Notable 2013 Cars

With an improving economy and the desire for many to own more fuel efficient vehicles a schism is between the practical and the look at me crowd is emerging. The result is more sophistication and a more difficult choice for buyers. It is no longer simple to buy a vehicle of your dreams without doing significant research. That is why sites such as this are so valuable in helping you winnow out the wheat from the chaff. Here are some of the most significant new cars at this point.

Acura ILX

The ILX is a more refined Honda Civic with upgrades nearly everywhere from the suspension to the interior to the engine. You can also get it as a hybrid or a hot rod version with 201-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual. Look for prices to go into the mid $30,000 range and start ten grand less.

Acura RDX

Small families in a hurry will like the RDX with a 3.5-liter V-6 creating 273 hp that uses a six-speed automatic. There is an available all-wheel-drive system. Priced between $35,000 and $41,000.

Acura RLX

For around $50,000 you can own all all new RLX that come with front wheel drive or as a hybrid with all drive. Lots of technology and fairly good fuel mileage as well. Pricing will most likely be around $50,000.

Audi Allroad

Audi Q5

Back again and this time a bit tame compared to the previous version. A tough looking little wagon with a turbocharged four cylinder engine. Figure $40,000, but not nearly as rugged as its older brother.

Audi RS5
The RS5 coupe has a V8 that makes 450 hp and is mated to a even-speed transmission and all wheel drive. This slippery two door is going to make friends quickly with the highway patrol as the rear spoiler deploys automatically at 75 mph. Perhaps a performance bargain at $80,000 or so.

Audi S6
Now with a twin-turbo V-8, eight-speed automatic transmission and a plethora of high end goodies, this Audi combines both performance and luxury.

Audi S7

Similar in nearly every way to the S6, except it costs more and is a hatchback.

Audi S8
The S8 is a big, fast sedan with power from a twin-turbo V-8 trumps and an abundance of technology and performance features. Oh, this 520 horsepower version is going to cost you well over $100,000.

Bentley Continental GT V8

We thought the GT was a bargain at $150,000 when it came out ten years ago. It now $177,000 and up, and you are reduced to just eight cylinders. Oh, you still have 500 horsepower and are driving one of the world’s most expensive gas hogs.
BMW 640i Gran Coupe

It is all about looks with this sort of new model with previous mechanics and a sculptured four door design. If you like it and have close to $80,000 you won’t have to worry about some of the impractical elements such as a small trunk and reduced visibility, You also need to control your impulses when deciding on options. but you are going to be seem in one of the all time family friendly babe magnets.
Seriously expense with a turbocharged V-8 places 560 hp at your disposal. For about $107,000 this is a very fast machine that handles well. Best advise, pay an extra seven grand and get the convertible. Rich speed demons will love it.



A small SUV with the BMW character for those with over $30,000, this model looks a lot like its sister, the X3 with the same engines, all wheel drive availability, the availability of a M Sports package. A plethora of options, but most important was the fact that this just might be the most useful and “inexpensive” BMW you can buy.

Buick Encore

A small Buck, who would have thought. Nevertheless, GMC is on a roll and this is one luxury placed small car, but far from tiny. The 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder has plenty of pep and the interior r is very upscale, Look for pricing I the $20,000 plus range. Going to be interesting to see if this model brings the younger fold to the dance.

Buick Verano Turbo

The news this year is the turbo and, honest, you can order this Buick with a manual transmission. Add the usual Buick reliability and interior treatments and you have a fun, fast, family vehicle for about $30,000.
Cadillac ATS

The American BMW, this line of Cadillacs has a vast array of options from turbocharged four and six cylinders power plants to a manual transmission to all wheel drive and sophisticated suspensions. Starting prices around $34,000.
Cadillac XTS

This bigger cad is big and filled with luxury features as those of olden days. A 300 hp plus engine makes it a highway cruiser. With options the $45,000 price sprints to nearly $60,000 for this front wheel drive model. The Cue system takes voice cues and runs the information and entertainment controls. Huge touch screen. A lot of car for the money.

Chevrolet Corvette 427 convertible

Convertible, that is all you need to know. Over 500 horsepower and the wind in your hair for $77.000 or so.


