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2019 Toyota Avalon - Driven

2019 Toyota Avalon - Driven

Top-shelf stuff at a very attractive price

First unveiled in 1994 at the Chicago Auto Show, a total of four generations have come and gone for Toyota’s large, mid-size, flagship sedan, also known as the Avalon. Now, following a debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the Avalon enters its fifth generation, and it’s bringing fresh exterior styling, a brand-new interior, tons of technology and equipment, and both a V-6 and hybrid four-cylinder powertrain, all in the name of resurrecting the beleaguered sedan segment. The question is - is it any good? To find out, Toyota flew me down to Del Mar in San Diego, CA, to give it a try.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Toyota Avalon.

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2018 Toyota Sequoia - Driven

2018 Toyota Sequoia - Driven

An aging, lumbering beast that somehow wins hearts with its old-school vibes

The Toyota Sequoia is alive and kicking. You’re forgiven if you’ve forgotten, even despite Toyota giving the full-size SUV a slight update for 2018. The Sequoia’s sales pale in comparison to its rivals, and as such, there are simply fewer on the road. But that doesn’t mean the Sequoia is a bad SUV, right? We decided to have a look.

Our tester came decked out with all the extra goodies thanks to the range-topping Platinum trim. Of course, it also carried all the update Toyota gave it for the 2018 model year, including a new nose, a revised gauge cluster, and the now-standard Toyota Safety Sense-P active safety system. Beyond that, however, the 2018 Sequoia looks and feels nearly identically to the 2008 version.

It’s hard to believe the Sequoia’s second-generation is now a decade old. It harks back to Toyota’s major revamp of the Tundra pickup. It changed to a full-size truck for the 2007 model year and the Sequoia followed suit the next year. The Sequoia shares plenty with the Tundra, including its drivetrain and interior. Toyota did cater the Sequoia towards family usage with an independent rear suspension with available air ride rather than the Tundra’s solid axle and leaf springs. Yet despite the differences, the Sequoia still felt like a truck. In practice though, many full-size SUV customers were into that sort of thing. It fosters a sense of invincibility and a go-anywhere attitude. Well, so long as there’s a gas station close by.

Continue reading for our full review.

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2018 Toyota Century

2018 Toyota Century

The most luxurious Toyota you can’t buy!

Introduced in 1994, the Avalon helped Toyota become a notable force in the full-size segment in the United States. At the same time, the Lexus LS achieved a similar status in the luxury market. However, the Avalon isn’t Toyota’s largest vehicle. While the Japanese-spec Crown is slightly shorter than the Avalon (by some three inches), the second-generation Century trumps even the latest Lexus LS in terms of length at a whopping 207 inches. Or at least it did until it was discontinued in October 2016. But only one year has passed, and Toyota is getting ready to launch the third-generation model at the 2017 Toyota Motor Show.

Longer and wider, the new Century has been redesigned from the ground up. But, interestingly enough, it retained the traditional boxy design of its predecessor, which makes it a classy, old-school limo that reminds of the 1990s. In a good way! Toyota also replaced the old 5.0-liter V-12 with a V-8 and added an electric motor for enhanced fuel economy. As usual, it’s equipped with Toyota’s most luxurious features and technology, but updated to modern standard compared to the 20-year-old second-gen model. Unfortunately, the Century remains a Japan-only model, so don’t get your hopes up seeing it on North American roads. Let’s have a closer look at what we’re missing.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Century.

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2015 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring Sport Edition

2015 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring Sport Edition

Although the current-generation Avalon is only two years old, Toyota is doing its best to keep the full-size sedan fresh and attractive to American customers. With a mid-cycle refresh set to arrive sometime in 2016, Toyota is introducing numerous convenience and safety features across the lineup for 2015, as well as new exterior colors and visual options. Additionally, the Japanese are also launching the XLE Touring Sport Edition, an Avalon exclusive to the 2015 model year.

Based on the highly equipped XLE Touring grade, the Sport Edition enhances the Avalon’s attractive styling and spirited driving dynamics through additional standard features that range from HID headlamps and perforated leather-wrapped seats to unique badges and interior trims. All, of course, for a small premium over the Touring grade. Production of the Sport Edition will last for only six months and it won’t be offered outside the 2015 model year. Read on to find out what this special edition model is all about.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Avalon Touring Sport Edition.

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2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid - Driven

2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid - Driven

The Avalon has long been the king of the Toyota lineup. It was the largest and most luxurious thing car you could buy from the company without having a Lexus badge on the nose. Now moving into its fourth generation with an all-new design and platform shared with the Lexus ES, Toyota promises best-ever levels of comfort and refinement from the 2014 Avalon. With the freshly available hybrid drivetrain option, the Avalon is also one of the most fuel efficient models in its class as well.

With a price of more than $40k, the new Avalon is also one of the most expensive sedans Toyota has ever created. With the redesign and hybrid powerplant, does this new Avalon still have what it takes to compete in the land of large luxury land barges? Does the new higher price tag put it too close to Lexus territory to justify a purchase? After a few days and several hundred miles, I think I have an answer. Head past the jump to find out what I thought.

Continue reading for our full review of the 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

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2014 Toyota Avalon - Driven

2014 Toyota Avalon - Driven

Toyota introduced the Avalon to the U.S. market way back in 1995 as its more upscale, full-size sedan slotted between the Camry and more luxurious Lexus brand. It originally rode on a stretched version of the Camry’s platform and even shared its 3.0-liter, V-6 engine. Generational changes in 2000, 2005, and again in 2013 have kept the Avalon fresh with revised looks, interior appointments, and updated drivetrains.

