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2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

OK, they’ve announced it is coming out. Would you buy one? I am aware of the “don’t buy a new model the first year” thing. This is a redesign.
Mostly I don’t know if the hybrid setup is a new, tested configuration or a new application of an existing system.
Can anyone tell me?
“The Avalon Hybrid features a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine (known internally as the 2AR-FXE), a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, and a pair of electric motor/generators within the transaxle. A power-control unit located in the engine compartment houses an inverter, a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter (raises voltage to a maximum of 650 volts) and the hybrid-drive ECU, which governs the seamless operation of electric-motor power application and regenerative braking. The power control unit relies on liquid cooling to maintain an efficient temperature.”…

I’m pretty sure it’s the same system used in the Camry hybrid, which is an updated version of the one that’s been used for years. It’ll also be used in the new Lexus ES hybrid. I’d be fine with it,

It looks like an update of the 2.4L gasoline engine used in the Camry hybrid since 2007. The 2013 Camry hybrid will also use the same 2.5L engine. I’d classify that as well tested.

Texases is correct, the 2AR-FXE is used in the Camry HV.

2012 Camry HV;

" The 2AR-FXE engine is an in-line 4-cylinder, 2.5 liter, 16 valve DOHC engine. This engine uses a Variable Valve Timing-intelligent (VVT-i) system, Direct Ignition System (DIS), Electronic Throttle Control System-intelligent (ETCS-i) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system. These control functions achieve improved engine performance, fuel economy, and clean emissions."

As the Avalon is pretty much a stretched Camry, what’s remarkable is that Toyota didn’t sell a hybrid years ago. They usually spread drivetrains through as many models as possible.

I was struck by the inclusion of EGR on their list of advanced technologies. Is there something unusual about their version, or did they just get carried away and list every green feature with initials?

The thread for $10k for an invertor on a upper mileage Highlander turned me off from hybrids as long term vehicles for a while.

No way.

The Camry and Avalon share the same platform. When we bought our 07 Lexus…the three vehicles were very similar. We looked at the Camry Hybrid back then…the ONE thing that prevented us from buying it was the trunk. There was very very little space due to the Hybrid battery.

I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the Avalon…IF there wasn’t a trunk space problem like the Camry. AND drove the right number of miles and had the right commute.

I don’t drive a lot of total miles. I regard this as a kind of insurance against future gas price escalation (when the Chinese and Indian economies get going again). I do drive a lot of in-town miles. The trunk is 14 cu ft, against 16 for the non-hybrid. I know that according to Consumers, the Prius population has gone to 200k without much loss of efficiency, and has been extremely reliable.

I don't drive a lot of total miles. I regard this as a kind of insurance against future gas price escalation (when the Chinese and Indian economies get going again).

Sit down and do the math…don’t just guess. If you only drive 10k miles a year…gas prices would have to more then double (and stay that high for at least 5 years) for a Hybrid to be worth it. 25k miles is the MINIMUM amount of miles to really break even.

I rode in a Camry Hybrid taxicab in Washington, D.C. back in May. For city driving where a lot of miles are put on a vehicle, the hybrid makes sense. For a low mileage driver, I’m not certain that it will pay off. First year bugs aren’t as common as they used to be.
My guess is that ultimately the cost of hybrids will come down. I remember when the flat screen televisions came out and the price for plasma screen was $5000. I bought a flat screen LCD a couple of years later and paid less than $2000. Five years later, our dog had buried his bone under a towel he pulled from his bed. When he was “digging” up the bone, the bone was stuck to the towel and when he flung the towel, the bone went right into the screen of the television. When I turned the television on, there was a black hole right in the viewing area. Repairing the televison would have cost more than a new set–I bought a new set with a bigger screen and more features for less than $700. Repairs to the old television would have been $1200.
The replacement set had a problem with the power supply while under warranty. The serviceman showed me that these televisions consist of 3 components–the power supply board, the driver board, and the display screen. He replaced the power supply board in less than 10 minutes. I would bet that hybrid cars will become easily serviced vehicles in a few years.