Chevrolet Impala
A fresh face, underpinnings, and a 2.5-liter engine, a 2.4-liter hybrid and a 3.6-liter V-6 with 303 hp to keep face with the competition. Priced well under $30,000. Much more youthful looking then Ford. I family oriented winner.

Chevrolet Malibu

A couple of engine options including a form of hybrid for his well priced and equipped model.
Don’t pay more for the competition until you check it out. Prices starting around $22,000.

Chevrolet Sonic RS

A sporty compact, this sleek model has upgraded appearance and suspension and brakes. . The turbo engine creates excitement and at $20,100 it does that.

Chevrolet Spark
This is a price leader with great fuel mileage and room for four adults. Prices too low to mention here. Just kidding. About $13,000.

Dodge Dart
Built on a sporty Alfa Romeo platform and sharp looking, the Dart is a a low priced, well finished car that should draw people back to the dealerships who are looking for value and looks. Starts under $17,000.

Fiat 500L

Bigger may be better. We love the Fiat for what it is, fun-to-drive and cute. The new version is bigger and more expensive. If you need four doors this Fiat may be just right.

Ford C-Max
The C-Max hybrid can be ordered as a standard hybrid or a plug-in. We tend to wait a while before buying new vehicles laden with technology.

Ford Escape

Ditto, the Escape is all new in design and look for prices to be higher as well. A lot of competition in this segment and the trick rear hatch that opens by detecting your foot passing under the rear part of the vehicle is interesting, but what about just hitting the remote keyfob?

Ford Fusion

Well, it sure looks different and comes with a variety of power train configurations. Look for competitive pricing, but check out Ford’s quality ratings first. The are now 23rd, according to J.D. Powers.

GMC Terrain Denali

More is the operative word here. More safety features, comfort and good fuel economy with the base engine. If you must have a SUV, this one is highly recommended with great fuel economy and interior room. Priced in the mid $20,000 range for the base version.

Honda Accord
Honda does not let us test their vehicles. As such all we can say is that there is a lot of competition in this category and we highly recommend you drive them all before making a decision. Do your homework first, because there are a lot of options. As for hybrids, Honda has lagged behind Toyota in this regard for years after getting a headstart with its terrific, but small, Insight. If you are considering this type of power train take the time to see the price of replacement battery packs, too. We can recommend three Honda models based on past experience. First, the expensive Odyssey van. Next the CRV crossover. Finally, the Fit with the latter being the best value overall.
Hyundai Elantra GT

Elantra GT

Elantra GT

An exceptional combination of sporty, fuel frugal, and family friendly features makes this bargain priced Hyundai a great choice for those on a budget or who just like to have fun. Prices under $19,000 to start. Remember, if you don’t want the sporty model the base Elantra is a winner, too. Hyundai is clearly providing good looking vehicles with superior gas mileage and warranty. If you have a dealership near check out the line.

Hyundai Santa Fe

With room for seven in some versions, the Hyundai is loaded with features and priced right starting at $23,000. Expect gas mileage to be in the low 20 mpg range. The Sport model has two rows of seats. If you choice to go with front wheel drive and the smaller engine your mileage could easily be 30 percent better.

Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Looks and features are the reason for the Veloster. Good fuel economy, reasonable performance and interesting options for about $23,000.

Infiniti JX35

A three row SUV, this well equipped luxury model is an extensive list of safety items and enough goodies to entertain the family as well. Prices start at $41,000.

Lexus ES
The bread and butter car of the Lexus line-up along with the RX, the new ES is longer and better and improved in every regard. Excellent fuel mileage and performance make this a dominate player in this market segment. Also available as a hybrid and you can average nearly 40 mpg in mixed driving with this option.

Lincoln MKZ

Interesting looking and using a variety of engine combinations that are shared with the Ford Fusion, the MKZ can be ordered with all wheel drive and as a hybrid. Prices around $36,000. A direct competitor to the Lexus ES so check resale values, too.

