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2011 Toyota Avalon – Click above for high-res gallery

Perhaps the only 'surprise' at this year's Chicago Auto Show thus far has been the appearance of Toyota's refreshed-for-2011 Avalon sedan. According to this morning's presentation, even the automaker itself debated postponing its introduction in light of its present woes.

Looking to make the best of a bad situation (and among a string of assurances about his company's commitment to quality and customers), Toyota's Group Vice President and General Manager, Bob Carter, was quick to point out that the full-size sedan will ship with an updated gas pedal and emergency shutoff provision. That housekeeping note done, Carter went on to explain that the full-size Avalon checks off the traditional list of mid-cycle refresh items including revised head- and taillamps (the latter with LED), a new grille, revamped fascias and new alloy wheel patterns.

The bigger story for the revamped Avalon is on the inside, where a handsome new center stack, latest-generation navigation system and added niceties like a standard in-mirror backup camera and Bluetooth streaming audio and telephony have been fitted.

As before, the Avalon is powered by Toyota's 24-valve 3.5-liter V6, tuned here to make 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and achieve 20 miles-per-gallon in the city and 29 on the highway. It arrives in dealerships this spring.

[Source: Toyota]


Toyota Reveals Redesigned 2011 Avalon at Chicago Auto Show

• Distinctive New Styling Offers a Modern, Upscale Appearance
• "Travel Avalon Class" with Segment's Only Reclining Rear Seat and Overall Comfort
• Modern Technologies Provide Comprehensible Convenience

CHICAGO (February, 10, 2010) – Toyota introduced the boldly redesigned 2011 Avalon today at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show. Evoking a time when travel was sophisticated, elegant and comfortable, the new Avalon possesses a distinctive new exterior style while offering a restyled interior rich with premium touch points and practical new technologies.

Even with numerous refinements inside and out, the Avalon remains true to the idea that comfort is honest and uncomplicated, and "Traveling Avalon Class" is rich in simple, familiar pleasures.

The new Avalon has dynamic and expressive lines, and an infusion of comfort, safety and technology advancements that enrich the driving experience. Upgraded equipment and technology features, such as a touch-screen navigation system with real-time traffic, and Bluetooth® hands-free phone capability with music streaming to the audio system are among the improvements that enhance the 2011 Avalon's excellent blend of spaciousness, comfort and technology.

"The Avalon has long been appreciated by smart, conscientious consumers who recognize quality materials and the beauty of detailed craftsmanship," said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "The changes made for 2011 will allow us to build on our position in the premium large car segment. The competition does not stand still, and neither do we."

Restyled at Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., the Avalon is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), a "zero landfill" facility that also assembles the Camry, Camry Hybrid, and Venza. It was also developed at the Toyota Technical Center (TTC) in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Dynamic New Exterior
For 2011, Calty restyled Avalon to project an elegant, outgoing presence. A wider, more substantial grille ties into state-of-the-art projector headlamps, working with a broad, undisturbed front hood to suggest a lowered center of gravity and emphasize the Avalon's wide stance.

The new headlamps, which combine multi-reflector halogen high beams with halogen or HID low beams, utilize light pipes to create a signature, night-time appearance. The front fog lamps, now integrated into a trapezoidal front bumper, provide a wider angle of illumination.

Viewed from the side, the 2011 Avalon is enhanced by additional use of chrome trim, redesigned rocker panels, and glare-resistant outer mirrors with integrated turn signals. New 17-inch wheels on the Limited grade feature a 10-spoke design with a mirror finish.

At the rear of the car, identification is cleanly defined by a single Avalon logo located above the license plate. Dual-exhaust pipes are integrated into the cutaway trapezoid shape of the lower bumper for a modern image. Taillights have been reshaped to reduce turbulence at the rear, helping to create a lower coefficient of drag. The new lights integrate stop, turn and side marker lighting functions in one combined lamp. Unique LED light pipes with dark aluminized sides and both clear and red lenses project a modern appearance.