There’s something to be said for the value of low gas consumption, outside the $$ calculation. Folks don’t try to come up with the ‘value’ of a fancy stereo or handling package, so the same can apply to the hybrid option. I know I like filling up about half as often as I used to, above just the $$ savings.

Edit - I just looked at the Edmunds ‘True Cost to Own’ tool, and the hybrid Camry LE was slightly cheaper over 5 years than the regular (4 cylinder) Camry LE. Some combination of fuel cost and depreciation, I didn’t try to figure out exactly where the savings come from.

Edmunds TCO assumes that you drive 15,000 miles each year.

True. The fuel cost’s about 1/4 of the total cost, so a drop in miles traveled will have an effect. But not as big an effect as some might think. Depreciation is a bigger expense, about 1/3 of the total.

Don’t assume gas will cost anything like what it does now.

Would I buy one? No, I wouldn’t. Not much of a fan of hybrids in general and I don’t drive enough miles for it to matter; I’ve owned my car since new for over 2 years and have 7,600 miles on it.
When I looked at fuel costs I assumed $5/gallon when making my calculations. It’s not there yet, but I wanted to prepare myself for when it does get there.

IMHO it seems the quick gratification at saving at the pump stays in new car buyers mind more than the true financial factor in selling/buying another vehicle. The $5k+ option brings joy to many car buyers every time they fill up or glance at the MPG meter.

For me MPG does nothing by itself in vehicle purchasing.

I will throw this in as well. The Avalon uses a V6 and does not have a 4-cyl option. Even with the Hybrid drive helping out, I am going to guess that this car is going to be a dog as far as get up and go… Especially with 4 Adults and there golf clubs (common in my area of Hilton Head :slight_smile:

I also am hesitant on Hybrids, and while I get that the cost of batteries are coming down, and the technology is getting better. Two things I don’t like besides the battery is the CVT trans which seems to be more prone to early failure and CAN NOT be rebuilt by John Q Trans man… Although again that I Something I think I have to get used to, as most car companies are going this way. Even in there gas powered cars (IE Altima, and new 2013 Accord). That on top of the extra complexity in servicing the car is a turn off.

I’m sure the hybrid Avalon won’t be as fast as the V6, which (in my opinion) is one of the best engines out there. BUT…I changed from a Lexus ES300 to a Lincoln MKZ hybrid, and I haven’t had any problem with power, and that includes lots of merging onto freeways. With the ES300 I would floor it for the enjoyment, but not because of any need.

As for more complex technology, you’re right, but the Toyota hybrids have been some of their most-reliable cars. The CVT on the Avalon is not the variable cone CVT transmission. Instead, it’s achieved by adjusting the 3 motors (2 electric motor/generators, 1 gas) to achieved the desired speed/acceleration.

I will throw this in as well. The Avalon uses a V6 and does not have a 4-cyl option. Even with the Hybrid drive helping out, I am going to guess that this car is going to be a dog as far as get up and go.. Especially with 4 Adults and there golf clubs (common in my area of Hilton Head :)

Well you’d guess WRONG…We have an 07 Lexus ES-350 (same vehicle as the Avalon)…and it has PLENTY of power…in fact almost too much power.

. Two things I don’t like besides the battery is the CVT trans which seems to be more prone to early failure and CAN NOT be rebuilt by John Q Trans man..

The CVT transmission is NOT exclusive to hybrids. There are many NON-HYBRID vehicles on the road with a CVT.

That on top of the extra complexity in servicing the car is a turn off.
Considering that on average the Hybrids have been extremely reliable...that's kinda moot. Also an electric motor will last 100 times longer then a ICE engine. They're just far more reliable.

Again…hybrids aren’t for everyone…but they have a place. If you have the right commute and put enough miles per year…then they hybrid is a very valid option.