2008 Toyota Avalon Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Toyota Avalon Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Avalon Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 268 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Toyota Avalon

  • The price of entry may be high, but if you're looking for the most refined, best-built full-size sedan in the under-$40,000 price bracket, your search should begin and end with the 2008 Toyota Avalon.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Seats five adults in comfort, attractive cabin design with high-quality materials, composed and quiet ride, powerful and efficient V6, available upscale amenities, high crash-test scores.

  • Cons

    Expensive for its class, refined nature leaves little room for personality, rear seats do not fold.

  • What's New for 2008

    A midcycle refresh brings a six-speed automatic transmission (in place of last year's five-speed auto) and minor upgrades to the braking system. All 2008 Toyota Avalons have new headlamps, a revised front fascia and a more compact keyless remote, while the Limited gets chrome door handles. Inside, the wood-grain and metallic surface treatments are updated, while a nine-speaker audio system with an MP3-compatible CD changer and auxiliary audio jack is now standard on all models except the Limited. An eight-way power front passenger seat is included in the XLS and Limited, and the latter also comes with Bluetooth.

Full 2008 Toyota Avalon Review

What's New for 2008

A midcycle refresh brings a six-speed automatic transmission (in place of last year's five-speed auto) and minor upgrades to the braking system. All 2008 Toyota Avalons have new headlamps, a revised front fascia and a more compact keyless remote, while the Limited gets chrome door handles. Inside, the wood-grain and metallic surface treatments are updated, while a nine-speaker audio system with an MP3-compatible CD changer and auxiliary audio jack is now standard on all models except the Limited. An eight-way power front passenger seat is included in the XLS and Limited, and the latter also comes with Bluetooth.

Introduction

Although Americans take heat for ordering too many Java Chip Frappuccinos, racking up credit card debt and sustaining the worldwide market for sport-utility vehicles, we have some good habits as well. Driving full-size sedans, for one. As big as these cars are, they're ideally suited for a country where suburban sprawl is rampant and long-distance travel borders on necessity. Further, they typically represent a more efficient solution for carrying four or five people than SUVs. The Toyota Avalon has long been among our favorite large cars in the under-$40,000 price bracket. Not only is it spacious and comfortable, it has a well-deserved reputation for quality and reliability that rivals are hard-pressed to match.

Last redesigned for 2005, the Avalon rides on a stretched version of the previous-generation Camry platform. Even compared to the current Camry, the full-size Toyota Avalon is considerably longer and a bit wider. This extra size provides additional legroom and hiproom in the backseat and more than 5 cubic feet of additional interior volume. Plus, Toyota's careful packaging yields a nearly flat floor in the Avalon's rear, making it a legitimate proposition to seat three adults across. In addition to its extra space, Toyota's full-size sedan offers a larger dose of luxury accoutrements. Convincing faux wood trim is sprinkled liberally throughout the cabin, and premium features like adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled seats, and keyless ignition are available. A fully loaded Avalon Limited could easily pass for a Lexus on the inside.

Although Toyota has never joined the domestic manufacturers in offering a V8 option, the current Avalon is among the quickest big sedans in this price range, thanks to a very potent 3.5-liter V6. For 2008, Toyota has upgraded the previous five-speed automatic transmission to a new six-speed, the result being minimal gains in acceleration and fuel economy -- which were already above average anyway. These qualities, along with a quiet and composed ride, make the 2008 Toyota Avalon an excellent choice for a road trip. The one thing Toyota's full-size sedan doesn't offer is sporty handling, and buyers who revel in back-road travel will probably find Chrysler's 300 Limited or 300C, or the Nissan Maxima, more to their liking. For consumers who cruise the interstates, though, the Avalon's high level of refinement should more than compensate for its lack of athleticism.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

A large sedan, the 2008 Toyota Avalon is available in four trim levels: XL, Touring, XLS and Limited. The base Avalon XL starts you out with 16-inch alloy wheels, electroluminescent gauges, cloth upholstery, a power driver seat, a tilt/telescoping wheel, reclining rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a nine-speaker stereo with an in-dash CD changer and an auxiliary audio input. The Touring model is meant to be more sporting, and to that end it offers firmer suspension tuning, 17-inch wheels, xenon HID headlights, black leather upholstery and faux aluminum interior trim.

The luxury-themed Avalon XLS loses the HID headlights and reverts to softer suspension tuning but gains lighter-color leather and wood-grain interior trim. Additional standard feature content on the XLS includes a sunroof, an eight-way power front passenger seat, heated outside mirrors and auto-dimming capability for the rearview and driver-side mirrors. The top-of-the-line Limited adds keyless startup; rain-sensing wipers; perforated leather seats with memory, heating and cooling; power-adjustable seat-cushion length for the driver; an upgraded 12-speaker JBL sound system; Bluetooth and a power rear sunshade.

