Let the mid-sized sedan showdown begin! As promised, the 2013 Toyota Avalon makes its debut at the New York International Auto Show...in its own way. What we mean is that everything is official, the car will go on sale before the end of the year, there's a lot of talk about where on the center console the USB port is and how the stitching inside is hand-sewn but...where's the good stuff? Other than the fact that it will be powered by a V6, we know nothing. Is Toyota embarrassed about it or is there a surprise coming? Keeping in mind that the Avalon is pretty much an intentional jab in face of Nissan's Altima, one must assume that whatever's inside the Toyota's engine bay, must be at least 3-liters.

Let's talk about the things that have been revealed. Designed at the Calty Design Research Inc centers in California and Michigan, engineered at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich and set to be assembled at Toyota's plant in Georgetown, Ky, the 2013 Avalon is a pure American-bred sedan. To set itself apart from its ancestors, this one is a bit shorter, a bit narrower and a bit lower. Essentially, the wheelbase remains the same. It's the overhangs that have been trimmed. As a result it's also lighter – 3,497 lbs as opposed to 3,616 lbs. Some neat design features include those LED lights at the back, the sloping roofline and the flaring wheel arches. At the front, the headlights are described as "square Double-eyed" that use a "Projector Ellipsoid System" (sounds like a bad day in geometry class). Then there's the lower front grille which to us, looks big enough to suck in orangutangs.

The more technical stuff that we know about is the suspension. MacPherson struts and rebound springs. Less body roll is the result of stiffer sway bars and an overall increased rigidity of the body thanks to additional and strategically placed welds. The power steering is electric which goes easy on the fuel economy and yet it supposedly provides crisp feedback

As we have established, the 2013 Avalon is a bit more compact from the outside but does not prevent it from being, or feeling, more roomy inside. Due to some clever design tricks the occupants actually get some more headroom. Also the luggage space has been increased to 16.0 cubic feet – a 1.6 mark more voluminous when compared to the old one. Leather wrapped around the steering wheel, shift knob and seats creates a justified sense of luxury while the center console and instruments are treated with some chrome. In terms of equipment you get three color screens that read out the multi-information display, the audio/navigation interface and the climate control panel. By the way, the climate control, as an option, can be three zoned. Who needs three different temperatures in the same car?! Other options include the JBL Synthesis Premium Audio system, a 7-inch HDD Premium Navigation, a clever cruise control and heated seats that can cool themselves as well.

Much like the Altima, the Avalon also gets a Blind Spot Monitoring system along with a rear view camera. Then there's the standard stuff you'd find in every car these days – ABS, traction control, stability control, brake assist etc. You know the story.

Toyota Avalon (2013)

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Source: Toyota