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GREEN | 9 out of 10
The 2013 Toyota Avalon makes incremental improvements in V-6 form, but it's the new Avalon Hybrid that's the star of the lineup. And frankly, a Combined EPA rating of 40 mpg for a big luxurious sedan is very, very impressive.
With an EPA rating of 40 mpg city and 39 highway, the new 2013 Avalon Hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient large sedans in city driving and stop-and-go conditions. What makes it all the more noteworthy is that the Hybrid approaches the same standards of responsiveness and refinement as the V-6 version. And although trunk space is limited slightly by the battery pack for the hybrid system, there are few other compromises.
V-6 models of the Avalon get ratings of 21 mpg, 31 highway—still relatively good for such a large sedan. That's better than last year's model, and possible with the Avalon's weight loss and slightly taller gearing for the six-speed automatic transmission.
All Hybrid models get a three-button Eco Switch system with normal, Eco, and Sport modes, as well as an EV Mode for covering very short distances with electric power alone. A comparable system is offered in V-6 XLE Touring and Limited models. In either of these versions, Eco Mode yields a smoothed throttle response and more conservative A/C operation, and in the Hybrid it may yield extended EV operation. Toyota notes that the Eco mode isn't figured into EPA ratings, so those who use it might even be able to top those numbers in some conditions.
Driving range is impressive, to say the least. The Avalon Hybrid has a 680-mile driving range on a single tank of 87-octane gasoline.
The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is a big, comfortable five-passenger luxury sedan that gets 40 mpg Combined. Now that's efficiency.