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Issue Fifteen
January 26, 2005
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Best Buy: 2005 Toyota Avalon
By Charlie Romero

(January 15, 2005)

2005 Toyota Avalon: A Best Buy

Reclining Rear Seats

2005 Toyota Avalon Limited

Toyota Avalon
Photo Gallery
Toyota wanted to make one thing clear about its all new 2005 Avalon - it's the most American vehicle of any in the Toyota line-up. As well it should be, having been designed in Newport Beach, California and manufactured in Georgetown, Kentucky. Making it all the more American is its emphasis on value, and because of that, we've awarded our Best Buy distinction to the 2005 Toyota Avalon.

You'll be hard pressed to find a better car for less money, let alone a car with an infamous and world-renowned track record for reliability. Combine that with world-class styling and first class interior amenities, top-notch safety components and technology, and performance that borders on inspirational, and you've got a winner on your hands.

The 2005 Toyota Avalon is available in four distinct trim levels: XL, Touring, XLS, and the flagship Limited. Regardless of which trim level the buyer selects, the Avalon is sure to pamper and delight. Standard options include an all new 3.5-liter V6 that's mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and delivers 280 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers are up significantly from last year's model, and should prove exhilarating by pushing the Avalon sixty miles per hour in just 6.6 seconds.

Inside, rear passengers will be delighted to discover rear seats that recline, a feature that's a first for a mid-sized car in this price category. A flat rear floor increases rear leg room, especially for the middle passenger.

And should things take a turn for the worse, the Toyota will cradle its occupants safely, thanks to improved front airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, a driver's knee airbag, and a body structure that's significantly stronger than previous models.

Buyers who opt for the Limited-trim will enjoy a slew of technological treats including a Smart Key System that provides additional convenience and security. An on-board sensor recognizes a signal from the Smart Key, allowing the driver to start the engine simply by pushing a switch. Wave the Smart Key near the trunk and it magically opens. If it's dark outside, the Smart Key will automatically illuminate puddle lamps and dome light.

We've told you about many of the improvements and enhancements for 2005, but what about that price? What makes it worthy of our Best Buy award? How does a base price of just $26,350 strike you? It strikes us as impressive, and that's why we're pleased to award the 2005 Toyota Avalon with our Best Buy award.

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