2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review

Pros & Cons

  • Exceptional fuel economy
  • upscale and quiet interior
  • roomy seating front and rear
  • large trunk.
  • Traditional Avalon buyers may find the ride too firm.
Other years
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List Price Range
$9,995 - $16,976

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With new features and a fresh look, the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid should earn new respect as a top choice for a full-size hybrid sedan.

Vehicle overview

Somewhere along Toyota's laser-focused path to increased sales, the company forgot about building cars that connected to drivers on both practical and emotional levels. But the recently redesigned Camry sent the first signal that Toyota was serious about making engaging cars again, and now the 2013 Avalon Hybrid further reinforces the automaker's new priorities.

The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is, as the name suggests, the gas-electric version of the fully redesigned Avalon. Like its conventional gasoline-only counterpart, the hybrid shares a striking new look for Toyota's big sedan. Combined with roof pillars that sweep gracefully to the trunk -- not unlike the Cadillac XTS or Jaguar XJ -- and a rear end pulled together with LED taillamps extending into the trunk lid, the new Avalon looks sleeker in profile and makes an impression -- something we can't say about its sleepy predecessor.

The front-wheel-drive Avalon is wider, lower and more than 2 inches shorter than before. A stiffer body and revised suspension settings give the Avalon more assured handling. Smaller dimensions mean slightly less interior room, but the Avalon compensates with a larger trunk, a greater range of seat adjustments and more efficient sunroof packaging.

Under the hood of the Avalon Hybrid is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor -- the same combination found in the new Camry -- that generates 200 horsepower. More importantly, it helps the Avalon Hybrid return an EPA-estimated 40 combined mpg. Fitted with a 17-gallon fuel tank, the Avalon Hybrid can theoretically cover more than 600 miles between fill-ups. That's the kind of range we normally associate with diesel engines.

Overall, the new 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid's excellent fuel economy, distinctive new look and business-class interior result in a pretty impressive package. It also happens to be pretty much in a class by itself, as few automakers currently offer full hybrid systems in their large non-luxury sedans. As alternatives, though, you could look at the new Ford Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Both are a little smaller inside the Avalon, but are impressive nonetheless. Volkswagen's Passat with the diesel engine would be another, less costly option.

Additional competition will come within the next two years as models like the Chevrolet Impala and Passat will feature hybrids among their lineups. For now, the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid merits strong consideration as a roomy, long-distance fuel-sipper.

2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid models

The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is a five-passenger sedan offered in XLE Premium, XLE Touring and Limited trim levels.

The XLE Premium comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 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 rearview camera, a 6-inch touchscreen display and an eight-speaker audio system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.

The XLE Touring adds foglights, driver seat and side mirror memory functions, a navigation system and Toyota's Entune smartphone app integration system.

The Limited bundles Premium and Touring features with xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, auto-dimming side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, upgraded leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver seat, an eight-way power passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rear power sunshade, a 7-inch touchscreen display and an 11-speaker JBL premium sound system. Adaptive cruise control and adaptive high beam headlights are optional for the Limited.

2013 Highlights

The 2013 Toyota Avalon is fully redesigned and now offers a hybrid variant.

Performance & mpg

The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that generates 156 hp and 156 pound-feet of torque. An electric motor brings the gas engine to life when it shuts down at stoplights in order to save fuel and also provides some low-end propulsion. Combined, the two power units are good for 200 hp. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) delivers power to the front wheels.

In Edmunds performance testing, an Avalon Hybrid Limited accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, a quick time for a full-size sedan. According to EPA estimates, the Avalon Hybrid returns 40 mpg city/39 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined.


Standard safety features for the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid include traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front and rear seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Limited models also come with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. An adaptive cruise control system with pre-collision warning is optional on the Limited.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Avalon Hybrid stopped from 60 mph in 132 feet, which is about average for the segment.


The first thought when driving the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid might be: "Is this really the Avalon?" The redesign has also yielded a personality change. The stiffer body and retuned suspension deliver an assured but comfortable ride, and the Avalon has shed its tendency to wallow around faster bends in the road. Some traditional Avalon buyers might still wish for the old, softer Avalon, but overall we like the change.

