What Is It?

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The photo of last week’s car showed the grille of the new Toyota Avalon, which bears more than a passing resemblance to several Ford models, especially the Fusion sedan. For that reason, a number of readers guessed the Fusion.

What is it?  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
What is it?

For a better photograph and information, read this week’s road test.

Chosen randomly from the correct entries was Howard Jones, of Aiken, who said:

“At first, I thought it looked like a Ford Fusion. It is redesigned, has more trunk space and offers a Limited version as the top of the line.”

Other readers identifying the car were:

AUGUSTA: Carolyn Ogles wrote: “Several years ago we owned an Avalon and liked it, but this design is much more attractive, especially the taillights.”

Norman Lewis wrote: “This week’s car is a new Toyota Avalon. The car has new suspension, 3.5-liter, 268-horsepower engine with paddle shifters. The trunk is also is 1.6 cubic feet larger than the previous model.”

CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “I read a review of the previous Avalon that referred to it as ‘the Buick for those that remember how Buicks used to be built.’

“With acres of interior room, large, easily read buttons and a relatively simple, well-laid out instrument panel, the quote was not meant to be complimentary because aside from the Riviera, the famed Wildcat, the GS and the Grand National, Buicks have always been perceived to be the vehicle of choice of an older generation.

“Such is the case for the Avalon. The Avalon was designed and is built in the USA and is marketed specifically to the U.S. buyer. With this redesign, Toyota is aiming for a younger market, but in fact it might be shooting itself in the foot.

“Early reviews of the 2013 model have garnered a universal complaint of the seats being too firm and the ride being too harsh. To make matters worse, these complaints are not just coming from current or previous Avalon owners.

“It is that very Buick brand that has prompted this redesign of the Avalon, as sales of the LaCrosse, Chrysler 300 and upstart Hyundai Azera all have delivered a one-two punch to put a considerable dent in Avalon sales.

“It is clear that Toyota does not want the stigma of ‘that’s a car for your uncle or your grandfather’ hanging on any of its brands, but with a base price just under $30,000 and an ‘as tested’ price on the high end around $43,000, Toyota may have missed the sweet spot of the intended market demographic while at the same time alienating the very market demographic that has been drawn to this vehicle.

EVANS: Wayne Wilke wrote: “The What Is It? car is a 2013 Toyota Avalon. It is restyled and quite attractive. The 3.5-liter V-6 is still available, and new for 2013 is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid version.

“The Avalon has always been a lot of car for the money with an impressive reliability history.”

Barbara Wilke correctly guessed Acura RLX for last week’s contest, but her name was inadvertently omitted.

Also, Jerry Paul

FRANKLIN, N.C.: Dale Sanford wrote: “The car pictured is the completely redesigned 2013 Toyota Avalon.”

MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski

PERRY, FLA.: Larry Anderson wrote: “For
2013 Toyota is offering a hybrid and a V-6 gasoline model that you can choose from. The hybrid is rated at 40 mpg with a 165-horsepower electric motor to assist a V-6 with less horsepower than the standard V-6 ,offered at 265 horsepower. Its a full-size sedan with all the whistles and bells.

“The new front-end design reminds me of an Aston Martin. They have used a similar grille for years. But I don’t think we will see 007 driving a Toyota anytime soon.”

SHAWANO, WIS.: Karen McKenna

WARRENVILLE: James Covar

THIS WEEK’S CONTEST

Can you tell us the year and make of this vehicle? If you know what it is, call (706) 823-3419 or send an e-mail to glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

Please tell us your name and telephone number and the city you live in. It helps if you spell your name for us so we can include your response along with everybody else’s.

You have until noon Wednesday to respond. A winner will be chosen randomly.

– Glynn Moore, staff writer


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