Toyota Avalon hybrid officially on sale in the U.S. image

Recently upgraded on the overall design and features front, Toyota’s Avalon model now starts its gasoline-electric hybrid variant sales in the U.S. market. Priced from $36,365.

Providing comfortable seating for five is not enough for the new Avalon, as it intends to also deliver the best fuel economy in its segment, with a rating by the federal government of 40 miles per gallon in city driving and 39 mpg on the highway. Maybe not class leading after all, but certainly the best any Avalon has offered.

Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $36,365 for the base, 2013 Avalon Hybrid, which is $3,360 more than the base, non-hybrid, 2013 Avalon.

The base Avalon Hybrid has XLE Premium trim includes standard upscale appointments such as power sunroof, leather-trimmed seats, heated and power-adjustable front seats, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-speaker audio system, 6.1-inch display screen, Bluetooth hands-free phone controls, push-button start, keyless remote entry and leather-wrapped steering wheel plus 10 airbags.

The hybrid’s 156-horsepower, 2.5-liter, double overhead cam four cylinder reaches a peak torque of 156 foot-pounds at 4,500 rpm, and with the two electric motors added in, total horsepower is 200.

The non-hybrid, 2013 Avalon, which has a 268-horsepower V6 is rated by the federal government at 21/31 mpg, which is 19 mpg less in city driving and 8 miles less per gallon in highway driving than the Avalon Hybrid.