2013 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring

Patrick M Hoey

When we drive an all-new version of an existing car, it's sometimes difficult to discern any profound differences between the old car and the new car. This is most definitely not the case with the 2013 Toyota Avalon, which is a wholesale departure from previous generations of the Avalon. The last time I drove an Avalon, in the summer of 2011, I wrote: "From the moment you slide behind the steering wheel of the Avalon, it's obvious that this is a traditional car chasing traditional-sedan buyers. You know, the people who usually buy Buicks. The big Toyota is definitely geared toward older people, and there's nothing wrong with that, since there's a huge population of aging baby boomers and for many of them the Avalon is the ideal car."

At the time, I figured that only people who are eligible to collect Social Security would want to consider it, but now I could imagine a 40-something dad driving an Avalon, enjoying it, and not being embarrassed to be seen in it. After all, it's far better looking inside and out, and it's much better to drive. Credit goes to communicative steering, far stiffer yet compliant suspension tuning, and stronger brakes. A sport mode perks up the throttle, transmission, and suspension responses, and there are even shift paddles on the steering wheel. Clearly, Toyota is hoping to attract buyers for whom a quickened pulse while driving is a good thing, not a symptom of an impending cardiac event.

One thing that carries over from the old car that didn't really need improvement is the 3.5-liter V-6, which was then and continues to be smooth, powerful, and responsive, even as it makes do with a carryover six-speed automatic in an age when eight forward speeds is the new benchmark. That's okay, because it still delivers super-smooth acceleration.

The modern, enticing cabin has excellent ergonomics. The capacitive switches for climate control and the audio system work quite well, far better than Ford's. I enjoyed the comfortable, supportive bucket seats, a huge departure from the wide, flat seats of the last car. Great seat heaters, too, with a spring-loaded dial with multiple temperature settings.

Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor


I had a fellow twenty-something New Yorker coming to visit for the weekend and presented him with a few choices on what our chariot would be. "The Avalon looks tres chic," he emailed me in response, a comment he repeated upon sliding into the passenger seat on Friday. The all-new 2013 model is almost certainly the first Avalon to receive a comment like that.

When the 2013 Avalon made its debut at the 2012 New York auto show, I was awestruck at how good it looked. The flagship Toyota sedan promised to usher in a new era of attractive design at a brand that's known for making new cars that are as stylish as an average toaster. The cabin shows that Toyota's engineers have learned from Lexus' missteps in crafting a high-quality and attractive interior that blends of-the-moment-technology (like touch-capacitive buttons and the Entune infotainment system) in a way that is approachable and easy to use.

Toyota carried over the Avalon's old powertrain setup -- a very smart move, as the 3.5-liter V-6 pulls strongly without being too much of a guzzler, and the six-speed automatic is silky smooth. What's gone is the old Avalon's floaty, couch-like ride. While I wouldn't call the 2013 model taut by any means and the steering is on the light side, both attributes are appropriate for the segment. The new Avalon instills confidence in the driver both behind the wheel and with its chic styling on the street. Now the question remains whether Toyota can do the same with its other new models.

Donny Nordlicht, Associate Web Editor

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John Bingham
Wide mouthed angry toad.
My DrEaM CaR
Awesome .....If u Want to see more mysterious pictures of cars and bikes then just visit this page >>>>> https://www.facebook.com/MyDremCar
Andy Jones
Another fugly car on the road
Carlos Alberto Olmo
It looks like Ford Fusion grille
Richard Macintyre
I saw one in town several times last evening. I never expected to be impressed with it in person but I was. the skinny nostrils and gaping maw are much more attractive outside a static image.
Concept & Future CARS
best looking Avalon yet
Paul Graziano
Lipstick on a ..... Camry
Azat Hankuliyev
Most of these people would rather get an American car which is unreliable..typical
Alex Marks
the front grill is terrible, the one at the bottom
Kyree S. Williams
Could you imagine a twenty-something driving this?  Because I'd certainly buy it...
Christian Davenport
A few days ago someone in this new Avalon drove past me while i was walking in a parking lot. The sound of the engine was delicious. Smooth, silky, throaty. Obviously the Avalon buyer prefers a more restrained style, same reason some folks prefer a GMC over an ostentatious vulgar Escalade -
Gregory Easton
"The Old Person's Toyota" -- going to take more than a questionable design change to shake the Oldie Image.
Clint Carney
New charger all the way
Thomas Voelker
The flanks are still very bland.
Azat Hankuliyev
We have this car, i love it
Eric Seeger
My parents have an Avalon (the last version), and it's a great car. Sure, it's not the most exciting thing in the world, but if buy one the day after your retirement party that will be the last time you'll have to walk into a dealer's showroom for the rest of your life (insert unintended acceleration joke here). Seriously though... Great cars that do everything their intended audience needs.
Manuel Mendoza
Boring....copycat...bad copycat....jst sumn else unnecessarily polluting our world
Matt Simmons
I think I'd rather have a new Impala based on looks. The new Avalon is styled, but not stylish. Impala is stylish. But the Avalon is likely a better choice for the consumer. Maybe a different color though.
Chip Gorra
When they make a Toyota with enough headroom for American adults, I might consider one: there is no excuse for a car this large to have to scrunch down to sit in it.
Bradford Mahler
looks like the lower fascia is the grill from the Taurus...
Frankiko Ly
Yea, senior citizens and retirees loves it!
Tim Lucas
Zzzzzz
James Procell
Not saying its a bad design, but it still looks bland to me, sort of like a bloated Camry. The new interior, however, is quite nice.

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