This is day five with the 2011 Toyota Avalon and we’ll take a detailed look at what makes it so smooth and keeps the occupants safe.
The foundation for the Avalon’s smoothness is its powertrain. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine might seem a bit small for a car this size, but the Avalon is surprisingly peppy. The V-6 with a dual overhead-cam generates a substantial 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, and will get up and go. The Avalon will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than eight seconds. It performed well in Denver’s high altitude.
The 3.5-liter V-6 engine has variable valve timing and a dual-stage variable intake manifold that gives the Avalon power that is smoothly and even. This happens all the way from idle to the engine’s 6200-rpm limit. If you need to accelerate hard to merge onto I-25 during rush hour, or casually from a stop sign, the Avalon will deliver.
The six-speed automatic contributes to the smoothness by using the latest electronic controls and a unique mounting system designed to minimize the transfer of vibration from shifting into the Avalon’s cabin. The transmission shifts reasonably quick, and is exceptionally smooth, even at full throttle. Light-throttle up shifts are barely noticeable.
The Avalon is built primarily for comfort, and it shows in the way the suspension is designed. The suspension is softly tuned which means the Avalon will lean in faster turns, but body roll is well controlled, and the Avalon doesn’t feel floating or disconnected. Most buyers for the Avalon will be more interested in its ride being silky smooth in nearly all circumstances, and rarely does road vibration jar the occupants.
The Avalon comes equipped with the latest safety technology. The Avalon’s brakes feel strong and will stop the car with authority in a panic situation. Its effective anti-lock brake system (ABS) keeps Avalon on an even keel during panic stops and allows the driver to keep the big vehicle under control.
In addition to the standard Vehicle Stability Control, (VSC) the Avalon comes with traction control with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. These features make sure that stopping power is distributed evenly, regardless of road surface, and that the brakes apply with full force in a panic stop. The Avalon is a capable winter vehicle for Denver drivers, as the VSC and TRAC systems can be disengaged if a driver needs to free the Avalon from snow or ice.
Come back tomorrow when we’ll give a complete summary of the 2011 Toyota Avalon.