2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited Sedan (2.5L 4-cyl. Hybrid CVT Automatic)
Driven On 11/14/2012
This rating has been carried forward from a prior year because the newer model has no substantial differences.
Avalon Hybrid offers a unique combination of efficiency and luxury provided by few other cars. It's an adequately sized sedan for family durties (5-person seating) which will earn consistently high fuel economy.
PerformanceAdequately powerful and endowed with enough handling prowess to satisfy buyers in this loosely defined segment, the 2013 Avalon Hybrid offers ample performance in all areas.
Requiring only 7.7 seconds to hit 60 mph is impressive for most hybrids. And, considering this a large front-drive sedan, that's a solid number.
As is usually the case with hybrids, the Avalon's brake pedal requires some getting used to. Most drivers will adjust to its unsusual response. Stopping distances are OK.
Steering weight is light in nearly every situation in the Avalon, but it isn't lacking accuracy. Very easy to drive.
The Avalon manages to be adequately damped to avoid feeling "floaty." Not as good during dynamic testing as some competitors, few Avalon buyers will care, however.
With the exception of its brake response, the Avalon is imminently drivable. It's as user-friendly as it should be -- so much so that you'll forget you're driving a hybrid.
ComfortA solid combination of amenities and interior silence keep the Avalon Hybrid's comfort score high despite overall stiffening of its ride.
Toyota does this well. The Avalon's driver seat is both amply adjustable and long-haul pleasant. Multi-level heating is standard across styles. Passenger seat has fewer adjustments.
Higher spring rates and better damping control remove any floatiness from the Avalon's ride. Even in hybrid trim, there's no bouying over bumps.
One of the quietest cars we've tested in recent memory. Road, wind and tire noise are virtually nonexistent.
InteriorA big effort to improve materials quality and modernize the Avalon is obvious. Soft-touch leather adorns most surfaces depending on trim level and tasteful styling touches are present throughout.
Most controls are intuitive and well placed. The audio system's volume knob, however, hides behind the steering wheel at night. Touchpads replace buttons for most controls.
Wide door openings, ample space and comfortable seat height front and rear ease ingress/egress.
Avalon is a genuine 5-passenger sedan. Space in every dimension is more than adequate. Child seats -- even convertibles -- fit easily in the back.
We observed no significant visibility shortcomings while driving the Avalon. Rear-quarter visibility is adequate. Parking sensors are optional.
Trunk space (at 14 cubic feet) is very good -- especially for a car with batteries consuming some of its cargo volume.
ValueYou'll pay more for the Avalon Hybrid than you will for most of the cars with which it loosely competes. But you'll get a car that's both more efficient and nicer inside.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Toyota's efforts to move the Avalon upscale are obvious. Panel gaps and interior assembly were good on our test car.
Feature content is average for the class. Standard features: 8-way driver and 4-way passenger front seats, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, USB; Bluetooth and more.
Avalon is costlier than many competitors, but it's also nicer inside.
You'll find few cars this size which can match the Avalon Hybrid's striking efficiency. The EPA rates it at 40 mpg city and 39 highway.
The Avalon comes with a pretty standard hybrid warranty -- 8 years/100,000 miles for the batteries and 5 years/60,000 miles for the powertrain.
The Avalon comes with Toyota's Safety Connect system which includes crash notification and roadside assistance. The Avalon gets free maintenance for 2 years/25K miles.
Fun To DriveFew people will ever claim a hybrid is fun to drive, but the Avalon, because of its size, features and relative under-the-hybrid-radar styling gets a pass.
With unobtrusive switching between modes, a silent cabin and everyday utility, drivers might not even know they're driving a hybrid, until they get to the gas pump.
Avalon Hybrid is a hybrid that doesn't know or care it’s a hybrid. Owners will enjoy a car with stunning economy that doesn't look like a hybrid. It makes a statement without screaming its intentions.