Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , First Drives , Luxury A Case Study In Judging A Book By Its Cover Toyota has turned over something of a new leaf with its 2013 Avalon . For the last few decades, Japan’s largest automaker has shown a face that could best be described as practical, reliable and a bit dull – the same side of the leaf that’s been staring consumers in the face with products like the 2013 Camry and Corolla . Popular nameplates, no doubt, but since Toyota’s history is filled with such stylish, sporty and iconic models as the 2000GT, MR2 , rear-wheel-drive AE86 Corolla and, of course, the late, great Supra that we last saw in 2002, ardent followers of the brand have had little to feel excited about. With such a checkered past, it’s no surprise that company CEO Akio Toyoda has called upon his employees to once again design and build cars with a sense of passion. The 2013 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid – Toyota’s flagship models in the ultra-important United States market – are the first new vehicles, Toyota says, to come from that rekindled bucket of excitement. We should note that this notion has raised an eyebrow or three, considering how much excitement surrounds the Toyota GT86 ( Scion FR-S in the States). If nothing else, we can say with certainty that the car’s appearance is a dramatic departure from the dour Avalon sedans of days passed. It really is a strikingly attractive car inside and out, but, as has been said time and time again, you can’t judge a book by its cover. And so it was with legitimate interest that we fired up the completely redesigned Avalon and Avalon Hybrid for a day-long spin through California’s lovely Napa Valley region. Continue reading 2013 Toyota Avalon [w/video] 2013 Toyota Avalon [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Oct 2012 11:57:00 EST.