Many of the upscale features on the XLS and Limited are also available as options on the lower trims. Other options, depending on trim level, include a navigation system, satellite radio and laser-based adaptive cruise control.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive Toyota Avalon is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. For 2008, the EPA estimates the Avalon will deliver 19 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, with a combined average of 22 miles per gallon.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2008 Toyota Avalon includes antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags for front and rear passengers and a driver-side knee airbag. Stability and traction control are optional across the board. In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Toyota Avalon earned a perfect five stars in all frontal- and side-impact categories. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Avalon earned the top score of "Good" for its protection of occupants in frontal-offset and side-impact crashes.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although the metallic-trimmed Touring model can come across as a bit austere, any Toyota Avalon feels upscale and inviting, thanks to its glowing Optitron gauges, attractive and ergonomic control layout, and high-quality materials. Movable panels conceal the radio and navigation controls when they're not in use, and this gives the dash a sleek appearance. The front seats are wide and accommodating, particularly in the Limited, which offers both ventilated seats and a seat-cushion length adjuster. The rear seats are quite comfortable as well. Legroom is abundant even by full-size sedan standards, and a manually reclining back cushion allows passengers to stretch out on long trips. A 6-footer can sit in back with more than enough knee and headroom, and with a nearly flat floor, getting three across on carpool day is no problem. One minor annoyance is the inability to fold the rear seats, though the 14.4-cubic-foot trunk offers plenty of usable space.

Driving Impressions

Not surprisingly, the 2008 Toyota Avalon is at its best on the open highway. The cabin remains quiet, the ultra-smooth V6 engine has plenty of passing power and the suspension never feels harsh, even with the Touring model's firmer calibrations. The Avalon is no athlete, but this full-size Toyota carries itself with reasonable composure on winding roads. The steering is too light to feel sporty, but it responds to driver input in a precise, fluid manner. Additionally, a tidy turning circle makes the Avalon feel unexpectedly nimble on tight city streets.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great car except float handling

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Avalon Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

When I went shopping in 2008 I really wanted a Caddy CTS or an Acura RL. CTS could not be ordered with blue tooth for phone or laser cruise control. CTS by far drove the best. My Dad passed away about this time and left me a 2001 Avalon. It was a basic one but was very comfortable and got great MPG. So as almost an afterthought I went to Toyota dealer. They had the features I wanted and the car was 15 grand less than Acura. I really planned to hate the Toyota. I now think it is one of the best cars I have owned. Still is floaty and poor on curvy roads. Still overpowers the front wheels if too much gas is given. A great value IMHO. Amazing MPG for something this fast.




Amazing car to drive!

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Avalon XLS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Purchased this Avalon from family member, 79000 miles. Upon inspection my mechanic could not believe the condition of the vehicle for the amount of mileage. The quality and craftsmanship of this vehicle is the best that I have ever experienced. Whether around town (18 mpg) or on the highway (28 mpg), the performance of this car is outstanding. All the buttons and bells , except for on board navigation which I substitute with my own gps system. Incredible stereo system. Can not believe that this is a 2008.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love it!

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Avalon Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I bought this car used in 2/11. It now has 101,000mi on it. I have it serviced at Toyota and it always checks out fine. So far I have been nothing but pleased. I have put 22,000 miles on it and have taken it on several long 2 day road trips. It is very comfortable. I have two small children and the backseat has tons of space for both of them and all of their stuff. Love the reclining back seats and built in sunshade. Trunk is huge. I have all the bells and whistles and love the navigation, built in Bluetooth etc. We just recently replaced the battery, other than that no issues. Would highly recommend.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

It is what we thought

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Avalon XL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

If you are looking for a used Avalon, this is the year to start from. The revised 6 speed transmission is a marked improvement in smoothness, gas mileage, and reliability over the 5 speed autos from 2005-07. There are numerous websites and complaints about thse tranys). Also, the car was freshened on the exterior and has an Ipod plug. The one issue with the '08 model year is the headlamp assemblies, which are a well-documented problem. The good news is that Toyota extended the warranty for the headlamp assemblies for 5 years and 75000 miles from the original in service date. But you have to call Toyota because many dealers will rip off the unsaavy. The Avalon is otherwise a great car.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Holding it's value!

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Avalon Touring 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

How many times can you buy a car and two years later have equity for such? Bought this 2008 style two years ago @52k miles. Both HD light had to be replaced the first month. TOYOTA DIDN'T COVERED THAT! BAD TOYOTA! USD 800 for parts and service! On the other hand MPG, amazing! City=28, Highway= 33. Right rear wheel bearing is making noises, about 400 dollar service. Paint is very soft, already have several rust spots on hood and side panels. Comfort amazing! Noise level inside, higher than my previous 1998 Volvo V70!? JBL sound system not to par, not good at all.



1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Unexpected quality

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Avalon Touring 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I have a Toyota Venza, this is my father's car and I thought it was just some slow, floaty old man car. I was kind of wrong. Its not slow and floaty at all, but still kind of an old man car. This touring model almost drives like a camry but the sterring is light and vague, like my Venza. Its pretty agile for its size. The ride is very comfortable even with the touring suspension, unlike my 2010 venza... There is still more body roll than I expected but I like its stability. The HID headlamps are cool but expesive in the long-run. I wish the display for the radio and climate controls were a bit better. I really like the color scheme too it's Blue Mirage exterior and Black leather interior.



Talk About The 2008 Avalon

2008 Toyota Avalon Discussions See all Started By

nnnnnpatel
nnnnnpatel
01-16-2007
I little premature to talk about 2008 Avalons, but any ideas what new thing might show up on these models....


floridasteve
floridasteve
07-27-2014
Jusr wondering if anyone has experienced their dash cracking. Car is always garaged when not in use. Dealer not interested in investigating. The general area is above the glove compartment. Just when?...


bum434
bum434
11-02-2014
I have a 1998 Avalon XLS with 185k on it, car is still in amazing shape and runs quieter then our 2008 Avalon XLS. Lately I have been having issues with the blower for the ac/heat it will be fine for ...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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