"I needed a new car after 10 years with my Infiniti. I'm not spending (and cannot spend) $53,000 (M-35) or even $40k+ (G-35) for the smaller Infiniti. So I drove the 4 and 6 cylinder Hyundai Sonatas, Toyota Camrys, and Honda Accords, and the 6 cylinder Avalon. The Honda was a little rough in the ride, but a nice car (I already own an Odyssey and love it). The Sonata was ok, about a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10 to drive. I found that for my family, I need a bigger car, or I w/h bought a loaded Camry. The Avalon has the smoothest suspension and plenty of amenities; it seems as if it's on a Lexus LS platform, without the price or quite the cache-- but also without the premium gas requirement. This car averaged over 30 miles per gallon on my first highway drive, and overall is averaging about 24.5 miles per gallon in mixed city and highway driving. The JBL 12 speaker stereo is very nice (not like the Bose system in the 1999 Infiniti, but nothing is like that, including the newer Bose systems in the Maxima and Infinitis!). I highly recommend this car-- a ton of space in the rear seating area and the trunk, and it glides over bumps and cruises nicely. You trade a little performance, but I'm ready for a smoother ride and a softer suspension. It's about as big as the big Lexus, the Mercedes S or the BMW 7 series, but without the expense and headaches. Probably the most luxorious non- Lexus, Infiniti, BMW or Mercedes out there, for a fraction of the cost."
"The 2006 Toyota Avalon is a world class vehicle. Avalon is no longer a midsize vehicle but rather a full size automobile...it's 197.2 inches long, yet has a turning radius of a much smaller car.
My son is 6 ft. 3 in., and can sit in the back seat without his knees touching the back of the front seat. That's how roomy this car is!
Performance is as good as any car on the road...the Avalon will go from 0 to 40 faster than most cars...that means when you're at a redlight, you don't have to sweat beating another car off the line if you need to get over in front of them to change lanes.
But, the fuel economy on this car is what really sets it apart from its competitors...despite having a 3.5Liter, 268HP power plant, the car is rated at 31mpg highway. It will get that and more...recently, i drove from Macon, GA, to Nashville on a full tank of gas and got 32mpg by the time i got to my home in Nashville, traveling over I-75 and I-24 at an average speed of 72mph. The most i've ever gotten out of it is 39mpg on a freshly filled tank over a 5 mile stretch of flat road traveling 42mph...so yes, the car can attain better than 31mpg under the right conditions."
"I bought my 2006 Avalon XLS new in 2006. Since that time I have put 272,000 near troublefree miles on the car. I changed the oil myself every 4 to 5 thousand miles. I had one coilpack go out at 150,000. The alternator went out at 262,000. Besides those two things this car has needed nothing but oil changes, tires, and brake pads and a battery. i did have the oil line recall done although mine never leaked. The ac is as cold as day one. Amazing....."
Pros: "quiet, comfortable for long trips, great value"
Cons: "wind & road noise could be better"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I am in my 70's and have had several new cars. I have had a Avalon 2005 and put 127,000 on it before selling it myself in one day and currently have a 2011 with 41,000 miles. Never a problem with either and I will be getting a 2015 or 2016 soon. The Avalon is the best overall car I have ever had. economical, very dependable & comfortable, very little depreciation. For us it is a prefect car."
"Bought new; affordable luxury. Commute over 600 miles/week averaging 31 mpg. Stable handling, quick pickup, plenty of reserve power, laser cruise works flawlessly. Smooth and quiet ride, comfortable cabin environment, large back seat (easily seats 3 adults). Reliable vehicle with only routine maintenance throughout over 83 K miles."