Being in the tire business and an auto enthusiast, I was skeptical at first as I had looked at a Lexus product also. This car has a smooth ride, amazing back seat room, a powerful engine and just delivered an amazing 32.1 MPG on a recent interstate drive. This auto is a "well kept" secret that needs to be unleashed on the automobile public who enjoy a smooth ride, volumes of interior room, etc. and is competitive with Lexus in value and features!
Wow, are we impressed. This vehicle is such a great road car. Quiet, smooth ride, with lots of punch if you need to pass. 30+ MPG on the highway and 23-24 in town. Love the new dash re-design and the six-speed automatic. You can barely tell it's shifting. Plenty of room both in the front and back. Heated/cooled seats are a joy. Our friend, who drives a Lexus LS460, said our Avalon was quieter than his LS, and just as smooth on the open road. Our final choice was between the Avalon and a Genesis. Genesis was a nice vehicle; however, comparably equipped, the Avalon was thousands less and we liked the FWD for our snowy winters. Test drive it for 30 minutes or more and you'll be sold.
Let me preface this review by saying that the first Avalon I had was excellent. I had it 7 yrs. & traded only because someone hit me. The 2011 Avalon I have now is also an excellent ride, but the wind noise and some of its extras are more trouble than they're worth.
I owned 2006 and 2010 Avalon Limiteds. The 2011 is bit better. I don't know why, but fuel mileage increased over 2010, but it's a good thing. Pavement noises are pretty much absent. Riding over pavement irregularities is superb. Space, ergonomics, textures, panels, grains, and the like fit well, look, well, and are pleasing to the eye. I've never purchased the navigation system. The engine and transmission are smooth. Heating, including the seats, and air conditioning are wonderful. Blizzard Pearl and the beige leather are fine color combinations. Low road and wind noise. I don't understand the "9" ratings for MPG, but at 75 MPH I get 34-35 on road. Needs more thing support.
I love Edmunds but, how can you give the hard riding noisy Honda Accord 7.8 and give Avalon 7.3 the Honda cannot come close. I traded es350 a great car which was my fourth Lexus and I cannot be more pleased. This is the smoothest and quiet car on road yes there is body lean at times, but to those of us know and are not caught up in cornering and skid-pat testing who love real world driving this is a great car