Rather than repeat everything that others have said about how awesome this car is, I'll only add what hasn't been said. HANDLING/STEERING: This is not a sports car. I am still pleasantly surprised at how well it can corner despite its weight, and how tight, but light, the steering response seems to be. I upsized my rims, and it has improved my handling. See Style section for more details. RELIABILITY: I'm a stickler for preventative maintenance, as in, I follow the book to the 'T'. It's my bible. This car has done one thing; destroyed my OCD around maintenance. I realize all of the maintenance on a car has significant safety factors built in, especially from Toyota; a super conservative company. But I felt like I had 80% of the life left in all components I've replaced to date. The biggest scheduled maintenance I've done is the timing belt. Along with it I went ahead and did the water pump, pulleys, tensioner, camshaft actuator, and the two seals. Well, when I asked for my old parts to take a look at wear, they looked new. NEW! Seriously, the old timing belt still had the white Toyota logo on it still. Well, at least now I know, even after 90k miles I could've probably gone to 150k easily, if not 200k. Well, I?m only at 94k, so I will likely never have to replace any of those components ever again for the life of this vehicle. My only worry is that I used Denso parts rather than exact originals (Aisin, etc.), but it?s supposed to be OEM spec. so hopefully no issues there. Been going full synthetic oil for the engine (runs better and sludge prevention), and regular schedule on transmission and coolant. Nothing exciting there, except that I probably could have easily gotten double the mileage between changes for all of these fluids. I don?t drive like a grandpa either, despite this car?s image, I?m a 27 year old male (see Style section for more on that). Don?t get me wrong, I?m not advocating for you to prolong the recommended service intervals, I?m simply stating what Toyota enthusiast have known for years: Toyota over specs. GREATLY. This behavior is awesome for us consumers. My only unscheduled maintenance was an O2 sensor back at 40-50k miles. STYLE/LOOKS/FIT/FINISH: This car has some nice thick high quality paint. Mine still looks mostly new, just a few chips and dings due to it being 16 years old, but probably far less of such things than a lower quality car?s paint. As a whole this car polishes up really nice still to a mirror finish, and from 5 ft away looks new. The leather is still in tip top shape, the only seat I refinished myself was the drivers, and now the whole car?s interior looks like new again. I try to clean and condition the leather a few times a year, but nothing indicates that without this it would be in any worse shape. Now, for the biggest update to the style in my opinion: NEW RIMS! I mentioned I was a 27 year old guy, well, after getting some nice 18? rims, the whole look of this vehicle is totally different. I personally disliked the bland appearance prior, but put my ego and image in the backseat. Little did I know that such a simple change would be such a drastic change! This thing actually looks?.dare I say?sporty now. It definitely fits me much more, it now has the same likeness to the Lexus IS series from the same generation (which makes sense as it?s probably a very similar platform). It?s the look without the harsher, louder ride though; I haven?t noticed any difference in the comfort! TAKE A LOOK AT THE PICTURES, YOU?LL BE AMAZED: http://imgur.com/a/1RS2R
OK, I know the Avalon is supposed to be a great car, but I've had a few expensive problems with brakes. Excessive rust near the rotors caused the brakes to fail after only 35,000 miles, and again at 55,000 miles. I've been told by two dealers that the brakes will be a chronic problem. Paint on the hood is chipping and peeling, and the CD player had to be replaced after two years. Every other Avalon owner I've met loves their car, so maybe mine is the exception.
Bought it w/ 127K 5 months ago, 159K now, paid $9K (well maintained) it is really a flawless car. Sure, I had to replace the timing belt and brakes, but that is what is expected at 100K miles. The ride on this car is smooth and it takes to hard corners like a bucket of water, but it is not a sports car and that should be understood. Ride / build is Lexus quality. Even with 159K miles on it is solid over bumps and shows no sign of its age. Interior space is outstanding and power seats make good comfort and lumbar support. This is my second Avalon and looking forward to breaking 300K on this one like I did my last one. Then I will buy another 8-9 year old Avalon and start all over again!
I purchased a 2001 Avalon new. I love this car but have one major problem. The paint on the hood is peeling. I contacted Toyota and they claim there have been no other complaints about this model having a paint issue. Anyone else out there have a 2001 with this issue? The other issue I have is with the sensors. I have replaced all or most of them and the check engine light remained on after the last replacement. This issue gets very expensive!