Toyota takes its flagship fourth-generation Avalon sedan to new stylistic heights, and nowhere is that more evident than inside.
Looking every bit as upscale as a car belonging to the Lexus brand, the Avalon cabin proves it could play in the luxury showroom if not for the triple-oval emblem fastened to the steering wheel.
The ’13 Avalon takes the traditional fullsize sedan interior decidedly up-market with impeccable build quality, advanced connectivity, benchmark materials and a layered instrument-panel design that appears 3-dimensional, with gauges and the center stack seemingly floating in front of the dashboard.
The visual effect is exquisite, with a proper yin-yang blend of hard and soft, light and dark, shiny and matte, all punctuated with meticulously applied contrast stitching.
Better yet, all this design drama comes without the Lexus sticker. Avalon prices begin below $31,000. Our fully loaded Limited tester rolls in at $42,449, which includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, collision mitigation, premium audio and navigation.
“Very impressed. Probably my favorite car,” writes one editor on his score sheet.
The Avalon creates a soothing ambience that extends from design to kinematics.
“Everything is smooth, from the surface of the dashboard to the rotation of the radio knobs,” another editor writes.
The car, partially designed at Toyota's Michigan technical center, gets high marks for ergonomics, too. “It feels like everything is where it should be,” one judge writes.
The information panel is user-friendly, with beautiful color graphics and a sophisticated-looking digital clock nestled neatly within the climate controls.
The central display is an encyclopedia of information about traffic tie-ups, weather, sports scores, fuel consumption and more. Need to find the closest gas station with the best price? No problem. It’s a few taps away on the touchscreen.
Wood trim is used sparingly, limited to a tastefully applied strip along the lower instrument panel that stretches to the left of the steering wheel.
And from the headliner edge to the floor mats, the Avalon belongs in any textbook dedicated to outstanding examples of automotive fit-and-finish.
The bottom line, as always, is price, and the Avalon delivers. “If I could give the Avalon 15 points for value instead of 10, I would,” writes a WardsAuto editor.
Clearly, the Avalon is the most luxurious non-luxury car we’ve ever tested.