Setting Avalon apart
To distinguish the upmarket Avalon from the midsize Camry, the headlights have been slimmed down by using LED lamps and the grille is more distinct, Hunter said. Likewise, the rear stance is wider, with dual exhaust pipes on each side of the rear fascia.
Materials inside the Avalon have also been improved with Yamaha-branded wood and real aluminum pieces in higher trim lines.
The updated infotainment system employs Apple CarPlay to project smartphone apps onto the car's center touchscreen. Android Auto, which does the same thing for smartphones running on Google's operating system for smartphones, is not yet available. Also, Amazon's voice-activated assistant Alexa is debuting on the big sedan.
Backing up the Avalon's aesthetics are the upgraded powertrains from the new-generation Camry, which debuted at the 2017 Detroit auto show and landed in showrooms over the summer.
The Avalon is available with a six-cylinder gasoline engine using an eight-speed automatic transmission or a hybrid powertrain featuring a four-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motors mated to a continuously variable transmission for maximum efficiency. Both powertrains provide more horsepower and improved gas mileage over their predecessors, as they do on the Camry.
The Avalon also has an all-new suspension design that blends a compliant ride and quiet cabin with improved handling around corners, Toyota said.
"One of the key focus points of this Avalon is that it's supposed to be a better driving experience," Hunter said.