Toyota Avalon

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Toyota Avalon
03-04 Toyota Avalon .jpg
2003–2004 Toyota Avalon
Overview
ManufacturerToyota
Also calledToyota Pronard (Japan)
Production1994–present
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size
Body style4-door sedan
RelatedToyota Camry
Lexus ES
Chronology
PredecessorToyota Cressida
Toyota Vienta (Australia)
SuccessorToyota Aurion (Australia)
 
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Toyota Avalon
03-04 Toyota Avalon .jpg
2003–2004 Toyota Avalon
Overview
ManufacturerToyota
Also calledToyota Pronard (Japan)
Production1994–present
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size
Body style4-door sedan
RelatedToyota Camry
Lexus ES
Chronology
PredecessorToyota Cressida
Toyota Vienta (Australia)
SuccessorToyota Aurion (Australia)

The Toyota Avalon is a full-size car produced by Toyota in the United States, and is the flagship sedan of Toyota in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Middle East. It was also produced in Australia from 2000 until July 2005 when it was replaced in November 2006 by the Toyota Aurion. The first Toyota Avalon rolled off the assembly line in Georgetown, Kentucky on February 21, 1994 as a 1995 model. A second-generation model was released in the United States and Japan in 1999.

Toyota marketed the Avalon as filling the gap left by the discontinuation of the Toyota Cressida in the American market in 1992. While the Cressida was an upper-level midsize rear-wheel drive car with a straight-six engine, the Avalon is front-wheel drive, powered by a V6 engine. In recent years, there has been considerable overlapping with its platform mates, the Toyota Camry V6 and the Lexus ES, although the third generation Avalon was distinguished by offering extra legroom.[1] For its fourth generation, the Avalon was introduced with a platform that is directly shared with the Lexus ES.[2]

As of 2013, the Toyota Avalon is available in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the Middle East.

Avalon is a legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend.

First generation (XX10; 1994–1999)[edit]

First generation
95-97 Toyota Avalon .jpg
Overview
ProductionSeptember 1994[3]–1999
April 2000 – June 2005 (Australia)[4]
Model years1995–1999
AssemblyUnited States: Georgetown, Kentucky (TMMK)
Australia: Altona, Victoria (Toyota Australia)
LayoutFF layout
Powertrain
Engine3.0 L 1MZ-FE V6
Transmission4-speed A541E automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase107.1 in (2,720 mm)
Length1994–97: 190.2 in (4,831 mm)
1997–99: 191.9 in (4,874 mm)
Width1994–97: 70.3 in (1,786 mm)
1997–99: 70.5 in (1,791 mm)
Height1994–97: 55.9 in (1,420 mm)
1997–99: 56.7 in (1,440 mm)
1998–1999 Toyota Avalon XLS (US)

The Avalon was a completely new model introduced in 1994 for the 1995 model year. Built in the same plant as the Camry, the Avalon was based on a stretched Camry platform featuring a 3.0 liter 1MZ-FE V6 engine making 192 hp (140 kW) and 210 lb·ft (285 N·m) of torque.

The Avalon was available with a front bench seat for full six-passenger seating, and its column shifter was the first such feature in an American Toyota car since the 1982 Corona. The XL models were similar to the LE models of other Toyota vehicles, and the XLS models were similar to the XLE models of other Toyota vehicles. Traction control was optional. For 1997 models ABS became standard, power rating increased to 200 hp (150 kW), and torque increased to 214 lb·ft (290 N·m). In 1997 for the 1998 model year a mid-cycle refresh was introduced with minor updates to the front and rear fascias. Also for 1998, the Avalon's structure was modified to improve safety while front seat-mounted side airbags became standard.

The first generation Avalon was also sold in Japan (vehicles were made in the United States and exported to Japan) as a right-hand drive model, and was exclusive to Toyopet Store locations. In Japan, it was the largest front-wheel drive sedan at Toyopet Store locations, and was sold alongside the front-engine, rear-drive Toyota Celsior, and was available in 3.0 and 3.0G grade levels, with the "Coach Edition" available as an option starting in late 1997 (equivalent to the 1998 model year).

