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2013 Toyota Avalon Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Toyota Avalon was new.


Performance: 8.0

Reviewers say that the redesigned 2013 Toyota Avalon features a refined powertrain, just like the 2012 model. However, many test drivers also report that the old Avalon’s floaty handling is a thing of the past. While the Avalon still has a comfort-tuned ride, test drivers say that its controlled handling makes the 2013 Avalon much more enjoyable to drive.

  • "The structure is stiffer than that of the previous version, too, which has helped make powertrain, suspension, and road noise even more hushed than before-and decidedly Lexus-like." -- Car and Driver 
  • "Thanks to the additional acoustic insulation carried by the Avalon compared to the Camry, it practically takes a stethoscope to detect when the Avalon's V6 is running." -- Edmunds 
  • "While its performance abilities may not leave you grinning from ear to ear, the 2013 Toyota Avalon delivers on its promise to provide a pleasantly sedate driving experience." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "While it's not too much of a stretch to call the 2013 Avalon's appearance ‘sporty,’ I hesitate to apply the same term to the car's performance. Sure, this Avalon's handling is predictable and its engine feels potent, this is still a comfortable ride first and foremost." -- CNET 

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Toyota Avalon comes with a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The EPA reports that the 2013 Avalon gets 21/31 mpg city/highway, which is slightly better than competitors like the Chrysler 300 and Hyundai Azera.

The 2013 Avalon features the same engine as the outgoing model, and reviewers agree that the Avalon’s V6 provides ample power. One test driver also praises the six-speed automatic transmission, noting that shifts are exceptionally smooth.

  • "Power remains the same at 268 hp, but muscle was never the Avalon's problem." -- Car and Driver 
  • "The transmission changes gears so smoothly that the machinery might well be lubricated with ambrosia, and there's enough acoustic insulation to effectively hush any tire noise." -- Edmunds 
  • "The V6 provides brisk acceleration-Toyota forecasts 6.7 seconds to 60 mph. And with paddle shifters, the six-speed automatic delivers prompt gear changes." -- Popular Mechanics 

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say that no one is going to mistake the 2013 Avalon for a performance car. However, they also note that the redesigned Avalon is much more poised than the 2012 model. They say that while the previous Avalon had a comfortable ride, it was also unwieldy on twisty roads. Most test drivers agree that the new Avalon is still comfortable, but that it also offers composed handling and better cornering ability than the outgoing car. 

  • "The steering now requires effort, and even more weight can be dialed in by hitting the Sport button located between the seats. Jack LaLanne himself would be pleased by the Avalon's transformation from flabby and sloppy to tight and athletic." -- Car and Driver 
  • "There's not a lot of communication from the steering, but what it's not telling you is stuff the Avalon driver doesn't want to know anyway. The ride is soft but controlled, while the nose dips only slightly when you get on the brakes." -- Edmunds 
  • "Previous Avalons appealed primarily to drivers who thought cornering should be preceded by an environmental impact statement. With improved chassis and firmer suspension, the new Avalon attacks corners, changes direction readily, and limits rock and roll body motions-in contrast to the lifeboat dynamics of earlier generations." -- Popular Mechanics 
  • "This is the sort of inoffensive, unobtrusive ride that is the hallmark of a modern Toyota sedan. Enthusiasts won't get excited about it, but it's exactly what I'd be looking for in a large premium sedan were I in the market for one." -- CNET 

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