2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Road Test

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Toyota Avalon Electric Cars

2013 Toyota Avalon Sedan

Toyota’s Flagship Now for the Eco-Conscious

Published: 12/06/2012 by Josh Jacquot. Senior

That Toyota’s 2013 Hybrid can plod us along in comfort for 46.5 city on only one gallon of 87 octane is a stunning technological achievement. No so, say, than the fact its cabin is utterly impenetrable to and road noise.

But there’s

This isn’t the polarizing people pod that Toyota has mastered. Nor is it just a more version of your Aunt Avalon. It’s a genuinely driving car with room for adults and a well-crafted interior.

The new Toyota Avalon Hybrid, is not only quiet and efficient it has dynamic ability and an upscale

It is, quite simply, in a class by

Or Is It?

Pinpointing direct competitors for the Avalon is hard enough, but its size and content, fringe cars like the Buick and Hyundai Azera come to The Avalon hybrid, however, in virtual isolation. Only the 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid the Toyota in terms of luxury, and projected efficiency.

Our top-of-the-line Limited model stickered at $43,945, including

Buick’s LaCrosse. which about $38,000 similarly comes in pseudo-hybrid form and marginally from GM’s motor/generator technology. But this hybrid at 25 city/36 highway/29 mpg can’t compete with a two-mode hybrid like the

Volkswagen’s top-of-line Passat TDI comes closer with its dimensions (a 110.4-inch wheelbase vs. 111-inch wheelbase) and a frugal power plant. When with a dual-clutch transmission, the VW earns EPA ratings of 30 city/40 and 34 combined, which more rivals the 2013 Toyota Hybrid’s 40 city/39 highway/40 rating.

A Unique Blend

considerations aside, the reality of the fuel-sipping effectiveness punched us in the face when this comfortable sedan laid a 46.5 mpg average on our 106.1-mile loop. During two weeks we a total of 1,050 miles of driving and recorded a 38.3 mpg This is a genuinely fuel-efficient sedan period.

Credit for the goes almost entirely to the that consists of a 2.5-liter coupled to a pair of electric one for charging the hybrid batteries and the gas engine and another for propulsion. output is 200 horsepower just the Camry Hybrid which the same setup.

A planetary gearset blends and gasoline power and sends it to the wheels without the use of the belt as in CVTs. Even so, the powertrain very much like a CVT. Wood the throttle a freeway and the gasoline engine to a relatively high speed and off when the pedal is lifted.

operation is available using a foot up to about 20 mph. Or, you choose, you can lock the powertrain EV mode for stop-and-go city but it’s overridden when or speed demands.

Regardless of its acceleration reliably follows input and there’s always a swell of torque on tap at lower It’s relatively quick, Ours went from to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds (7.4 seconds a 1-foot rollout as on a drag and whirred through the quarter-mile in seconds at 90.3 mph.

only 0.2 second behind the Hyundai Azera. which is by a 293-hp 3.3-liter V6 and rated at 23 mpg

Braking from 60 required 132 That’s about average for the but the Avalon’s pedal response is to judge to the extent that a week driving the car we still ourselves using too little pressure when braking for a

You Might Not Expect This

The is burdened with a degree of like the Prius, although for different reasons. Traditionally, the has been a soft-riding machine dynamic traits that heavily from the smooth-riding of its retirement-age buyers. Or so the argument

This character is largely from the 2013 model the hybrid.

Where the old Avalon down the road like a Buick Electra, the 2013 Avalon offers a controlled yet ride. It’s not stiff, but it the floaty isolation of its predecessor. In though, steering effort is light at parking speeds and your speed feedback is Electra than Elise.

But hard to fault the Avalon too for this last trait. It a sport sedan and it needn’t to be.

It still split our slalom at 62.5 mph, which it with the Buick LaCrosse and is 1.8 mph than the Ford Fusion A similar performance followed the skid pad, where the big circled at 0.77g marginally than the Fusion Hybrid’s and the Buick’s 0.80g performances.

Silent but Stately

Avalon stole a move from the playbook by creating safe-room inside. At 59.8 decibels the recorded one of the lowest 70-mph noise readings we’ve in any car in recent memory including costly equipment as the Bentley GT (61.6 decibels) and the Audi A8 L decibels).

Toyota Avalon Electric Cars

Accordingly, there’s a effort to move the Avalon its segment mates in design and Chrome bezels and accents the detail work to the extent you’ll be thrilled to own a pair of sunglasses for knocking down Brightwork on this scale has before graced a Toyota

Materials, too, are decidedly Leather seats are standard trim levels, while models get perforated leather.

leather is present on the shifter, wheel and dash and there’s a absence of hard plastic Overall interior quality and feels commensurate with the price.

Touchpads replace to control most audio and functions. Mercifully they an audible confirmation when Two large knobs for volume and are a welcome addition to the button-heavy But at night the volume knob behind the steering wheel.

When fumbling to find it we activated the seek/track touchpad on more than one occasion.

there’s typically Toyota-like Storage space is ample, a large bin at the bottom of the center containing two 12-volt outlets, a USB and auxiliary jack. The center is generously sized as well.

a compromise to accommodate batteries, volume, at 14 cubic feet, is 2 bigger than that of the Fusion Hybrid.

Good-Bye, Hello, Reality

Whatever Toyota loses to the Avalon’s ride quality it will regain with buyers who this car’s fresh Its characteristics are clearly a bid for younger and we don’t doubt they come.

They will, pay a $4,565 premium for the added of the hybrid’s powertrain over the version. Assuming a 12,000-mile/year and a fuel cost of $3.43/gallon, 7.5 years are needed to recover the in purchase price between the two in cost savings alone.

is the same reality that most hybrids including the which is now leaving dealer at record rates in four versions. So it’s safe to this metric isn’t a top among hybrid buyers. But the isn’t a Prius. It’s a competent luxury sedan just happens to benefit an effective hybrid powertrain.

And in this regard it should buyers from both

Yes, you’ll pay more for the Toyota Avalon Hybrid for some cars with it loosely shares a segment. But it comes to matching the Avalon’s mix of solitude and comfort, few will

The manufacturer provided Edmunds vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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Toyota Avalon Electric Cars
Toyota Avalon Electric Cars
Toyota Avalon Electric Cars
Toyota Avalon Electric Cars
Toyota Avalon Electric Cars
Toyota Avalon Electric Cars
Toyota Avalon Electric Cars

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