Used 2013 Toyota Avalon Sedan Review |

Used 2013 Toyota Avalon Sedan Review

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2013 Toyota Avalon Sedan

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • With new features and a new look for 2013, the Toyota Avalon should earn new respect as a top choice for a full-size sedan.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Dynamic new look; luxury-like cabin quality; roomy seating front and rear; large trunk; generous interior storage.

  • Cons

    No lesser equipped and cheaper base model; ride might be too firm for traditional Avalon buyers.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Toyota Avalon is fully redesigned.

Full 2013 Toyota Avalon Review

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Toyota Avalon is fully redesigned.


As Toyota flirted with its status as the world's largest automaker, the company seemingly forgot about building appealing cars that connected with drivers on a visual and emotional level. A recently redesigned Camry sent the first signal that Toyota was serious about making interesting cars again. Next up: the 2013 Toyota Avalon.

A wide-mouth lower grille accentuates the Avalon's new front end, while hood channels and narrow headlamp lenses contribute to a more forceful presentation. The Avalon looks sleeker in profile, a result of the car's rear roof pillars that sweep more purposefully toward the trunk. The rear end, meanwhile, is pulled together more tightly, with LED taillamps extending onto the trunk lid and tied together with a sweeping chrome strip.

The Avalon remains front-wheel drive, but overall it's slightly shorter and wider than the previous model. A stiffer body, thanks to increased bracing, and revised suspension settings deliver an improved ride and more assured handling, while still providing ample comfort. The Avalon's engine is pretty much unchanged, however, so you're looking at a still impressively smooth 3.5-liter V6 that generates a respectable 268 horsepower and 25 mpg combined on the EPA cycle.

Despite the new Avalon's smaller dimensions, interior room is actually up thanks to a greater range of seat adjustments and more efficient sunroof packaging. The trunk is also larger and there are new features such as a premium JBL sound system, navigation, adaptive cruise control, heated and ventilated seats, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. However, the biggest departure is interior materials quality. The last Avalon had quite a few disappointing, hard interior bits that paled in comparison to those in key rivals. The new car, however, feels like a luxury car both in terms of quality and its eye-catching design.

Toyota is positioning the 2013 Avalon as an American sedan, designed and built in the United States and catering to American tastes. With its distinctive new look and improved interior, the new Avalon is an impressive package that puts it back in front after several competitors notched ahead of the previous model. Although looking at the 2013 Buick LaCrosse, 2013 Chrysler 300 or 2013 Hyundai Azera would be wise, we have no problem saying the new Toyota Avalon has more than enough merits to be a top choice for a large sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Toyota Avalon is offered in four trim levels: XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Touring and Limited. The XLE comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar support, a four-way power front passenger seat and heated front seats. Electronic features include keyless ignition/entry, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 6.1-inch central touchscreen display and an eight-speaker audio system with a CD player, an, auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.

The Avalon XLE Premium is very similar but has upgraded keyless ignition/entry (additional functionality for rear doors and trunk), an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rearview camera. The Touring has 18-inch wheels, foglights, upgraded leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver seat, an eight-way power front passenger seat, heated rear seats, a navigation system, Toyota's Entune smartphone app integration system and a nine-speaker audio system with satellite and HD radio.

Going with the Avalon Limited gets you all of the above plus xenon headlights, auto-dimming side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, tri-zone automatic climate control, ventilated front seats, a rear power sunshade, a 7-inch touchscreen display and an 11-speaker JBL premium sound system.

The only option for the Avalon is a Tech package for the Limited that includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights and a pre-collision system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Toyota Avalon comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 268 hp and 248 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Estimated fuel economy stands at 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.


Standard safety features for the Avalon include traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front and rear seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Touring and Limited models also come with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. A pre-collision warning system is optional on the Limited.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Avalon's interior is spacious and elegant, with high-quality materials throughout. The dash has an unusual layered layout dividing it into different zones for instrument panel, center console and front passenger area. The effect is tied together with chrome flashing that is attractive but catches the sun in bright light. All the controls are intuitively arranged and nicely weighted for a quality feeling, however.

The front seats are very comfortable and highly adjustable, with plenty of side bolstering and lumbar support for both the driver and the front passenger. The Avalon's rear seats are so roomy that Toyota is actually offering a livery model of this car. The generous trunk offers 16 cubic feet of space, with a wide access and low liftover.

