Just when you may have thought that the Toyota Avalon had gone to wayside, the 2013 Toyota Avalon is back in the news and making a huge splash for the new model year. The all-new 4th generation 2013 Avalon is sporting a new look featuring more aggressive styling coupled with a new aggressive marketing campaign that is targeted to lower the prospective buyer's age group by 10 to 15 years. For 2013, Toyota has dramatically altered the chemistry of Avalon's formula, creating a new potent and persuasive sedan that helps shift the product's generational appeal while symbolizing Toyota's exciting new design and product direction for future sedans.
Avalon's press introduction was stage at the very posh Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara which was very apropos since during the high mountain test drive though Santa Barbara's nearby Los Padres National Forest you could actually see the car's namesake located on the nearby island of Catalina...that being the resort town of Avalon.
So, how are the designers lowering Avalon's previous target demographic of 65 year olds to the now targeted 50 year olds? Aggressive Styling and elegant design, plus all the latest in automobile electronic systems, dynamic handling characteristics, and safety technology is their secret. Avalon is sleeker, lower to the ground with less front and rear overhang which produces a more athletic stance. A stronger, more expressive front-fascia design with larger grille opening creates an aggressive appearance while enhancing cooling air flow and pedestrian impact protection. The new Avalon's exterior turn-signal indicators have been located at the lower section of the front bumper to contribute to the slim and sleek appearance.
The new Avalon utilizes a 3.5-liter, 90-degree, DOHC, six-cylinder engine that features Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) to help offer superior power and efficiency. This robust V6 produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm, and provides the new Avalon with competitive acceleration and a 0-to-60 mph time estimated at less than seven second.
The V6-powered gasoline Avalon offers three drive modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. The Eco Mode prioritizes fuel efficiency by balancing driving performance, air conditioning function and fuel efficiency. It reduces driving force when acceleration at low speeds to enhance fuel efficiency. Sport mode helps create a more engaging driving experience by enhancing the electric Power Steering effort and a more direct, responsive steering feel.
A new Hybrid Synergy Drive model is also available in the Avalon using a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine with two electric motors rated at 105 kW which bring the total system output for the Avalon Hybrid Synergy Drive to 200 horsepower. The Avalon Hybrid will accelerate from 0 to 60 in about 8.0 seconds.
Advanced technology is found throughout the new Avalon. Toyota's Entune multimedia system, which functions through a smart phone interface, brings applications such as Bing, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable, and Pandora to the vehicle audio display. This audio configuration also features real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports, and stocks. (And you thought you were going to be a good driver by simply not texting any more.)
New safety technology incorporated in the 2013 Avalon includes the Blind Spot Monitor system, Rear Cross Traffic alert, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and the STAR Safety System which combines' vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brake system, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and Smart Stop brake-override technology.
There are several models in which to choose from in the new Avalon lineup including the XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Touring, Limited, plus three models featuring the hybrid drive system.
Test driving the Avalon through the mountain highways of the Los Padres National Forest afforded a good demonstration of the various ride-comfort settings as well as being to feel the great handling characteristics as the changing curvy road paths demanded. The Avalon is very quiet on the highway with no tire noise and very little wind noise. The interiors are so luxurious that it is no wonder that there is even a Livery Edition being introduced to compete for a share of the quarter of a million in livery sedans that are in operation in the US...with the discontinuation of the Lincoln Town Car, Toyota's new Flagship Avalon will be a perfect contender.
Pricing on the new Avalon will range from $30,990 for the XLE to $39,000 for the Limited model. The additional cost for the Hybrid models range from $1,750 to $2,360. The 2013 Toyota Avalon is the most American Avalon yet; designed, developed and manufactured in the United States. While you may not find very many of these new Toyotas on the streets of Catalina Island's resort town of Avalon...you're sure to see increased numbers of this exciting new Avalon on the roads of California.