Australia (2000–2005)[edit]

In 1999, Toyota transferred the old tooling for the Avalon to Toyota Australia, which launched this Avalon as an "all-new" model in June 2000. The Australian Avalon therefore had an identical body to the original 1994 Avalon.[5] The Australian model was built in the Melbourne suburb of Altona, made in both right-hand drive (for Australia, New Zealand and some parts of Asia) and left-hand drive for the Middle East. The Camry was also made at this plant.[6] The Avalon performed poorly in Australia; critics called the car "boring", and sales were tepid. The Avalon was front-wheel drive and available only as a sedan with a 3.0-liter V6 and automatic transmission. By contrast, its intended rivals, the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore, were rear wheel drive and offered a wider range of body styles and engine/transmission options.[7]

When the Avalon was updated in 2001 as the "Mark II" (not to be confused with the separate Mark II model sold in North America), the model range was lightly revised and new hubcaps/alloy wheels were fitted.[8] The "Mark III" designation refers to the 2003 to 2005 facelift models.[9]

Many buyers preferred the V6-powered Camry instead of the Avalon, and the 2003 facelift failed to rectify the lower than expected sales,[10] with many criticizing the new front styling. Because of these sales concerns, Toyota Australia marketed it towards taxi fleets, against the Ford Falcon, with a specially developed dual-fuel (LPG and petrol)-compatible engine.[11] Avalon production ceased in mid-2005.[12] In November 2006, Toyota introduced its replacement, the Toyota Aurion.[13]

Australia (2000–2005)
Avalon CSX (Mark II) 
Avalon Sorrento (Mark II) 
Avalon Grande (Mark II) 
Avalon GXi (Mark III) 
Avalon GXi (Mark III) 

Second generation (XX20; 1999–2004)[edit]

Second generation
2000-2002 Toyota Avalon -- 04-11-2012 1.JPG
Overview
Also calledToyota Pronard (2002–2004)
ProductionSeptember 1999[3] – December 2004
Model years2000–2004
AssemblyUnited States: Georgetown, Kentucky (TMMK)
DesignerKevin Hunter, Yo Hiruta (1997)[14][15]
LayoutFF layout
Powertrain
Engine3.0 L 1MZ-FE V6
Transmission4-speed A541E automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase107.1 in (2,720 mm)
Length191.9 in (4,874 mm)
Width71.7 in (1,821 mm)
Height1999–2002: 57.7 in (1,466 mm)
2002–2004: 57.1 in (1,450 mm)

The second-generation Avalon grew larger in almost every respect. It was still based on the stretched Camry platform and was powered by a 3.0 liter 1MZ-FE V6 engine equipped with VVT-i, shared with the Toyota Sienna, Lexus RX300, Lexus ES, and the Toyota Highlander, making 210 hp (157 kW) and 220 lb·ft (298 N·m). of torque and paired to a 4-speed automatic. The styling remained conservative to appeal to older buyers and the coefficient of drag had been reduced to 0.28 Cd.

2003–2004 Toyota Avalon XLS

This Avalon was available in two trims: the basic XL and the upscale XLS. Standard features include electroluminescent Optitron gauges, 4-wheel disc ABS, front torso side airbags and 15" alloy wheels. Optional features include a JBL audio system, a navigation system, Vehicle Stability Control, and a front row bench seat, allowing up to six passengers—a distinguishable characteristic of large sized cars. However the front center seat is a tight fit for an adult passenger. Dual climate control, larger 16" wheels, and driver's and passenger's power seats were also available.

This second-generation Avalon also featured a built-in 115V AC power inverter, the first car with such a feature. This feature was dropped in the third-generation Avalon; yet, the Toyota Matrix, Sienna and Scion models now offer this feature.

The Avalon received a mid-cycle facelift for the 2003 model year, with a new grille and modified headlights and taillights. The minor interior changes included a woodgrain-style trimmed steering wheel for the XLS, slightly modified gauges, and a chrome emblem steering wheel added onto the XL (once only standard for the XLS).

This second-generation Avalon was also exported to the Japanese market as the Toyota Pronard, replacing the first-generation sold as the Avalon. The Japanese Toyota Pronard was reassigned from Toyopet Store and was now exclusive to Toyota Vista Store locations. Due to poor sales, Toyota did not export the third-generation Avalon to Japan; thus, the Toyota Pronard has been discontinued.

In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) frontal crash test the Avalon received a "Good" overall score with the "Good" in all six measured categories.[16]

Third generation (XX30; 2004–2012)[edit]

Third generation
05-07 Toyota-Avalon.jpg
Overview
ProductionDecember 2004[3]–2012
Model years2005–2012
AssemblyUnited States: Georgetown, Kentucky (TMMK)
DesignerIan Cartabiano (2003)[17]
Body and chassis
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PlatformToyota K platform
Powertrain
Engine3.5 L 2GR-FE V6
Transmission5-speed U151E automatic
6-speed U660E automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase111.0 in (2,820 mm)[18]
Length2004–2010: 197.2 in (5,009 mm)
2010–2012: 197.6 in (5,020 mm)
Width72.8 in (1,850 mm)
Height58.5 in (1,485 mm)
Curb weight3,560–3,660 lb (1,615–1,660 kg)

The Avalon underwent a complete redesign for 2005, and was unveiled to the public at the January 2005 North American International Auto Show. It went on sale in February 2005. Toyota reportedly cut the Avalon's production development time down from 29.5 months to 18 months.[19] This generation is not sold in Europe or Japan.

