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Welcome to Cars Planet ! New Reviews in on the list now. 2013 Cadillac XTS, Jaguar C-X16 La 2011, 2012 Hyundai Sonata, 2012 Honda Accord, 2012 Toyota Camry, 2012 Toyota Prius and more........FOREX RATES
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2013 Cadillac XTS

2013 Cadillac is hot in the press now. At 204 inches in length the XTS is one big sedan and its 111 wheelbase enables comfort and safety for up to five passengers. The new XTS have 40 inches of rear seat leg room 4 inches more than the BMW 5 series and two more inches than the Audi A6. The XTS also have a big capacity of storage than the Audi A8L. The XTS have platinum trims with 20 inch alloy rims..

Jaguar C-X16

Today at a very private and special event in Los Angeles, The Jaguar presented an updated version of the Jaugar C-X16. It is now coat of pearl white paint. The Jaguar Design chief Lan Callum confirmed that a version of the C-X16 would be put into production.

2012 Toyota Yaris

The All New Toyota 2012 Yaris (Vitz) is a four door family coupe available in L3-door MT to the 5 door AT and in 7 trims. The new Toyota Yaris have 106 HP engine that achieved 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the long HW. 5 speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard the L3 door MT is equipped with a standard 1.5 liter I4..

2012 Honda Accord

The New Honda Accord 2012 Upcoming is hot in the news now. Honda Accord is always great vehicle from Honda's Auto Industry we're not really know about its all features but a short review is here for you. Because it's not released in the market..

Honda Civic 2012

So here we are with new honda civic 2012. In Dec 2012 the Honda was released a sketch of new Civic 2012 but now Honda released a pricing information of this new car and featuring information. The first thing we notice that Civic have slightly new exterior Honda wants the new model to be instantly recognized as a Civic. But its exterior is bland..

Friday, March 19, 2010

2010 Ford Figo New

2010 Ford Figo New

The great American automaker, Ford, is invading their competitor’s markets by introducing the new Figo into the Indian market. The compact Figo is an all new car that features a fresh, contemporary shape that offers a distinct alternative to the traditional offerings in the city car segment with a shape that exudes the spirit of energy in motion with its bold fender flares and swept back headlamps.

Like all of the blue oval’s new car, the Ford Figo was designed with their consumers in mind. The all new body features lots of fresh fun elements like a large mouth front bumper, sporty alloy wheels pushed to car’s four corners, squared off rear end and subtle rear spoiler. Despite its compact size, the Ford Figo has a spacious interior with plenty of room for both passengers and cargo thanks to its taller roofline and more upright stance. Ford feels that this is the perfect car to combat the ultra affordable Tata Nano that is produced in the developing nation. The Figo’s size makes it the perfect car to navigate the narrow stretches of the Indian bazaars and markets without scarifying an ounce of style.

With Ford planning on bringing the equally compact Fiesta to the U.S. in the near future, the question that remains is whether or not Americans will have a soft spot in their hearts for a more spacious city car offering.
India’s role as an important player in the future of Ford Motor Company’s international strategy was underscored today when the company’s President and CEO, Alan Mulally, unveiled an all-new car targeting the heart of the Indian car market – the new Ford Figo.

The Ford Figo, a new nameplate and a fresh face on the Indian market, signals Ford’s intention to compete in India’s largest and most important small car market segment.

Ford Figo is the result of a significant Ford investment commitment to expand its plant near Chennai for volume production as a small-car centre of excellence regionally. Ford’s $500 million investment has doubled the plant’s production capacity to 200,000 units per year and introduces major advances in high-quality automation and innovative, eco-friendly production techniques.

“Our exciting new Ford Figo shows how serious we are about India,” Mulally said. “It reflects our commitment to compete with great products in all segments of this car market. We are confident the Ford Figo will be a product that Indian consumers really want and value.”


