Standard Features on Avalon:
The following features are available on the standard gasoline Base model: 17-inch wheels; 10 airbags; the same 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine from 2012; power front seats; 8-speaker AM/FM/CD player with MP3; leather trimmed tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel; a push-button keyless starter; Bluetooth compatibility; and cloth seats.
Pricing for the Avalon:
The price for the 2012 Avalon gasoline model kicked-off at $33,195, before destination charges, while pricing for the spanking-new 2013 Avalon is slated to have a starting price of $30,990. The 2013 Avalon will no longer offer bench seats, a shifter on the steering column or partially reclining rear seats, a fan favorite in some of the previous generations.
Avalon’s Initial Drawbacks:
While we’re in awe of the sexy exterior, the interior’s center stack, which houses the radio, with the huge knobs, seems to cater to an older crowd. Ironically, the exterior design seems to appeal to a younger generation of car buyers, with its Sonata-like side profile and Jaguar-like rear profile. Also why is XM satellite subscription-based radio not a standard feature on the Base model? At $30,000, this feature should be standard. Added to that, a sexy vehicle like this should offer dual sunroofs or at least a panoramic roof to compliment the fresh design. A standard size sunroof doesn’t do the vehicle justice.
Since 2009, Avalon sales peaked near 30,000 units annually. With the redesign, Avalon is counting on moving 70,000 of their flagship vehicles annually – again. The last time it hit those numbers were back in 2007. We believe Toyota will have no problems accomplishing this. In fact, some potential Camry buyers may decide to move up a notch to buy a new Avalon, while some potential Lexus ES buyers may decide to downgrade.
While the Avalon is no sports car, it continues to provide the road feel and manners one expects from a fullsize vehicle. Depending upon the trim, the Avalon is now available with paddle shifters and a sport drive mode, improving the overall driving dynamics. Look for a more extensive review in 2013 once we’re behind the wheel for at least a week, as opposed to a few hours.
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.