"I bought a used '98 Toyota Avalon XLS in 2005 with 70,000 miles on it. Eight years later it has 262,000 miles and the engine in still running beautifully. I finally needed to replace the transmission at about 240,000 miles, but who can complain about that? I was looking for a used car for my teen-aged daughter and found another '98 Avalon XLS with only 58,000 miles on it and bought it - she is thrilled with the car. It's comfortable, safe and reliable, and with just routine maintenance it appears it will go forever. I am so impressed that I can't recommend this car highly enough."
Pros: "Reliability, price, resale value, great investment"
Cons: "Minor-Exterior appearance,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Its not a Lexus but it sure feels like it, which makes sense because its designs and mechanics are very similar if not exact. For its price, the consumer is getting outstanding reliability, great fuel efficiency (considering the size of the family car, and size of the engine), a comfortable smooth ride, in a classy spacious interior, equipped with an award winning engine.
It's outdoor appearance it's deceiving, but the xls provides a leather, wood trim, and electrical everything including a moonroof which comes in handy every time."
"I bought this car used in 2005 with 87,000 miles on it and have have run the mileage up to 205,000 with no major problems. I've driven it from Los Angeles to Toronto and back and it ran perfectly. It is extremely reliable and very comfortable. I feel like I'm in a luxury car and enjoy driving it every day. I hope I'm as happy with my next car.
MPG is not too bad at 21 for a V6."
"Great Car! I was given this car as a graduation present with 90K miles in 2002. Not that enthusiastic at first but I now have 235,000 miles and it's going strong. Minor work done when it turned 200k. Water pump, timing belt, struts, gaskets, hoses. about $1200 in parts and labor. Best car ever. Drives like a caddy, great car for road trips. California to DC 6 times. Great car!!!"
"Bought a 1998 Avalon used from a private party 3 years ago with about 80,000 on it. Have put on almost another 90,000 and have loved it every time I've driven it. Styling is a bit outdated and handling is a little mushy. Back end struts are a bit weak so when my 3 teenage boys are back there it rides low. Very few mechanical problems, very comfortable for long drives. Fuel economy is pretty good, not great. Easy to use controls, quality interior, plenty of power, great AC and stereo."
Pros: "reliable, huge trunk, great gas mileage, holds 5 adults comfortably"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This has been the most worry free, reliable, useful, good looking car i have ever owned. I (and my teenagers) have put 100,000 miles on it in the last 8 years. I bought it used with low miles knowing it would carry me and my kids safely and without any problems. The trunk is HUGE, roomy back seat (kids called it a limo). It has been worth every penny and more! It still has much life left in it- and with good conscience, i will sell it to a friend- can't do that with many cars! The mileage has been 22/28 on regular gas with synthetic oil changes every 5000 miles."
"I bought this Avalon with a 110,000 miles on it and I now have over 215,000 miles on it. It still rides, performs and is just a very confortable car, far better than most new cars. I'm in the car business and I kinda know what I am talking about. If all cars were as good as this Avalon, the the car business would be in serious trouble. I am very grateful that they are not."
Cons: "2 dinky cup holders, easily knocking engine"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car has lasted me a long time. And it will continue to run past 200K if oil is changed on time and it is not raced. The car is very comfortable to drive in, I would take it for a ride instead of a Lexus SUV I own. The interior design is falls apart with age, but everything remains functional. For example, the leather seats wear out, but the dash remains all workable. The seats still function, and windows. All the service I did on it was replace water pump and timing belt to make it last. Those are the 2 things that can make or break this car. Some Avalons we owned, we did not replace oil on time, or it was low on oil, the engine starts knocking and then the engine is a gonner. So important to check the oil level occasionally, or suffer having to replace the engine. The oil pressure in the car is higher than others at idle, therefore, overall the oil in this car is high pressures to make sure the engine runs lubricated all over, that is what makes it last long. If water pump and timing belt aren't replaced after 100K then I don't recommend buying the car. My father owns only these models of cars (1995-1996) are the best because they don't rust, EVER. We use synthetic oil and it runs like a clock. The paint wears off with time on 1997-1998 more than 1995-1996. Other maintenance work that was done was usual replacement of oil, filter, air filter, tires, brakes, pads... Overall a very low maintenance and reliable car."
"I'm shopping for another car and keep coming back to the Avalon. After considering about every other car out there, I've come to realize that the most bang for my buck, in the long run, is probably another Avalon. I'm considering upgrading a few years but I know I'll still be getting a great car.
Amazingly, this car doesn't burn oil even though it has over 300,000 miles on it. The transmission seems excellent too.
At 200 hp, it will outperform our 2005 Impala with 215 hp by quite a margin. The Impala speedometer goes to 120 mph since it is the smaller 3.4L 215 hp engine. The Avalon has a 3.0L 200 hp engine but the speedometer goes up to 140 mph. I believe the Avalon could do the 140 mph.
The ECT button (electronic control transmission) when engaged delays shifting for sport performance. It will lay you back in your seat and really scoot when you need it to. I was tempted to teach a newer Mustang a lesson at a stop light one time but decided to be nice to him :) I really think I could have given him some trouble, even though he had the big bad V8 and a girl friend he needed to impress....
One other thing - this car is very, very comfortable. I'm 6'-2" tall. This car sits and rides so well! The back seat has plenty of room too!