Spacious Interior Built For Comfort
For 2011, a new interior has been designed with a contemporary style. The new interior remains generously spacious and elegant, fitted with comfortable seating and thoughtfully integrated amenities. Coordinated colors and rich wood-grain materials were carefully chosen to convey an optimistic attitude and modern essence.

Standard leather-trimmed front seats and seatbacks on the Limited are fitted with ventilation systems and an enlarged perforation area to help keep them cool. Interior seats feature thicker stitching, which provides an elegant accent to the interior design. Active front headrests are also standard.

The rear seating area is configured to seat three passengers comfortably, with ample legroom and reclining rear seats, unique in the segment. The rear headrests have also been reshaped and enlarged for better support, and a convenient flip-down center armrest provides storage when the middle seat is not in use.

A power rear sunshade, deployable via a one-touch lever, filters direct sunlight coming through the rear window. The sunshade, which helps to protect rear seat passengers from unwanted light and heat, automatically detracts when the driver selects reverse gear.

A new instrument panel incorporates visually attractive and highly readable Optitron gauges that use graduated white illumination with white pointers. They are set inside smoked lenses and deep chrome rings that add depth and a sense of luxury.

The steering wheel includes controls for Bluetooth hands-free phones, the audio system, climate system, and the information center.

Technology-Enriched Environment
A comprehensive infusion of technology was designed into the new interior to ensure an enriched environment, with enhanced function and connectivity.

New standard equipment includes Bluetooth® hands-free phone and music streaming to the audio system from a compatible device, XM® satellite radio (subscription required), and both USB and 1/8-inch auxiliary connections for iPod® and other audio devices. Each of the three available audio systems can control iPods seamlessly using switches located on the steering wheel and display track information stored in the device.

Toyota's latest DVD Navigation system has a newly adopted database and now has easier search and address input functionality. The Navigation system also offers new displays for road icons and points of interest, and a keyboard screen arranged in the same way as a personal computer.

The Avalon grade's standard nine-speaker system offers exceptional sound quality, while the Limited grade features a standard 12-speaker, 660-watt JBL Premium Synthesis audio system with enhanced two-coil sub-woofer. The system uses 12 speakers and a 12-channel digital amplifier to deliver profoundly rich, full sound to all seats of the vehicle.

A rear-view monitor function is standard in the rear-view mirror or with the navigation system. The rear-view-mirror image includes on-screen back-up guides that help drivers to back into parking spots or driveways.

Performance and Efficiency Combined
Avalon's exceptional combination of ample horsepower and excellent fuel economy offers one of the best overall dynamic performances in the large sedan segment.

The 2011 Avalon is powered by a 24-valve, dual-overhead cam 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. The engine is equipped with the latest dual VVT-i electronic valve-control mechanism that provides a broader powerband, while requiring less fuel and generating fewer emissions. It is mated to a multi-mode six-speed automatic transmission.

The 2011 Avalon is an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV), EPA-estimated to deliver 20 mpg in the city, 29 highway, and 23 combined, as good as or better than any V6 model in the segment.

A roadworthy mix of fine ride quality and accurate driving control is delivered by the Avalon's MacPherson strut suspension, which uses coil springs at all four corners. Rack-and-pinion steering combines with front-wheel-drive and optimized steering gear for a natural handling feel.

Simple Comforts Throughout
A dual-zone climate control system has nine air-flow modes for more precise control of interior climate, and a clean-air filter removes dust and pollen. Doors use three stop positions instead of two for easier entrance and exit. A lockable glove box has a pneumatic-door damper and inner box illumination. The front-console box has a sliding armrest that moves 4.7 inches front to rear, able to accommodate a wide range of driver positions. The elegantly stitched top is padded with a double density cushion material for softness. Inside, there is a 12-volt outlet in addition to the USB and auxiliary audio terminals.