Mazda CX-5


A tremendous value in base form, this SUVish hauler gets a class leading 25 to 31 mpg and plenty of technology and standard features. There isn’t much downside on this model, and it even is available with all wheel drive. Prices start in the low $20,000 range, but don’t expect luxury, expect a useful people mover that will probably be invisible to the highway patrol.

Mercedes-Benz GL
The GL can be order with a Bluetec’s turbo-diesel, a V-6 a V8, a 4.7-liter turbo, or an AMG 5.5-liter twin turbo V-8 so be prepared to spend some time test driving a variety before buying. The new model can hold seven passengers. Prices start around the mid-$60,000 range and escalate to well over $100,000 depending on your need for speed.

Mercedes-Benz GLK250 Bluetec

It is here, a diesel SUV, and with prices below $40,000 and fuel mileage in the 22 mpg range it might make sense, but be aware the higher diesel fuel costs must be considered in comparison to the premium fuel recommended for gas engined versions.

Mini Paceman

Interesting looks is what this Mini offers. Priced around the mid $20,000 depending on options.

Nissan Altima

Believe it or not this Nissan is catching on with those who like value, performance and features. Only the Toyota Camry sold more in this market segments. It is fun to drive and if you are easy on throttle with the base engine you can easily get 35 mpg. A best value if you are looking for a family car that doesn’t take away driving enjoyment.

Nissan Pathfinder

Now a crossover, the Pathfinder gets better fuel-economy, a better ride, and treats inhabitants better. Priced in the $30,000 area, the model has a lockable all wheel drive option and third row seating. It also has the great Nissan’s Around View monitor that must be seen to be believed. That alone is worth a drive to the Nissan dealership.

Porsche Boxster

All new and sharper looking and more expensive, this Porsche is no longer the poor man’s 911, but now stands alone as a top performing sports car. The S model is the one to have, but the extra horsepower will cost you over $10,000 more. Base price is about $50,000.

Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ


The Scion is less expensive, but both sporty cars are back to basics funmobiles. The reason we compared them together is that they were developed together. In a way, they are the new Mazda Miata with a starting price in the mid $20,000, a long list of extra cost options, and Subaru’s four cylinder, 200-hp boxer engine. As close to a thrill ride is you are going to get for this price and and it has a 25 combined mpg to justify the purchase.

SRT Viper

Priced about $90,000 and with enough horsepower to challenge most anything this side of a drag strip, the modernized Viper is no longer so touchy to drive with electronics to help control the power.

Subaru XV Crosstrek

The XV Crosstrek is a more outdoor friendly Impreza. Cute, gets exceptional gas mileage for an all wheel drive vehicle, and with a starting price around $20,000 well equipped, this crossover might have the right combination to attract more buyers the same way the Outback did for the Legacy.

Tesla Model S

Tesla is a sporty electric motor powered sedan that is sexy and handles well. Driving range between charges depends on speed and the use of other features such as air-conditioning. The best thing about this model is that it is available. A tribute to tenacity. If you have the money this is a car you want to be seen driving.

Toyota Avalon

Bigger, no. Better, yes. This is a far sportier, more fun to drive, and still roomy sedan. Same engine options as the Camry. A great family sedan starting above $30,000 and more eager to please. Passengers will never know it isn’t a Lexus.

Volkswagen Beetle Convertible


Sleeker, but retaining its charm, the new Beetle has the same engines as its hard-top VW sisters. Prices should hoover around the $30,000 range. And wait till you see the option packages that date from previous decades. Cool. You just have to go.

Family conference: Our favorites are the new Audi sedans with diesel powerplants, the BMW X1, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, Buick Encore, and Elantra. We think Buick, Subaru, Nissan, Audi, Toyota, and Kia/Hyundai are on winning streaks.

Battle of the Family Sedans: Avalon vs. Taurus

by The Car Family

For more reviews go to


The new large Ford sedan shouldn’t really be called a Taurus because it is so totally different in every way. The fact that is is a much better looking, handling, and performing than the previous model also adds weight to our recommendation. To top off this dramatic change, the five passenger Taurus delivers excellent fuel economy and significant safety ratings while undercutting the price of some of the competition. In other words, forget the past, this is the Ford of the future as the company has left behind its legacy of stodgy vehicles. Indeed, only the slightly more fuel efficient Toyota Avalon can challenge it in the full size affordable family sedan field. And, we use the word affordability with caution because the Avalon breaches the $30,000 mark while the Ford can be nicely equipped for five grand less while offering more electronic options from communications to music.

