Take the whole gang…pop a wheelie…and still get 40 MPG!

Not that the average Avalon driver is going to be popping too many wheelies, but it’s good to know that the power is there, don’tcha’ think?

You don’t usually think “performance” when you think of a hybrid, right?

But punch “sport” in the new Avalon Hybrid and hang on.   It moves with authority.,,,and still gets outstanding mileage for a large sedan.  It’s rated at 39 highway and 40 city. In real-life commutes, we got between 38.5 and 42.5…without really trying all that hard.

Hit the road in an Avalon Hybrid, and it can probably go further than your bladder can.

Now this is the new-for-’13 Avalon…the one that doesn’t look like it was designed for your Grandfather.    The ’13, as you can see from the pix below, is a sleek fast-back-shaped missile that can hold five quite comfortably.

Where the Avalon Hybrid will cost you a little in exchange for those 40 MPG’s is in trunk space.    After all, those batteries have to go somewhere, right?

You can still get four golf bags in there, but you’ll be losing a few cu ft to the regular V-6 Avalon.  Unless you’re a shop-a-holic…or planning a cross-country trip with 5 people, you’ll most likely be fine, tho’.

So what does 40 MPG in a luxurious and large vehicle run?

The Avalon Hybrid XLE Premium that we tested doesn’t leave out much….and lists at $36,350 including destination fees.   You get heated leather seating, a moonroof, hands-free Bluetooth and more.

Ante up another $1,695 and get a “Touring” model with blind-spot monitor and cross-traffic alert.

The top-of-the-line “Limited” brings Lexus-like luxury with heated and cooled perforated leather seating, Toyota’s special signature headlamps, power rear sunshade, rear climate controls, Toyota’s safety-connect road-side assistance and more….for $42,195.

The 40 MPG Hybrid Avalon will run you just a hair over $4,000 more than the V-6

25 MPG “regular” Avalon.   At current prices, you’ll save $5,000 in gas over 100,000 miles.   Toyota says the hybrid’s batteries are good for 150,000 miles….and there are quite a few Priuses on the road with over 200 K.

Which way to go?  Just depends upon how green you feel…..and which way you think gas prices are headed over the next few years….or how often you enjoy stopping to gas up…..or what your individual situation is.

I’ve got a buddy who drives over 20,000 miles a year for business….and his company pays him .56 cents per mile for business travel.

He bought a hybrid…and he’s making money like a bandit!



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