"Cabin is roomy enough even if you're 2 meters tall, back seat is even sufficient for tall people. Upholstery is nice and has worn very well. Engine is powerful and responsive, and it handles well in all situations I've encountered. The audio system is wonderful, albeit now somewhat dated. No major maintenance problems, just a component here and there wearing out, maybe $1500 of repair costs outside of regular recommended maintenance over 11.5 years of ownership."
"I bought a new 2000 XLS in December 1999 after having ordered an Acura TL and found I couldn't get comfortable in the driver's seat. So: across the street to the Toyota dealer.
For the first few years, I looked for excuses to get rid of it: it seemed too geriatric, with the Buick Roadmaster ride, large fonts on the center display, etc. But, of course, as I got older while driving it, those features began to look better and better.
Seriously, the only flaws worth mentioning have to do with the overly soft suspension. If you have one of these, especially if you buy a low-mileage used one, I recommend you do what I did: Replace the shocks with stiffer, aftermarket ones, like KYB, upgrade all the suspension bushings, and upgrade both the size and quality of the tires. I've got a set of Continental W-rated M/S tires now that improve the handling tremendously; Michelin Exalto A/S, either H- or V- rated, are also excellent, and you can buy them at Costco, which means free rotation and rebalancing for life. Go at least one size over (I'm using 2 sizing), you won't regret it. Upgrade the brakes whenever you have a chance; at least, use Akebono brake pads.
What's worn out after 12 years and 130,000 miles? The catches on the center console and the sunglasses holder. The JBL stereo is good, but at some point, the rear deck speaker blew out, and the part alone is over $200 (it requires more than that in labor to install) so it's now just disconnected. Also, an oxygen sensor was expensive to replace and there are three more of them sitting there waiting to cost money.
But: It's fast, economical (although the trip computer is wildly optimistic about mileage), and very spacious and comfortable. The suspension upgrades have stopped it from wallowing on bumpy roads and leaning too much on turns, but the ride is still very smooth.
When I first got it, it was in spite of the exterior design; I though I was driving a great white whale! But now it looks like a classic -- simple, clean, and not too big compared, let's say, to the current Avalon. If this car were any better, it would be an ES350, but then my clients would think they were paying for my Lexus."
Pros: "Great engine, runs smooth and picks up speed easy"
Cons: "bad shocks and paint chips easy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've bought this car in 2003, the only things i have done is oil change, new tires and brakes, however, i have never have had problems with the engine or transmission. I highly recommend buying a toyota. Best car ever and it has 98,000 miles and the engine picks up speed as if its NEW. This car is still going strong, runs better than alot of those new cars coming out. The 2 problems the car has is that the paint chips fairly easy, and the shocks are not that great. I had to replace them because i thought something was wrong with them, however, replacing them made no difference."
"I have owned 5 of them. This 2000 has 185000+miles. Use no oil, no leaks. Everything works except the JBL CD. No car can compete with Avalon for value or quality. I have spent less than $1000 on normal repairs on this vehicle. Still drives better than most new cars."