Modern, classy and roomy, Toyota's 2008 Avalon sedan features the right mix of response and handling. Offering driver and passengers the perfect sanctuary in the midst of daily driving, the front-drive Avalon is described by the automaker as distinctive, stylish and the "most-American" of any Toyota product to date.

Available in XL, Touring, XLS and Limited trim levels, the Avalon receives a number of enhancements and upgrades for the 2008 model year, starting with a freshened exterior look.

A 3.5L six-cylinder engine, bolted to a new six-speed electronically- controlled transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), powers the Avalon.

The well-equipped passenger cabin features a futuristic layout of displays and controls that is refreshingly user friendly and extraordinarily convenient. This year, numerous enhancements to the standard and optional equipment increase comfort and convenience. The base XL model now offers an available four-way power front passenger seat, while the XLS and Limited offer an optional new eight-way power front passenger seat and a new rich dark wood grain and chrome trim interior.

The driver's view of the road is excellent. The center armrest adjusts forward for short drivers. The Avalon features two power points in the center console for the operation of various portable electronic devices.

A remote engine starter is available on all Avalon models equipped with the factory alarm system. Limited models offer Dynamic Laser Cruise Control. This system detects slower vehicles traveling ahead and decreases speed accordingly, and maintains a pre-selected distance. Finally the system detects when the preceding vehicle changes driving lanes and increases the car to a pre-set speed.

Seating throughout the passenger compartment is spacious and very comfortable. Rear seat passengers are treated to plenty of leg room and a cavernous seating area. All models feature a 60/40 split manually reclining rear seat with separate headrests, center armrest with dual cup holders and a locking trunk pass-through. The trunk is a large, nicely shaped cargo area with plenty of room to haul luggage for a long trip or accumulate groceries and supplies. n

EPA fuel economy: City: 19, Highway: 28

Base MSRP:$27,075