The final word on the mechanical aspect - This car is very quiet. I've tried to restart it on more than one occasion only to discover that it was already running. I soon learned that you had to listen real close to make sure it was running :)"
Cons: "Strut noise early on in car's life. Had to replac"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car is the best car I have ever owned. Purchased it new and will keep it forever. Only have done routine maintenance with timing belt at 100K and strut bearing replacement at 80K. This is a car made for a comfortable ride and drives like dream. Cruises easily at 80 mph."
Pros: "Best price, value, performance, and dependability"
Cons: "thieves like them too much"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased my Avalon used in 1999 with 65000 miles already on it. It was my first non-American manufactured vehicle, but the price was so much better than comparable cars at the time. The car was not equipped with leather interior, but my wife got the dealer to install it. That actually gave the car a "showroom new" appearance, so we were quite pleased with our purchase.
The rest is a near story-book like relationship - we almost lived happily ever after. I've now owned the car for 12 worry-free years.
The only cost beyond regular maintenance (gas,oil tires, brakes) has been the replacement of the air conditioner evaporator in May 2011. I've never had a single problem other than that until two months ago.
Someone broke in through the driver's door and tried to steal the car by jamming something into the ignition, damaging both.
I was able to fix the ignition by re-aligning the tumblers with my key. I also fixed the door, but a few days later it failed to open and had to be repaired again - three more times.
Finally, I took it to a dealer, but they want $2600 to fix it, and the car is only worth about $2000 according to KBB.
So, I'm now looking to buy another, newer Avalon.
I remember the ad campaign years ago for Toyota: "Oh what a feeling!" It featured proud owner's jumping up"
"Received a hand-me down 97 Avalon from my parents when they upgraded to an 2008. I am so impressed with the quality and staying power. I have 349K miles on the car and just drove it for a 1500 mile roadtrip at 30 mpg highway. Probably paid for the new battery compared to my old gas guzzler. Comfortable ride...plenty of power...great vehicle to buy."
"i have had my 1996 avalon for 8 1/2 years. it has roughly 160000 miles on it now as the odometer has stopped working. i have had to replace the rack and pinion, i have replaced all struts and i had the antenna repaired (it stopped retracting). i gave it to my daughter 3 1/2 yrs ago and i just recently gave her my 1996 4runner. so i have the avalon once again. i plan on keeping it for maybe couple of yrs. local driving i get 22 mpg. i love driving it. it has one small rust spot starting to develope on passenger side rear wheel well. the headlight lens are very blurry and old looking, but work well. it isn't worth much, so i will keep for a while. it would be kinda expensive go in dept for another car and have to pay $3.10 a gallon for gas at the same time. i have spent roughly $1600.00 on repair and labor in the last 8 1/2 years on this car. hope this helps someone. lw"
"I have owned this car for 10 years and it is the finest vechile I've ever owned. Not one problem even minor. Every thing except the battery & tires are original after114,000 miles. Top quality. No wonder Toyota is now the largest car manufacture in the world."
"Bought this car used at 2 yrs of age in 1997. I have always enjoyed driving, packing, and traveling in this car! The TRUNK is awsome! Load it up and it still gets 29 MPG on the road! I kept wondering when I was going to have to replace it, but in 19 years have only replaced the torque converter, front axles (cheaper than replacing just the CV boots now), a water pump and fuel pump (just last year), and then just general maintenance! Changed the oil religiously every 3K miles. I did have to replace the sub-woofers in the doors when one finally started rattling 2 years ago. Car is Quiet! Sound is great! Mileage is great! Still a good car if it has been maintained!"
"Drives great, looks great, room for two pre-teen kids and a carseat in the back and very comfortable driver and passenger seating! Plus it has leather interior. This car is a definite keeper! I will keep on driving it until there's a major problem, but so far all looks good. Had a gasket leak and it was fixed - part cost less than $50. Haven't had any other major problems. Only concerns - struts may be worn and headlamps are cloudy (cannot open and clean). TIP: Keep tire pressure at manufacturer recomendations, otherwise you may not get the best fuel efficiency (found that out today...duh!)."
"I bought this car brand new in 1998. The first thing i noticed about this car was the acceleration. At freeway speeds all you have to do is put it down and you're passing everything in sight. The ride is supple and the creature comforts are without parallel. Heated seats, automatic climate control, stellar sound system....as an XLS model it has it all including the moonroof. If you can find one snap it up."
"Best car I've owned. very low maintenance cost, 28mpg with v6! Outstanding reliability. Survived 2 teenagers.
Better than my past Infinity Q45, better that wife's Acura RL (but not much).
After 11 years of New england driving just starting to show tiny amount of rust spots. Still my daily driver."
"Ive had my 98 avalon for a year and its been a great car. Its got a nice sturdy well made interior with plush leather seats. The ride is extremely smooth and suprised with how close it is to some higher end luxury cars. The 3.0 liter V6 is quick with excellent pick up and passing power on the high way and is pretty good on gas. I get 20 mpg usually city driving and and 30 mpg highway. My only complaints with this car has been the breaks which arent the greastest and had there shair of repairs and the exterior paint isnt the best and chips easy. I would recommend this car to anyone whos looking for a luxury car with paying the price for one."
"I've had a number of cars, and this is the nicest I've had. It has 130,000 miles on it now, and it's never had to be repaired. This is one comfortable, fast, reliable car. I do actively recommend it to friends. The ride is smooth and comfortable, the steering is smooth and easy, while retaining plenty of feel for the road. This car will peel rubber at 30mph if you floor it! It's an amazing car! It also grips the road really well."