drivetime logo1 Road Test: 2013 Toyota Avalon

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It looks like Toyota may have finally figured out a way to make the Avalon, well, cool.

In previous incarnations of Toyota’s take on the big American family car, Toyota put in a lot of functionality, a lot of value and a lot of reliability — and that’s all well and good — but you gotta bring style and soul to the table if you want to go up against the Chrysler 300s and Ford Taurus sedans of the world.

At first drive, Toyota seems to have done a nice job of taking what the Avalon already had and making a much more appealing package out of it, both looks and driving-wise. And I say that motoring around in a hybrid edition of the car.

Outside a more aggressive nose and better designed headlamps, Toyota gave the Av a more muscled up look. A higher rear deck and roofline suggest sports sedan just a bit.

Inside, the Avalon is surprisingly roomy with soft leather seats that give nice support. The interior design is striking with a very nice sweeping line across the dash and nice use of three different colors in the interior. It looks more Lexus than Toyota.

So far it has been both quick and unexpectedly agile, henceforth the driving soul. It seems like a car you want to drive as opposed to one you have to drive.

The model I am driving, the Hybrid XLE Touring model, stickers at $38,270 pretty loaded.

So far the Avalon has been very impressive both inside and on the road.

Get more reviews, news about cars and the people who drive them, interviews and tips on how to get more out of your driving experience all on Drivetime with Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte Saturday mornings 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA. Also listen to Vinnie on The Vinnie and Cook Show Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.

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