The transformed plant introduces eco-friendly production techniques like its new Three-Wet High-Solids paint process. This approach produces beautifully painted vehicles with three wet coats – primer, base coat and clear coat – of high solids-content paint applied one after the other without oven curing between coats. A first for India, it produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions and reduces volatile organic compounds emissions by about 20 percent compared to current medium-solids solvent-borne paints. Use of high-solids content results in a paint finish with high levels of gloss and depth of colour which is more resistant to scratches and stone chips
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Friday, March 12, 2010

2010 Acura TSX

2010 Acura TSX

For most of our editors on staff, last year's redesign of Acura's formerly taut, Euro-flavored TSX was greeted with skepticism. Though the first-generation TSX was short on rear seat room, it had an eager, involving personality that made the car a great alternative to more mainstream entry-level luxury cars. But that attribute was largely lost in '09 with the larger, more Americanized TSX. Though it offered more room in the back and a softer ride, the new TSX was also heavier, oddly styled in a few areas and had a more isolating feel behind the wheel. Thankfully, the 2010 Acura TSX sets things mostly right, provided you don't mind springing for the newly available V6 version.
This year, Acura gives those who love driving reason to come back to the TSX. Utilizing pretty much the same engine found in the larger TL sedan, the TSX V6 puts 280 broad-shouldered horses under the driver's right foot. The V6 comes paired with a five-speed automatic transmission only, but at least with the V6, TSX drivers no longer have to worry about getting embarrassed on freeway on-ramps by Grandma in her V6-powered Toyota Camry. Additional changes for the TSX V6 include a slightly firmer suspension and a recalibrated steering system. We didn't like the new electric power steering system introduced for the '09 redesign, as its numb feel countered the TSX's intended sportiness. Thankfully, the V6 model's steering provides more feedback about what's going on at the front wheels.
Overall, the 2010 Acura TSX is a mixed bag. On the one hand, there is the four-cylinder version with its rather lackluster feel behind the wheel; on the other, there's the V6, which is much livelier and more entertaining to drive thanks to its potent engine and revised steering and suspension calibrations. Both cars, however, offer typical Acura strengths like solid build quality, a comfortable cabin and the latest high-tech features. Though we still would advise folks shopping the four-cylinder TSX to take a close look at the Audi A4, Lexus IS 250, Volvo S40 and even loaded versions of the Mazda 6, Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Jetta, the V6 version makes a stronger case for itself in the entry-level sport sedan segment.

The 2010 Acura TSX is a compact entry-level luxury sedan available in two fairly loaded trim levels, base and V6. Standard equipment on the base TSX includes 17-inch wheels, xenon headlights, foglights, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, an eight-way power driver seat with memory, a four-way power passenger seat, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 60/40-split-folding rear seatback. Also standard are Bluetooth and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and a USB port. In addition to the more powerful engine, the V6 adds a slightly firmer suspension, 18-inch wheels and revised steering assist (for more weight in the wheel).
The optional Technology package adds a rearview camera and a navigation system with voice recognition, real-time traffic and weather forecasting. In addition, that package includes a 10-speaker Acura/ELS surround-sound system with an in-dash six-CD/DVD-audio changer.

Standard safety equipment on the 2010 TSX includes antilock brakes (with brake assist), stability control, traction control, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In our simulated panic braking test, both the four- and six-cylinder versions of the TSX took 133 feet to stop from 60 mph. That's disappointing, as it's at least 10-15 feet longer than we'd expect for a sport sedan.
The 2010 Acura TSX's dash is awash with buttons, and that's with or without the optional Technology package. Although the layout is logical, the sheer quantity of little black buttons (upwards of 40) would make a 747 pilot feel at home. On the upside, the Technology package's navigation system features voice commands, real-time traffic, weather forecasting and a large LCD screen with a secondary control knob. The accompanying 10-speaker ELS surround-sound system is certainly good enough to justify the extra cost.
Elsewhere inside the TSX, materials are consistent with the rest of Acura's well-built line. However, those looking for a Lexus-like level of opulence will be disappointed, as this Acura is only a bit nicer than its Honda Accord cousin despite its sportier, BMW-like aesthetic. Interior room is good, with only a shade less space than the larger TL. The TSX also has considerably more interior space than the Lexus IS 250 and a hair more than the Volvo S40. The trunk measures 12.6 cubic feet.