Gauges are sharp and stylish and the center screen is large and easy to read for navigation directions or vehicle operation information. Its audio controls are well-sorted, too. Storage compartments are especially well thought out and provide ample room for drinks and personal effects. The lower section of the center console provides a convenient "eBin" with power cords passing through a sliding panel for two cell phones and auxiliary and USB connections. A large center armrest provides more storage space and additional connectivity and charging for cell phones.

Driving Impressions

The first thought when driving the 2013 Toyota Avalon might be: "Is this really the Avalon?" It seems that the redesign has also provided a personality change. The stiffer body is immediately apparent by delivering an assured ride but one that is still comfortable. Designers have firmed up the steering to provide more road feel, while the brakes are nicely tuned to match the increased responsiveness of the drivetrain.

The engine is smooth and powerful and will provide plenty of acceleration to please most drivers. Although Avalon buyers in love with the previous car's indifferent dynamics might be a little disappointed with the new car, overall we think this sedan offers a nice blend of comfort and useful performance.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 36 reviews) | Write a Review

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

So far good except

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

So I have 42k on the car. It has been reliable and low maintenance. The backs of both seats have fallen off. I went to Toyota and they said it is a common defect but since I drive a lot they want $800 to fix. It is clearly a poor design but Toyota doesn't respond. I bought the 120k bumper to bumper but was told after it isn't bumper to bumper and that they "have good sales people". My car is embarrassing to sit in.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Disappointing comfort

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Although this is a great car, it comes up short on one item I think most Avalon Limited buyers want and that is COMFORT. I know they are trying to reach the younger set and apparently have done so from sales figures, I believe they went too far on ride/comfort. We purchased our Avalon Feb 2013 and just had it in for 15,000 mile service. We take a 400 mile trip about once a month. On the first trip in Feb 13 I noticed at the 100 mile mark that I couldn't get comfortable in the seats - felt hard. I didn't say anything, but the next month my wife(its her car) said these seats aren't comfortable. She said the other day I want a new car - one that has comfortable seats and softer tires.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Solid power-train, terrible interior quality

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Toyotas will run forever and hybrid design is solid. The car is quiet and the seats are great. The interior build quality is terrible however. My headliner warped in the first 4K miles, the dash creaks and pops when you hit a dump and the door panels also creak constantly. A happy customer tells four people about their experience and unhappy customer tells 10 people. The crappy part is I have to sell it at a loss to buy the ford fusion. My gut told me to go with the ford and I should have followed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I just leased this car this past weekend. Looked at Impala, Taurus, 300, ES350 and Toyota Avalon. Decided to get the Avalon after driving the cars. The car handles great. Did not feel like past reviews that car was too stiff or noisy on highway. I will update this if it changes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Won over

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I bought the Avalon Touring XLE model in March 2013. Initially, I was a bit disappointed in the quality of the ride. I thought there was too much road feel. This October, I drove it to Ohio and Indiana from Florida. It performed amazingly and I am now smitten with this machine. I really enjoy driving it and on a smooth road, it is terrific. I am averaging nearly 30 mpg . My driving is all at 60mph where I live . No regrets on this purchase.

3 of 28 people found this review helpful

F-150 and tundra ride much better

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

My chiropractor suggests a different car. At 8K miles the rattles are popping up all over. Empty car seat, controls, my flesh and my clothes shake and vibrate (sometimes violently) if the road isn't perfectly smooth. The "fuel mgmt system" allows one to drive less than 350 mi before refueling even tho there is still >100 miles fuel on board. e.g. all four displays reporting the need for fuel must be ignored and I have to go by the odometer. Dealer & Toyota say that can't be changed. "Dist to empty" = 0 really means >100 miles to empty. Brake Assist feature is truly dangerous in heavy traffic. I happen to be strong enough to press my own brakes but Toyota knows better than I!

Talk About The 2013 Avalon

2013 Toyota Avalon Discussions See all Started By

I have read other threads about recent model Avalons having an issue with a hard lump in the center of the driver's seat, and I really didn't test drive this model extensively before I bought it since...

The 2013 Avalon Hybrid Limited has quite a few high tech features. One of which is the ability to add contact images for incoming calls. Not a lot of detail as to how to do this, but the phone must ...

My 2013 Avalon Limited was purchased in Dec 2012. It is my 3rd one - have always loved them. But THIS one has been a disappointment. It seems that every 10k miles the battery completely loses its c...

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Toyota Avalon Sedan in VA is:

$128.83 per month*

Identifix Reliability Ratings

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