The new Avalon was larger than previous Avalons in every aspect, featuring less conservative, more modern Calty styling, with a coefficient of drag figure of 0.29 Cd; the Avalon also became the first Toyota to use a single piece wiper blade design. For safety reasons the redesign dropped the front bench seat option, a feature once common among large American sedans such as Buicks and Cadillacs, and featured a semi-flat rear floor in order to help increase rear passenger comfort.

The Avalon was the first Toyota to use Dual VVT-i in the US market in an all-new 3.5-liter 2GR-FE V6 engine which met ULEV certification and had a power output of 280 hp (209 kW) with a 0–60 time of 6.0 seconds. The engine was mated to a 5-speed sequential shift automatic. Due to changes in the SAE's testing procedures, power dropped to 268 hp (200 kW) and torque dropped to 248 lb·ft (336 N·m) for the 2006 model year. Actual power output did not change.

The Avalon came in four trims: the standard XL trim, a sporty Touring trim, an XLS trim, and a premium Limited trim. The XL model came standard with 16" alloy wheels, while other trims came with larger 17" wheels. Performance-oriented tires were fitted to the Touring and Limited trims.

The XL introduced standard features such as dual-climate automatic temperature controls and steering wheel-mounted audio and climate controls. The Touring trim offers faux aluminum and black leather interior, a sport-tuned suspension, unique powder-coated gray wheels, and a trunk lip-mounted spoiler. The XLS introduced standard cargo nets, six-disc CD changer, a power glass moonroof, electrochromic auto dimming rear-view and driver's side-view mirrors, four-way passenger power seat and a HomeLink transceiver. The high-end Limited trim offered air-ventilated seats with a power driver's seat cushion length adjuster, Toyota's Smart Key System with keyless push-button start and entry, an acoustic windshield, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an upgraded 12-speaker JBL audio system, "in-glass" LED turn signals on the side mirrors and a wood-trimmed steering wheel and shift gear lever. An navigation system was optional for every trim level other than the XL version. The Avalon featured a flat rear floor design and reclining rear seats. Vehicle Stability Control was optional on all trim levels. Other options included a keyless Remote Engine Start, rear window power sunshade and, on Limited models, a Dynamic Laser Cruise Control system. HID lighting with auto-leveling was standard on Touring and Limited grades.

Model year changes[edit]

2008 Toyota Avalon XLS

For the 2006 model year, Toyota expanded the availability of Vehicle Stability Control to XL and Touring trim levels.[20] The 2007 model year had the tire pressure monitoring system standard across all trims and the navigation system made optional for the Touring trim level.[21]

The 2008 model year Avalon released in 2007 received a mild facelift. Rear taillights receive subtle tinting, and the front fascia is redesigned with a more striking grille; "Touring" models receive a black grille. Other changes include a six-speed automatic transmission, chrome exterior door handles for the "Limited" trim, restyled alloy wheels for the "Touring" and "XLS" trims, a built-in remote key, upgraded rear brakes, and Bluetooth integration with all JBL Synthesis audio systems. "Touring" models receive a color-keyed grille, "XLS" and "Limited" models receive a chrome grille, and all models now have a standard in-dash six-CD changer.

The 2009 model year Avalon offered a few changes: Vehicle Stability Control [VSC] became standard on all trim levels, and the Touring version was no longer offered. XLS and Limited leather seats now offered a Dark Charcoal color, and the Indigo Ink Pearl exterior color was replaced with Cocoa Bean Metallic.

The 2010 model year offered two updates: All passenger windows received an automatic up/down function, as opposed to just the driver and front passenger's side, and a new accelerator pedal was redesigned.

2011 Toyota Avalon Limited

The 2011 Avalon went on sale in April 2010 with revised styling and only two trim lines: a base Avalon model and a more upscale Limited trim. A backup camera became standard using either the rear view mirror or navigation screen for a display, and exterior side mirrors with integrated turn signals now folded in. The updated navigation system now featured real-time traffic updates. Other new features included redesigned instrument cluster and center console, new wood-style trim, new sheetmetal, and a different rear and front fascia design. The front and tail lights featured LED piping, and fuel economy was slightly improved to an EPA-estimated 20/29/23 (city/highway/combined) mpg rating. The revised Avalon had a new brake-override feature. It had an improved suspension system and a 12-speaker JBL Synthesis system which was only available on the Limited trim. 17" wheels were also standard on both trims although the Limited model has 6 spokes. Other exterior differences on the Limited include HID projector headlamps.[22]

Safety[edit]

The Avalon came standard with anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, dual front airbags, front row side torso airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, and a driver's knee airbag. For 2009 models Vehicle Stability Control, traction control became standard while active head restraints were added. In 2010, the Star Safety System was added for the 2011 models.

