Rais­ing the flag

Toy­ota mak­ing it known that Avalon is still flag­ship ve­hi­cle

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - AUTOMOTIVE - By David Sch­midt Au­toWrit­er­sInk

DEL MAR, CALIF. » Toy­ota is mak­ing the fifth-gen­er­a­tion Avalon a more mod­ern and ag­gres­sive-look­ing car, hop­ing to at­tract more – and younger – buy­ers back to their flag­ship sedan.

The Avalon shares the new global mid­sized plat­form with the Camry, but is a car aimed at a slightly dif­fer­ent au­di­ence.

This is a car driven mostly by those in their 60s, but Toy­ota is try­ing to at­tract some of the older Mil­len­ni­als by giv­ing the front end a more dy­namic look, and also one that seems to look like the Lexus fam­ily front end.

By that I mean that the grille goes from the top of the front all the way down to the front of the car’s lower fas­cia. It does make it look more dy­namic, and it ac­tu­ally is more dy­namic. LED head­lights are stan­dard through­out the trim lev­els.

The lines of the car flow nicely to the rear, as does the roofline, which has its high­point moved rear­ward. The back is quite mod­ern, with new three-di­men­sional tail­lights adding tex­ture to the rear, as well as the back of the side view. While all the cars use the same pow­er­trains, both the lux­ury and sport-ish mod­els have ex­haust tips to de­fine them, although the ac­tual ex­haust sys­tem is the same sin­gle-ex­haust setup.

The de­sign cre­ates a co­ef­fi­cient of drag of 0.27, which is de­cent for a sedan. It is also longer, wider and lower than any of the Aval­ons pro­duced since its in­cep­tion in 1994. It also has a slightly longer wheel­base than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion.

All this means that the in­te­rior is also big­ger. It is at­trac­tive, pushed some­what up­mar­ket from that of the Camry. The Avalon’s slim cen­ter stack is a new look, but still houses a nineinch dis­play Satin chromefin­ish dec­o­ra­tion sur­rounds it and “floats” above the in­stru­ment panel, look­ing quite mod­ern. Below there’s slide-open bin with a 12volt plug and the stan­dard wire­less Qi mo­bile de­vice charger at least on XLE. Three of five to­tal USB power ports are lo­cated in­side the cen­ter con­sole.

This is the first Toy­ota to get Ap­ple Play, as what­ever le­gal or tech­ni­cal is­sues be­tween Toy­ota and Ap­ple and Toy­ota have been solved, and most new mod­els from now on will have it.

The stan­dard sound sys­tem in­cludes six speak­ers and sound are de­cent. There’s also a premium sys­tem which ups the sound ante a fair bit. A JBL premium per­for­mance au­dio sys­tem is stan­dard on Lim­ited and Tour­ing grades and is avail­able on XLE and XSE grades. a 14-speaker, 1200-watt, 7.1-chan­nel sur­round sound

The Avalon is pow­ered by a 3.5-liter V-6 en­gine gen­er­at­ing 301 hp. and 267 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The power’s sent through an eight-speed man­ual transmission. That is 33 more horsepower than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. Avalon HV con­tin­ues to be the only full hy­brid ve­hi­cle in the seg­ment

This is a car driven mostly by those in their 60s, but Toy­ota is try­ing to at­tract some of the older Mil­len­ni­als by giv­ing the front end a more dy­namic look

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