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2013 Toyota Avalon

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2013 Toyota Avalon Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.6

There was a time when large, comfortable sedans were about as ubiquitous as mobile phones. But the continued popularity of SUVs and a rather unfavorable association with the geriatric crowd has diminished the mainstream appeal of full-size sedans. The 2013 Toyota Avalon looks to change all that with a striking new design, responsive driving dynamics, and advanced, yet easy-to-use in-vehicle technology. And, for the first time ever, the Avalon nameplate offers a fuel-efficient hybrid variant alongside the standard V6 model. The Avalon required this significant overhaul to contend with such segment heavyweights as the Ford Taurus, Buick LaCrosse and Chrysler 300. All told, the 2013 Avalon represents a dramatic departure from its vanilla-flavored predecessors and deservedly holds down the spot as Toyota's flagship sedan.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you have always appreciated the practicality and comfort of a full-size sedan, but long for the handling characteristics and fuel efficiency of a mid-size, placing the 2013 Toyota Avalon at the top of your list would be a wise decision. Given its class-leading resale value and stellar record for reliability, the new Toyota Avalon is a smart buy for value-conscious shoppers.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your tastes are more sporting in nature, the Nissan Maxima or the 365-horsepower Ford Taurus SHO might be a better fit.

What's New for 2013

The completely redesigned 2013 Avalon ushers in a new era of style and refinement for the Toyota brand. This latest iteration preserves the high levels of luxury and comfort that made the Avalons of yesteryear such a success, but adds a dose of athleticism and panache to the mix.

Driving the Avalon
Driving Impressions

While its performance abilities may not leave you grinning from ear to ear, the 2013 Toyota Avalon delivers on its promise to provide a pleasantly sedate driving experience. The 4th-generation...

... Avalon benefits from improved steering feel, sharper suspension tuning and additional chassis rigidity without compromising the trademark ride quality. This newfound dynamism is complemented by a driver-selectable sport mode that quickens upshifts and increases steering weight, though we feel outfitting the luxury-oriented Avalon with features like downshift rev-matching and paddle shifters is bit superfluous. Road- and wind-noise suppression, a staple of the Toyota Avalon, is better than ever. And as the abundance of glass suggests, outward visibility is good from most perspectives, affording the driver a commanding view of the road. While we enjoy the V6 model, the new Avalon Hybrid is the star player in the lineup. For a marginal price premium, the 2013 Avalon Hybrid offers plenty of power for everyday driving and up to 40 mpg combined city/highway – impressive figures for a full-size sedan.

CAPACITIVE TOUCH SWITCHES
Similar to your smartphone's touch-screen, capacitive touch switches react to minor changes in electrical current generated by contact with a finger. Unlike conventional buttons and knobs, capacitive touch switches are free of moving parts, which provide the Avalon with a clean, contemporary dash layout.

REAR CROSS TRAFFIC WARNING
Although properly adjusted mirrors negate the need for trendy blind-spot monitoring systems, this "safety" feature paved the way for a useful technology called Rear Cross Traffic Warning. When backing out of a parking space or driveway with limited visibility, the available cross-traffic system alerts the driver of an approaching vehicle with a warning signal and an indicator light.

2013 Toyota Avalon Details
Interior

The 2013 Toyota Avalon offers perhaps the finest cabin in its class, with first-rate materials, user-friendly controls and impressive fit and finish. The general design is the same regardless of trim level, which only sweetens the Avalon's attractive $31K starting price. Toyota's latest batch of infotainment options such as advanced voice recognition, mobile application integration and hard-drive-based navigation should appeal to tech-savvy buyers. And, unlike the Ford Taurus, the Avalon's capacitive touch switches for the audio and climate control functions are responsive and straightforward. On a sour note, the 2013 Avalon might be the only vehicle on the market in which the multi-information display features a higher resolution screen than the standard touch-screen. In terms of comfort, the front seats are more supportive than in years past, while rear seat passengers are treated to an abundance of legroom and headroom.

Exterior
2013 Toyota Avalon photo

The Avalon's masculine stance and sculpted bodywork were conceived by Toyota's Southern California-based Calty Design studio. The forward-raked C-pillar and sweeping roofline impart an almost coupe-like silhouette. Although it seems counterintuitive, this aggressive design actually improves rear-seat headroom. The headlights incorporate a pair of stylish square-shaped projector lenses, which Toyota calls Quadrabeams. This contemporary look is finished off with a set of 17-inch or optional 18-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights and dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Toyota Avalon is offered in XLE, Premium, Touring and Limited trim levels with hybrid variants available in the latter three. In base form, the Avalon includes heated outside mirrors, leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel, smart key access and push button start, dual-zone climate control and a 6.1-inch touch-screen audio interface with an 8-speaker sound system. Premium models add a moonroof, rear backup camera and auto-dimming rearview mirror, while Touring trims include creature comforts like navigation, driver's seat memory control and Toyota's Entune infotainment system. Occupant protection consists of 10 airbags, a comprehensive suite of electronic stability aids, and front seats designed to help reduce the severity of whiplash-related injuries.

