2013 Toyota Avalon

Change Year or Vehicle
$12,280–$22,680 Inventory Prices

Key Specs

of the 2013 Toyota Avalon base trim shown

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    25-26 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • All trim levels have same luxurious interior
  • Supportive front seats
  • Low wind noise at highway speeds
  • Ride quality
  • Improved steering feel

The Bad

  • Still no folding rear seat
  • Hybrid's brakes
  • No more reclining rear seat
  • Less interior volume than 2012
  • Touch-sensitive buttons
2013 Toyota Avalon exterior side view

Notable Features of the 2013 Toyota Avalon

  • New for 2013
  • Redesigned exterior and interior
  • Slight mileage increase
  • Available hybrid model
  • Larger trunk
  • Available blind spot monitoring

2013 Toyota Avalon Road Test

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/64x64/76/img30224883-1457988104976.jpg
Joe Bruzek

The 2013 Toyota Avalon is trimmer and more tech savvy, and it houses one of the most luxurious interiors on the market for less than $35,000. And get this: The 2013 costs $2,210 less than the outgoing model.

Cars that have traditionally appealed to older drivers are nearing extinction. Ford discontinued the Crown Victoria, there aren't any more bench seats, and easy-access flat seats are being replaced with more curvaceous sport seats intended to appeal to youthful buyers. Now, even the redesigned Toyota Avalon has diminished its geezer factor.

An Avalon Hybrid joins the lineup for 2013, with EPA-estimated gas mileage of 40/39/40 mpg city/highway/combined. Non-hybrids also get a boost in mileage. You can compare the hybrid and V-6 Avalons here, or the 2012 Avalon to the 2013 here.

Though it's not immediately apparent when sitting inside, the Avalon has shrunk from a full-size sedan to a midsize one for 2013; interior volume is down from 107 to 104 cubic feet. There's still no folding backseat, though, which seems like a missed opportunity considering the rest of the interior has been significantly redesigned.

This Is a Toyota?
While not technically a luxury car, the "premium" Avalon is closer than ever to the quality of Toyota's luxury division, Lexus — particularly the midsize ES 350. And by that I mean the all-new 2013 ES, in which I recently drove approximately 500 miles. The amount of high-quality materials, fine stitching and pleasant design flow ...

The 2013 Toyota Avalon is trimmer and more tech savvy, and it houses one of the most luxurious interiors on the market for less than $35,000. And get this: The 2013 costs $2,210 less than the outgoing model.

Cars that have traditionally appealed to older drivers are nearing extinction. Ford discontinued the Crown Victoria, there aren't any more bench seats, and easy-access flat seats are being replaced with more curvaceous sport seats intended to appeal to youthful buyers. Now, even the redesigned Toyota Avalon has diminished its geezer factor.

An Avalon Hybrid joins the lineup for 2013, with EPA-estimated gas mileage of 40/39/40 mpg city/highway/combined. Non-hybrids also get a boost in mileage. You can compare the hybrid and V-6 Avalons here, or the 2012 Avalon to the 2013 here.

Though it's not immediately apparent when sitting inside, the Avalon has shrunk from a full-size sedan to a midsize one for 2013; interior volume is down from 107 to 104 cubic feet. There's still no folding backseat, though, which seems like a missed opportunity considering the rest of the interior has been significantly redesigned.

This Is a Toyota?
While not technically a luxury car, the "premium" Avalon is closer than ever to the quality of Toyota's luxury division, Lexus — particularly the midsize ES 350. And by that I mean the all-new 2013 ES, in which I recently drove approximately 500 miles. The amount of high-quality materials, fine stitching and pleasant design flow in the Avalon is staggering compared with the old model, which honestly didn't seem offensive until I viewed its dull, fake wood, its painted plastic and its blah leather alongside the new 2013.

I'm glad to say there's not one piece of painted plastic meant to look like aluminum on the Avalon's dashboard. The center console that would often be clad in this material is an attractive dark color with a brushed texture. The chrome trim around the cupholders and gear selector looks tacky, but it's not as offensive as fake aluminum.

Stitching gives the front seats, dashboard, center console, door panels, steering wheel and upper dash pad an upscale look. All 2013 Avalons receive the same treatment standard; all consumers have to do is pick an interior color. Trim levels are differentiated by feature content only, as detailed below.

