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2010 Toyota Avalon (photos)

The Avalon is like a not very cut rate Lexus, offering a few of the luxury features, but not a substantially reduced price.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
The Avalon is the Toyota sedan for those who want to step up from a Camry, although Toyota is sending somewhat of a mixed message here, as Lexus is its step-up brand. The Avalon offers some of the features of the Lexus ES, with which it shares a platform, but does not come up to that level of luxury.
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2 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
We expected boring, generic styling, but the Avalon fooled us with some nice details around the headlights and the grille. The size of the grille is a nice touch, looking stately, and the headlight casings use some interesting angles.
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3 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 sees services in many models in the company's lineup. It is reasonably powerful and economical, especially in the Avalon, but does not make use of modern efficiency technologies such as direct injection.
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4 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
The wide C pillar is a nice styling touch at the rear of the car. As a largish sedan, it is very comfortable for four, with easy access.
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5 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
The suspension was not as comfortable as we would expect, delivering jolts to the cabin from bumps in the road. But it is not sporty, either, just a poor compromise between both extremes.
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6 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
The trunk is suitably spacious for a large sedan.
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7 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
Wood and leather trim show the Avalon's aspirations to Lexus-hood, but Toyota uses older equipment for some of the cabin tech.
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8 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
Toyota uses conventional power steering for the Avalon, as opposed to the electric power units that are becoming common.
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9 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
It is nice having a six-speed automatic in the Avalon, as its tall gears contribute to good freeway mileage. In manual shift mode, the gear changes take some time.
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10 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
Even though it is DVD-based, Toyota still manages to include traffic data in the navigation system. The car will dynamically route around bad traffic.
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11 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
One of the better features about the Toyota Avalon is its voice command system.
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12 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
The voice command system even lets you dial phone numbers by name, using your cell phone's contact list.
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13 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
Bluetooth audio streaming is one of the newer audio sources available to the Avalon's stereo.
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14 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
Toyota hides the slot for its four-CD changer behind the LCD, a configuration we do not care for.
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15 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
The JBL audio system is a little above average, delivering decent sound quality, but nothing breathtaking.

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