Not to that the Avalon is a slouch. It is a great highway cruiser and holds the the edge in real world performance and utility. The Toyota comes in essentially one flavor with a 268 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Toyota’s fuel economy ratings is at the top of its class with 20/29 mpg. The Ford is nearly as powerful, but gets about a mile per gallon less. If you are feeling deprived the Taurus SHO model is turbocharged and produces 365 horsepower. We tested the standard model and averaged nearly 25 mpg in mixed driving. But what was more impressive with the Ford were the standard features. The base Taurus SE come with a six speaker stereo and CD player with MP3 playback and an auxiliary audio port, a fully adjustable steering wheel, alloy rims, and power locks, windows and mirrors. If you want more the SEL offers leather and satellite radio and a more sophisticated climate control system. You can also get a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and the Sync electronics interface system with Bluetooth and an iPod interface.

In real world driving the Taurus is more eager to be frisky off the line, but the Avalon is more powerful when passing. Both vehicles have large fuel tanks that can easily make 400 mile trips without refueling.


The Ford design team gave the driver a high seating position and added a large trunk and also offered available all wheel drive. In other words, this sedan is as close in feeling to driving a SUV as they could make it. This is a trend for most larger sedans, however, it does create some headroom issues for those who are long waisted and drive these four doors equipped with a sun or moon roof.

In terms of interior room the Toyota does not sacrifice as much as the Ford do its exterior styling limitations. The Taurus rear passenger space has more restricted head and leg room. You can also order the Avalon with seating for six by offering a bench front seat.

On the road the Avalon is a bit noisier than we expected and the handling was set for comfort whereas the Taurus was quite impressive for a large sedan. The electronic steering provides good feedback and the suspension does not have the floaty feel of the previous generation. Brake pedal feel is still a bit to soft compared to the Avalon. For long hauls the Toyota wins.

The front seats of both cars are spacious and provide sofa like comfort. The Ford is a little more cramped as its new dash layout and center console are quite wide. The Avalon looks more dated. Both cars have an abundance of readouts and displays, and buttons, and switches, and stalks. In other words, don’t leave the dealership without a thorough walk-through.

We always recommend you order any new car with every safety option. That said, the Taurus has good safety crash-test scores and you can order a collision warning system and adaptive cruise control, the highly desirable Blind Spot Information and Cross Traffic Alert systems, and air bags just about everywhere. The Avalon offers the more traditional options, although the rear view camera mounted in the rear view mirror on cars with navigation is interesting.

Mom’s view: Believe it or not I found the Avalon a tad old in styling, interior, and driving manners. When we tested the previous generation it very much reminded us of a Lexus and was one of our favorite vehicles for long trips. This time it reminded me more of a large Camry, which essentially. Make that a very large Camry as it is nearly eight inches longer. I thoroughly enjoyed the engine’s performance. When you nudged the accelerator pedal is was like waking a sleeping giant. Eager to please and the transmission was world class. I liked the Ford better, but its rear view mirrors were too small and the view to the sides and back were limited by the high trunk. Nevertheless, this is the best Ford Taurus ever.

Dad’s view: These aren’t spirited drivers, although the SHO version might be well worth the price if you need a little fun doing your daily chores. The Avalon was typical Toyota and that manufacture has remained consistent with its design, quality build, and frugal strategies. However, there are some excellent alternatives in this market segment now including new models from Chevrolet and Chrysler clawing at the buyer’s wallets as well as Ford, Kia, Hyundai, and, of course, the Honda Accord. I liked the Ford, but I wouldn’t kick the Avalon out of my garage for long distance traveling.

Young working woman’s view: Both of these are far more nimble than their size would indicate. However, the Avalon appealed to me more. The Taurus was more interesting to look at, but the Toyota felt more comfortable.

