Despite getting a refresh in 2011, Toyota seems to have recognized that its full-size sedan, aimed squarely at baby boomers looking for value and comfort, needed a new face to continue competing with the ever-changing car market.
Compared to the 2012 model, the upcoming Avalon features a stylish interior that feels more like a German luxury car than its predecessor. While pricing details aren’t available yet, last year’s model started in the low $30,000′s so it seems reasonable to assume this car would stick in the same range.
An LCD screen that fits nicely into the redesigned center stack shows everything from infotainment options music selection to maps. A colorful gauge cluster with white numbers further compliments the redesigned interior which has more space than a BMW 5 Series. There’s also a charging station for mobile devices and captive-touch controls for climate settings.
Other features that were present in previous generations like a power rear window shade remain for rear-seat comfort as well.
“There’s also an unmatched list of technology-driven safety features, including a best-in-class 10 airbags, blind spot monitor with cross-traffic detection and pre-collision system,” said Toyota Motor Sales group vice president Bob Carter.
The car is powered, again, by a 3.5-liter V6 that comes with paddle shifters to further promote the new model’s luxury-minded revamp. The V6′s power should also feel a little more lively on the road thanks to a stiffened chassis.
To achieve the exterior body styling while maintaining cost-effectiveness, the automaker developed a prototype zinc alloy dye to reduce production cost while maintaining the fresh body style.
That style comes courtesy of Toyota’s Calty Design Studio, which is also responsible for the critically acclaimed LF-LC concept that debuted this January in Detroit.
Aside from redesigned body panels, the new Avalon also has a fresh double-grille, re-styled 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, LED panel taillights.
Much the same as the 2013 Lexus ES, which is based on the 2013 Avalon, the cabin features driving mode buttons that allow for different settings hat govern fuel usage and driving feel. A sport mode gives more focus on acceleration and less emphasis on gas mileage while the “eco mode” does the opposite by softening throttle response and if neither are engaged, the car runs in normal mode.
More details about the car will be available later this year as it prepares to launch. A firm date isn’t available yet, nor specifics like gas mileage or horsepower, but Toyota not spouting specs should be taken as a strong indicator that the 268-hp rating from last year’s car should be close to the mark, while fuel economy is expected to improve over the outgoing 19/28 mpg city/highway.