Chasing Down Sunshine in the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

A Girls Guide To Cars | Chasing Down Sunshine In The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid - 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Although I’m a Seattle native and, for the most part, accustomed to long winters of mostly gray skies and rain lasting from October into June, there are times when it feels heavy and a dose of vitamin D directly from the source is required to renew the spirit.

January was one of those times.

On New Year’s Eve my daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and after a week in the hospital and another few weeks of trying to wrap our brains around this new normal, the gray skies seemed to close in more than usual. It was time for a getaway to the sunny skies of southern California, involving a road trip from Los Angeles to Palm Springs on a quest for the soul-warming rays.We booked our last minute flights and were able to secure a test drive of the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited to review for the trip.  Buh-bye gray skies.We landed in LA late, but it was still 66 degrees and felt almost tropical. Upon arrivng at our car we were immediately impressed.  The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid has had a facelift this year, giving it a new, sleek, luxurious look and feel inside and out.  The seats were comfortable and the interior was spacious.  We loaded our bags into the trunk – which is huge by the way – and headed out for our adventure, sunroof open, music blasting.On the way out of the garage we stopped before entering into traffic and couldn’t hear the car engine.  Did the engine cut out?  I had never driven a hybrid before, I knew that they were quiet, but this was really quiet. I checked the dash gauges and saw that the engine was indeed running, so I gave it some gas and proceeded out into the street.  I felt like we had gone stealth.So the Avalon Hybrid was quiet and promised good gas mileage, but would those features come with a compromise on power?  This question was quickly answered when we hopped on the freeway and easily powered up to speed on the super-fast LA highway.  If you’ve ever driven in LA when traffic is at full speed, you know that keeping up is a true test.  You have to get up to speed, merge into the correct lane, and keep up that high speed in a defensive-driving posture.  It’s unlike driving anywhere else.  One thing that made me feel even more secure is that the Avalon has no blind spots; it was easy to see the cars around me and I felt very confident changing lanes and getting around on streets and freeways.

2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid NavigationWe woke up to rain our first morning in LA – rain! So after a little shopping in Beverly Hills, we packed up and decided to head out to Palm Springs for a better chance of dry weather.  We waited for the valet to bring our car around, and after he got out of the car he started talking about it to the other valets.  He mentioned the LED dash displays, the iPod port and how great it looked.  This was at the Four Seasons LA, where you know they park some pretty sweet rides.  He asked me some questions about the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, then loaded up our bags and we were off.

Out on the road, the first thing my daughter did was find the USB port and plug in her iPhone.  Within a couple of taps on the touch screen we were listening to her iTunes playlist and Pandora, and making hands-free phone calls home.

Our quest took us from LA to Palm Springs, all over Palm Desert and back to LA – all on about a tank and a half of gas and full reliance on the car’s navigation system. The navigation system told us about traffic congestion and helped us find restaurants, shopping areas and spas.

We returned home rested with a fresh glow, and great stories about our road trip.  The next morning at car pool one of the moms was ironically talking about getting a new car, I’m pretty sure I sold a 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid that morning.  It was an easy sell.

What We Loved:
Beautiful design
Heated leather seats
Easy to drive, no blind spots
Plug and play USB port for iPhone
Back up camera
Touch screen navigation system
Very responsive, great power
Fantastic fuel economy
Smart key door locks – Leave your keys in your purse ladies, the locks open like magic with a swipe of your hand!
Push-button start
Moon roof

Really, what didn’t we like?

What You Need To Know:
Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited
Seating for five
Trunk space 14 cubit feet
200 HP Hybrid Engine
Uses regular gas
40/39 mpg city/highway
Model reviewed was priced around $41,400 msrp

The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited was provided for our trip for review purposes.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Business owner and mom of two, Karin has had a passion for cars since she got her first Hot... More about Karin Sheets