TOYOTA AVALON GAINS NEW STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES FOR 2009
The Toyota Avalon – the platinum standard in premium large sedans – gains standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control (TRAC) and Brake Assist (BA) for 2009. The Touring grade was discontinued, and some of its features have been added to other Avalon grades.
The Avalon is offered in three grades, the standard XL, the extremely well-equipped XLS and the top-of-the-line Limited, which is comparable to near-luxury models for comfort and amenities. Avalon gains an elegant new color for 2009, Cocoa Bean Metallic, and Dark Charcoal interior on the XLS and Limited models.
Performance and Efficiency
All Avalon models are powered by a 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 engine that produces 268 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i) and a dual-stage variable intake manifold ensure outstanding performance at all engine speeds.
The standard six-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) provides a sequential manual shift feature for a more involved driving experience when desired. The Avalon can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in 7.1 seconds, and also achieves admirable estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 19 MPG city/28 MPG highway. The 2009 Avalon is certified as an Últra Low Emissions Vehicle (ÚLEV).
Handling and Ride
Responsive handling makes Avalon engaging to drive, while ride quality remains a benchmark of smoothness. The XL model features 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels standard on the other grades. All Avalon models are equipped with a standard full-size spare tire.
The Avalon's supplemental restraint system (SRS) includes standard front seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side-curtain airbags that are designed to provide protection in certain types of severe side impacts. The Avalon also features a driver's knee airbag and front seat active headrests as standard equipment.
The standard anti-lock brake system (ABS) integrates Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). Standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is designed to detect and help correct loss of lateral traction during cornering. VSC integrates traction control (TRAC) to help limit front wheel spin on slippery road surfaces. Brake Assist (BA) is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking, but has not stepped firmly enough on the pedal to activate the ABS. Maximum braking pressure is applied until the driver releases pedal pressure.
Comfort and Convenience
The XL grade is extremely well-equipped and includes a standard premium AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer and nine speakers; dual-zone automatic climate control with air filtration; remote keyless entry; power door locks with an anti-lockout feature; power windows with driver and passenger automatic up/down with jam protection and retained power; a multi-adjustable power driver's seat; and a center console storage area with sliding armrest. Music-playing versatility is assured by a standard auxiliary audio jack for iPod® or MP3/WMA music player connectivity to the audio system. All models are equipped with standard satellite radio capability.
Engine : 3.5 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 268 hp
Torque: 248 ft-lbs
Additional XL standard features include a tilt and telescopic steering column; steering wheel mounted audio and climate controls; multi-function information display with audio, climate control, temperature and trip computer; cruise control; engine immobilizer security system; and a maintenance indicator light. Rear passengers benefit from a flat rear floor that provides generous legroom, and the rear seats recline up to 10 degrees.
Building on the XL grade, the XLS adds a power moonroof; four-way adjustable power passenger seat; in-dash six-disc CD changer; dual heated outside mirrors with auto-dimming electrochromic driver's side; auto-dimming electrochromic rearview mirror with compass; aluminum door scuff plates; and an anti-theft system. Both the XLS and Limited models offer power-adjustable lumbar for the front passenger seat.
The top-of-the-line Limited offers luxury-grade comfort. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather, while the leather-trimmed driver and front passenger seats are heated and ventilated. The front of the driver's seat cushion length is power-adjustable, offering improved thigh support. The Limited also features a JBL Synthesis audio system with a six-disc CD changer and 12 speakers, and Bluetooth® wireless connectivity. This system is an available option for the XLS.
Additional amenities in the Limited include a one-touch auto-reverse power rear sunshade, memory driver's seat, rain-sensing wipers, HID headlamps and the Smart Key System. The standard rear sunshade retracts when the driver shifts from Drive into Reverse, then re-extends when the driver shifts back into Drive.
With Smart Key, the driver carries a light, compact key fob that signals a sensor in the car when it is near, turning on the puddle lamps and interior dome lamp, then unlocking the doors when the handle is touched. Once inside, the driver starts the car with a pushbutton. The driver can open the trunk by touching the handle when the key fob is carried near the rear bumper.Options
Options available on XL include a power moonroof and an anti-theft system. The standard XL model offers an available four-way power passenger seat, while the XLS and Limited offer an optional eight-way power driver and passenger seat, as well as memory outside mirrors.
A navigation system is available for the XLS and Limited models. The navigation controls have surface-emitting illumination and hide away above the gated shifter. Maps, climate and select audio controls are shown on the seven-inch LCD color display located beneath the center air vents.
