By on April 5, 2012

 

The closest I’ve ever come to dying in a car was at the wheel of a Toyota Avalon, and I credit the nice, long wheelbase, stable handling and strong V6 engine for helping me avoid a major catastrophe. The new 2013 model, with its swoopy styling, looks like something that just might get you into trouble rather than keeping you out of it.

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The pictures tell the whole story of the revamped Avalon, with a totally different look both inside and out. Power numbers for the 3.5L V6 weren’t disclosed, but it should be at a minimum equal to the 268 horsepower in the Camry V6. A Sport mode button will be featured, as well as a whole suite of active safety features, including 10 airbags, blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic detection and a pre-collision system. Personally, I think the sloping roofline is the most interesting feature. Is it a concession to aesthetics while compromising rear headroom (ala the Mercedes-Benz CLS) or has Toyota avoided that problem? Previous complaints from more mature buyers (i.e. the Avalons target market) about this trend has me wondering.

Thanks to AutoGuide.com for the photos

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47 Comments on “New York 2012: 2013 Toyota Avalon Is For The Roxy Music Fans, Not The AARP...”


  • avatar
    NulloModo

    The Exterior styling reminds me of an extra long Hyundai Sonata.

    Inside it’s a major improvement over the current Avalon, much more upscale.

  • avatar
    windnsea00

    Good lord the interior is hideous, giving the 2013 Impala a run for the money!

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    Grandpa grows a soul patch.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    If Lexus took this car, and put the interior from the new ES in it, they’d have a huge winner.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    And if you’re going to do a Roxy Music themed post, you GOTTA use “More Than This.”

    • 0 avatar
      SilverHawk

      “While my heart is still beating”, I would prefer to drive something else.

      • 0 avatar
        Dawnrazor

        Just Like You, I think I’d prefer something different. However, If There Is Something new about it which improves the current model’s handling, that could make for A Really Good Time. It does feature a “sport” mode and greatly improved sheetmetal, so maybe this new model’s Street Life will be a bit more interesting.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I am not digging this latest crop of sedans. The new Fusion and MKZ have left me cold, same for the Malibu and Impala, the new Altima is nothing to write home about, and now this Avalon. None of the designs seem cohesive at all, and they are all trying to ape the A7 (the idea of a giant luxury hatchback sedan escapes me, but I’m not rich enough for one so I must not get it). I don’t expect much from the new Accord, so that leaves the new Mazda6 as the last hope for this cycle. I know some say that the Sonata is over styled, but at least it has a style, and the lines flow nicely around the car.

  • avatar
    pb35

    Very nice and this could possibly get me into a Toyota showroom.

  • avatar

    The exterior proportions, the big low-mounted grille, the interior chock full of pointless design details–none work for me.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    My dad’s daily is a 2008 Avalon, and it is by a wide margin the dullest, most insensate thing I’ve ever driven. However, he racks up something like 35,000 miles a year and it’s pretty much optimized to do just that. He’s thinking about getting something new when he retires in a few years, and he lamented that Toyota seemed like it was going to drop the Av for a buffed-up Camry. Should be interesting to see if he goes for this one.

  • avatar

    Wow! Are we Roxy Music fans now that old? Don’t tell Bryan’s 20-something year-old new bride that we (he) needs to be driving a 2013 plump-mobile.

    And Avalon isn’t, like, real Roxy Music. But this is:…(enjoy)…

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    Oh Boy! They finally gave the Avalon gun slit windows. Now I’ll feel safer in my dotage.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Ugh. I just can’t stand it. I get Jack and Derick are two different people. On LLN Jack absolutely BLASTS Nissan for not modernizing or uping their game on the 3.5L V6 which ONLY produces 270 HP.

    Toyota is carrying the same banner, doing nothing to boost power on their 3.5L V6 with “just” 268 HP and we throw roses at their feet.

    With that screed aside, none of the sedans coming out are doing much for me and I am not fond of where interior design is going, especially center stack and dashboards. This is better than other Avalon o.fferings on the exterior.

    Hopefully Toyota won’t screw it up with a horrid advertising campaign like they did on the previous gen Avalon which asked the question, were you old enough to vote and hold a job in 1940? Did you kill Japs in WW2? Then this Avalon is for you. Forget going after Buick buyers, the Avalon ad campaign was going after zombies.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGn09UWkjyE

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      The only justification for this, other then the fact that Derek and I *are* different, is that Nissan is supposedly chasing a different demo. Also, when the Altima arrived, it was at least 50hp up on the Camry. No longer.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Come on Jack – the same applies. Seriously. The Toyota 3.5 has been producing 268 HP for freakin’ ever and has been run over by Honda/Acura, GM *gasp*, Chrysler *GASP*, Ford, and Hyundai. That isn’t to say the Toyota 3.5L is a bad motor, not the argument – but “strong” V6 when referring to a 268 HP 3.5L mill that sits at the back of the HP back, isn’t all that “strong.”

        Not your words I get.

        As far as the Altima is concerned, specifically, I find it very questionable at best to suggest that the Altima is not chasing the same demographic as the Camry as the Fusion as the Malibu as the Sonata as the Optima as the 200 as the Mazda6 is off the mark itself. They are all swimming in the red ocean going after the same middle American buyers looking for four doors, seats for five, and reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      And yet, the “weak” 268 HP mops the floor in real world acceleration of all those competitors, while still getting 30 MPG Highway. Hell, even the Camry Hybrid was faster than the Sonata Turbo in a recent comparison, I think either on Edmunds or MT.

