The Toyota Avalon is classified as a full-size car and is produced by Toyota and is considered to be the flagship of this automaker. The Avalon is exported to a number of different countries, including Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Middle East. This vehicle was produced in Australia as well from 2000 to 2005 when the Toyota Aurion took its place in November of 2006. The very first Avalon came off the assembly line at the Georgetown, Kentucky manufacturing plant in 1994 as the 1995 model. The second generation of this vehicle was released in both the United States and Japan in 1999.
Unlike many other vehicles form Toyota, the Avalon was a whole new mode introduced in 1994 as the 1995 model and was built at the same plant as the Camry. This vehicle was based on a stretched Camry platform which featured a 3.0 liter 1MZ-FE V6 engine which could produce up to 192 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. The Avalon was made available with a front bench seat which could accommodate a total of six passengers, and the column shifter was the first feature of its kind in an American Toyota car since the 1982 Corona.
The XL models of the first generation Avalons resembled the LE models of other vehicles from this automaker, and the XLS models were similar to that of the XLE models of certain other Toyota vehicles. The first generation Avalons were sold in Japan, exported from the U.S., as a right-hand drive model and were shipped only to Toyopet Store locations throughout the country. At the time, the Avalon was the largest front-wheel drive sedan at these locations and it was sold alongside the front-engine rear-drive Toyota Celsior.
The second generation of the Avalon, manufactured from 1999-2004, was significantly larger than its predecessor in almost every way. This vehicle still used the stretched Camry platform as well as a 3.0 liter 1MZ-FE V6 engine that came with VVT-i, something that also shared with the Toyota Sienna as well as the Lexus ES and Lexus RX300. This generation Avalon was available in two different trims, including the basic XL as well as the upscale XLS. Some of the standard features of this vehicle include electroluminescent Optitron gauges as well as 15” alloy wheels, a navigation system, Vehicle Stability Control, and a front row bench seat that could seat up to six different passengers.
The third generation Avalon was completely redesigned for the 2005 model and was displayed to the public in January of 2005 at the North American International Auto Show. This vehicle went on sale in February of 2005 and it had a development period of 18 months. This generation Avalon was not made available in European markets or Japan and was larger than any of the previous versions. With a variety of new features and components, including a 3.5 liter 2GR-FE V6 engine which was ULEV certified, this vehicle definitely brought something new to consumers who were looking for a fresh take on this full-size sedan.
When it comes to matters of safety, the Avalon came standard with a number of different features, including electronic brakeforce distribution, anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags, rear side curtain airbags, and front row side torso airbags. The Avalon scored exceptionally well with the NHTSA crash test ratings, earning a score of 5/5 stars for frontal driver, frontal passenger, side driver, and side rear passengers. This generation Avalon also earned a rollover rating of 4/5 stars in 2006 and a better score of 5/5 stars in 2011. Overall, the Avalon is definitely a safe, innovative, and very popular model from Toyota.