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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 New York Auto Show in New York City.
Toyota Avalon

What is it? Toyota’s full-size sedan is redesigned for the 2013 model year, and drops its ho-hum exterior design. Designed in the United States, the car is much sleeker than past versions. Inside, the interior is roomy and plush, with nice details including wood-like trim and contrast stitching. The spacious rear seat has always been a strong suit of the Avalon, and that carries over to the new model. Toyota's Entune multimedia system will be available, with a 6.1-inch touchscreen standard on the Avalon. Models with the optional navigation system get a premium audio system a 7-inch touchscreen and distance-sensing cruise control. Toyota hasn’t said much about the new powertrain, except that a V6 engine will be available.

What is new or notable? Toyota says that the handling of the new Avalon will be sportier than in the past models, which had handling closer to a boat than a sports sedan..

CR’s take: The current Avalon is a big, comfortable, and quiet sedan that returned good fuel economy in our tests and we expect these qualities to carry over with the redesign. With strong competition coming from the redesigned Hyundai Azera, as well as the Buick LaCrosse, it was time Toyota was shaken out of its slumber.

When will it be available? Late 2012.

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