  • avatar
    moedaman

    Ugh, most Roxy Music fans are in AARP.

  • avatar
    86er

    Respect your elders, people, especially since this may be the last elderly demographic that acts their age.

  • avatar
    86er

    “The closest I’ve ever come to dying in a car was at the wheel of a Toyota Avalon, and I credit the nice, long wheelbase, stable handling and strong V6 engine for helping me avoid a major catastrophe.”

    111 inches is a long wheelbase?

    I’m of two minds here. On one hand, I’m uncertain as to why Toyota is even bothering with this car anymore. Sales are down over 2/3 since 2000.

    On the other hand, most of those 28,925 sales in 2011 were likely to retail customers, and what’s wrong with a little “value” “E-segment” automobiling as long as it receives an update once every quarter-century or so?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Look at Toyota’s sales numbers in January/February, the huge spike in Avalon sales and fleet percentages.

      In 2011 Toyota dialed back fleet sales because they had to – but the Avalon and Yaris are Hertz and Avis darlings.

  • avatar
    Caboose

    If I wanted a fastback, I’d buy an old Peugeot or Datsun or Saab or Fox-body Mustang. But I don’t. I want a sedan. And I want it to Look Like A Sedan. And I want it to be big, because I carry people. People that I like, and so I want them to be comfortable. I am not old, but I value the elderlies’ putative automotive preferences. I already have two motorcycles when I want to go fast/have fun.

    I live and work downtown. My commute is short, agonizingly slow, and has more potholes than Pablo Escobar. So fun is not on the menu. That just leaves comfort, one of the elements of which is the ability to sit upright. I was happier with the 2011 Avalon refresh…and it’s ad campaign.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    It was funny. I was looking at this, and thought “I bet my dad(he is in his late 60s) would like that.” Then the phone rang. It was my dad, and he was looking at the site too. He said ” I really like the looks of that new Avalon. I will look into that and the LaCrosse when my lease on the CTS is up”.

  • avatar

    I am convinced that only Citroen can save America from cookie-cutter, demi-luxe saloons.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    If you’re going to limit me to a 1 foot trunk lid because the rear window extends 3/4 of the way to the bumper, how about offering the option of a 5 door hatch so I can get something into the trunk other than soft luggage. This new styling trend makes for great lookng, but impractical cars.

    • 0 avatar
      SpinnyD

      trunk lid is shorter on the top, but deeper so its really the same as any other car.

    • 0 avatar
      silverkris

      I hear you on that one. The previous gen Avalon has a fairly small trunk for such a large car(I think it’s even smaller than the Camry’s). Not only that, but the rear seat back doesn’t fold down to extend the cargo space (they sacrificed that for reclining rear seatbacks, as in earlier versions). I’d hope that the trunk volume is larger.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Not feeling it, though to be fair I haven’t felt ANY FWD car this big since the big V8 Bonneville from a few years back.

    Looks like a stretched Infiniti M with a nose from an Aston Martin Cygnet. Needs more hood length!

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Upon reaching a certain age, you want a car that arthritic limps can ingress/egress with ease and that will last a decade – because it will probably be the last car you buy.

    So, I’m looking at this Avalon and it is looking at me back. All I can say is nah, not yet.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    I hate to say it, but this new crop of sedans are all starting to look alike. The Fusion, Impala, Altima and now the Avalon. And has anyone noticed how much the XTS and the MKZ look alike from the side? I think the one thing that bothers me the most about these new designs is that there is too much form over function, especially when it comes to trunk access. These mail-slot trunk openings are practically useless for putting anything in.

    Maybe I’m just getting old :P

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    The spy photos had me hopeful, but this is a styling mess. From the long roof to the ridiculous amount of front overhang and the unoriginal trapezoidal lower grill, i’m disappointed. and don’t get me started on that hideous dashboard.

  • avatar
    righteousball

    You know what I’m reminded of? The front end is so Last-gen JDM Civic.

    I’ll wait another 5 years cause very few cars look good to me right now…it’s like we’re in a different kind of Malaise era.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Love the color. The roof? Not so much.

  • avatar
    28-cars-later

    Ok so is it me or is the Avalon the answer to a question no one asked? I read recently the Camry is supposed to be the equivalent of the Toyota Crown in NA, so whats the point of this model? Seems like brand overlap, if a customer wants a Camcord feel/ride but higher up the food chain and can pony up the dough, a Lex seems like the logical choice. If the Avalon is superior to the Camry, why have the current Camry model at all, why not drop the Avalon name make it the Camry? This is the sort of stuff GM was doing with Buick/Olds/Cadillac, models across different lines which were all sort of similar and in GM’s case all badge engineered. I’m sure there are subtle differences between the Camry/Avalon/ES350, but they are all generic FWD four door family sedans all based on a common design.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      Camry, ES, and Avalon are all aimed at different people and aren’t badge engineered bastard childs like the GM’s you speak of. The differences are from subtle, too. I mean really? They don’t look alike at all.

      The Avalon is the large sedan in the lineup and the flagship and there things on an Avalon you can’t get in a Camry. My Grandparents won’t buy a Camry, but they will buy an Avalon, and they’re not alone in that thinking. Some people don’t want to buy a Lexus and instead go for the cheaper Toyota Avalon. Nothing wrong with it.


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