Thursday, November 21, 2013

Avalon Hybrid has just about everything

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website – via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at

Sacramento, California – Don’t be shy.  You want it all, right?

Sure you do.  That’s why you would seek out a Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited sedan with the automaker’s proven hybrid technology, as opposed to a mere, near-Lexus Avalon sans hybrid.

What’s a few thousand bucks when your desires are being met?

My Avalon Hybrid Limited wore a starting price of $41,400, but it was dressed up with optional equipment (including $1,750 for a technology package that included a radar cruise control system that I could have done without), to hit the bottom line at $44,199.

Gas mileage, as usual, is a big deal.  My ride was rated at 40 miles per gallon in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.  Yes, very sweet.

But as I was sitting in the car counting the money to be saved by fewer trips to the gas station over the years, I started counting the perks inside and outside the vehicle.  It’s quite a package.

Above-and-beyond features include an all-star braking system with enhancements, anti-theft system with engine immobilizer, high-intensity quad headlights, folding exterior mirrors and puddle lights, power moonroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, three-zone climate control, backup camera (every Avalon gets one), a 10-way power driver’s seat, perforated leather trim and heated rears seats.

It’s all in there.  I’ve said it before: This is the most luxury you can get short of a Lexus badge on the car.  For those keeping count, the 2013 Avalon received a major make-over (its current sleek look was crafted right here in the USA), and the 2014s are pretty much standing pat.

On the fly, a net 200 horsepower rating (including a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder standard engine) has been slammed by some as not having enough juice.  Nonsense.  There’s plenty there for what this car is going to be used for, and the ride is limo quiet and smooth.  One-hundred-mile drives in this car are a pleasure, not a chore.

I had the sense driving the Avalon Hybrid that, if economics could be thrown out the window, every household in the United States should have this car for its everyday use – a fuel-saving, super-safe and comfortable transporter of kids, cargo and friends.

Yes, I know, that's needless fantasizing.  But hey, what’s wrong with wanting it all every now and then?

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