2007 Avalon New Car Test Drive
Toyota Avalon is undoubtedly the best American car ever built by a Japanese manufacturer. Granted, it is front-wheel drive, and its exterior dimensions seem smaller than its American counterparts, but the Avalon is full-sized inside and full-sized in its emphasis on quiet, ease, and convenience.
The Avalon is smooth and comfortable underway, quiet and serene. The suspension is tuned for ride comfort, and it largely excels in this area. The double-overhead-cam V6 engine is smooth, quiet and powerful, while the electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission ensures smoothness and economy. And Avalon comes with the latest in safety features.
Inside is a comfortable cabin lavished with tasteful materials and ergonomically designed controls that make the Avalon easy to operate and pleasant to drive. The front seats are roomy and comfortable, and special attention was paid to back-seat comfort. This is a car that will never annoy you.
Avalon's styling is understated, presenting a quiet look of grace and agility. Four trim variations are available, each representing slightly different priorities to broaden Avalon's appeal. Avalon was completely redesigned late in 2005. For '07, a tire pressure monitor is now standard on all models, and the navigation system is now available in the Touring trim level.
Avalon benefits from Toyota's reputation for quality, durability and reliability. And, given that it was designed in Newport Beach, California; engineered by the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and is built in Georgetown, Kentucky; it could be argued that the Avalon is the best American car from an American manufacturer.
The 2007 Toyota Avalon is available in four trim levels: XL, Touring, XLS, and Limited. All are powered by a 3.5-liter V6, connected to a five-speed automatic transmission with a sequential-shift feature.
Avalon XL ($26,875) comes with cloth upholstery; eight-way adjustable power driver's seat; dual-zone climate control with air filtration; a premium-level AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo with nine speakers; remote keyless entry; power door locks with anti-lockout feature; power windows with driver and passenger auto up/down, pinch protection and retained power; Optitron instruments with chrome accents; maintenance indicator light; steering-wheel-mounted audio and climate controls; and a multi-function information display for audio, climate control, temperature and trip computer. The XL also has cruise control, an engine immobilizer and a tilt and telescoping steering column. Tires are 215/60R16 on aluminum wheels, and the spare tire is full-sized, with a matching aluminum rim. A tire-pressure monitor is now standard as well.
The Touring model ($29,125) features more aggressive suspension tuning and 17-inch alloy wheels with P215/55R17 Michelin MXV4 tires. Touring also upgrades to leather-trimmed seats with four-way power for the front passenger, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and aluminum scuff plates. Also distinguishing the Touring are high-intensity-discharge (HID) head lamps, fog lamps, and a rear decklid spoiler.
The XLS ($31,325) reverts to standard headlights and suspension, keeps the fog lamps and 17-inch tire size, and adds a power moonroof, in-dash six-disc CD changer, dual heated outside mirrors (with electrochromic auto-dimming on the driver's side), an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and Homelink universal transceiver, and an anti-theft system.
The Limited ($34,065) adds a 360-watt JBL Synthesis audio system with six-disc CD changer and 12 speakers, a one-touch auto-reverse power rear sunshade, power driver's seat cushion length adjuster, the Smart Key system, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, HID headlamps, a wood-and-leather-trimmed shift knob and steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a driver and passenger seat heater and cooling fan.
Stand-alone options include the power moonroof ($910), in-dash six-CD changer ($200), and anti-theft system ($220). Touring and above offer heated seats packaged with VSC stability control ($1,090), the JBL Synthesis sound system ($840), navigation system ($1,900), and a JBL/navigation package ($4,005). Dynamic laser cruise control ($600) is optional on Limited only.
Safety features that come standard on all models include driver and front-passenger airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags for torso protection, side curtain airbags for head protection, and a driver's knee airbag. Active safety features include anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). Optional on all Avalons is Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control and Brake Assist ($650).
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