The Avalon's 200 hp moves the sedan's nearly 3,600-pound mass with some authority. In Edmunds acceleration tests, the Avalon Hybrid trailed a V6-powered Hyundai Azera by just two-tenths of a second. The Hybrid is also exceptionally quiet, equaling the hushed state of a large luxury sedan while on the highway.


The Avalon Hybrid's interior is spacious, elegant and uses high-quality materials throughout. The unusual layered dash layout divides the instrument panel, center console and front passenger area into different zones, appearing almost floating or disconnected when viewed from certain angles. It's a slightly modern and futuristic effect, but takes some getting used to. Controls are intuitively arranged and nicely weighted for a quality feel, however.

The front seats are very comfortable, offering a wide range of adjustment, and even feature lumbar support for both the driver and front passenger. The Avalon's rear seats are so roomy that Toyota actually offers a livery model of this car. The trunk offers 14 cubic feet of space, which is less than the regular Avalon but still more than what's available from the typical midsize hybrid sedan.

Gauges are sharp and stylish and the center screen is large and easy to read for navigation directions or vehicle operation information. Storage compartments are especially well placed and executed 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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Limited Avalon Hybrid review (Lexus es300h compared)
I started the Hybrid sedan research 3 months ago. I decided on the Lexus es300h - I put the deposit and ordered the car with the features I wanted. During the 3 week wait for the Lexus I saw the Avalon Hybrid online. During lunch I decided to go take a look, but didn't have time for a test drive. The exterior comparison was about the same for me; almost the same side profile look. The front & back of the car is different, but I liked both the same. The Interior was the difference maker. The Avalon just felt better and the controls made more sense. Plus the fact with the Limited Avalon model compared to the Lexus had more features than the Lexus and was $4500 cheaper!
A Lexus in Toyota Clothing?
What an amazing car. My wife and I took our '11 Avalon in for service and drove out with the '13 Hybrid. We drove Prii and the Camry Hybrid and there was no comparison to the Avalon Hybrid. Smooth, quiet (quietest car I've driven at 70/75!), handles much more securely than the '11, lots of room, great job on the interior making it both inviting and sporty. We were concerned about the CVT trans and the power and boy were we proven wrong. Not as strong as the V6 but pretty darn close. Transition from gas engine to electric is seamless and no 'rubberband' feel like on many CVTs. . Visibility is excellent. Overall a superb upgrade to the previous model and an excellent upscale sedan!
Steve P. from San Ramon,08/02/2016
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I LOVE THIS 2013 TOYOTA AVALON HYBRID!! Excellent styling, nice interior with really good color combinations, FABULOUS GAS MILEAGE. My first week of work commuting, in rush hour traffic, it achieved 40.3 MPG. Took in on a week long vacation, traveled 783 miles, up and down mountains (climbing to 9,000 ft) several times and achieved 38.6 MPG for the entire trip!! Only spent $56.00 for gas the entire week! The rear seat is large enough for my 6'5" son to fit in without his knees touching the front seat. The trunk is larger than it appears, it held all our luggage with ease. After 6 mos of driving this car is is still GREAT!! The gas mileage drops a little in the winter time due to running the heater but everything is wonderful. YOU CAN'T GO WRONG WITH THIS CAR! 1 year later - I'm averaging 36-38 MPG traveling to/from work in rush hour traffic (lots of stop and go) or going 79 MPH. The maintenance has been very simply, oil change only every 10,000 miles (synthetic oil), the breaks have not worn down at all, tire rotation every 5,000 miles. Excellent air conditioner for the summer months with only a 1-2 MPG drop. It's been 3 1/2 years now and the car is still great! The gas mileage is still 33-38 mpg. My commute has changed to only 5 miles to work so the mpg dropped to 33 mpg, BUT now I only get gas every 6 weeks! Over 111,000 miles now and it runs perfectly.
Wow, nice job, Toyota
This is my initial review of a 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Touring model, after three days of driving it. I love this car. It's huge – about the size of the Jaguar XJ VDP s/c it replaced, with a bigger trunk, too. It's the quietest car I've ever driven, too. How Toyota coaxes 40 mpg out of this size car, and still makes it scoot, is a mystery. It's got gobs of low-down electric torque. Even though 0-60 is around 8 seconds, real-world it feels much quicker than that. In-gear passing is stupendous – no waiting for engines or turbos to spool up, just mash the throttle and watch the mph climb. Styling: all subjective, of course, but I like the new design. Has a bit of Audi A7 in the rear.

