Avalon Gets New Six-Speed Transmission, Luxury Upgrades for 2008

October 01, 2007

October 1, 2007 – Torrance, CA - The Toyota Avalon, the platinum standard in premium midsize sedans, offers enhanced performance from a new six-speed automatic transmission and a revised braking system for 2008. Revised exterior styling and new luxury upgrades make Avalon an even more desirable choice among full-size sedans.

A new bumper, grille and headlights update the Avalon at the front, and new smoked tail lamp lenses add a touch of sophistication. Chrome door handles and a new wheel design for the Touring and XLS grades accentuate Avalon’s upscale design.

The new six-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) provides a sequential manual shift feature for a more involved driving experience when desired. A revised braking system employs larger rear discs and aluminum rear calipers.

Inside Avalon for 2008, numerous enhancements to standard and optional equipment increase comfort and convenience. The standard XL model for 2008 now offers an available four-way power passenger seat, while the XLS and Limited offer an optional new eight-way power passenger seat. All grades gain a standard new multi-information display, leather shift knob and additional chrome interior accents.

Music-playing versatility is assured by a newly standard six-disc CD changer for all models, plus a mini-jack for connecting an iPod® or MP3/WMA music player to the vehicle’s audio system. Bluetooth® wireless technology is included with the JBL audio upgrade package (standard on Limited).

The third-generation Avalon was designed at Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., developed by U.S.-based Toyota Technical Centers and is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, KY.

The Avalon is offered in four grades, the standard XL, the sporty Touring, the extremely well-equipped XLS and the top-of-the-line Limited, which compares well to near-luxury models for comfort and amenities. The XLS and Limited models gain even more luxury touches for 2008, starting with a new rich dark wood grain and chrome trim interior.

Both the XLS and Limited models now also offer power-adjustable lumbar for the front passenger seat. On the Limited, the rear sunshade now re-extends when the driver shifts from Reverse to Drive.

Contemporary Design and Comfort
Avalon exudes a powerful stance, distinguished by a sleek grille with chrome accented horizontal bars and subtle character lines defining a contemporary profile. The lower intake valance houses fog lamps on the Touring, XLS and Limited models, and the Touring model also features a rear spoiler.

Toyota optimized the exterior design of the Avalon for minimal wind noise. Numerous small details contribute to lower cabin noise and vibration, including refining the shape of the A-pillar and side mirrors and lowering the position of the aerodynamic windshield wipers. In addition, the Avalon Limited model offers a specially designed acoustic windshield.

Side mirrors on the Limited grade feature in-glass LED turn signals, and an LED puddle lamp illuminates the area along the side of the car when passengers approach the vehicle. The Limited grade also features side mirror memory. Touring and Limited grades come standard with high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps with dynamic automatic leveling for improved visibility, while reducing glare for oncoming traffic. Large tail lamps and an elegantly sculptured trunk distinguish the Avalon from the rear, and dual exhaust outlets add a sporty touch.

Avalon's elegant exterior is complemented by its refined interior. Outstanding fit-and-finish is apparent throughout the cabin. Amenities for driver comfort include a tilt and telescopic steering column and a center console sliding armrest. Rear passengers benefit from a flat rear floor that provides generous legroom, and the rear seats recline up to 10 degrees.

Sport Sedan Performance with Luxurious Ride and Comfort
All Avalon models are powered by a 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 engine that produces 268 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i) and a dual-stage variable intake manifold ensure outstanding performance at all engine speeds.

The Avalon can effortlessly accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in just 7.7 seconds, and it also achieves admirable estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway. The 2008 Avalon is certified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV).

Responsive handling makes Avalon engaging to drive, yet ride quality remains a benchmark of smoothness. The XL model features 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels standard on the other grades. The Touring model features a more firmly tuned suspension and higher coil spring rates than other Avalon models, and its wheels feature a graphite finish. All Avalon models are equipped with a standard full-size spare tire.

Comprehensive Safety Package
The Avalon’s supplemental restraint system (SRS) includes standard front seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side-curtain airbags that help provide protection in certain types of severe side impacts. The Avalon also features a driver's knee airbag as standard equipment.

The standard anti-lock brake system (ABS) features Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is available with traction control (TRAC) and Brake Assist (BA) on all models. VSC is designed to detect and help to correct loss of lateral traction during cornering. VSC integrates traction control (TRAC) to help limit wheel spin on slippery road surfaces. Brake Assist is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to activate the ABS, it applies maximum braking pressure until the driver releases pedal pressure.

Equipped to Please
The Avalon XL grade is extremely well equipped and includes as standard a premium AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer and nine speakers; dual-zone automatic climate control with air filtration; remote keyless entry; power door locks with an anti-lockout feature; power windows with driver and passenger automatic up/down with jam protection and retained power; a multi-adjustable power driver’s seat, and a center console storage area.

Additional standard features include a tilt and telescopic steering column; steering wheel mounted audio and climate controls; multi-function information display with audio, climate control, temperature and trip computer; cruise control; engine immobilizer security system, and a maintenance indicator light.

The Avalon Touring grade – in addition to its sporty suspension tuning – adds comfort features over the XL, including leather-trimmed seats; a power front passenger seat; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and aluminum door scuff plates.

Building on the XL grade’s standard features, the Avalon XLS adds a power moonroof; four-way adjustable power passenger seat; in-dash six-disc CD changer; dual heated outside mirrors with auto-dimming electrochromic driver's side; auto-dimming electrochromic rearview mirror with compass; aluminum door scuff plates, and an anti-theft system.

A Strong Taste of Luxury in Avalon Limited
The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited offers luxury-grade comfort. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather. The driver and front passenger seats are heated and ventilated. The front of the driver’s seat cushion length is power-adjustable, offering improved thigh support. The Avalon Limited also features a JBL Synthesis audio system with a six-disc CD changer and 12 speakers, and for 2008 adds Bluetooth® wireless connectivity.

Additional amenities in the Limited include a one-touch auto-reverse power rear sunshade; memory driver's seat, rain-sensing wipers, HID headlamps and the Smart Key System. With Smart Key, the driver carries a light, compact key fob that signals a sensor in the car when it is near, turning on the puddle lamps and interior dome lamp, and then unlocking the doors when the handle is touched. The car is started by a pushbutton. The driver can open the trunk by touching the handle when the key fob is carried near the rear bumper.

Options for Even More Comfort
Options available on XL and Touring grades include a power moonroof and an anti-theft system. A 360-watt maximum output JBL Synthesis audio system with six-disc CD changer and 12 speakers is offered on Touring and XLS models and adds Bluetooth wireless connectivity for 2008. Heated front seats are also available on the Touring.

A navigation system is available for the XLS, Touring and Limited models. The navigation controls have surface-emitting illumination and hide away above the gated shifter. Maps, climate and select audio controls are shown on the seven-inch LCD color display located beneath the center air vents.

The Avalon Limited offers the Dynamic Laser Cruise Control system that can maintain a pre-set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead. The system can reduce the Avalon's speed if the preceding vehicle slows down or if another vehicle pulls in between.

A Remote Engine Starter is available on all Avalon grades equipped with the factory alarm system as a port- or dealer-installed option. After the driver has started the engine by depressing a button on the key fob, the climate control system will use the most recent settings to help ensure cabin comfort quickly.

Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle limited warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60 months/60,000 miles and corrosion perforation for 60 months with no mileage limitation.


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