The Limited offers the Dynamic Laser Cruise Control system that is designed to maintain a pre-set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead. The system can reduce the Avalon's speed if the preceding vehicle slows down or another vehicle pulls in between. A Remote Engine Starter is available on all Avalon grades equipped with the factory alarm system as a port- or dealer-installed option. After the driver has started the engine by depressing a button on the key fob, the climate control system will use the most recent settings to help ensure cabin comfort quickly.Design
The third-generation Avalon was primarily designed at Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., developed by Ú.S.-based Toyota Technical Centers and assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, Ky. Avalon exudes a powerful stance, distinguished by a sleek grille with chrome accented horizontal bars and subtle character lines defining a contemporary profile. The lower intake valance houses fog lamps on the XLS and Limited models, and the XLS features chrome exterior door handles. Large tail lamps and an elegantly sculptured trunk distinguish the Avalon from the rear, while dual exhaust outlets add a sporty touch.
Toyota optimized the exterior design of the Avalon for minimal wind noise. Numerous small details contribute to lower cabin noise and vibration, including a reshaping of the A-pillar and side mirrors and lowering the position of the aerodynamic windshield wipers. In addition, the Limited model offers a specially designed acoustic windshield to further quiet the cabin.
Visibility-enhancing features standard on the Limited grade include high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps with dynamic automatic leveling, as well as side mirrors with integrated turn signals and puddle lamps. Avalon's elegant exterior is complemented by its refined interior, with outstanding fit-and-finish apparent throughout the cabin.Source - Toyota
At times compared to a Lexus, from the outside the Toyota Avalon might be a bland looking four-door, but on the inside the combination of luxurious roominess, safety, ride comfort and value you wouldn't be able to find elsewhere. The Avalon emerged as one of the 10 best cars sold in North American in terms of problem-free operation in a recent J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. Originally based on the platform of the then-current Toyota Camry, the Toyota Avalon is a full-size car that was produced by Toyota in the U.S. and Australia. The Avalon was produced as a front wheel drive four-door sedan.
When the Toyotta Cressida was deleted from the American car market in 1992 and the Toyota Avalon was designed to fill the gap left by that vehicle. Though the Cressida was a midsize, rear wheel drive vehicle, the all new Avalon was a full size, rear wheel drive car and had Toyota's 1MZ-FE V6 engine, compared to the Cressida's 7M-GE I6 engine.
On February 21, 1994, the first Avalon rolled off the assembly line in Georgetown, Kentucky as a 1995 model. In 1999, a second-generation model was released in the U.S. and Japan. Built in the same plant as the Camry, the 1995 Avalon was a completely new model that was placed higher than the Camry, making it Toyota's flagship.
Larger in almost every aspect, the second generation Avalon was introduced in 2004. Based on a stretched Camry platform, the Avalon featured a 3.0 L V6 engine that produced 192 hp and 210 ft – lb of torque. Minor updates to the front and rear fascias were underwent in 1998, along with the power rating being upped to 200 hp and increase of torque to 214 lb – ft. Basically the same size as the Camry, the second generation Avalon was US made and was exported to Japan's domestic market where it was labeled as the Toyota Pronard.
The original, first-generation Avalon still continues to be built in Australia in the Melbourne suburb of Altona. The original model is produced in both right hand drive for New Zealand, Australia and various parts of Asia, and left hand drive for the Middle East. Toyota was now in what it called its ‘Mark III' phase with the Australian Avalon. Though based on the same car launched in the US in 1995, the Australian Avalon had a slight facelift for the 2004 model year. In July of 2005 Toyota Australia ended production of the Avalon. Toyota of Australia was now concentrating on producing a vehicle much larger than the Avalon in late 2006 that will compete with the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon. Introduced at the 2006 Melbourne International Motorshow, the all new Aurion was unveiled and will go on sale in November of 2006.
A complete redesign from previous generations, the '05 Avalon is Toyota's largest, most luxurious, and most costly model sold under its own nameplate. Inside the Avalon was a 3.5 L 280 hp V6 engine along with a host of advanced technological features. Produced to compete with the Chevy Impala, the Buick LaCrosse, Nissan Maxima and the Ford Five Hundred, the new Avalon was unveiled at the 2005 North American International Auto Show. Featuring much more distinctive styling than previous generations, the third generation Avalon did have power dropped to 268 hp due to new SAE specifications along with torque dropping to 248 ft-lb. For 2005 stability control was expanded to the XL and Touring models and a keyless remote start became standard for Limited models.By Jessica Donaldson