Avalon is all-new for 2013, and for once it doesn’t look geriatric. Designed and built completely in America, the new Avalon gets sleek, flowing lines, and a coupe-like roof. A wide, leering grille—reminiscent of certain competing Hyundais—frames the front end underneath a Camry-like beak. Toyota admits that it’s not a company known for its design, to say the least. The Avalon was penned at the company’s Calty design studio in southern California, while Toyota overseer Akido Toyoda himself signed off on the American-designed Avalon—so the Yanks must be doing something right.

Who It's For

The Avalon has traditionally been Toyota’s flagship sedan in its lineup, and this time around that’s no exception: it’s going to face the Hyundai Azera, Lincoln MKZ, and Buick Lacrosse. Its mature (don’t call them “aging”) buyers want comfort, smoothness and plenty of room—Toyota says the new Avalon has more interior space than a BMW 5-Series, a car that probably won’t get cross-shopped too often. The Avalon now bumps up even more against the entry-level-luxury Lexus ES—also brand-new for 2013—with a level of parity that reflects nothing more than shameless brand allegiance. Either way, Toyota still gets your money.

Toyota won’t be releasing powertrain details for a few months, but did say it would have a V-6 engine. We assume that it will be the same 3.5-liter V-6 shared with the Venza, which has also been facelifted for 2013. The Avalon will also feature:

  • An 111-inch wheelbase for plenty of interior room
  • Dual square projector lights up front, LED taillights in back, and ambient nighttime lighting inside
  • Blind spot monitor with cross-traffic detection, and pre-collision avoidance
  • Ten airbags

What We Think

It’s easy to make fun of the Avalon. In fact, we’ve been doing it for years. But this time around Toyota seems to have paid attention to its limp styling and dullsville attitude, and has tried to remedy it. More so the former than the latter: today, it can genuinely be called a good-looking car. What will it be like to drive? We’ll just have to find out in a few months.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: New York 2012

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