You know the type.   They spend the Summer with Netflix and Cheetos and get….well….rather soft and lumpy.

Others go to Boot Camp or the gym.

The new Toyota Avalon has done some serious workin’ out…so much so that you probably won’t even recognize her.

Let’s start with the outside. The new Avalon has a sleek new fastback shape…wind-tunnel designed for better highway mileage, yet with room for five.

And make that “plenty of room for five”.   The Avalon is a big car…full size…with a real ( useable ) back seat and a 16 cubic foot trunk.

But wait…there’s more.

Yes…the changes inside and underneath are perhaps the biggest surprise.

The new Avalon is athletic and muscular.   The ride is firm and controlled and rather well-connected to the steering wheel.  If you were blindfolded and driving the Avalon ( not a good idea, tho’ ) I’d bet you’d think you were driving someone else’s sport sedan.

You can count on inspired performance, too.  The new Avalon comes with a 268 HP V-6 and a six-speed auto….rated at 21 MPG city and 31Highway.   Punch the pedal and hang on.   The “Sport” setting on the transmission is almost unnecessary.  Toyota’s new Avalon hauls quite well in “normal”.

All Avalon’s come standard with heated leather seating.   The XLE starts @ $32,180, including destination charges.

The $34,385 XLE Premium adds a moonroof and back-up cam.

$36,690 will get you an XLE ”Touring”…which adds “Sport” and “Economy” settings to the transmission and Blind-Spot and Cross-Traffic monitoring systems.

Finally, the range-topping $40,840 “Limited” will get you perforated heated and ventilated front seating, LED lights, a rear power sunshade and rear-seat climate controls.

Just one old-school beef, tho’.   I kept going “retro”…adjusting the radio from the dash…and invariably either turned off the air or knocked it up to 81 with an almost unavoidable knuckle-drag on the control screen.  Come on guys….there IS such a thing as too much tech 🙂

But all in all, if you’re wanting to step up from a Camry, you can now “have it all” and still keep it in the family.

As they used to say about Buick, “This isn’t your Father’s Avalon!”

It’s a big step up in both looks and performance.DSCN4520DSCN4521DSCN4518DSCN4517


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