Young working male’s view: Since I work daily with technology at http://www.eracks.com building American made open source computes and servers I favor the Taurus because it is loaded with electronic features that place it at the forefront of the industry with a plethora of options that the Toyota did not offer. I also liked the large trunk and the Ford styling was more intriguing.

Family conference: In reality, the Toyota Avalon has stayed remarkably consistent as a larger version of the Camry. Today, the performance, handling, and interior room are still the same high quality, but the completion from Ford, Buick, Kia, Hyundai, Chrysler, and Chevrolet have been nipping at its heels. The result is that the Avalon is a superior family sedan that can hold six in comfort and offer a sedate ride with admirable fuel mileage. The Ford is more modern in looks and has more updated options. It is not as roomy inside, but the trunk is huge. It does have restricted vision to the back and sides, but offers drivers a more involving feel. Both are at the top of the large family sedan class.

For a list of all vehicle websites go to:


Toyota Avalon: A
Sedan for the Ages

By The Car Family

For more reviews go to http://www.motorists.org/new/carreviews/index.html

For educational materials and free auto links go to http://www.reacheverychild.com

Someone at Toyota has made a big error and left the Lexus nameplate off of the Avalon. If you hurry you can take advantage of this mistake and save yourself at least ten thousand dollars and maybe more. You see by any other name the Avalon is a Lexus. It is quiet, thrifty on gas, roomy, and its handling and looks are rather bland. In fact, I doubt anyone would notice the difference except when the payment book comes. Before we go further let it be known that this is a very impressive vehicle for the price and cannot be ignored for the traveler. On a 1000-mile trip we averaged 28 mpg on the highway with a full family onboard. What is even more notable is that the six-cylinder engine this Avalon has makes about 280 silky horses and still gets compact car gas mileage even on regular fuel. In comparison, the new Buick LaCrosse sedan we tested averaged barely 20 mpg on a similar trip with the full family onboard. Kudos to
Toyota for this accomplishment.
Just to cure our journalistic curiosity we decided to compare the Avalon with the Lexus ES 330. If you go with the base model for both the
Toyota is nearly 22 percent less expensive. The Lexus has the superior warranty and dealer reputation, although
Toyota prices are clearly less expensive.
To add weight to our argument that the Avalon is really a Lexus take a look at these figures that compare it with similarly priced Lexus ES. The Accord has 55 more horsepower, more torque, has a larger engine and yet is still more fuel efficient, has a rear seat that can adjusted, has more room everywhere, weighs nearly the same, and has a longer fuel mileage rating. Whereas the previous Avalon felt like a large Camry, this Avalon feels like a Lexus LS which costs over twenty thousand more.There simply is nothing to compare the Avalon with in its price range. The Chrysler 300 is more athletic, but lacks the interior space, quiet ride, and amenities of the Avalon. The Ford Five Hundred does offer all wheel drive and can compete in terms of space, but the engines and features can’t touch the Avalon. The Ford is less expensive. The Pontiac Grand Prix is more utilitarian, but unless you pay extra for the supercharged engine it can’t stay with the bigger Avalon. Everything else in this segment is much more expensive. Let us put it more directly, this is not the perfect car. It needs stiffer suspension, more supportive seats, and more road feel for that mark to be approached. But for the money it sets a new standard just as the first Lexus LS did in 1989 and caught the rest of the automobile world by surprise. How do we know, we bought the first LS we could get our hands on and kept it for ten years. And, truth be known, this Avalon is better and even now, 15 years later, it is priced at about half of what we paid for our full loaded Lexus. That my friends is value. Mom’s view: This is not your mother’s six seater Avalon. This only seats five, but your mom would love it. It is big, wide, unobtrusive looking, and has an engine that is the perfect blend of big and brawny while being quiet and efficient. An ideal mate, in other words. The statistics are overwhelming. There is simply nothing like it in this price range. You get a 280-hp 3.5-liter V6 and a five-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift that must have been going together for a long time because they seem capable of fulfilling each other’s wishes without being asked.There are three versions, the VXi, GXi, and top-line Grande model. We would either get the bargain priced entry level GXi or go for the better handling Touring model because we like a firmer ride. All come with antilock 4-wheel disc brakes and most have 17-inch rims. Unfortunately, the traction/antiskid system is only available for VXi and Grande models. Other safety features include front side airbags, head-protecting curtain side airbags, and