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2008 Toyota Avalon

Overview
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2008 Toyota Avalon Review

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The 2008 Avalon is Toyota's flagship sedan. One step above the popular Camry, the full-size Avalon offers a generous interior packed with so much luxury many owners consider the car to be almost Lexus-like. In what has long been the domain of the domestic automakers, the Avalon offers full-size car buyers a modern, front-wheel-drive sedan with an impeccable history of excellent service, outstanding quality and best-in-class resale. Beyond its solid engineering attributes, the Avalon also offers customers a powerful yet fuel-efficient V6 engine, a huge and easily accessible trunk and a sense of style not found in traditional full-sized sedans, such as the Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need ample rear-seat space, Toyota promotes the Avalon's "tunnel-less flat-floor design," which translates to rear-seat roominess. And if your financial future is a high priority, the 2008 Toyota Avalon gives you Lexus-quality materials at a price (and resale value) that say Toyota all the way.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Avalon no longer offers a front bench-seat option, so if you need seating capacity above five, it's not found here. Also, younger shoppers might shun the Avalon because of its older-owner image.

What's Significant About This Car?

The Avalon receives a slight exterior freshening and a new six-speed automatic transmission. XL trims offer the option of a four-way power passenger seat, while XLS and Limited models offer an eight-way power passenger seat.

Driving the Avalon

Driving Impressions The 2008 Toyota Avalon has a personality even more distinct from the Camry, along with Lexus-like attributes. On good roads, the ride is generally smooth. Still, the relatively taut suspension...

delivers noticeable harshness when encountering certain bumps and holes. Acceleration is sufficiently assertive, but the Avalon feels like a heavy automobile. Though not up to European sport-sedan levels, the Avalon has responsive steering and handles with reasonable agility. An abundant glass area helps with overall visibility. Side bolstering is modest, but the seats are supportive and nicely cushioned. Rear headroom is so-so, but leg space is abundant and the reclining seats are helpful.
Favorite Features

Safety Features
Seat-mounted airbags, side-curtain airbags and a knee airbag for the driver are standard on all models. Vehicle Stability Control is an option.

Reclining Rear Seatbacks
Standard on all Avalons, the five-position rear-seat recliners adjust from a 25 to 35-degree seatback angle.

2008 Toyota Avalon Details
Interior

Spacious and handsome, the 2008 Toyota Avalon looks inviting and feels comfortable. Extra width gives occupants another inch of shoulder space. Instruments are large and symmetrical, though smaller readouts are harder to see. Lustrous woodgrain on high-end models helps make the dashboard attractive and distinctive. The glovebox is large, but sits low. A pushbutton starter is included with the Limited trim; you don't even have to hold the button in, just push and release. To entice younger buyers, the Touring model has a unique interior with a sportier charcoal dashboard trim.

Exterior

As promised, this four-door sedan looks different enough from the Camry to attract a separate set of customers. Details count. Wide-opening doors have three-stage door checks to ease entry and exit. The back doors open wide -- to almost 90 degrees. Jointless flat windshield-wiper blades are half the usual thickness and are said to ensure even pressure and reduce wind turbulence. Limited sedans have rain-sensing wipers and an acoustically-dampening windshield. Each trim level has its own wheel design: 16-inch for the XL and 17-inch for other models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All Avalons use a six-speed automatic transmission. Anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) incorporate Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). Steering wheel-mounted audio controls and dual-zone climate control are standard. Seat comfort is enhanced by reclining rear seatbacks and adjustable-length front cushions. Perforated leather upholstery and a moonroof are included in the Limited. The Touring model has leather-surfaced bucket seats and high-intensity discharge headlamps. All models include front seat side-impact airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, driver's-side knee air bag, a six-disc CD changer and an auxiliary audio input jack.

Optional Equipment

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is available for all trim levels. Touring, XLS and Limited models offer a GPS navigation system with voice recognition that responds to 200 commands. Dynamic Laser Cruise Control, which lets you set the preferred distance you wish to maintain from the vehicle ahead, is optional on the Limited. Three radios are available, including a JBL Synthesis 360-watt system with 12 speakers, and the dealer-installed remote engine starter works from up to 80 feet away.

Under the Hood

The Avalon's V6 qualifies as one of the best in the business. It's so silent at idle that glancing at the hovering tachometer needle might be the only way to be sure the engine is actually running. Power for passing and merging is excellent, as are the seamless shifts offered up by the new six-speed automatic transmission. Despite its ample size and quick acceleration, the Avalon offers fuel economy figures comparable to some four-cylinder economy cars.

3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28

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2008 Toyota Avalon Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 470 Ratings for the 2005 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Most enjoyable car ever owned.

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "It's a Lexus without the Lexus price premium!"

Cons: "Cup holders should have some sort of light."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought the car because my wife liked the full power adjustments on the front seats. I liked the design. Toyota's reputation was also a strong factor."

non smoker,very clean, well kept, new tires.

