The saying, “everything old is new again,” sums up Toyota’s 2013 Avalon.
“Avalon symbolizes the ‘new’ Toyota,” said Jack Hollis, vice president of marketing during a press briefing in Yountville, Calif., in late October.
All-new from the wheels up, the 2013 Avalon emphasizes a more elegant athletic approach to the vehicle.
All-new from the wheels up, the 2013 Avalon emphasizes a more “elegant athletic” approach to the vehicle, with a sculptural look and feel that connects the driver to the car, the automaker said. While the Toyota is eyeing the large consumer luxury segment for the Avalon, it also may just be the right vehicle at the right time for the limo/livery market, at least the way Toyota sees it.
With the Lincoln Town Car now retired, the automaker sees an opportunity to fill a market void, and already has been courting large operators, said Rick LoFaso of Toyota Motor Sales Marketing. “The feedback has been very positive. They felt there’s good total cost of ownership.”
Toyota expects to sell 500 to 1,000 (or 1-2% of the consumer volume) Avalon Livery models during the next year, company executives said.
GASOLINE AND HYBRID MODELS
The 2013 Avalon Livery model will be available in either a gasoline only or a hybrid version. The gasoline version is available in four trim levels: XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Touring, and Limited. The hybrid version is available in three trim levels: XLE Premium, XLE Touring, and Limited. The gasoline version features a 3.5L, DOHC, 268 hp V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid version uses a 2.5L Atkinson cycle, 4-cylinder engine with an E-VCT that houses electric motors powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery to produce a total system output of 200 hp.
HIGH MILEAGE, AFFORDABLE PRICE
Whether the choice is a gasoline or hybrid powertrain, the Avalon Livery delivers a smooth, high-mileage ride at an affordable price. The gasoline version is rated at 21 mpg city/31 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined. The livery vehicle package starts at $31,360 MSRP (excluding the $760 destination fee) while the hybrid version has an MSRP of $33,750. The hybrid version is rated at 40 mpg city/39 mpg hwy/40 mpg combined and has a range of 680 miles. Both versions feature three driving modes: ECO, Normal and Sport.
Toyota offers the Avalon Livery with an array of extended “platinum and gold” warranty packages: 3 yrs/100,000 mi.; 3 yrs/125,000 mi.; 3 yrs/150,000 mi; 4 yrs/100,000 mi.; 4 yrs/125,000 mi.; or 4 yrs/150,000 mi. Eligible vehicles must be less than 3 years old with fewer than 36,000 miles.
The Avalon Livery also features a larger trunk for the gasoline version -- 16 cubic feet compared to 14.4 cubic feet in the 2012 version.
GREATER ROOMINESS AND COMFORT
While the new Avalon has the power to get where it needs to go, it does so with style. Available with black exterior and a black-on-black interior, the Avalon Livery features as standard 10 air bags, 8-speaker display audio systems, Smart Key for the two front doors, leather seating surfaces, heated outside mirrors with turn signal, and 17-inch alloy wheels. For the comfort of passengers, the livery features slightly more legroom (and a total of 103.6 cu.ft. of passenger volume), rear HVAC, and rear seat heater. Items deleted from the hybrid XLE Premium are the three-door Smart Key, back-up camera, moonroof, heated front seats, and the inside mirror that includes a garage door opener. The Avalon Livery also features a larger trunk for the gasoline version — 16 cubic feet. compared to 14.4 cu.ft. in the 2012 version. The hybrid version’s trunk is slightly smaller at 14 cu.ft., but still roomy, especially for a hybrid model, which tends to sacrifice trunk space to accommodate the battery pack.