With gas prices still relatively reasonable, sales of hybrid cars seem to have plateaued--and that means carmakers are boosting incentives on several models.

The Toyota Avalon Hybrid has always been one of our favorites, and in recent months, incentives have risen on the three-year-old big sedan.

DON'T MISS: Toyota Avalon Hybrid: Gas Mileage Drive Report

According to CarsDirect, July incentives include a $319 monthly lease (with $2,000 down and covering 12,000 miles a year for three years).

That ends up being a slightly better deal than leasing the conventional gasoline model (ignoring the fuel-economy benefits) because the Avalon Hybrid comes with a higher level of standard equipment.

2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid - First Drive, 10/2012

2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid - First Drive, 10/2012

If you want to buy an Avalon Hybrid outright, Toyota is offering $2,000 cash back on all trim levels.

The company also offers 0-percent financing to certain "well-qualified" buyers,

Alternatively, you can get an additional $500 off for financing through Toyota, though as CarsDirect notes, that may not get you the best interest rate.

ALSO SEE: 2015 Toyota Avalon - full review

When we tested a 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid two years ago, we logged a genuine 40 mpg in mixed use--pretty good for a large, comfortable sedan that seats five.

The EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid at 40 mpg combined (40 mpg city, 39 mpg highway).

And when the car was new, it definitely turned heads, with passengers in other cars turning to look and see what it was.


2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, May 2013

2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, May 2013

Now the 2015 Hyundai Sonata has been restyled to use a similar shape--and we're not that fond of the Avalon's latest grille styling, with Toyota's latest edgier and more aggressive "front vent" approach.

Still, for buyers who want a large comfortable sedan that delivers good fuel economy, the Avalon Hybrid is hard to beat.

And its hybrid powertrain delivers performance just about equal to the V-6 alternative, meaning all the benefits of hybrid fuel economy without the sometimes-grim driving experience.

MORE: Chevrolet Impala 2.5-Liter Four-Cylinder: Quick Drive

Toyota's Camry Hybrid is still less expensive, but it has less room inside--and it's unlikely to deliver much more than incrementally better fuel efficiency.

In its review, TheCarConnection suggests that the Avalon range is "in some ways mimicking a Lexus for less money."

The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid prices start at $36,470 (before delivery) for the XLE Premium model, $37,800 for the XLE Touring, and $41,700 for the top-of-the-line Limited trim level.


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