NEW FOR 2008:

– New six-speed automatic transmission
– Refreshed styling including new front bumper, new grille, new headlamps, and chrome exterior door handles
– Integrated key and remote
– Updated interior including new woodgrain trim colour
– MP3 audio and auxiliary audio jack added
– Cassette deleted
– Wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel
– Premium Packages add Bluetooth hands-free system and eight-way power passenger seat
– Ivory Interior available with Black exterior
– Exterior colours: Magnetic Grey Metallic replaces Titanium Metallic; Classic Silver Metallic added; Phantom Grey Pearl and Blue Mirage Metallic deleted

For 2008, the Toyota Avalon receives a mild facelift, with new front-end styling and interior enhancements, and additions to the Premium and Premium with Navigation option packages. Most noticeable is a new six-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the previous five-speed.

The Avalon uses a 3.5-litre V6 that provides acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds; it’s offered in a single trim line, with two available Premium packages.

Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated leather seats, eight-way driver and four-way passenger power seat adjustments, manual reclining rear seat, power locks, power windows with front one-touch up/down, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, cargo tray and net, tilt and telescopic wheel, floor mats, cruise control, garage door opener, side and curtain airbags, driver’s knee airbag, heated mirrors with auto-dimming driver’s side, power sunroof, light control system, fog lamps and variable intermittent wipers.

The Premium Package, at $3,280, adds premium stereo with subwoofer, Bluetooth hands-free system, eight-way power passenger seat, rear spoiler and rain-sensing wipers.

The Premium Package with Navigation, at $6,795, builds on the Premium Package with a DVD-based navigation system.

Elegantly understated, the Avalon is a solid car, with bank-vault doors and whisper-quiet operation, but with horsepower to back up its impeccable manners. Roomy and comfortable, this is Lexus quality at a Toyota price.

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