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Avalon head to head with Ford, Holden

New contender: Toyota's conservatively styled Avalon large car goes on sale on July 1.

Toyota has priced its new Avalon large car lineball with the segment-leading Holden Commodore/Calais range

29 May 2000

TOYOTA has announced pricing for its new Avalon large car, due to go on sale on July 1.

Avalon - the result of three years' local development - is the first Toyota in Australia with a trip computer and the first Toyota sedan offered here with side airbags.

The manufacturer says the Altona-built Avalon has been strengthened to suit local conditions and its ride/handling balance tailored to Australian tastes.

It is based on the previous-generation Avalon sold in the US and Japan. The vehicle has been superseded by a new generation model in those two markets.

The newcomer will be offered in four grades in Australia: Conquest, CSX, VXi and Grande. Toyota expects to sell a greater proportion of high series models than Ford or Holden.

Standard features across the range include dual airbags, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking with rolling codes and owner-programmable two-stage door unlock, immobiliser, stereo with integrated telephone mute and an eight-function trip computer with speed alert.

Also standard are headlamp auto-off with programmable delay, tilt-adjustable power steering, driver's seat height and lumbar adjustment and boot access through the rear seat.

The Avalon CSX (Futura and Acclaim competitor) has the key additional features of anti-lock brakes, side airbags, air-conditioning, cruise control, six-speaker CD player, front and rear map lights and front passenger seat lumbar adjustment.

The Avalon Vxi (which takes on Fairmont and Berlina) gains alloy wheels, power-operated driver's seat, woodgrain trim, climate control air-conditioning, leather steering wheel and shift lever, leather-covered double centre console lid, remote electric boot release and integrated alarm system with panic mode.

The range-topping Avalon Grande (up against Fairmont Ghia and Calais) comes with front foglamps, unique alloy wheels, two-tone paint availability, leather upholstery, luminous instruments, power-operated front seats and anti-jam protection on the driver's power window.

It also gets a power tilt and reach-adjustable steering column, headlamps auto-on, power tilt and slide moonroof and a seven-speaker audio with six-CD in-dash multi-changer.

Avalon's mechanical specification consists of all-independent suspension, power-assisted rack and pinion steering, four-wheel disc brakes, all-alloy quad cam V6 engine and electronically controlled four-speed overdrive automatic transmission.

Its 3.0-litre V6 engine is a derivative of the unit used in the Camry, generating 145kW at 5200rpm and 284Nm at 4400rpm.

The Holden Commodore 3.8-litre V6 produces 147kW and 304Nm and Ford's 4.0-litre straight six makes 157kW and 357Nm. The Mitsubishi Magna 3.5-litre makes 147kW and 300Nm (3.0-litre 140kW/255Nm).

Toyota is waiting to see if the torque deficit of the 3.0-litre V6 counts against the Avalon.

"Much hinges on positive customer response to Avalon's value for money proposition which will be enhanced under GST," Toyota Australia senior executive vice-president Mr John Conomos said.

Mr Conomos is confident Avalon customers would be delighted with the recommended retail price of the new car in every model grade.

Avalon Conquest $30,330 Avalon CSX $36,720 Avalon VXi $40,450 Avalon Grande $51,620 All prices Pre-GST reduction All cars come with automatic transmission, dual airbags and remote central locking

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