5 really-great big cars

Full-sized non-luxury cars have suddenly become amazing.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid

big cars toyota avalon
  • Base price: $41,400
  • MPG: 40 city, 39 hwy

Watch: Toyota Avalon leaves retirement behind

The Toyota (TM) Avalon was, until recently, a car with a strange split personality. While the suspension and steering in the last-generation Avalon left the car feeling as slack and numb as a Novacained cheek, the gas pedal was weirdly high-strung. The slightest poke sent the big car jumping like a startled house cat.

The new Avalon feels much more at peace with itself. It's smooth, quiet and controlled. Body motions are subdued while the steering provides enough feedback to give the sense you're firmly in control. It's not exactly sporty but it is satisfying.

The interior is also the nicest, by far, of any Toyota car. It's attractive without being fussy. The model I tested happened to be the Avalon Hybrid, shown above, which offers outstanding fuel economy, at a premium price.

  @peterdrives - Last updated July 29 2013 06:35 AM ET