The 2010 Acura TSX is calm and quiet when cruising down the freeway. For manual-equipped base models, a short-travel clutch and linear throttle tip-in give the car an easy-to-drive nature; however, most base TSX buyers will likely opt for the five-speed automatic, which hampers the already tepid acceleration but provides pleasantly smooth shifts. Less welcome on the four-cylinder version is an over-assisted electric power steering system that feels disconnected from the road. Enthusiasts will gravitate toward the V6 version, which adds superior steering feel along with effortless thrust.
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2011-2012 Acura RL

2011-2012 Acura RL

This will be a big year for the Acura RL. Acura plans to give the RL an all-new look for 2011 as well as the automaker’s first-ever V8 engine option. Rumors are also circulating that the 2011 RL will be Acura’s first vehicle based on a rear-wheel-drive platform. Expect the 2011 Acura RL to hit showroom floors in the fall of 2010. Find out more about what’s in the works for the 2011 Acura RL in our auto review.

 The 2011 RL should start at about $47,100 MSRP; no invoice data available
: current fuel economy car ratings are 16/22 mpg city/highway, but those numbers may improve with the introduction of more fuel-efficient powertrains. The V8 engine will have lower fuel economy ratings.
 3.7-liter, 300-horsepower V6 or 4.8-liter, 420-horsepower V8
 five-speed automatic transmission only option currently, but another transmission is likely to be paired with the V8 engine

0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds for V6 engine option; data unknown for V8 mode: three trim levels with V6 or V8 engine
 identical to those in 2010 model
 2010 suspension was firmed up to provide better sports performance; more changes are unlikely for 2011
 four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty; six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty; roadside assistance for the life of the vehicle

The only photos available of the 2011 Acura RL are spy photos that conceal the car’s major features. Preliminary car review articles confirm a complete redesign in the works for the 2011 RL, but details are unknown. The only things we know so far are that many of the new RL’s body components will come from the Acura TSX, and the RL will have Acura’s first-ever rear-wheel-drive-based platform.

The first official road test of the 2011 Acura RL will be interesting to see how Acura’s first V8 and rear-wheel-drive vehicle perform when paired. The handling of the 2011 RL is expected to be sporty, and the V8’s performance will no doubt put it at the top of its class. Critics would like to see Acura revamp the RL’s brakes for 2011, as the braking of the 2010 model was lackluster to say the least.

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2011 Hyundai Sonata

2011 Hyundai Sonata

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata is redesigned, with freshened styling, a new engine, and new features. This midsize sedan is about 3 inches longer in wheelbase and 1 inch longer overall than the 2006-2010 model. The 2011 Sonata comes in three trim levels: base GLS, sporty SE, and luxury-themed Limited. All are powered by a new 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, which replaces 4-cylinder and V6 engines of 2.4 and 3.3 liters, respectively. GLS and Limited have 198 horsepower, and the SE has 200. Standard on the GLS is a 6-speed manual transmission. Optional on that model and standard on all other Sonatas is a 6-speed automatic. SE versions have a sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, and specific trim. Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. A navigation system is optional on all models. Limiteds equipped with navigation include a rearview camera. Leather upholstery with heated front and rear seats are Limited-exclusive standard features. This evaluation is based on preview test drives.

Hyundai promises a comprehensive technological roster, including standard stability control and hill-start assist—although we don’t understand why people need this when the standard transmission is a six-speed automatic—as well as a brake-assist system and adjustable dampers. Available luxury equipment will include a three-piece panoramic sunroof and heated seats front and rear.

Also new is the Sonata’s onboard telematics system—think Korean OnStar. Emergency-notification and anti-theft tracking functions are free for the first two years, but maintenance-monitoring and -alert capabilities are probably going to cost extra.

In Korea, power will come from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 163 hp. Our standard motor in the U.S. will be a larger, 2.4-liter four with direct injection and unspecified output we predict will be around 190 hp. Production of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata for U.S. consumption will begin early in 2010 at the company’s factory in Alabama, with deliveries to commence shortly thereafter. Although the Sonata’s sheetmetal might ape the nearly $30,000 Volkswagen CC, its price, thankfully, will not. Hyundai says pricing will begin at the equivalent of $17,600 in Korea, and we expect that won’t change much when it hits American dealerships.

