Toyota adds fuel-thrifty hybrid to Avalon family
Move over, Toyota Camry. It's time for Toyota's other sizable sedan, the Avalon, to get some well-deserved attention.
Recently revamped with a stylish body and new features, the five-door Avalon now has an impressive, fuel-sipping, gasoline-electric hybrid model.
Not only does the Avalon Hybrid provide comfortable seating for five, with a roomy back seat, it is rated by the federal government at 40 miles per gallon in city driving and 39 mpg on the highway — the best of any Avalon ever.
These numbers are not unattainable. In regular, not-trying-to-squeeze-every-drop-of-gasoline driving, the test 2013 Avalon Hybrid registered no lower than 36.2 mpg and reached 37.1 mpg in combined city/highway travel.
Also noteworthy: The 2013 Avalon overall is listed as a recommended buy of Consumer Reports magazine, which says predicted reliability should be above average.
The Avalon Hybrid's starting retail price isn't as high as many consumers might assume, given all the standard equipment.
Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $36,365 for the base 2013 Avalon Hybrid, which is $3,360 more than the base, non-hybrid 2013 Avalon.
But note that the base Avalon Hybrid has XLE Premium trim that includes standard upscale appointments such as power moonroof, leather-trimmed seats, heated and power-adjustable front seats, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-speaker audio system, 6.1-inch display screen, Bluetooth hands-free phone controls, push-button start, keyless remote entry and leather-wrapped steering wheel plus 10 airbags.
Then, there's the fuel mileage comparison. The non-hybrid 2013 Avalon, which has a 268-horsepower V-6, is rated by the federal government at 2 1⁄31 mpg, which is 19 mpg less in city driving and 8 miles less per gallon in highway driving than the Avalon Hybrid.
The test Avalon Hybrid, a mid-range XLE Touring model, looked stylish with new, expressive grille and the kind of expressive body lines on the sides that could have come from a Hyundai Sonata.
Overall, the car was attractively proportioned, though the sizable rear parcel shelf would sometimes catch and reflect the sun's rays and detract from rearward visibility using the inside rearview mirror.
Toyota engineers made sure to make the Avalon's ride firmer than before to provide a more dynamic driving experience, even in the hybrid.
The test car didn't handle like a wallowy, floating, big sedan. Rather, the driver felt a palpable connection to the road and body motions were more controlled than ever. The flipside of the more-taut ride is that passengers can notice sounds and some vibrations from road bumps, including recessed manhole covers. And steering still felt a bit numb.
Ann M. Job is a contributing writer for the Associated Press
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Warehouse will double Leed’s space in Westmoreland Business and Research Park
- Craft breweries proliferate in Pa., nationally with room to keep growing
- Consumers spread joy to retailers
- Bid adieu to these vanishing vehicle models
- ‘Santa Claus’ rally continues; stocks hit all-time highs
- Don’t open email just because it showed up
- Refined family hauler receives update for 2015
- Replace brake fluid
- Jaguar coupe can outstyle convertible
- 3 tips to use up health account funds
- Makers of wine corks have lost ground to screw tops