EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


June 16, 2013

Toyota Avalon steps up to new luxury


That sense is reinforced inside the Avalon. The cabin is artfully styled, with features like an expansive dashboard trimmed with high-grade, hand-stitched materials, inset with shaped and polished wood panels and accented by bright silver beads surrounding instruments, controls and storage openings. The new Avalon comes with leather upholstery and heated front seats, 10 airbags, remote locking and push-button start, and two-zone automatic climate adjustment with a user-friendly control system Toyota calls IntelliTouch (which also controls the eight-speaker, multi-mode entertainment and communication system)

“When people sit down in the car and look around the cockpit, they see the quality and the high-end, Lexus-type luxury,” said Horgan. “They’re definitely impressed.”

During a test drive, they feel impressed again by the model’s commanding, yet sedate and settled road manners, the dealer stated. Toyota emphasizes that the new Avalon is tuned for precise and responsive control, with an athletic edge that makes the model more engaging. Horgan noted that the aspect of the ride people appear to notice most is the comfort.

“People comment on how smooth and quiet the car is,” he said.

The government classification system – which groups cars according to their cabin volume – ranks the Avalon as a mid-size car, same as the Toyota Camry. But the model’s body dimensions and its airy, open interior give it a large-car character. Therefore the Avalon traditionally attracted large-car fans, which includes a lot of mature drivers.

The remade Avalon retains that big and roomy appeal, but it adds so much splash, dazzle and style that the car’s new character is expanding the model’s appeal beyond its traditional stronghold, said Horgan.

“We’re seeing more buyers now who are younger,” he stated.

A standard Avalon uses a 268-horsepower V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission that enable the car to keep its place in traffic with unfluttered ease, whether at freeway speeds, passing on a two-lane road, or launching from a stop light.

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