a driver knee airbag, and ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist. Optional safety features for VXi and Grande are Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control.All the models have the reclining rear seatbacks and telescoping steering wheel, but if you want leather you have to order the more upscale models and if you want the heated and cooled seats and the keyless ignition the Grande model is the one. A fairly good navigation system is also available on the Grande and VXi. The system can be voice activated, but it wasn’t as easy to use as those from some manufactures. Inside, the Avalon is most attractive. There is a clean look about it, but more importantly it is a statement that this is an upscale vehicle. There isn’t any sportiness here; just an attempt to put things in order just like you would do before a visit from the in-laws. There are retracting lids that cover the audio and GPS controls that simplify the dash, but take a while to master since they are on a flat angle and difficult to read. The gauge lighting does not fatigue you while driving at night. Lexus, I mean
Toyota, calls them Optitron instruments and they are elegant. On the downside, I did find the driver’s manual font too small and I missed the double glove compartments like they have on the
LS Lexus, but that were my only concerns about the interior. Overall, this was a truly wonderful car to drive. It was accommodating, thrifty and had some equipment I wished every vehicle had such as a rear screen that you can deploy to cut down on headlight glare, especially from those raised trucks and SUVs that come up behind you at stop lights. The second item is the marvelous rear seats that have the backrests that can be slightly reclined. My only worry was that the large rounded sides of the Avalon make easy picking for door swingers in parking lots. I can see a line of dents in those door panels if you have to park in lots that were approved of by city planning commissions that were more interested in appeasing developers than providing adequate parking for customers. Dad’s view: I didn’t get much seat time in the Avalon. The grandparents and wife kept it busy gulping down large links of highways. What I did surmise is that the handling is gracious when dealing with frost heaves and bumps, but may be too accommodating when sharp maneuvers and corners come into play. Regardless, this is a bargain and one would have to be foolish not to give it a test if they enjoyed economic touring.The GXi is such a bargain that I had to call around to make sure the MSRP was accurate. For about A$31,000 you get the big and very powerful V6 engine, AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo with nine speakers, dual-zone climate control, and an air filtration. Also available are the remote keyless entry, power door locks, power windows, steering-wheel-mounted audio and climate controls, multi-function information display, and trip computer. You can add laser cruise control, an engine immobilizer, a tilt and telescoping steering column, and a full sized spare tire with an alloy rim to that list. I liked that combination, but for a couple of grand more you can get the Touring version with firmer shocks and springs, special Michelin 215/55s, 17-inch wheels, leather, and -intensity-discharge headlights. This would be my choice. The more expensive VXi adds a power moonroof, four-way adjustable power passenger seat, in-dash six-disc CD changer, dual heated outside mirrors, auto-dimming electrochromic driver’s side, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and Homelink. The premier Grande, has all of that plus a better 360-watt JBL audio system with six-disc CD changer and 12 speakers, power rear sunshade, power driver’s seat cushion length adjuster, Smart Key system, and trim items. Value wise nothing can compare.The highway ride is much nicer than the previous models probably because this Avalon is five inches longer and looks much more aerodynamic. From the side the car looks similar to the Prius, but is much more powerful in appearance. However, it still has that bland styling that makes it invisible except for those in the know.
Toyota is not going to sell these to new consumers based on its looks, but once they drive the Avalon it is a sure bet they are going to create another headache for domestic manufactures. In fact, this is about as an Americanized vehicle that
Toyota offers right down to the fake dual-exhaust, a first from this company.
