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According to a number of Toyota dealers, who recently got a sneak peak at the next generation Avalon, the company’s full-size cruiser will reportedly be transformed into a sleek, Euro inspired car, in the mold of the Audi A7 or Jaguar XJ.
This represents an about turn for the Japanese Buick, though inside sources report that the car will continue to be front-drive and powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, so even though Toyota says handling will also be improved, don’t expect it to be able to keep up with an A7 or XJ in the curves.
The revamped Avalon is just one of several bread and butter Toyotas undergoing a makeover, the 2012 Yaris and Corolla having received quite significant styling tweaks, designed to give them a bit more flair.
It’s arguably getting on years (count five since any significant update), but the Altima continues to sell quite well. And when such a formula proves successful, there’s very little reason to change it.
For 2012, updates on Nissan‘s sporty, front-drive mid-size sedan and coupe are relatively few. The biggest is the so-called Value Package, essentially a technology option that adds auto dimming headlights, rear view mirror, leather wrapped steering wheel with built in audio controls and Bluetooth functions, all for $490.
In terms of pricing, the Altima 2.5 stickers at $20,410, excluding destination charges, while the 2.5 S equipped with the CVT begins at $22,570, a hike of some $140 over last year. Meanwhile the full-tilt 3.5 SR CVT, will cost you $25,430, which is $320 more than the outgoing model.
On the coupe front things are quite interesting, buyers actually have to pay more for a stick-shift – $30,760 for the 3.5 R six-speed, versus $28,430 for the CVT equipped version.