Safety is Standard
The new Avalon's occupant-safety strategy includes use of extensively tested energy absorbing structures, protective side impact beams and overhead structure, advanced belt systems and active front headrests as standard equipment. Avalon will also have a redesigned accelerator pedal assembly and a brake override system.

Seven airbags, including a front knee bag for the driver, and front side curtain airbags for both rows, are also standard. Toyota's standard Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, and TRAC traction control system. TRAC and VSC functions can be disengaged if the driver needs to free the vehicle if stuck in mud or snow.

A full-size spare and alloy wheel is standard. Each wheel has its own pressure sensor to warn if tire pressure drops, providing the driver with an early warning to find a safe place to change a tire.

Simplified Packaging
The 2011 Avalon will be available in two grades when it arrives in showrooms in the spring of 2010, Avalon and Limited. Both grades will be well equipped with standard equipment like eight-way leather-trimmed power driver's seats, back-up camera, dual zone automatic climate control with air filtration, moonroof and 17-inch alloy wheels. Limited will have additional standard equipment, such as an eight-way passenger's seat with lumbar support, driver's seat cushion extension, rain-sensing wipers, Smart Key and cooled leather seats. Avalon grade can be upgraded with features like a JBL Synthesis sound system and heated front seats, while Navigation is optional for both grades.

Color and Trim
Avalon will be available in nine exterior colors including three new colors: Zephyr Blue Metallic, Cypress Pearl and Sizzling Crimson Mica. Additional colors include Cocoa Bean Metallic, Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Black, and Sandy Beach Metallic. Avalon grade will be mated to three leather-trimmed interior colors: Ivory, Light Gray, and Black. Limited grade receives Ivory, Light Gray, and Black Bordeaux trims with accent-color trim on the vertical surfaces.

Limited Warranty
Toyota's 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Toyota dealers have complete details on the limited warranty.

The redesigned 2011 Avalon will begin arriving at Toyota dealerships nationally in spring 2010.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The ugliest greenhouse I've ever seen
      • 5 Years Ago
      I had high hopes for the Avalon to look something more sleek and be less targeted to the grandparent generation for the next gen. But with this most recent facelift, Toyota succeeded in transforming it to an ugly piece of metal. I would love to buy a new Toyota but I can't even find one model that fits the description cool and not boring. It's not enough they just depend on quality. I mean that's already out of the window with all these recalls.
      • 5 Years Ago

      An Open Letter to Chairman Toyoda:

      You seem to be having a bad month. We are sorry it's happening to you. We have an open, honest respect for you. You and the employees of your Auto Company help us be better, so our Auto Company's can have our due share of the automobile market. Now, please stay alert. Some guys from Japan and Germany may become predatory, and take advantage of your current situation. That would be quite disrespectful, and many potential buyers will know better, but some won't. With that, your expensive to buy, hybridized or not, transportation toys happen to be defective. Remember, We are Auto Mobile Building PROFESSIONALS, (Our Builders WOULD have caught potential life ending defects and alerted the management, hey wait, we are BOTH, we OWN part of G.M. now, wow!), and have been for DECADES. Nevertheless, We know you, your parts suppliers, and your engineers, AND then your Dealers, will fix the defects as soon as you and they are able. But, until then, it's our turn to respectfully compete, and increase our share of a now more open (albeit it temporary) automobile market.

      We also know you and your people will be back quickly. We're counting on it, because, as fellow drivers, and honest, honorable, competitors, we'll all be better, and safer, in the end.

      Respectfully Yours:
      The United Auto Workers

      P.S. (Cringe) If any Model of an American Car is recalled, it will be a hassle, and not a life changing event. Sorry. Maybe emulating the Ford Family really is a good idea.

      P.P.S - G.M., for now, stands for Government Motors, only because we Americans are UNITED on the important issues. So you know, when the U.S. Gov. is in charge of keeping it's citizens safe, well, they just DO IT.

