I am very disappointed in the dash on my 2006 Avalon. It has started to have hairline cracks everywhere. The car has 68000 miles and has always been garage kept. I went on the internet and found that many people have had the same problem. Toyota refuses to acknowledge the defect. I think that people should be made aware that this happens.
I have owned my 2006 Toyota Avalon for nine years now and have never had any problems. I service it regularly and it still drives exceptionally well with 97,000 miles on it. Most of my driving is on California freeways or on long road trips in the American Southwest. This is the perfect road car with plenty of acceleration, comfort, excellent heater and a/c, and a great stereo. Visibility is excellent.
I put on expensive Good Year Eagle Sport tires (W speed rating) at 30,000 ,miles and this made the ride noticeably smoother and the cornering sharper than the original OEM tire. Despite Good Year's claims, these tires only really last ~20,000 miles, but the tradeoff is worth it. I put on slotted racing discs on the brakes and ceramic pads. This is a big car that drives like a midsize sports sedan. I push the car and it likes it. 85mph cruising speed @ 2500 rpm for miles across the American Southwest all day long in any season. My last big road drive was in 112 F weather Arizona and the a/c worked great; the car had no problems with the temperature.
I headed up the mountain to Prescott and got caught in a monsoon, a torrential thunderstorm going uphill at 4,000 feet. There was no place to pull over on the steep mountain road so I used the Avalon's very practical and well-engineered Manumatic transmission to hand shift through the deluge going up the steep and winding grade. No problem with traction, power, or anything else in this big thunderstorm with near zero visibility.
Update: I had an ignition coil fail at 100,000 miles and replaced all of them. This is a commonly reported problem on the 2006 Avalon at >95,000 miles. The replacement factory coils restored the acceleration and engine smoothness. The 2006 Avalon accelerates very quickly and smoothly in the 70-90 mph region. This makes it great for passing slower cars and trucks on freeways and the open road.
2016 is supposed to see a glut of two year old cars on lease returns. I may finally sell my 2006 Avalon and pick up a 2014 Avalon.
I can sell my 2006 Avalon for about $7,000 and pick up a 2014 Avalon for ~$25,000 from a rental car company. This means a net cost of around $18,000 for at two year old Avalon with about 26,000 miles on it. The Avalon has the Lexus E350 268hp engine, transmission, and suspension and so an $18,000 price is appealing given the performance and comfort of the Avalon. If I keep the 2014 Avalon for nine years as I have with my 2006 model, then my cost of ownership is $2,000 per year plus routine maintenance.
A new 2016 Camry with the same engine stickers at $32,000. However, the Camry lacks the solid ride and comfort of the larger Avalon. I have driven a few Camry rental cars while traveling and they just don't measure up to the Avalon.
Conclusion: A two year old low mileage Avalon is better and less expensive than a new fully loaded Camry.
As an auto repair shop owner I'm blown away about the negative reliability reviews. I saw one two star review because of an oil leak on a 9 year old toyota with 97,000 miles! What kind of bubble do people live in where this is considered unreliable?
All cars have what we call "pattern failures" specific to certain makes and models. ALL CARS have pattern failures. All cars need repair periodically. As a luxury type car repairs will be more expensive. If you only need one or two repairs every 100,000 miles then you are operating a very well built machine. If you dont beleive then buy a Chrysler next time so you can see what frequent repairs are really like.
On a lighter note, the Avalon is great. I have driven most makes and models in my line of work, and you will have a hard time matching this much comfort and quality for the price of the Avalon.
As a young family of 3 we wanted to get a car where the kids elbows don't touch which sparks arguments and they can't kick the front seats which drives me nutty.
Low MPG SUVs were out and putting money into a dreadful minivan felt as good as paying federal taxes.
We are in our 30's and this car seemed out of our age group but the Touring edition adds some youthful style and let's face it, still better looking than a minivan. The reclining rear seats are great for the kids.
Smooth and quiet ride even at 90,000 miles and about 31 MPG on the highway.
Rides equal to a newer vehicle but we only paid about $13,000.
Not bad for a large family car with leather, heated seats, and a moonroof.
I am 20 years old and this is my 12th car (i'm an addict). No my parents dont give me ANY money. Anyway! I was lucky enough to score one of these for a few thousand cheaper than its value. And so far, its been excellent! I got the limited model loaded with everything. White exterior with tan interior. I did notice while doing an oil change it takes quite a bit of oil, 6.4 quarts to be exact! Mileage for this massive sedan I'm able to get average 32-33.5 on the highway going 72. That is unheard-of for its size! I've gotten up to 400 out of a tank with city AND highway driving, and to fill up only costs about $35, about 14.5 gallons, (even though it has an 18.5 gallon tank)! I've put in pioneers latest avic-7000nex navigation touchscreen stereo and it fit perfect, all functions still work! The only problem i've had was engine code p0441 and p0455, if you get these codes replace the fuel cap and that should fix it! (It will also turn on VSC and I think ABS light. There is a problem on 05-12 (dont quote me) avalons where the fuel cap wears out. I paid 6,700 and it only has 108k miles and its in excellent shape! It shifts buttery smooth and the amount of power it has (280hp) will compete with any other (ricer) or sedan out there. I love the smart-key feature. I would buy again.