For the 2013 model year’s redesign of its flagship Avalon sedan, Toyota dumped the frump. Instead, the new Avalon has miles of style, making it easily the most handsome version of the vaunted model line to ever wear the name Avalon. From the beginning Avalon was intended to be Toyota’s Buick. The first Avalon offered here even had a column shifter and a bench seat! A questionable decision at best. However, one thing Avalon did have going for it was comfort, reliability, and high quality. Even with its efforts to endow the Avalon with a more exciting nature, these core values were solidly adhered to, with the result the 2014 Toyota Avalon is easily the most desirable version of the model ever offered. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 generating 268 horsepower and 248 ft-lbs of torque. The front-wheel drive powertrain employs a six-speed automatic transmission. Available features include keyless entry and start, Toyota’s Entune smartphone application integration, rain sensing windshield wipers, a tri-zone automatic climate control system, and heated and ventilated seats. Safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alerts, frontal collision warning, stolen vehicle location, and automatic collision notification. NHTSA awarded the Avalon five stars in overall crash protection and side impact protection, but only four stars in frontal impact protection. The IIHS rated the Avalon as “Good” (it’s highest rating) in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact, and roof-strength evaluations.