Toyota’s press conference began with a humble commitment to quickly repair all of its vehicles affected by the accelerator and brake recalls. The company is showing renewed vigor in taking care of very loyal customers. Almost sheepishly, Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division, announced the significantly updated 2011 Avalon.
Designed at Toyota’s Calty Design Research center in Newport Beach, CA, the 2011 Avalon will be more aggressive than the current sedan, but will also be much more elegant. Toyota’s theme is “Traveling Avalon Class” and that about explains the beauty and grace for which the new model will be known. In truth, it is really just a significant facia and interior update on the current model, but the car looks ready for a few more good years.
The most distinguishing features are de-rigor light tubes in the tail, bold chrome grille, canted headlamps, and revised rocker panels. Inside, if you look carefully, you’ll notice gleaming woodgrain trim, reshaped rear headrests, brighter instruments, and a jet-worthy reclining rear seat. Limited versions coddle with driver’s seat cushion extensions, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry and starting, heated/cooled leather seats, and a rear-backing camera.
Toyota’s 3.5-litre V6, producing 268-horsepower, remains married to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy creeps up 1-MPG to 20/29-MPG city/highway.
Avalon will continue to be assembled in Georgetown, KY with cars arriving in dealerships this April. Expect prices to remain similar to the current edition.
Here are our picks for the Top Five new models from the show. Click on a photo below.