Sept. 2018: ‘Tiz the season to be jolly albeit a little early for Santa himself, but Toyota and a few others will be launching a lot of new models as 2019 arrives. The ‘Toyota Avalon 2019 Launch Bahrain’ was the first from them for a while. Of course, if you happen to be reading this in the year 2525, then no doubt you’ll be laughing your legs off at what was just unveiled.
Apart from the purdy gals bracketing the new Toyota Avalon above, the car itself is a charmer too. One suspects a lot of enthusiasts and those not quite so enthusiastic had little expectations when it came to the new 2019 Avalon, since Lexus and Toyota to a large extent are very much; ‘been there, done it, bought the post card’ styles, rolling them out because all other manufacturers do. To be honest, how do you fix something that ‘aint broken? However, when the covers came off there was an immediate warming to this little gem and some serious looks of surprise.
The web reviews are coming up with all sorts of praise like; ‘gorgeous’, ‘setting the standard’ and so on. When all is said and done, car shapes have hardly changed in the last 20 years. Take the 1998 Camry for example or any other manufacturer from that time and it is not rocket science to see that visible changes are not so striking even when looking at the new Avalon. However, this time Toyota have added some kind of sparkle which definitely attracts one’s attention.
If nothing else, the extended front grill which only Toyota like, with most of us looking in wonderment as to what they were thinking. ‘Just a bit more’, squints the designer; ‘No, a bit more, bit more… stop! No, no no, more more! ‘Ah forget it, just cover the whole front, it looks daft without it’. Well, stand back for a second and try to imagine the new Avalon or any Lexus without this giant ornament that Lexus and Toyota are hell bent on attaching with all their new models. As ridiculous as these huge grills are, everything somehow fits. It is like a big basking shark, gliding through the waters with its huge mouth wide open golloping down the plankton. Of course, this grill is for show only, although it looks like the car needs to take in half a city’s oxygen as it goes about its business.
Under the hood, it is a 3.5 litre V6 standard, now an 8 speed automatic shift, front wheel drive, lane radar safety and the other bits to stop you whacking into something, head up display, nice stereo, longer, wider, lower and roomier inside. On top of all that, it looks not bad at all. What was that you said? Say it louder! ‘Doesn’t the new Lexus 350 ES have all that as well’? How very observant of you – indeed it does. So why pay $16,000 more for a Lexus when the new Avalon does a pretty good job of mimicking it. Simple really, ego plays a big roll here too. If you are a Lexus owner, you are never going to buy an Avalon. The Toyota Avalon is for the Jones next door, trying to keep up with you. In the Middle East of course, it will be the Al Mamoods or Mohammeds filling their garages with Avalons, if they can’t quite afford the ‘je ne sais quoi’ which Lexus represents. No, the Avalon is not as torque nippy as the Lexus and stay on paved roads with it. Don’t get any ideas of Jebel (mountain) bashing. Some things are extras which is a huge gripe the public have with manufacturers and car dealers. Just stick everything on the car, set the price and be done with it. No, we have an extra 3,000 bucks for a different interior, another 1,000 for a fancy handle, another 2,000 for a rear camera or warning, another 2,000 for a slightly larger wheel or a few extra strips here and there. Talking of the wheels, why oh why do Toyota and Lexus makes such a fuss about wheels? Why indeed make them bigger or smaller? Just fit the most economical size and better suited and be done with it. Mr and Mrs Average couldn’t give a toss as long as it goes round and doesn’t come off.
The Avalon is indeed an American car, but an American car with Sushi! Toyota in the States manufacture it. Don’t make a fuss now. Yes we know, the Bahrainis don’t so much like American cars, although the trend from ‘no way’ to as much as 30% of the market now contradicts that. America used to build Noah’s Ark monsters the size of a small village on wheels and the Saudis love them, as folk do in countries where there is a lot of nothing only open roads for a thousand miles and fuel is relatively cheap. Bahrain is packed already, but still we see a few and they cost a bit more than the new Toyota Avalon, not to mention guzzle fuel, which is getting more expensive on this little Island and down the Gulf.
Bottom line and on the surface, it would seem that the customer is getting a lot of car for the bucks with the new Avalon, so we might see a strong uptakes compared to previous years. Watch this space.