My overall impression of the Avalon was that here is finally a vehicle that bridges the gap between luxury and the middle class paycheck. You can get to 60 mph in less than seven seconds, a range that the six cylinder BMW and Mercedes models occupy, and yet it comes in under the average new car transaction price. I didn’t like the seats because I prefer those that hold you rather than just accommodate you, but they were comfortable. Our test car had the heated and cooled seats and they worked. What was nicer was that the fan noise when they were running was not as loud as on other models. I take pleasure in such small comforts. The heater and air conditioning units were easy to operate and moderate.One option we never grew to love, but to appreciate was the Smart Key. The Avalon can sense this key when it is in your possession and automatically opens the doors once you touch the handle. Once inside all you have to do to ignite the 3.5-liter engine is touch the Start button. No key is needed, but one is provided just in case. Pressing the same button also stops the engine.Since it is a front-wheel-drive there is a lot of weight on the front wheels, which distracts from its tossability. The front struts and L-shaped lower control arms combine with the multi-link and strut suspension in the back are set for balance rather than performance. The rack-and-pinion steering does not provide the feedback I like, as it is clear that comfort and quiet are what this Avalon is all about. The five speed automatic transmission does it transmitting with quiet efficiency. Until the car shifts into fifth, or overdrive, there is very little drop in rpms as the car accelerates through the gears. On the open road relaxed is the word that comes to mind in describing the Avalon. In town its bulk and reduced rear vision caused by the high trunk make it more of a handful, but its nothing that an owner cannot learn to accept after a week or two. Young working woman’s view: My first impression was that this was a really big car. I was not enamored of its looks. I rode in the backseat for a while and it didn’t take long to notice that this was something special. It was like being in the living room. Everything was nice; plenty of space, and you could carry on a conversation easily. When I did finally rankle the Smart Key from the old folks I took it for a ride and was won over. Although the 38 feet turning radius isn’t great, it still did not make parking the Avalon a problem. The engine was trustworthy and I found you could easily manual shift it by just tapping the lever. It really wasn’t necessary though, as the transmission does such a fine job itself. The lack of vibration is due in fact to the active control engine mount that help to cancel the motions of the engine at idle. The engine pulls nearly silently, shifting just below the 6200 rpm redline. The four valves per cylinder, double overhead-cam engine with extensive aluminum portions, is nothing short of a engineering masterpiece giving you 280 horsepower while getting EPA figures of 22 /30 mpg. Around town I got close to 22 and on the highway it stayed close to 27. If I used the laser cruise control it rose to 30 at times. That cruise control system uses the laser to detect vehicles in front of the Avalon and automatically slows the car to retain a safe distance. If you travel the highways frequently, this is a must have option.Young working male’s view: Since this is clearly not my type of machine I am turning over the remainder of my review space to grandpa. Grandpa’s view: I was very impressed. There was plenty of room in the backseat and there is space for a couple of girlfriends to sit besides you, too. The floor is flat, which is something I had never seen before. All my previous vehicles were rear wheel drive and had the tunnel for the driveshaft. I believe that Ford Five Hundred has more room, but I liked the feel of this car better. Of course, it was more expensive. The large rear doors made it easy for me to get in and out. If you use a walker you don’t have to put in the trunk and hold onto the car as you walk around to the door. There is plenty of room for it in the back seat. Also, since every day seems to bring a new backache I liked the fact that you could fiddle with the seats to create five sitting positions because the rear cushion declines ten degrees. And, if I want to keep my hat on in the cold weather, I can do so just by adjusting the seats to give me more headroom. Since I don’t drive any longer I can’t comment on the performance of the Avalon, but I can tell you that it was quiet and respectful of those of us who like to take an occasional nap. This is quite a pleaser and I would call it a car for the ages because it seemed to suit everyone to a Tee.My last car was a Dodge and before that it was a Dodge and before that…you get the idea. Well, I would buy this one in a second, especially when I found out it was built in the good old
USA. Of course, since it costs more than my first house by a considerable amount I can’t comment on its value, but I’ve learning over the years that it you don’t take care of yourself no one else is going to do it for you.
Family conference: If you need a large sedan this is a must drive.
Toyota has created what we call a price peg. That means that competitive vehicles must either meet the MSRP of the Avalon and offer similar attributes or lose potential sales. When we bought our first
Lexus LS and RX they were price-pegged cars, and so we knew that the resale was going to be high for this model and we were right. After ten years our LS sold for nearly 35 percent of what we paid for it. Our RX 300 resale value after seven years still is resides at 50 percent of its value. We expect this Avalon to do as well. As for this
Toyota, it could well be a car for the ages for as it name implies, Avalon is the paradise to which Arthur was carried.