      P.P.P.S. The United States Secretary of Transportation wants to ask you a few dozen questions. Please, come over and have a visit, it's kinda overdo. A suggestion to you, for now, stop talking and JUST DO THAT.

      copyright 2010
      I CAN BE REACHED AT 707-333-3282. CYA!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm REALLY bad at this web blogger deal. Even my apologies are feeble, lol.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't understand what you're getting at here...

        How are the UAW workers any more or less professional than other auto workers? And what do you mean by predatory Japanese and German auto workers? Aren't they mostly building their cars outside of Japan, US and Germany these days???
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey Thank You!

        Fair Enough! Opinions and Constructive Criticism are ALWAYS needed, and really appreciated! However, "that was lame dude" (Your Words DUDE) may not qualify as either. And, PLEASE know that was THE FIRST BLOG I have ever done, EVER, so, with that, I would appreciate you not calling me a HACK, MR. MAN. It's just silly blogger fun. Stay rocking hackman. Finally, to you "hacker" and anyone else who chooses to read this, RELAX, LOL!!

        See Whomever Whenever

        How silly do WE ALL LOOK? Mindless automatons hidden behind "glow screens" thinking we are really having a conversation with folks we may one day never have as REAL LIFE friends. We kinda suck right now.Hmmm, did I just write that OUTLOUD?!!? I need a censor. OUT 4 NOW PEEPS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought the Avalon was being scrapped for a longer Camry.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A yawn like the rest.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I rented a 2009 Avalon once. It was an amazingly good car, and extremely luxurious with more rear seat room (and reclining rear seats) than any premium brand car. It was also immensely boring.

      This is much improved over that... It has just a little bit more style and the interior is about 1,000 times better than before.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota seems to have lost their way. This is what they call a "bold redesign"?

      Most recent Hyundais and Kias have been virtually indistinguishable from the benchmark Toyota, but that's starting to change.

      The Korean cars are starting to look better, and Toyotas are starting to look like last generation Hyundais.

      I've been saying for years that Toyota is NOT as good as their reputation would make it seem. Finally more people are starting to realize that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Very much agree LesPaul1

        I owned my share of Toyotas and so have people around me. Its not hype. Toyota didnt build their rep over night or with one model.

        The people on AB do believe that Toyotas are crap and I think thats mostly because they hate them.

        The now previous Avalon was a great car and reviews loved it. Im sure this is only going to get better.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think reputation is based on hype. It's based on some truths about the quality of toyota cars. They do not last forever but they do last a long time. I can give you my anecdote on how I owned a toyota and it ran well. But a better example would be the truck they demolished on top gear and the mechanic would make a few adjustments and it would run again. That's not an accident.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I won't deny that they are reliable, even in the midst of recent problems. But these days the vast majority of cars are in the same ballpark, so that's not really THAT big of a deciding factor anymore in reality.

        The issue that I, and a lot of other people have with Toyota is that they have hung their hat on reliability for so long, they've forgotten how to do everything else. Their exterior design is about as boring as it comes. The ride is decent, but the steering and handling is completely uninspired. The interior designs and materials are sub-par. I don't see any reason to compromise significantly on all those attributes only to gain an extra 5% of reliability.

        There's no reason you can't have both. The other manufacturers have closed the quality gap significantly over the past 5 years, and many of them put out stylish, fun to drive products.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That should complete the camry family! Little camry (Corolla), regualr camy, Big Camry(Avalon), SUVish Camry (Highlander) and minivan Camry (Sienna). Cant forget stupid camry (Venza). And they all look the same! go bland!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I used to think of this car as the best Buick Toyota ever made.

      Now I think that's really insulting to Buick.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd yawn but it wouldn't be worth the exertion.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't forget to wash that down with some metamucil in prune juice!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's wavy, garbled, melted fascias on boring, outdated, slab-sided bodies... it looks like the 2010 Lexus GX, and that is NOT a compliment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love bed-time stories but this one is going to put me in a coma... Toyota Avallllllllllllvd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............................................... .

      .,p'FY"... Opps.... I fell asleep....
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