The Avalon gained a stellar reputation as a car that successfully “out-Buicked” Buick and in so doing it poached some of the American brand’s aging customer base. To combat an ever-increasing average driver age, the recently restyled sedan actually looks more youthful than the Camry. The 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed transmission (with paddle shifters) hauls down decent fuel economy, especially the Hybrid version that is nearly 50 percent more efficient in the city driving cycle. As before, regardless of the engine, only the front wheels are driven. The interior features front seats that are quite supportive, with improved side bolstering. As well the concave-shaped dashboard results in more cabin room. Because of customer feedback, Toyota has relaxed the Avalon’s somewhat firmer ride a bit. By its very nature the base Avalon shows up with an abundance of standard equipment, although for the full-on luxury experience you’ll need to spring for a premium leather interior, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, larger wheels, navigation/communications systems and an up-level stereo, to list just a few goodies.
Both the standard and hybrid models of the Avalon will be on display.