While the actual design of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata largely appears to be a 3-D Xerox of theVolkswagen CC, Hyundai seems to have been peering over Mazda’s shoulder when it drafted the car’s stylistic philosophy of “fluidic sculpture,” which it says is inspired by nature and “tries to reflect sophistication and dynamism in the shape of the vehicle.” Regardless of cues, inspiration, or wholesale design theft, there is no arguing that the shape is dramatic, whether wearing a VW badge or the stylized Hyundai “H.” The surprising design continues inside, with a handsome, upscale blend of materials, colors, and swoopy, modern shapes.
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2010 Chevrolet Equinox

2011 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox styling won’t change beyond some new exterior color choices and perhaps a fresh wheel style or two. It’ll continue as a four-door wagon with a one-piece rear liftgate. Styling highlights include a single-horizontal-bar grille that’s nice interpretation of Chevy’s strong family face. Bold wheel arches, a raked-forward stance, and the illusion of wrap-around tailgate glass complete a clean, confident look. Equinox’s exterior dimensions are smack dab in the middle of the midsize-SUV field. But its 112.5-inch wheelbase is the longest in its competitive set. Wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles and key to how much space a vehicle can devote to passenger room. The long wheelbase not only provides Equinox passengers with generous leg room, it plants the wheels close to the edges of the body. That benefits ride quality and promotes an athletic stance on the road. General Motors reskins the Equinox for sale as the GMC Terrain and also borrows some of this engineering for the slightly smaller but more upscale Cadillac SRX. All are crossovers, so-called because they combine SUV traits, such as elevated ride height, with car-type unibody construction. Unibody means body and frame are essentially one unit. Old-school SUV design employs truck-type construction in which the body attaches to a separate frame. Unibody design is lighter in weight to improve fuel economy and handling, although it’s less suited to heavy-duty towing or hauling. The 2011 Equinox should return in four trim levels, base LS, volume 1LT, slightly plusher and 2LT, and top-of-the-line LTZ.

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox will again come with a laudable array of standard features -- even in base LS trim. An impressive selection of luxury amenities kicks in as you ascend the model line or peruse the options sheet. Every Equinox comes with head-protecting curtain side airbags that cover both seating rows and are designed to deploy in a side collision as well as when sensors detect an impending rollover. Also standard is GM’s OnStar assistance with complementary one-year service. It includes automatic crash response and enables OnStar personnel to unlock the vehicle remotely or even diminish the engine’s power if your car’s been stolen. Power windows, locks, and mirrors will again be included in the base price of every Equinox. So will air conditioning, keyless remote entry, and tilt/telescope steering wheel with audio controls. Bluetooth cell-phone connectivity will likely continue as standard on 2LT and LTZ models and optional on LS and 1LT. Two-tone leather upholstery, USB iPod interface, and an audio unit with hard-drive music storage are among available features. A navigation system, rearview camera, and dual-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment also are optional. The 2011 Equinox will again be among the few SUVs in this price range to offer a power liftgate as well as a remote engine-start system that also activates the climate-control and optional heated seats. Base wheels should again be 17-inch alloys with 18-inch alloys available at extra cost on the LT models and the LTZ. The 2011 LTZ will likely repeat as the only Equinox with body-color bumpers and chromed door handles and the only one available with optional chrome-clad 19-inch alloy wheels. 

The speedometer and tachometer are housed in side-by-side rectangular housings that look a little misshapen, as if their plastic was melting. It’s reminiscent of the sad-eyed binnacles in the Chevy Camaro. It looks no better here and, like in the Camaro, the gauge faces can be partially obscured by the steering wheel rim.We’ll quibble with distracting sun reflections off the chromed gear-shift collar, but Equinox’s control layout is otherwise hard to fault. 