Comfort
A revised roofline is to blame for the lowered overall interior volume that takes the Avalon down to a midsize classification, but my 6-foot-tall frame had no issues with the 0.4-inch decrease in front headroom.

The old Avalon's ride was comfortable, but the seats were not. The old wide and flat front seats were offensively uncomfortable for my frame, while the new seats are more supportive, with formed bottom cushions and gentle side bolstering that cups the backside without gripping too harshly.

Even though it feels a smidge smaller than the previous generation, the Avalon's backseat is still very spacious, with enough head, leg and hip room to mimic an extended-wheelbase livery car — in fact, a livery version will be available to fill a void left by the deceased Lincoln Town Car. Unlike the Volkswagen Passat's massive backseat, which suffers from an intrusive floor hump, there isn't a big tunnel through the middle of the floor, which gives passengers more side-to-side legroom.

Gone for 2013 is the previous generation's unique reclining rear seat, eliminating the justification for this car having no folding rear seats.

Behind the Wheel
The Avalon's 268-horsepower V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission carry over, but with new tuning to increase responsiveness. There aren't any surprises here, with predictably smooth and refined acceleration. You won't find driving excitement like you would in a V-8 Dodge Charger R/T or a twin-turbocharged Ford Taurus SHO. Gas mileage is up for 2013 through the use of electric-assist power steering, an electric water pump and a lower curb weight.

The EPA rates the Avalon at 21/31/24 mpg, up from 2012's 19/28/23 mpg. All Avalons use regular gas.

Most significantly changed is the Avalon's suspension, now with stiffer springs and new shock absorbers to firm up the ride and reduce body motion in corners. The new ride is more contained than previous Avalons, which exhibited bobbing of the nose over rough roads and practically scraped their door handles on the pavement when flung into a corner. It's clear after driving the new and old versions back-to-back that the softness is gone. The 2013 feels more substantial and heavier, despite weighing 111 pounds less than the outgoing model.

The additional road feel is an acceptable balance of livelier driving experience and refined ride comfort. Still far from being "fun," the new Avalon is at least far less sloppy than the old one, though its gentle ride quality will surely be missed by some. New front glass and insulation measures make for quiet highway driving.

The Avalon's steering is greatly improved, with new electric power assist instead of hydraulic. The old Avalon's steering had virtually no resistance, recalling a 1980s racing arcade game.

Avalons with the V-6 have three driving modes — Eco, Normal and Sport — that tailor the engine, steering and transmission responsiveness. The variable steering assist is markedly improved in Normal mode, with more feedback and resistance. Sport mode firms up steering effort and quickens throttle and transmission response, while Eco mode lessens air conditioning use and dulls throttle input for maximum mileage.

Elephant-Sized Grille in the Room
I'm not one to condemn a car because it's ugly, but the Avalon's massive-mouthed grille must be addressed. It's huge; the grille stands out in photos and in person. Place your thumb over the grille on the computer screen and see how the Avalon looks without it. Better, right? Styling is, of course, subjective, and some may find the look, um, attractive? The Avalon's rear looks luxurious, and if the front matched, the Avalon could have taken a route more upscale than a recycled, slack-jawed Camry.

Cargo
At 16 cubic feet, the Avalon's trunk is larger than the 2012's 14.4 cubic feet. The Avalon Hybrid's trunk volume is decreased to accommodate the battery pack, but it's still a respectable 14.0 cubic feet.

There's more to cargo than size. The Avalon continues to lack a folding rear seat for hauling extended-length cargo; there's only a small pass-through for skis. Once rare in large sedans, folding rear seats are now more common, and they prove useful in the Hyundai Azera, Charger and Taurus (see them side by side). Toyota says Avalon buyers weren't interested in a folding backseat because they plan to use the car for nights out, not necessarily for hauling stuff.

Features
Though substantially nicer on the inside and less expensive than last year with a starting price of $31,785 (all prices cited include a $795 destination charge) — the base 2013 XLE does sacrifice some equipment that was standard in 2012: a moonroof, satellite radio, backup camera and built-in HomeLink garage door opener. (All these features come on higher trim levels.) However, heated seats, a passenger knee airbag and a proximity smart key system have joined the standard equipment list. Six-cylinder trim levels include XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Touring and Limited.