The Avalon was subject to the 2009-10 Toyota vehicle recalls. 2011 and later models come standard with a brake-override system.

The Avalon received a "Good" overall score in both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) frontal offset and side impact tests.[23][24] In 2009, with the new head restraints the IIHS awarded the Avalon its Top Safety Pick accolade.[25]

A "Good" rating in IIHS the roof strength test IIHS earned 2011 models the organization's "Top Safety Pick 2010" designation. The 2011 model also received the "Top Safety Pick 2011" recommendation.

NHTSA crash test ratings (2006):[26]
Frontal Driver:5/5 stars
Frontal Passenger:5/5 stars
Side Driver:5/5 stars
Side Rear Passenger:5/5 stars
Rollover:4/5 stars (2006)
5/5 stars (2011)

Media reception[edit]

Car and Driver, which had called previous Avalons "Japanese Buicks," rated it at the top of a group of large premium sedans in 2005.[27] Edmunds.com, Motor Trend and Automobile Magazine also rated it top in their own comparisons.[28][29][30] Consumer Reports rated the Avalon at the top of its tested group in the large and upscale category, scoring ahead of five other sedans in the January 2010 issue.[31] In 2010, the 2011 model year Avalon competed against the Ford Taurus and received first place awards from Motor Trend.

Fourth generation (XX40; 2012—present)[edit]

Fourth generation (XX40)
2013 Toyota Avalon -- 2012 NYIAS.JPG
Overview
ProductionNovember 2012–present
Model years2013–present
Body and chassis
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PlatformToyota K platform
Powertrain
Engine2.5 L 2AR-FXE I4
3.5 L 2GR-FE V6
Transmission6-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase111.0 in (2,820 mm)[18]
Length195.3 in (4,960 mm)
Width72.2 in (1,835 mm)
Height57.5 in (1,460 mm)
Curb weight3,472–3,594 lb (1,575–1,630 kg)

The redesigned Avalon was partially revealed at the New York International Auto Show in April 2012, to be based on the same platform as the Lexus ES.[2] The Avalon now has a bolder grille, an enhanced facelift, and redesigned lights similar to the Camry. In the interior it offers tap touch technology instead of buttons. In June 2012, Toyota announced the Avalon would offer a hybrid powertrain.[32] The Avalon went on sale in the US at the beginning of December 2012. It was unveiled as Neiman Marcus's new items.

Rear view of a 2014 Avalon XLE (US)

Hybrid version[edit]

The hybrid gasoline-electric model of the 2013 model year Avalon uses the revised version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive power train, similar to the one powering the 2012 model year Camry Hybrid. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rated the Avalon Hybrid as 40 mpg-US (5.9 L/100 km; 48 mpg-imp) on combined cycle, 40 mpg-US (5.9 L/100 km; 48 mpg-imp) on city, and 39 mpg-US (6.0 L/100 km; 47 mpg-imp) on highway driving. The hybrid version is scheduled to go on sale in the United States by early December 2012.[33] The Avalon Hybrid comes with a 2.5 L inline-4 engine. When combined with the electric motor the system has a total output of 200 bhp (149 kW).[34]

2012 SEMA concepts (2012)[edit]

The 2013 model year TRD Edition is a concept car developed by Toyota Racing Development. It includes a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine with Eaton Gen 6 TVS rotor assembly, six-speed automatic transmission, six-piston front & four-piston rear calipers, burgundy body color, tinted taillights, color-keyed grille and dual exhaust with polished mufflers, 19-inch wheels with Michelin 225/40R19 tires, a red stitching touch on the instrument and door panels, seats red stitching and accent piping and a JBL GreenEdge surround-sound system.

The 2013 model year HV Edition is based on the hybrid model. It includes 19-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport 225/40R19 tires, JBL GreenEdge surround-sound system with 15-speakers, hybrid-blue headlights, turn signals, bright white with electric blue body color and the suspension and braking system from the 2013 model year TRD Edition.

The 2013 model year DUB Edition includes 22-inch deep concave custom made satin black TIS wheels with Pirelli tires, lower sport suspension, custom body kit, tinted windows, taillights, emblems and plush diamond patterned suede seats. It was built by DUB Magazine.[35]

The vehicles were unveiled at the 2012 SEMA show.[36][37]

Sales[edit]

Calendar yearUnited States[38]
19946,559[38]
199566,123
199673,070
199771,081
199877,576
199967,851
2000104,078
200183,005
200269,029[39]
200350,911
200436,460[40]
200595,318
200688,938[41]
200772,945
200842,790[42]
200926,935[42]
201028,390[43]
201128,925[44]
201229,556[45] (inc. 747 hybrids)[46]
201370,990[47] (inc. 16,468 hybrids)[46]
Total1,190,530

References[edit]

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External links[edit]