I recently spent a week getting to know a 2014 Avalon in its most well-appointed form. My Limited tester came coated in a really beautiful dark-blue color Toyota calls Parisian Night Pearl. Its interior came awashed in soft-touch, tan leather seats with contrasting Parisian Night Pearl stitching and accent pieces. Equipped with the Technology Package, my Avalon came fitted with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beams, and the Pre Collision System. Also present was Toyota’s innovative Qi Wireless Charging system (pronounced "Chee") that works with like-enabled electronic devices.

Though those were the only two main extra-cost options, the Limited trim package took care of checking the other option boxes in one fell swoop, netting nearly every conceivable amenity desired on modern sedans. Heated and cooled leather seats with 10-way adjustments, moonroof, navigation, HID headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a laundry list of standard safety equipment.

Speaking of safety, the Avalon comes rated with five stars across the board from the NHTSA, except for the driver-side frontal crash, which earned a still-respectable four stars. Its other government ratings aren’t bad either. The EPA rates the Avalon at 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined.

The Avalon might not be the most exciting product Toyota builds these days, but it fulfills its intended purpose of passenger comfort very well. Out of all the cars I’ve piloted lately, the Avalon would be my pick for a long-haul roadtrip with the family.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Toyota Avalon

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2013 Toyota Mark X

2013 Toyota Mark X

One of the many advantages of being in Toyota’s home country of Japan are the number of models the automaker builds exclusively to their homeland. The Toyota Mark X, which we first saw in concept guise a few years ago, is one of them.

Unlike any model Toyota produces for the international market, the Mark X is exclusive to the Japanese market. More importantly, the 2013 model of the car gets a facelift, making it even more distinguishable than its past incarnations.

For one, the front grille of the car is probably the only one amongst Toyota’s many models to have a huge "X" adorning it. In addition, the car also gets LED infused headlights, bulging fenders, a trunk-mounted rear spoiler, and wraparound taillights that resemble the Toyota Camry. Inside, the Mark X also gets plenty of new equipment and features, particularly the higher trim Premium and 350 G’s models that both have leather upholstery, heated front seats, stainless steel door sill plates, and a comprehensive infotainment system that includes GPS navigation, a TV tuner, and 12 speakers.

As far as performance goes, the Mark X comes with two powertrain options with the first being a 2.5-liter V6 engine that produces 200 horsepower and 179 lb/ft of torque. Meanwhile, a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine is also being offered with 314 horsepower and 280 lb/ft of torque.

In case you’re interested - and you live in Japan - the 2013 Mark X retails for 2.4 million yen, which is around $30,500 based on current exchange rates.

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2013 Toyota Avalon

2013 Toyota Avalon

Toyota Avalon has been firstly unveiled in 1994 and until know we have seen three different generation. Today, at the New York Auto Show Toyota has unveiled the fourth generation Avalon, a model that comes with a progressive and emotionally styled exterior design, improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior.

The model has been designed to attract younger buyers and features a sleek and expressive profile with a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, and reduced front and rear overhangs. The car’s interior combines comfort, convenience and technology. Toyota opted to combined premium materials with smoked chrome-metallic accents. The new Avalon has been crafted with innovative technologies such as advanced capacitive touch switches, a three color display screens that support the multi-information display, the audio/navigation interface, and the climate control panel.

Toyota did not offered any details on the car’s engine just yet, but we expect to see the same 3.5-liter V6 engine maybe with improved output and fuel economy.

Updated 04/05/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

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2010 Toyota Mark X

2010 Toyota Mark X

The Japanese automaker Toyota has just launched an all new rear wheel drive luxury sedan for its home market called the Mark X. Built on the same platform as the Lexus GS, the new four door is powered by a choice of two engines, the first being a 2.5 Liter V6 that delivers a maximum output of 203 HP and is 15% more efficient than government regulations require as well as a powerful 3.5 Liter V6 that puts down a total of 318 HP. No matter which power plant you choose, both engines can be mated to Toyota’s gas sipping ECT six speed automatic transmission complete with sporty paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. The Mark X is good for a 0 to 60 MPH sprint of about 8.3 seconds and will return an average of 49.2 MPG.

For 2010, the Toyota Mark X features a widened front bumper opening, a sporty mesh grill, wraparound taillights and very thick C pillar giving the car a very muscular appearance. Keeping with the Mark X’s luxurious theme, the upscale sedan offers a spacious interior for up to five passengers and driver amenities like an ergonomic leather wrapped steering wheel and motorized lumbar support that combine quality and precision evoking a feeling of pure driving pleasure.

The Mark X is also loaded with high tech gadgets like an adaptive radar based cruise control system, equipped with a brake-control function that can maintain a fixed distance from the car in front, adaptive front lighting system, hill start assist control, HDD navigation system with map on demand and a digital T.V. tuner as well as the automaker’s intelligent parking assist system.

Press release after the jump.

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2007 Toyota Avalon

2007 Toyota Avalon

The Toyota Avalon has become the standard bearer for full-size sedans by combining outstanding room and comfort with sport sedan performance and admirable fuel efficiency – including an EPA-estimated highway mileage rating of 31 mpg.
The Avalon is offered in four grades, the standard XL, the sporty Touring, the extremely well-equipped XLS and the top-of-the-line Limited, which compares well to near-luxury models for comfort and amenities. For 2007, the Touring trim level offers an optional (...)

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2006 Toyota Avalon

2006 Toyota Avalon

The all-new Avalon is distinctive, stylish and the ’most-American’ vehicle of any Toyota product to date, more luxurious and refined, the redesigned Avalon is truly a flagship vehicle offering advanced technology and an understated elegance.

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