Going for a higher-tech look (and cost savings for Toyota), all Avalons use capacitive touch-sensitive panels for climate and stereo controls. Intended to mimic a touch-based tablet, like an iPad, these have been a tough sell in other cars because they usually lack physical feedback and use small, difficult-to-read text. The Avalon's capacitive buttons are better than many, with large text and grooves surrounding each button for a physical marker you can feel. The buttons respond relatively quickly, but I'll still take a regular, boring button over a capacitive one any day.

Toyota's latest Entune multimedia system makes its way onto XLE Touring and Limited trim levels with a suite of features, like Pandora and iheartradio internet radio, plus restaurant reservation service Open Table, applications built into the stereo. Additionally, users can tag a song for later purchase through iTunes. Most features require a paired smartphone, and satellite radio is now part of the Entune suite rather than standard. All Avalons have a touch-screen: It's 7 inches in Limited trim levels and 6.1 inches in the others.

You can see a full list of standard equipment broken down by trim level here.

Avalon Hybrid
Toyota expects the all-new Avalon Hybrid to make up a substantial 20 percent of Avalon sales. Being a full hybrid, the Avalon can accelerate modestly on electric power alone to save gas, helping city gas mileage estimates of 40 mpg be a substantial 19-mpg gain over the V-6's 21 mpg city rating.

It handles similarly to the V-6 Avalon, with minimal body roll. My gripe is brake feel during moderate to heavy stops, when stopping power didn't match how hard I was pushing the pedal — until I went into full panic stop. Light braking is fine, as is heavy braking, but anything between had a momentary dullness. The Lexus ES 300h hybrid was similar.

With the exception of hybrid badges, distinct wheels and blue highlights around the Toyota "T" badges at the front and rear, there's virtually no exterior difference between the V-6 and hybrid Avalon.

Hybrids come in XLE Premium ($36,350), XLE Touring ($38,045) and Limited ($42,195) trim levels, and the difference in cost between a base XLE and a base hybrid is $4,560. The XLE Premium Hybrid costs only $2,360 more than a similarly equipped V-6 XLE Premium.

Safety
The 2013 Toyota Avalon had not been crash-tested at the time of this writing. Standard safety features include 10 airbags: frontal and knee bags for driver and passenger, and seat-mounted side-impact airbags and curtains for all window seats. Antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are also standard, as has been required on all new cars since the 2012 model year. See all safety features here.

Optional safety features include a pre-collision system that will pre-load the braking assist when an imminent impact is detected, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, and Safety Connect, Toyota's telematics system that can alert a call center when a collision has occurred.

Avalon in the Market
Toyota hopes to lower the average age of Avalon buyers by 10 years (it's currently in the mid-60s). With the new Avalon's focus on technology, its more athletic ride and its newly luxurious interior, I see no reason why that won't be an easy task. Toyota's big sedan may not have a luxury name in front of it, but it delivers a luxurious experience without the luxury price.

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2013 Avalon Video

What the all-new 2013 Toyota Avalon loses in cushiness of ride, it makes up for in cushiness of interior. Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek calls the Avalon a "luxury car without the luxury-car price."

Latest 2013 Avalon Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

I have had the car for five years and love it.

by Loyal Toyota Customer from Richton Park, IL on May 21, 2018

I enjoy driving my car. It is reliable, relaxing and looks good. I feel safe transporting my grandchildren in it. Looking forward to my next Avalon. Read full review

(5.0)

Toyota Avalon Is A Great Choice!

by BroBra from Lincoln, NE on May 4, 2018

This is the first Toyota vehicle I have owned. I traded in my GMC Sierra for a more cost efficient vehicle. I chose to purchase a CPO Toyota Avalon Limited. As much as I loved my pickup, I've been ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2013 Toyota Avalon currently has 3 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2013 Toyota Avalon XLE

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    24 months / 25,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Toyota

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, trip-interruption services, Carfax vehicle history report, travel protection and toll-free assistance line

  • Limited Warranty

    1 year / 12,000 miles

    Comprehensive: 12 months/12,000 miles from date of purchase. Powertrain: 7 years/100,000 miles from original in-service date ($50 deductible) Note: In AL, FL, GA, NC and SC, 7-year/100,000 mile limited warranty coverage begins Jan. 1 of the vehicle's model year and zero (0) odometer miles and expires at the earlier of seven years or 100,000 odometer miles. Hybrid: 8-year/100,000 mile warranty on Factory HV Battery for Toyota Hybrid Vehicles.
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 85,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 160 point inspection and reconditioning.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Avalon received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker