It is increasingly common to see hybrid drivetrain systems in the various vehicles Toyota offers in its stable. One of these is the mid-size Avalon sedan, which for the 2014 year is in the second year of a redesign for a car that gets 40 miles per gallon combined as rated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The 2014 Avalon Hybrid, according to Toyota, nets a combined 200 horsepower output courtesy of a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine mated to a high-torque electric motor. A nickel-metal-hydride battery, located in the trunk area, powers the motor, and can be recharged through regenerative braking.
The system, as a whole, offers drivers over 600 miles of highway driving range and additional fuel economy numbers of 40 city MPG and 39 highway MPG. Capable of accelerating from zero-to-60 in 8.0 seconds, this Toyota hybrid sports as well an electric only driving mode that operates the car on the motor for a short distance at speeds under about 20 MPH.
With the Avalon Hybrid available in the same top three trim grades as the regular offering, this car has a load of features to consider. The instrument panel, for example, uses Optitron-type gauges and a 3.5-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) color multi-information display. Hybrid specific information available for driver consumption includes data on power output and regeneration, as well as a guide to help foster economical driving conditions.
A unique “eBin” electronics storage tray, which sits beneath the car’s interior climate controls, allows storage for two small electronics devices such as smartphones side by side on a high-grip surface. Charging jacks are located below the tray, which can be opened and closed with cables passing through a slot. Beneath this tray is an electronics storage box where devices can also be stored completely out of sight while charging.
One other unique touch on the Avalon Hybrid are the aluminum 17-inch wheels, which feature a special design with thinner spokes.