2013 Toyota Avalon XLE Limited

Reviewed by Susan Frissell

Presenting with a new look and some new features, the 2013 Toyota Avalon is an improvement over previous models; mostly so because it looks a little less like all the other sedans on the road. The 2013 Avalon seats five and is equipped with a 3.5-liter engine, accompanied by a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive. A hybrid version is also available. TheV-6 offers plenty of power to move this sedan that competes with the Buick La Crosse, Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus and Dodge Charger. An unlikely bunch, we’d say. The 2013 Avalon’s fuel economy is a respectable 21/31 mpg, slightly better than other affordable large sedans. The V-6 engine is much refined with exceptionally smooth gear changes, and the ride in the newly redesigned Avalon offers a comfort-tuned ride. Handling better than previous generation Avalons, the 2013 is still a large car with a ‘floaty’ feel. Reminds one somewhat of the old Buicks of days past.

2013toyavaThis writer has considered the Avalon a somewhat superfluous model, not really having that large of a following. But then, one must compete at all levels in carland and so it is with the Avalon. Statistics escape me right now, but there must be enough buyers that it is still considered a necessity in the Toyota lineup. Not a ‘performance’ vehicle by any stretch, the Avalon finds itself competing with more sporty competition; namely, the Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. As said above, an unlikely bunch. The interior of the 2013 Avalon is crafted well and luxuriously with solid construction and premium materials. Feeling more like a Lexus (no surprise that it would borrow from its first cousins), the 2013 Avalon has spacious rear seating and comfortable driver seats. 2013-Toyota-Avalon-5

Equipped with a list of the goodies expected in this category, the Avalon sports dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-speaker sound system with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB port and push-button start. Of course, it’s all power and higher-end options can be had on the top models, including upgraded stereo ,fancier trims, tri-zone automatic climate control (std. on Limited), satellite radio and a back-up camera, as well as radar-based cruise. As with all vehicles tested for womenwithwheels.com, the 2013 Avalon isn’t without some annoyances: one is the size of the side mirrors. They are smaller than most. In addition, although its new shape is very appealing, the Avalon resembles those now-popular vehicles coming out of Korea. A new benchmark?

On our top-of-the-line test model the Avalon XLE Limited, the rear-view mirror was loose. Easily fixed, of course. Standard airbags number 10, ABS, VSC and TRAC are standard equipment, as are Brake Assist and Smart Stop Tech. Options on our 2013 test Avalon included the Technology Package (Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beam, Pre-collision system, $1,750); First aid kit ($29), and Carpet mats/Trunk mat, $225. The 2013 Avalon is available in three four trim levels: XLE ($30,990), XLE Premium ($33,195), XLE Touring ($35,500) and Limited ($39,650), pricing from $30,005-$38,182, all with the same engine.

 SPECS:

MSRP: $39.650; total vehicle price $42,449; destination $799 Engine: 3.5-liter,V-6, 268 hp., 248 lb. ft. torque

Transmission: FWD, six-speed automatic ECT-1, w/paddle shifters

Wheelbase: 111 in.

Height: 57.5 in.

Length: 195.3 in.

Width: 72.2 in.

Weight: 3,461 lbs.

Tires: P225/45R 18” (standard P215/55R17) all-season

Wheels: 18” allow (standard 17×70”)

Fuel tank capacity: 17.0 gal.

EPA fuel economy: 21/31 mpg.

Warranty: 3 yr./36,000-mile basic; 2 yr./25,000-miles free maintenance; 5 yr./60,000-mile drivetrain; 2 yr/25,000-mile roadside assistance;

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