A helpful screen between the instrument panel binnacles displays such useful data as instant and average fuel economy and distance-to-empty. The central stack of dashboard controls is attractive and neatly organized. Soft-blue ambient cabin lighting accentuates the center-console cupholders and door pulls, while most gauges and controls are crisply lit in complimentary colors.That lighting effect, thankfully, is tasteful, and the quality of Equinox’s cabin materials exceeds expectations, too. Even the 1LT model dresses up with a contrasted-color stitching effect on seats and door armrests. The fabric upholstery is a sturdy, modern tech-weave, and leather upholstery is available in a two-tone that’s sporty without being overdone. Padding on cabin panels is rationed, but few ring hollow and most surfaces have a nicely grained, matte finish.

Ford Edge: Due for a styling facelift and a revised engine lineup for model-year 2011, this five-seat Ford makes a selling point of its advanced infotainment gadgetry. The tech is marketed as the MyFord system and centers around a dashboard LCD touchscreen and software developed in conjunction with Microsoft. Ford also aims for suspension upgrades that would help the 2011 Edge handle with more agility than its overweight chassis has been known for.  Improvements to its subpar fuel-economy ratings of 15/22 (16/24 with AWD) also is a critical goal. Room and comfort should remain in the plus column. A base price range of $26,000-$34,000 is in the cards.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2011 Toyota Camry Upcoming

2011 Toyota Camry Upcoming

The 2011 Toyota Camry is a rerun of the 2010 Camry and carries over the mild facelift and more powerful four-cylinder engine included in its “mid-cycle” freshening. All 2011 Camrys incorporate throttle-pedal modifications designed to prevent unintended acceleration, the problem that forced Toyota to recall millions of cars, pickups, and SUVs during early 2010. Included in the recall were 2007-2010 model-year Camrys and residual values -- one of Camry’s historic strengths -- tumbled as a result. Toyota badly mishandled the response to reports of unintended acceleration in its cars. But we believe the automaker is taking the appropriate steps to protect its reputation for reliability and that the 2011 Camry belongs on any midsize-sedan shopping list. 

he 2011 Toyota Camry will carry over appearance changes given the 2010 Camry, the first for this design generation since it debuted for model-year 2007. As before, Camry comes in a single four-door sedan body style that begins with a base CE model and climbs through the volume-selling LE trim, sporty SE grade, and top-of-the-line XLE model. Slotted between the LE and XLE is the 2011 Camry Hybrid. Style changes associated with the 2010 mid-cycle freshening were mild. All models got gently revised grilles and all but the Hybrid gained larger headlamps and revised taillamps. New wheel designs were part of the updates. Camry’s styling doesn’t look dated but it might look dowdy next to aggressive new sheet metal worn by the redesigned 2011 

Hyundai Sonata and the fresher face of the 2010 Ford Fusion. To distinguish the Camry SE model from other Camrys Toyota gives it’s a black instead of silver grill, fog lamps, and subtle aero body addenda. Dimensionally, the 2011 Camry is square in the middle of the midsize-sedan field, but it makes wonderfully efficient use of cabin space. Camry is Toyota’s best-selling car and for calendar 2009 – before the unintended acceleration controversy – it was America’s top-selling car, too. Its basic structure is engineered to serve Lexus, Toyota’s premium division, where it’s the foundation for that brand’s most popular car, the ES 350. That helps account for Camry’s uncommon ability to isolate occupants from unwanted noise and unpleasant road surfaces.

The 2011 Toyota Camry will boast a standard-equipment list that covers the comfort and safety essentials, with a nice dollop of convenience-tech, too. Air conditioning is standard, as is a steering wheel that tilts, telescopes, and has audio buttons. Cruise control, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, and power windows, locks, and mirrors also are included even on the base CE model. All but the SE have split-folding rear seatbacks. Every 2011 Camry comes with head-protecting curtain side airbags. Leather upholstery, power sunroof, navigation system, and remote engine start are among the options, though not all are available on every model. Optional or standard on every model is an audio system that includes Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, integrated satellite radio, and USB linking for iPods and other MP3 devices. The 2011 Camry Hybrid has Fraichir cloth upholstery, a combination of silk protein and synthetic fiber that Toyota says is gentle to the skin. Camry SE models come with 17-inch alloy wheels. All other Camry models have 16-inch wheels, with XLE models sporting alloys and CE 
and LE having steel wheels with plastic wheel covers

