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Pearls of Wisdom: A Ladies' Tour of the Deep South Featuring the Toyota Avalon

Car Review

Embarking on a 3,000-mile drive through six southern states, we examined 10 unique aspects of the practical yet elegant Avalon Hybrid Limited.

Embarking upon a 3,000-mile radical drive through six charming southern states, we set out from Dallas, Texas in the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited in search of scenic vistas, glistening cityscapes, and exciting adventures. For each of the ten major cities we visited along our route, we examined a different aspect of the practical yet elegant Toyota Avalon.

Dallas, Texas | Driver Comfort

We chose the Toyota Avalon for this trip in large part due to its nimble drivability, exceptional fuel economy, and upscale luxury features. With suitcases neatly packed away in the hybrid's 14 cubic feet of cargo trunk space and sunglasses conveniently accessible via the easy-to-reach overhead console, we set out on the journey ahead with just one touch of the push-button start ignition. Tailored to the driver, the Avalon Limited's cockpit offers a premium leather-trimmed tilt/telescoping steering wheel and comfortably supportive seats which provide a near-custom fit. The 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat is outfitted with lumbar support and a power seat extension for added leg support in the thigh region. Temperatures in the south can fluctuate toward both extremes, and the perforated leather-trimmed heated and ventilated front seats of this well-appointed sedan make muggy days and chilly nights a little more bearable.

Traveling the Deep South in the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Jackson, Mississippi | Hybrid Synergy Drive

The Avalon's Hybrid Synergy Drive system combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor which allows the car to utilize either or both resources for a highly-efficient end result. The whisper-quiet car is ranked as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle, and its 40 mpg EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating was consistent with our own fuel usage throughout this extensive trip. The 17-gallon fuel tank provides a whopping 680-mile fuel range which allowed us to travel from one major city to the next on far less than one tank of gas, thus eliminating the need to stop in small towns along the way for additional fill-ups. The multi-information display also allowed quick view of the current/average fuel economy, distance to empty, mode indicators, energy monitor, and more.

Traveling the Deep South in the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Montgomery, Alabama | Navigation Technology

One of the keys to any successful road trip is comfort and convenience, and the usefulness of Toyota Avalon's technological features simply cannot be overstated. Using the onboard navigation system to locate our destinations on the map, we followed along as a cordial-sounding voice-prompt guided us smoothly and accurately throughout each segment of our entire excursion. In updated real time, the HD predictive traffic feature also notified us of upcoming construction zones and pending traffic jams, one of which was a distant 20 miles ahead on our route. Through the use of driver-engaged voice controls as well as the 7-inch high-resolution touch-screen display, we were additionally able to search for nearby restaurants, stream music, listen to podcasts, and enjoy SiriusXM All Access Radio via the 11 GreenEdge speakers included in the impressive Premium JBL Audio system with both center-stack and steering-wheel controls.

Traveling the Deep South in the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Atlanta, Georgia | Vehicle Interior

The Toyota Avalon delivers an upscale interior environment of well-designed furnishings and meticulously-crafted surfaces throughout. Sophisticated touches and subtle design motifs feature soft-touch materials, French stitching, and beautiful walnut accents along with well-placed ambient lighting throughout the cabin. The highly-adjustable standard leather-trimmed front seats are matched with ample space in the back seat area as well. Rear passengers are afforded plenty of legroom, an adjustable leather armrest with integrated cup holders, rear magazine pockets, individual illumination, and a power rear sunshade which keeps the interior cool in warmer months. The Avalon Limited also offers heated rear seats and three-zone climate control so that rear passengers can adjust air temperatures directly.

Traveling the Deep South in the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Charleston, South Carolina | Exterior Design

Cutting-edge technology is coupled with a distinctive overall silhouette to convey a type of power and elegance which is unique to the Toyota Avalon. Sharp lines, strong edges, and a sweeping outline are highlighted alongside a chrome-accented grille housing two Quadrabeam headlights which focus light from a single bulb into two individual lenses to help better illuminate the road ahead on dark nights. During the day however, the Avalon Limited's power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade also adds unmistakable character and a bit of undeniable sexiness ... especially while cruising the sandy beaches and visiting the brightly colored lighthouses that dot the nation's southeastern coastline.