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "At 65 mph on fairly level highway 35 mpg"

Cons: "no backup camera"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is a luxury car that gets a lot of compliments.It always looks nice and very shiny dark gray. If you are particular like I am, you will love this car."

Good car, but not great

By on Friday, March 28, 2014

I don't own this car

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Quiet, quick, gas mileage, spacious, visibility"

Cons: "Wind noise, handling, seat design"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"First of all I DO own this car. For some reason I wasn't able to post using the "I own this car" icon. Anyway, when shopping for a newer car my wife and I wanted a spacious, comfortable, reliable, full size luxury type car to replace my wife's aging 2001 Continental. We looked at all cars that met this criteria including the Genesis, Buick LaCrosse and used Lucernes, Lincoln MKZ and MKS, Audi A6, and some others. We eliminated the Audi due to cost but that was my favorite. The Lincolns are nice cars but outward visibility was lacking and this feature was most important to my wife. (The rear-view cameras are a nice feature but I don't think as reliable as actually seeing out the rear window.) The LaCrosse had the poorest outward vision of them all. I felt like I was in a cave. The Lucerne's were very old school inside even though they met all other criteria. I liked the Genesis but was a bit concerned about the reliability and Hyundai service down the road. I was hesitant to buy a Toyota since there are so many and I would have preferred a less common vehicle. After driving the Avalon (2011 Limited silver on gray) it was obvious that this car met every single criteria we had. It's the most spacious car of any we looked at and probably all that we didn't. It rides like on a cloud. It does everything flawlessly. The NAV and Bluetooth took some getting used to but after reading the manuals they become very intuitive and easy and effective to use. We both like the gray leather interior materials especially on the Limited which has heated and cooled seats, a wood trimmed steering wheel and some other upscale touches that give the car a very pleasant feel inside. And we're hoping that Toyota's famous reliability isn't a thing of myth and legend but the real deal. Here's where I'm not as overwhelmed with this car as so many reviewers are. The compliant ride is at the cost of sharper handling. Many cars today give both the ride and handling that should be expected in a modern car. The Audi is the perfect example of this. Pity it costs so much more. The seats are flat and offer absolutely no lateral support whatsoever. However I do like the depth of the seat bottom because it offers really good thigh support. Also the Limited model has an inflatable thigh cushion built in that adds extra comfort. However, the seat cushion isn't very thick and after a while you can feel the bottom of the seat cushion. Not a luxury feel at all. Zero complaints about the rear seating and comfort. I'm sure it matches or surpasses even a Rolls Royce. I'm disappointed in the amount of wind noise on the highway. More than the 13 year old car we traded in. All in all the Avalon is probably exactly what Toyota had in mind. A comfortable and reliable cruiser for people that aren't too concerned with lateral Gs or not sliding around in their seat when executing a sharp turn. My wife loves it. Me,...I'm not so thrilled. I expected more. If it's as reliable as it's advocates say it is, I'll be pleased with the purchase. But not thrilled."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Surprise! Blew a Head Gasket at 85,000 miles!

By on Saturday, March 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Quietness, rear seat and rear leg room,"

Cons: "Reliability, front seats, passenger blind spot"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I am a "little old lady driver" so I was VERY disappointed to find out my Avalon had blown a head gasket! That is why I gave it gave it a 3/10 for reliability. I had done every recommended maintenance and all regular oil changes. What a bummer! The front seats could be a little more comfortable. I am a "bony little old lady" and I can feel the springs in driver's seat. Very surprised at this. The seats in our 2005 Town and Country are much more comfortable."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best cruising car ever 2012 Avalon

By on Thursday, March 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Style and lines, comfort, mpg, price, spacious."

Cons: "needs firmer and more lumbar support in drvrs seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I started out helping my sister look for a 2013 Avalon. She wanted something sporty and luxury based and this is what we ended up with. She loves it! I however didn't care for the stiffer ride so I looked at the older 2012 Avalon and it was just what I was looking for. It handles better than you're led to believe by the professional critics. It's a cruiser not a sports car and it delivers exactly. People 6 ft or more can't believe the room in the back seat, it's limo like and very spacious. The only thing I like better than driving is chilling out in the back seat. The rear seats in the 2012 recline, unlike the bucket like seats in the 2013 and 2014 models which are definitely more sporty.The pick up is quick, and once you get going it's like you're floating. Over all gas mileage is 22-23 mpg, while on the hwy we get 29-30 easy. Gotta love it, considering it's size. Shop around for a good deal, they're out there and you can't go wrong with this car, you'll be glad you bought it."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

BEST I'VE OWNED

By on Thursday, March 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "GREAT PICK UP. POWER TO SPARE."

Cons: "MUST GO FAR BACK TO GET SEATBELTS IN FRONT."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"GREAT LOOKS, QUALITY SECOND TO NONE. GAS MILEAGE ON HIGHWAY 30 MPG. LOCATION OF FRONT SEAT BELTS COULD BE BETTER. LOVE THE RECLINING REAR SEAT FEATURE."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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