Optional Equipment

Since the majority of feature content is tied to trim level, the 2013 Toyota Avalon offers only one option package. Available exclusively on Limited models, the Tech Package includes a pre-collision system that prepares the car for impact when it senses an impending crash, automatic high beams, and an adaptive cruise control system that maintains a pre-selected distance behind the vehicle ahead.

Under the Hood

The new Avalon gets its motivation from the carryover 3.5-liter V6 or a new Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder hybrid powerplant – the same system used in the latest Camry Hybrid. The conventional mill churns out a healthy 268 horsepower through a 6-speed automatic gearbox, while the hybrid system sends its 200 horsepower to the front wheels via a gearless continuously variable transmission. To the dismay of those living in the Snow Belt, the Toyota Avalon does not offer all-wheel drive.

3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 mpg

2.5-liter inline-4 hybrid
200 net hybrid system horsepower
Engine: 156 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
Battery: 199 lb-ft of torque @ 0-1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 40/39 mpg

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2013 Toyota Avalon Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 163 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Very nice car. Rides smoothly, easy to handle.

By on Friday, July 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. rides very smoothly, very quiet."

Cons: "Back seats don't recline"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"2014 Avalon Premium. The only thing I don't like about my Avalon is the back seats don't recline so you can't haul much in the trunk. Who thinks to check those things when buying a car. Just take it for granted. Rides very smoothly, I don't notice much road noise but maybe a little more than my 2004 Camry XLE. Very roomy, big trunk! I have to climb in to vacuum it. LOL Seems like the navigation system isn't as good as my friends Ford Focus. Otherwise, I love my car."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

one owner, garaged when not in use, easy 30 mpg.

By on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great in town car and a real driver on the highway"

Cons: "no Toyota dealer where we live,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"this is a quality car, great to drive in town or on road trips. Has all the options available at the time we bought car. plenty of room for passengers in the back seat. Has the Diamond White paint and looks great. interior is flawless."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Nice styling.

By on Friday, June 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I've had my 2016 Toyota Avalon for 3 weeks. I bought the "entry level" XLE model. I bought it for the styling, price and, I hope, dependability. I previously owned a more extensively equipped Avalon for 14 years. I immediately noticed the ride was not as smooth as my older model and although the seats are leather, they are not as comfortable. I also noticed a lot of interior "short cuts" and that the road noise is much more noticeable. I use this car mostly for commuting to work, so didn't need the extra digital equipment. I would suggest that if you travel or do a lot of highway driving, you consider one of the higher end models. I like the car, but because I've had the experience of driving one of the more expensive offerings, I would compare all the Avalon models before you purchase one."

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

better than 2013Limited hybrid 58000 mi great mpg

By on Monday, June 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "It is more fun than the 2013, I won't go further!"

Cons: "Better interior than 2013"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"My 2016 Hybrid Limited with safety package and great inside, and the ride is far superior to the 2013 limited hybrid the gas mpg is still 40 mpg and the reliability and problems were non-existant the seats are still harder than they need to be! The engine is much quieter than the 2013 and has more power, the auto emergency works fine and the dynamic radar cruise control works perfectly and the en-tune works better and easier to program, its a keeper"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Very pleased

By on Friday, June 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very sophisticated car yet easy to handle"

Cons: "Nav. could be a bit better"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned the Avalon Sport Touring XLE for 11 months and have 8000 miles on it. I find the ride very smooth and the leg room and head room are superior. The back seat passengers sit with luxury and plenty of leg room. Styling is supreme and resembles the Lexus 350.It has 3 driving modes that I find myself using all the time to provide better efficiency. I have no trouble with the apps on the screen and use the navigation often. I have never had a car with navigation so I am not an expert; I am pleased with it. It probably could be a little more user friendly but I really have no complaints. It has really never failed me so far. I use my Pandora for music and that is perfect. I love being able to get incoming calls and make calls hands free. The interior appointments have a luxurious feel and the gauges are accurate. Great turning radius. Some road noise but nothing that is very noticeable. Once you shut the doors the car is tight, very smooth driving, great features, 18 inch wheels on my model, their best engine, 111" wheelbase, great suspension, and fun to drive. Totally reliable, large trunk,mileage seems pretty accurate on regular unleaded, quite engine...very quiet, and great response to whatever you are asking it to do. I am extremely pleased with this car and hope to have it a long time."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

First Toyota & their reliability and care is zero

By on Thursday, May 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Roomy and well equipped"

Cons: "Poor build quality. Poor support. Poor GPS applic"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"This is the first time purchasing a Toyota vehicle and started with their top of the line sedan. First, passenger door doesn't reliably latch and the service advisor refuses to fix it. Second, from day 1, electrical system problems were handled by inept technicians. Finally, they specify a product called Scout GPS-Link which stopped working properly after 2 weeks. I purchased a phone they specified on the Toyota site. After 2 months, corporate customer service provides nothing but stall tactics and Telenav (Scout developer) is worthless. This is really an eye opener about how poorly Toyota is committed to resolving customer complaints. Support is a joke at both Toyota and Telenav."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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