Though front-wheel drive, the Toyota Avalon is arguably the best rendition of a traditional big American car sold today. American cars should be this good. And it could even be argued that Toyota’s flagship family sedan is in fact an American car. The Avalon was designed in Newport Beach, California, engineered by the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is built in Georgetown, Kentucky.
This third-generation Avalon was completely redesigned late in the 2005 model year and comes with the latest in safety features (though electronic stability control is optional, not standard). Its styling is understated. It’s more distinctive than the previous-generation Avalon, but it doesn’t stand out, instead presenting a quiet look of grace and agility. Not everyone wants to pull up in a red Viper.
The Avalon XL comes with cloth upholstery, dual-zone climate control with air filtration; a premium-level AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo with nine speakers; remote keyless entry; power door locks with anti-lockout feature; power windows with driver and passenger auto up/down, pinch protection and retained power; Optitron instruments with chrome accents; maintenance indicator light; steering-wheel-mounted audio and climate controls; multi-function information display for audio, climate control, temperature and trip computer. The XL also has cruise control, an engine immobilizer and a tilt and telescoping steering column. Tires are 215/60R16 on aluminum wheels; the spare tire is full-sized, with a matching aluminum wheel.
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