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2012 New York Auto Show - Toyota

Toyota AvalonToyota Avalon
Toyota AvalonToyota Avalon

Toyota's press conference featured a "concept" that was suspiciously devoid of a name. After the full show and tell, the big surprise was that this wasn't a concept at all; it was the new Avalon, exactly as it will appear in production form.

The Avalon has always been referred to (or derided) as Toyota's Buick; large, plush, smooth ride. Blandly inoffensive. The perfect choice for retirees. But with the changing definition of Buick has forced Toyota to step if up a notch. The new Avalon takes a giant leap forward in styling. Is there anything particularly original going on here? Nope. But it is a handsome, balanced, well-executed design that should broaden the Avalon's appeal further down the age scale.

Also appearing from Toyota, a mild Venza refresh with updated styling and connectivity technology.