The 2011 Toyota Camry’s base price range is $20,345-$29,995, which represents an increase of about 1 percent over 2010-model-year prices. The 2011 Camry’s base prices start slightly below comparable models in the lineups of such key rivals as the 2011 Honda Accord and 2011 Chevrolet Malibu and marginally over those of similar 2011 Ford Fusion models. However, all these cars are subject to frequent factory incentives and benefit from tough dealer competition, plus options can cause actually transaction prices to vary significantly.Base price for the 2011 Toyota Camry CE model (Toyota sometimes refers to this as the “base” or “Standard” Camry) is $20,345 with manual transmission and $21,395 with automatic. (All base prices in this review include the manufacturer’s mandatory destination fee. For 2011 Toyota cars, that fee is $750. The fee may vary for Toyotas purchased in Southeastern and Gulf states.)Base price for the 2011 Toyota Camry LE with the four-cylinder engine is $21,800 with manual transmission, $22,850 with automatic. The 2011 Camry LE with the V-6 engine starts at $25,515 and comes only with automatic transmission. Among standard features the Camry LE model adds to the CE is remote keyless entry and a power driver’s seat. And all Camry V-6 models have chromed-tipped dual-exhaust outlets.The 2011 Camry SE base price is $23,415 for four-cylinder models equipped with manual transmission and $24,115 with automatic. 

The 2011 Camry SE V-6 starts at $26,790 and comes only with automatic transmission. Among standard features the Camry SE adds to the LE model are the 17-inch alloy wheels, unique exterior trim and seat fabric, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, aluminum door sills and pedals, and – for additional structural rigidity – a fixed-back rear seat with a center pass-through instead of a folding seatback.The 2011 Camry XLE base price is $26,875 with the four-cylinder engine and $29,995 with the V-6; all XLE models come with the automatic transmission. As the top-of-the-line Camrys, XLE models include in their base price heated mirrors, a power moonroof, fog lamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, power driver and passenger seat, and Homelink integrated garage-door transmitters. Also standard on XLE models is a leather-wrapped steering wheel that incorporates auxiliary audio, Bluetooth, and climate controls. The 2011 Camry XLE four-cylinder models have the Fraichir cloth seating fabric while XLE V-6 models have leather upholstery; both get imitation-wood cabin trim.The 

2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid’s base price is $27,150. It’s equipped similarly to the Camry LE modelAmong notable options, available on the Camry SE, XLE, and Hybrid models is a voice-activated DVD navigation system that displays on its dashboard screen a rearview backup camera. Bluetooth cell phone and music-streaming connectivity and the USB iPod port are included with the navigation system and also with the optional audio-system upgrades available on the LE, SE, XLE, and Hybrid models.Among other extra-cost features, the power moon roof is optional on LE and SE models. Leather upholstery is optional on automatic-transmission SE models, on four-cylinder XLEs, and on the Hybrid. Options exclusive to the XLE include remote keyless entry with pushbutton start and, on leather-upholstered versions, heated front seats.
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2010 Toyota Avalon

2010 Toyota Avalon

The 2010 Toyota Avalon sees no major changes. This large car is a front-wheel-drive, five-passenger sedan offered in XL, XLS, and top-line Limited trims. It has a 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. Exclusive to Limited are keyless entry/engine start and heated and ventilated front seats. All models have rear seatbacks with adjustable recline. A navigation system is available for XLS and Limited.

The 2010 Toyota Avalon ranks 1 out of 7 Affordable Large Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 57 published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Avalon, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
The Toyota Avalon is part of the massive Toyota recall. For more information on the Toyota recall, including how it affects our rankings, please see our Toyota Recall page.

The Toyota Avalon offers a combination of low long-term cost of ownership and a reasonable purchase price.  The car comes into 2010 unchanged.  It's far from the most exciting car in the class, but it boasts a smooth ride, an interior that wouldn't be out of place in a luxury car, and bulletproof reliability.
Shoppers looking for a full-size sedan face more choices this year, with a new Ford Taurus earning a lot of positive press.  But the best value of the group may still be the Toyota Avalon.  Inside its spacious cabin, the Avalon can feel like a luxury car. Its upscale interior and quiet, well-cushioned ride wouldn't be out of place in the Lexus lineup. 