Traveling the Deep South in the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Savannah, Georgia | Responsive Performance

Although the lightweight Avalon Hybrid is unassumingly quiet at lower speeds and perfectly adequate while cruising along scenic roadways, the car's responsive performance quickly provides acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in a snappy 7.6 seconds. A 2.5-liter I-4 engine paired with a battery gives the hybrid system a total of 200 horsepower which is manipulated by selecting one of three different drive mode buttons located near the leather-wrapped shifter. Eco offers softer shifts and consistent acceleration for maximum efficiency, Normal is great for everyday driving, and the livelier Sport mode increases throttle response and additionally quickens the electric power steering for twisting roads.

Traveling the Deep South in the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Jacksonville, Florida | Aerodynamic Profile

The sleek profile of the Toyota Avalon is not only fashionably stylish, but it is also uniquely designed for maximum efficiency and assistance in lowering wind resistance. The car's aerodynamic shape showcases recent design changes to the windshield and roofline as well as a newly tapered tail which dramatically reduces the low-pressure wake zone thereby creating less drag. Specially-shaped panels underneath the car help reduce turbulence and provide a smoother ride, and precisely-placed exterior mirrors, windshield moldings, and door handles help keep wind noise at a minimum ... which was, of course, beneficial to us as we repeatedly belted out one favorite radio song after another with minimal outside interference.

Traveling the Deep South in the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Mobile, Alabama | Useful Amenities

The Toyota Avalon delivers up its services in a way that makes utilization as easy as possible. The low-profile Intelligent Touch capacitive controls for the audio systems and climate control put adjustments at our fingertips, and the Smart Key System allowed doors to be opened when we stepped within a few feet of the car even if the key fob was in our pocket or purse. However, another one of the much-appreciated amenities was the Limited's rain-sensing windshield wipers which automatically adjusted to match the amount of rain hitting the windshield and the speed of the car. This feature was put into operation repeatedly as we drove westward along the more humid climates of the southern coastline when afternoon showers were prone to occur.

Traveling the Deep South in the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

New Orleans, Louisiana | Safety Technology

The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control of the Avalon Limited we drove was no doubt one of the most-used vehicle features on our trip. If we were on the highway, chances are high that the DRCC was engaged ... primarily for personal driving convenience, but secondarily as an integrated safety precaution. The car's adaptive cruise control made easy work out of driving long distances as it automatically adjusted our vehicle speed to help maintain a preset following distance between us and the vehicle directly in front of us. We also much appreciated the blind spot monitoring which intermittently illuminated a warning signal on the corresponding outside mirror, as well as the indispensible backup camera with guidance lines for helpful parking assistance in tight spaces. The Avalon's Star Safety System also comes standard with a suite of six advanced safety features including vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brake system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and smart stop technology.

Traveling the Deep South in the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Houston, Texas | Safety Features

The Toyota Avalon offers a complete approach to vehicle safety and continually kept us safe and sound over the course of the entire road trip, even in a number of disconcerting scenarios that occurred around us. When a skateboarding teen absentmindedly glided across a parking lot as we began backing out of a space, the rear cross-traffic alert signaled us to remain in place. When a long line of freely flowing traffic suddenly came to an abrupt halt in the middle of the highway, the dynamic radar cruise control which works in conjunction with the pre-collision system automatically applied the brakes instantaneously. And when we watched as a utility vehicle on the opposite side of the highway crashed violently into the concrete median right in front of our eyes, we were untouched and unscathed yet immensely grateful for the Avalon's ten airbags, whiplash-injury-lessening seats, and emergency roadside assistance with automatic collision notification should we ever be in a position to need Toyota's 24/7 call center.

Traveling the Deep South in the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

From safety features and driver comforts to fuel economy and advanced technology, the Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited had served us very well. But let's face it, we weren't a bit surprised ... that's exactly why we chose it in the first place.

Learn More | Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

For more information about the Toyota Avalon, visit online at:

Toyota | Avalon

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A Ladies' Tour of the Deep South Take a charming journey through the Deep South region of the United States with a special focus on a few of the important women who helped shape it. Deep South United States

Pearls of Wisdom | Table of Contents


Dallas, Texas

Jackson, Mississippi

Montgomery, Alabama

Atlanta, Georgia

Charleston, South Carolina

Savannah, Georgia

Jacksonville, Florida

Mobile, Alabama

New Orleans, Louisiana

Houston, Texas