2013 Toyota Avalon

Now that we've waved goodbye to the Lincoln Town Car, there's a big ol' hole in the automotive market for new livery vehicles – you know, the blacked-out hire cars frequently seen idling outside of airport terminals and hotels. Cadillac has announced that its XTS flagship will be offered with a factory livery package, and other American automakers like Chrysler and Lincoln have entered this luxury fleet segment as well. But it won't stop there.

During our first drive of the 2013 Avalon, Toyota officials confirmed that the company will offer a livery edition of its new large sedan. As expected, the livery edition will have a black-on-black color scheme and will offer heated seats and individual heating and cooling controls for rear seat passengers, deleting the front heated seats in the process. (Sorry, Jeeves.)

Two different Avalon livery models will be produced – a V6 model based on the XLE trim and a hybrid version based on the XLE Premium grade. With its 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, the gasoline-electric Avalon is rated at 40 miles per gallon combined. That's certainly an improvement over the old 19-mpg Town Car.

Toyota spokesperson Moe Durand confirmed to Autoblog that the Avalon livery car will be available to order through the brand's entire dealer network. That said, Toyota isn't expecting huge sales numbers for its package – "500 to 1000 units in first year," says Durand. Dealers will be able to place orders for the car as early as the first week of December. XLE V6 models will start at $31,360, whereas XLE Premium Hybrid versions will start at $33,750, not including $759 for destination.

Scroll down for Toyota's official press release.
Show full PR text

• Introduction of first Avalon Hybrid livery edition

TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA, October 30, 2012 – With the all-new 2013 Avalon, Toyota will offer a pair of unique livery models to meet the needs of fleet operators. The new fleet-focused models will also mark the introduction of the first Avalon Hybrid that promises to help reduce livery operator's fuel costs.

The livery and chauffeured transportation market is another area of opportunity for the new 2013 Avalon. There are more than 12,000 livery operators nationwide with an average fleet size ranging from 12 to 18 vehicles. Sedan sales to these companies typically range between four and six thousand a year. On average, livery operators keep their cars in service for about five years, driving between 40 and 50 thousand miles a year.

Until recently, the market was dominated by the Lincoln Town Car, which accounted for roughly 80 percent of livery sedan sales. With that car discontinued, livery fleets are looking for alternatives, including Lincoln MKT, Cadillac XTS and Chrysler 300. The new Avalon, with its mix of styling, comfort, performance, and hybrid fuel economy can offer a compelling sedan to livery operators.

The V6 version of the Avalon livery model starts with an XLE grade and adds rear HVAC, heated rear seats and deletes the heated front seats. The gasoline model relies on a 3.5-liter, DOHC, 268 horsepower V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission to help it achieve a combined EPA-rated fuel economy of 25 mpg (21 city/31 hwy). Other standard features include; 10 airbags, 8-speaker Display Audio system, Smart Key for the two front doors, leather seating surfaces, heated outside mirrors with turn signal, 17-inch alloy wheels and a black on black treatment for the exterior and interior. This livery vehicle package is available with a $31,360 MSRP.

The 2013 Avalon Hybrid utilizes a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle, four-cylinder engine with an electronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) that houses electric motors powered by a Nickel-Metal hydride battery to produce a total system output of 200 horsepower. This efficient fleet model is EPA-rated at 40-MPG combined (40 city/ 39 hwy). The base Avalon Hybrid livery model adds rear HVAC, rear seat heater, and two-door smart key to the Hybrid XLE Premium grade.

Equipment deleted from this XLE Premium for the livery model includes three-door Smart Key, back-up camera, moonroof, heated front seats, and the inside mirror that includes a garage door opener. The Avalon Hybrid Livery model in XLE Premium grade is expected to start at $33,750.

Mileage will be a key advantage for Avalon. Based on current gas prices and driving 50,000 miles a year, the gas and hybrid livery editions could deliver substantial fuel cost savings. The 2013 Avalon Livery models go on sale at the beginning of December, 2012.

The MSRPs for the 2013 Avalon do not include the delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee, which is $795. The DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.