Its driving dynamics, however, would.  Rivals like the Chrysler 300 offer powerful V8s.  The new Taurus is available with a powerful twin-turbo V6 that replicates the power of a V8 with better fuel efficiency.  The Avalon, however, comes only with a simple V6.  It's reliable, and gives the Toyota enough power to pass at highway speed, but it doesn't give the same confident acceleration as some of its competitors.
The Avalon's up-front purchase price is also higher than some similar cars, but large car prices have been rising quickly in recent years, and its price tag no longer stands out much.  The Avalon offers a lot for the money -- and is more reliable and fuel-efficient than many competitors, allowing buyers to recoup some of that cost.  

If it's the Avalon's near-luxury interior that you're interested in, we'd suggest that you also test drive to Hyundai Genesis.  That car similarly offers an interior that wouldn't be out of place in a Lexus, and a price under $40,000.  But, with rear wheel drive and an available V8, it outperforms the Avalon.  It may also be worth your while to test drive some of the larger cars from the upscale midsize car class.  Both the Acura TL and Audi A4, for instance, are nearly full-size sedans that offer more luxury and better driving dynamics for a price not far from what you'd pay for an Avalon. But the Avalon sits atop our large car list -- there may not be a better fit for your needs.
The Avalon carries into 2010 unchanged from the 2009 model year - so if you find both 2009 and 2010 models on your local dealer's lot, consider negotiating on the 2009 car.  It's no different from the 2010, but you might be able to get a better deal on it.
The Avalon comes in three trim levels -- XL, XLS and Limited. Several formerly optional pieces of safety tech are now standard on all Avalons - including active front headrest, brake assist, traction control and stability control. 

Shoppers might want to note that the Avalon is included in a pair of massive and highly-publicized recalls.  The first is due to a floormat design that can trap the vehicle's accelerator pedal, causing unintended acceleration.  Toyota safety personnel have informed us that customers can currently purchase a 2010 Avalon with floormats.  The car will be delivered with the driver's side floormat attached to the track of the driver's seat with zip ties.  Customers are asked not to remove the ties.  Toyota will contact buyers with a recall notice when a permanent fix is available.
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2010 Toyota Highlander

2010 Toyota Highlander

The 2010 Toyota Highlander is largely unchanged. This midsize crossover SUV seats up to seven with a folding 3rd-row seat and 2nd-row bucket seats. The 2nd-row offers three-passenger capacity via a detachable padded center section that folds and stows in a 1st-row console when not in use. Most Highlanders reprise a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Base, Sport, Limited, and gas/electric Hybrid trim levels return. Base versions come with a 187-hp 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine. Optional on the Base and standard on Sport and Limited is a 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine. The 4-cylinder engine teams with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The V6 pairs with a 5-speed automatic.

The AWD-only Hybrid comes in Base and Limited trims and use a 3.3-liter V6 teamed with an electric motor for a combined 270 hp. Like Toyota's other hybrids, it runs on one or both of its power sources, depending on driving demands, and requires no plug-in charging. Hybrids have a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The Hybrid's EV mode allows the driver to put Highlander in electric-only drive mode for a limited distance. A driver-selectable Econ mode that regulates throttle inputs for optimum fuel economy is available. Maximum towing capacity is 3500 lb for the Hybrid and 5000 lb for conventional V6 models.


Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain side airbags that cover all seating rows, front side airbags, and a driver knee airbag. Standard on all non-hybrid AWD models is hill descent control. Options include a sunroof, DVD entertainment, three-zone climate control, and a navigation system. A rearview camera is newly available on the Base V6. This report is based on evaluations of the 2009 Toyota Highlander.


Our Best Buy choices are the Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia, and Mazda CX-9. Our Recommended picks are the Chevrolet Equinox, Dodge Journey, Ford Flex, GMC Terrain, and Toyota Highlander.


New or significantly redesigned models include the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-7, Mazda CX-9, and Toyota 4Runner. 
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