Features & Specs

40 city / 39 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
200 hp @ 5700 rpm
40 city / 39 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
200 hp @ 5700 rpm
40 city / 39 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
200 hp @ 5700 rpm
See all Used 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.7%

More about the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid
More About This Model

That Toyota's 2013 Avalon Hybrid can plod us along in coddled comfort for 46.5 city miles on only one gallon of 87 octane fuel is a stunning technological achievement. No less so, say, than the fact that its cabin is utterly impenetrable to wind and road noise.

But there's more.

This isn't the polarizing gas-electric people pod that Toyota has wholly mastered. Nor is it just a more efficient version of your Aunt Ethel's Avalon. It's a genuinely decent driving car with room for five adults and a well-crafted interior.

The new 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, then, is not only quiet and efficient — it has some dynamic ability and an upscale demeanor.

It is, quite simply, in a class by itself.

Or Is It?
Pinpointing direct competitors for the gasoline-powered Avalon is hard enough, but given its size and content, fringe luxury cars like the Buick LaCrosse and Hyundai Azera come to mind. The Avalon hybrid, however, lives in virtual isolation. Only the not-yet-available 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid matches the Toyota in terms of luxury, size and projected efficiency.

Our top-of-the-line Limited model tester stickered at $43,945, including destination.

Buick's LaCrosse, which costs about $38,000 similarly equipped, comes in pseudo-hybrid form and benefits marginally from GM's eAssist motor/generator technology. But this mild hybrid — at 25 city/36 highway/29 combined mpg — can't compete with a full two-mode hybrid like the Avalon.

Volkswagen's top-of-line Passat TDI ($34,320) comes closer with its similar dimensions (a 110.4-inch wheelbase vs. Avalon's 111-inch wheelbase) and a frugal diesel power plant. When equipped with a dual-clutch transmission, the VW sedan earns EPA ratings of 30 city/40 highway and 34 combined, which more closely rivals the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid's 40 city/39 highway/40 combined rating.

A Unique Blend
Those considerations aside, the reality of the Avalon's fuel-sipping effectiveness punched us straight in the face when this large, comfortable sedan laid down a 46.5 mpg average on our 106.1-mile city loop. During two weeks we covered a total of 1,050 miles of mixed driving and recorded a 38.3 mpg average. This is a genuinely fuel-efficient luxury sedan — period.

Credit for the frugality goes almost entirely to the powertrain that consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder coupled to a pair of electric motors — one for charging the hybrid batteries and starting the gas engine and another for propulsion. Combined output is 200 horsepower just like the Camry Hybrid which shares the same setup.

A planetary gearset blends electric and gasoline power and sends it to the drive wheels without the use of the belt as in most CVTs. Even so, the powertrain behaves very much like a conventional CVT. Wood the throttle entering a freeway and the gasoline engine whirs to a relatively high speed and eases off when the pedal is lifted. Electric-only operation is available using a light foot up to about 20 mph. Or, should you choose, you can lock the powertrain into EV mode for stop-and-go city driving, but it's overridden when load or speed demands.

Regardless of its source, acceleration reliably follows throttle input and there's always a smooth swell of torque on tap at lower speeds. It's relatively quick, too. Ours went from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds (7.4 seconds with a 1-foot rollout as on a drag strip) and whirred through the quarter-mile in 15.7 seconds at 90.3 mph. That's only 0.2 second behind the 2012 Hyundai Azera, which is powered by a 293-hp 3.3-liter V6 and rated at 23 mpg combined.

Braking from 60 required 132 feet. That's about average for the segment, but the Avalon's pedal response is hard to judge to the extent that after a week driving the car we still found ourselves using too little pedal pressure when braking for a signal.

