We've had our XLS since August (1700mi) and love it! Bought it at $400 under invoice. Tough decision between the Lucerne and the Avalon as I've always bought GM, but don't regret it in the least. The Buick is nice, nearly identical feature to feature, and had a larger trunk, but the 3.8L engine and 4-spd transmission did not compare to the Toyota's 3.5hp and 5-spd in power and smoothness. 3.8L was the same setup as my '97 Bonneville, bulletproof but not as refined as one would expect in the Lucerne. The Avalon handles well, has oodles of power, is very comfortable on long trips, has plenty of room for the family, and great looks to boot. I'd recommend it to anyone!
Excellend engine power and acceleration, plenty quiet. JBL stereo is crisp sounding and not overpowering even when turned up. Like the modern dash layout and look. Sliding center arm rest is great. 31.5mpg on highway. My wife likes the heated seats. Mirage-Blue paint is nice. Good build quality!
Top of steering wheel partially blocks the speedo, have to position it one click higher or lower than optimal. No body side mouldings standard, installed Toyota accessory BSMs myself. No mute button on the steering radio controls. Lose the cassette, add an iPod jack that also charges.