Not everyone who owns an Avalon is middle-aged
By Stretch Batchelor
My neighbor, Jill, bought her Toyota Avalon when she was 31 years old. Jill realizes she is young for the demographic that usually purchases an Avalon, "Even though I am the only person under 65 who drives one I still love it and the interior is still nicer than new cars sold today, even after my 17 year old son has spilled soda on the front carpet and ripped the side mirror off driving out of the garage."
Jill didn't look at another Toyota when she decided to buy the Avalon, even though her Avalon was produced on the Camry platform, and replaced the Cressida in the United States. The cars Jill looked at when she was considering her purchase of the Avalon were the Volvo S60, Acura TL, Honda Accord, and the Lincoln LS. "I bought the Avalon because it had the best interior, best sound system, best ride and was most silent inside while driving. It was the best in every way at the time and at the most affordable price of those driven."
Jill's first generation V-6, 3.0-liter engine got 192 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft of torque. The 2013 Avalon is available in hybrid with EV mode, or a gasoline version with an eco-mode or sport mode. I still think Jill would be happy with her simple V-6 first generation.
The new Avalon is comfortable, responsive and safe, everything a new Mom would want in a car. The front windows are created in layers to silence the noise, so you don't hear, or feel, the different modes of driving.
Todays Avalon V6 model is powered by a 268 horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that, according to Toyota, allows the car to achieve a combined EPA-rating of 25 mpg (21 city mpg, and 31 highway mpg).
The Avalon Hybrid is powered by a Hybrid Synergy Drivetrain that includes a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle, four cylinder engine, an electronic CVT that contains two electric motors and a 244.8 volt battery that produces an overall system output of 200 horsepower. According to Toyota, the Avalon Hybrid is EPA-rated at a combined 40 mpg (40 mpg city/39 mpg hwy).
Jill remembers paying around $32,000 for her new Avalon, "it was my first and only new car ever purchased and it smelled really good."
Todays 2013 Avalon prices haven't changed that much. The XLE gas model is $30,990 with Power Adjustable Heated Front Leather Seats, Alloy Wheels, Touch Screen Display Audio, Smart Key, Heated Outer Mirrors, Outer Mirror Turn Signals as standard equipment.
The XLE Premium gas model is $33,195 (hybrid model $35,555), same price as the outgoing 2012 Avalon model with additional standard features, such as backup camera and moonroof.
The XLE Touring gas model is $35,500 (hybrid model $37,250), a $935 price reduction from the 2012 Limited model with standard 18" Alloys, Display Audio with Entune and Navigation, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Paddle Shifters.
Limited gas model is $39,650 (hybrid model $41,400) with premium standard features - Premium Perforated Leather with Heated and Ventilated Front Seats, JBL/Premium HDD audio, Safety Connect, Rear Seat Heater, Rear Sunshade, 3-zone HVAC, Puddle Lamps, HID Headlamps, LED DRLs.
The biggest upgrade for the Avalon, for Jill, would be the infotainment system. There are two types of climate control systems. The Avalon comes standard with a Display Audio System with 6.1-inch TFT touchscreen that offers audio system operation, Bluetooth compatibility, customizable vehicle settings, available rear-camera display, driving information such as fuel consumption, and operation of iPod and USB devices. The good part about the old Avalon is that Jill can give it to her 17-year old son and he has to learn how to drive before having access to all that infotainment technology in front of him.
Jill's Toyota Avalon has 178,000 miles on it and "it hasn't ever broken down." If Toyota is trying to market to a younger audience than the current 67 year old average age that purchases the Toyota Avalon Jill is willing to help. She will do it for a brand new Toyota Avalon. For her, not her son.