the car enthusiast Advertise in this space - click for more information searchnavigation
latest news archives motorsport database features

Story by Toyota: 7th January 2000

All-New U.S.-Built 2000 Avalon Raises The Bar On Refinement in A Full-Size Sedan

Roomier, more powerful and more technically advanced, the all-new second-generation 2000 Toyota Avalon elevates the domestic full-size sedan to a new level of refinement.

Designed, engineered and built in the U.S., the Avalon is a true American car. It is the first Toyota vehicle to be built exclusively in America at Toyota's manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Ky. And, it was the first Toyota product to be classified as a 'domestic' vehicle, according to CAFE standards. The all-new American design is the creation of Toyota's Calty Design Center in Newport Beach, Calif.

Toyota Avalon. Photograph by Wieck.

The top-of-the-line Avalon's overall width was increased by more than an inch. Not only does this provide nearly an inch of additional shoulder room, it contributes to a dramatic improvement in exterior styling.

To improve interior roominess the front seat was moved up about an inch, and the rear seat height also was moved up an inch, in addition to being moved rearward more than a half-inch. This increases rear-occupant legroom by more than an inch. The improvements in both leg and shoulder room now make the rear seat truly comfortable for three occupants. The roof also was raised by about an inch to maintain good headroom.

Avalon's instrument panel was moved forward about four inches, providing a feeling of openness and requiring less eye movement when transitioning between the road and the gauges. At the center of the instrument panel is a new multi-information display. The XL grade features warning lamps, odometer, trip meter, clock and outside temperature functions. The premium XLS grade adds a compass, trip computer and calendar functions.

A new dual climate control system provides independent heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) temperature adjustment between driver and passenger. On XLS bucket seat models, the system includes ventilation outlets for the rear seat occupants.

Standard on the Avalon XLS, and available as a dealer-installed option on the XL, is an HVAC-integrated micron dust and pollen filter system. Other new comfort and convenience features include:

  • Improved illuminated entry system
  • One-touch auto-down/auto-up driver's window with jam protection
  • Available JCI "Homelink" universal remote garage door opener (XLS only)
  • Available one-touch power tilt/slide moonroof with jam protection
  • Dual double sun visors with extensions
  • Power door locks with auto-lock function
Avalon owners will enjoy all-new sound systems with considerably more power, clarity and sophistication. The standard audio system includes a 3-in-1 combination of CD, cassette and AM/FM receiver with 120 watts of power. The combination of these components with uniquely tuned fixed equalization provides "premium-like" sound to the base Avalon buyer. The premium grade audio was developed in conjunction with JBL and includes exceptional high and low frequency extension and clarity. This was achieved by adopting a separate five-channel, 170-watt amplifier. The system includes 3-in-1 functions with an available integrated six-CD changer on XLS models.

Further comfort and convenience features include redesigned front and rear cupholders. The center console bin has been enlarged and a 12-volt power point has been added. A socket is incorporated for easy charging and storing of a cellular phone. An optional 115-volt A/C outlet - capable of powering electronic devices such as a laptop computer - is located behind the center console on bucket seat models and on the instrumentation panel on bench seat models. A pass-through door behind the fold-down rear seat armrest allows long items like skis to be easily transported inside the vehicle. A trunk release cancel switch, located in the glove compartment, is standard equipment.

Avalon is powered by an improved 3.0-liter V6 engine with Variable Valve Timing (VVT-i) that generates more horsepower and torque, excellent fuel efficiency and lower emissions. The engine produces 210 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 220 lbs./ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. Estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. The improved engine also contributes to NVH reduction through the use of a new electronically controlled Active Control Mount (ACM) that is designed to reduce engine idle vibration.

The engine is linked to a smooth-shifting four-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive transmission with intelligence. Avalon's ride comfort and handling achieves near luxury-class status. Independent MacPherson strut front suspension and independent dual-link rear suspension with MacPherson strut are complemented by increased body stiffness and refined tire and suspension tuning.

Avalon was engineered with a high priority on safety. A new active-safety system that includes Vehicle Skid Control, traction control and Brake Assist is available on XLS models. Vehicle Skid Control, or VSC, utilizes the braking system to help the driver maintain control in adverse driving conditions. The system's traction control feature helps reduce tire slippage during acceleration. The Brake Assist feature detects emergency braking and applies supplemental line pressure to help maximize the effectiveness of the Anti-Lock Brake system (ABS).

Also in the area of active safety, the rear-view mirror area on all Avalon models was enlarged for visibility. For XLS grade vehicles, an electro-chromatic mirror is standard. A sensor in the mirror detects the headlights of a vehicle following at night by analyzing the difference in surrounding light and the light from the trailing vehicle's headlights and automatically reduces its reflectivity to allow the driver easier vision.

Passive safety is achieved by an extremely solid body design that helps absorb and diffuse energy along predictable paths, helping to minimize intrusion into the passenger compartment. Within the vehicle, energy absorbing material to the roof rails, front pillar and center pillar have been added to help reduce injury.

Seatbelts with pretensioners and force limiters are carryover features, as are dual front- and side- SRS airbag systems.

Avalon stylists utilized a more cab-forward shape, giving the car a contemporary styling that is dynamic, elegant and distinctive. The new styling also is a major contributor to the substantial reduction in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) that brings a new level of quietness to Avalon. Taking advantage of Avalon's cab-forward styling, the windshield angle was made steeper. The shape of the A-pillars was rounded, the side mirrors were restyled and the wiper blades were recessed below the hoodline. All of these changes achieve a significant reduction in wind noise.

Additional wind noise reduction was accomplished with a redesigned door sealing system. Finally, all side glass was made thicker, which provides additional insulation to outside wind noise. Road noise was another target of Avalon engineers. An injection molded rocker-trim was incorporated to prevent stones from hitting the sheet metal, causing what is called a "stone pecking noise." A new type of foam underbody coating also was added to prevent "stone pecking noise" on the underbody. Several additional insulators also were strategically positioned throughout the vehicle interior. Even the brand and model of tire, as well as the size, were carefully chosen, based on performance and noise characteristics. The combined effect of Avalon's extensive NVH reduction refinements resulted in a two-decibel drop in interior noise levels at a constant 60 mph.

Avalon will be offered in nine exterior colors including Diamond White Pearl, Lunar Mist Metallic, Black, Vintage Red Pearl, Desert Sand Mica, Cognac Brown, Silver Spruce Metallic, Woodland Pearl and Constellation Blue Pearl. Exterior colors will be complemented by Ivory, Stone and Taupe interiors in both leather and cloth fabric.