You Might Not Expect This
The Avalon is burdened with a degree of stigma like the Prius, although for entirely different reasons. Traditionally, the Avalon has been a soft-riding machine with dynamic traits that drew heavily from the smooth-riding preferences of its retirement-age buyers. Or so the argument goes.

This character is largely gone from the 2013 model — even the hybrid.

Where the old Avalon wallowed down the road like a '78 Buick Electra, the 2013 Toyota Avalon offers a controlled yet compliant ride. It's not stiff, but it lacks the floaty isolation of its predecessor. In contrast, though, steering effort is comically light at parking speeds and — whatever your speed — feedback is more Electra than Elise. But it's hard to fault the Avalon too much for this last trait. It isn't a sport sedan and it needn't pretend to be.

It still split our slalom cones at 62.5 mph, which ties it with the Buick LaCrosse and is 1.8 mph slower than the Ford Fusion Hybrid. A similar performance followed around the skid pad, where the big hybrid circled at 0.77g — marginally less than the Fusion Hybrid's 0.79g and the Buick's 0.80g performances.

Silent but Stately
Avalon engineers stole a move from the Lexus playbook by creating safe-room silence inside. At 59.8 decibels the Avalon recorded one of the lowest 70-mph cruise noise readings we've measured in any car in recent memory — including such costly equipment as the Bentley Continental GT (61.6 decibels) and the Audi A8 L (60.9 decibels).

Accordingly, there's a clear effort to move the Avalon above its segment mates in design and materials. Chrome bezels and accents dominate the detail work to the extent that you'll be thrilled to own a pair of polarized sunglasses for knocking down glare. Brightwork on this scale has never before graced a Toyota interior. Materials, too, are decidedly premium. Leather seats are standard across trim levels, while Limited models get perforated leather.

Stitched leather is present on the shifter, steering wheel and dash and there's a distinct absence of hard plastic surfaces. Overall interior quality looks and feels commensurate with the Avalon's price.

Touchpads replace buttons to control most audio and HVAC functions. Mercifully they emit an audible confirmation when activated. Two large knobs for volume and tuning are a welcome addition to the button-heavy design. But at night the volume knob hides behind the steering wheel. When fumbling to find it we accidentally activated the seek/track touchpad function on more than one occasion.

Otherwise, there's typically Toyota-like utility. Storage space is ample, with a large bin at the bottom of the center stack containing two 12-volt outlets, a USB plug and auxiliary jack. The center console is generously sized as well. Despite a compromise to accommodate batteries, trunk volume, at 14 cubic feet, is 2 cubes bigger than that of the Ford Fusion Hybrid.

Good-Bye, Stereotype; Hello, Reality
Whatever sales Toyota loses to the Avalon's newfound ride quality it will likely regain with buyers who prefer this car's fresh approach. Its characteristics are clearly a bid for younger buyers and we don't doubt they will come.

They will, however, pay a $4,565 premium for the added efficiency of the hybrid's powertrain over the V6-powered version. Assuming a 12,000-mile/year average and a fuel cost of $3.43/gallon, nearly 7.5 years are needed to recover the difference in purchase price between the two in fuel cost savings alone.

This is the same reality that plagues most hybrids — including the Prius — which is now leaving dealer lots at record rates in four different versions. So it's safe to assume this metric isn't a top consideration among hybrid buyers. But the Avalon isn't a Prius. It's a modern, competent luxury sedan that just happens to benefit from an effective hybrid powertrain. And in this regard it should draw buyers from both wells.

Yes, you'll pay more for the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid than for some cars with which it loosely shares a segment. But when it comes to matching the Avalon's mix of efficiency, solitude and comfort, few will compete.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Used 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Overview

The Used 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Avalon Hybrid Sedan. Available styles include Limited 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), XLE Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and XLE Premium 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Touring is priced between $9,995 and$16,976 with odometer readings between 59236 and247181 miles.

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Which used 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrids are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2013 Avalon Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,995 and mileage as low as 59236 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid.

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Find a used Toyota Avalon Hybrid for sale - 10 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $23,699.

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Should I lease or buy a 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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