Filed under: New York Auto Show , Sedan , Toyota When we read through the press materials for the new 2013 Toyota Avalon , we had to double-check… had we downloaded the release for the wrong car? Because right here it says, “In Sport mode, throttle response is enhanced and steering effort is weighted… to offer a sportier character.” And what’s this about paddle shifters? This is the Avalon, the car that replaced the Mercury Grand Marquis in the hearts, minds and garages of Florida retirees. But yes, we had the right car. Apparently Toyota is serious about developing more interesting and youthful products, and it’s off to a good start with the Avalon, based on what we have heard and seen at the New York Auto Show today. The car was developed, styled and engineered in the United States, and it will be built here too, at Toyota’s Georgetown, KY, plant. While that doesn’t mean much without a product that can deliver the goods, we like most of what we see. From the A-pillar on back, the new Avalon looks long and sleek and seems to have a lot of BMW inspiration in its design.
Filed under: New York Auto Show , Crossover , Toyota , Design/Style While it doesn’t even appear as a bad pixel on most enthusiasts’ radar, the Toyota Venza serves legions of mainstream consumers perfectly well. To keep the unassuming family hauler from lagging behind its advancing competition, the automaker has introduced a refreshed and tweaked 2013 Toyota Venza at the New York Auto Show . Look carefully on the exterior and you may notice the freshened fog lamps or redesigned grille on the front fascia. Out back, there are restyled taillamps. Three new colors join the pallete (Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl and Cosmic Gray Mica). Under the hood, the engines are carried over from last year (2.7-liter four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6, depending on trim level, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission). With the exception of the new interior color (black leather or black cloth upholstery) and new buttons on the steering wheel, the cabin appears virtually identical. However, there are more standard features on the LE trim (blind spot mirror, eight-way power-operated driver’s seat, puddle lamps, tilt/telescope steering wheel, and more) and the range-topping Limited receives LED running lights and a premium navigation system with Entune connectivity. Most of the new features are offered across the model range, but at an additional cost. The updated 2013 Toyota Venza goes on sale in late May.
Filed under: New York Auto Show , Crossover , Toyota Toyota has been teasing us with glimpses of the redesigned 2013 Venza over the last month, and now we get to see its modest makeover just before the vehicle’s New York Auto Show debut. The new, less fussy grille is the first thing you’ll notice. Fewer horizontal bars above the bumper and a chrome accent goes some way toward below classing up the crossutilitywagon thing. The headlamps are new, and the fog lights have also been blacked out with chrome accent ring. Finishing off the new light fixtures are reworked door mirrors fitted with the obligatory built-in turn signals. In back, the taillights have been slightly updated, but everything else seems to be much the same as the 2012 model. Venzas can now be ordered in Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl and Cosmic Gray Mica. Interior changes also seem to be minimal except for updated steering wheel buttons and the option of adding Toyota’s Entune package that integrates your smart phone with the vehicle’s dashboard display. The interior is also available in black for 2013. Engine choices stay the same, with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V6 on offer.
Filed under: New York Auto Show , Spy Photos , Sedan , Toyota We got our first glimpse at what the 2014 Toyota Avalon may look like thanks to a an artists rendering that appears to take some creative license. The teaser really only shows us that Toyota wasn’t kidding when it said it was taking the Avalon upscale, with a dramatic, sloping roof line that conjures thoughts of the Audi A7 . The Avalon is only days from its world premiere on the big stage at the 2012 New York Auto Show , but we have some spy shots that tell us even more. The photos show us what we already knew; that the artist rendering isn’t exactly representative of reality. But the pics also show that the sleek roof line and vastly reworked proportions are very real. The Avalon prototype has enough protective cladding to give the Storm Chasers tank a run for its money, but we do see what looks like a very different front fascia, LED taillights and a pair of impressive chrome-tipped exhaust outlets. From the rear, we get a better sense of how the sedan will look, and it appears there may be some tape covering up the lines that would tell us if these prototypes are in fact hatchbacks. Spy photos were also taken of the reworked interior, but the insides were also covered up beyond recognition. We are able to see an attractive leather steering wheel and completely reworked redundant controls. We can also see expensive-looking french stitching above the gauge cluster, as well as upscale gauges themselves.