2000 Toyota Avalon XLS Sedan (304)


This Toyota Avalon XLS, simply put, is a lovely luxury automobile. I consider it an upscale Camry. It is elegant and has the features you’d expect of a top of the line automobile. I love the new attractive dash styling and even though some say the outside is bland looking, I see it as having “Clean” lines. What’s more, even though the price is relatively competitive Toyota managed to maintain the quality level of this car. Sometimes it’s the little things you appreciate in thoughtfully designed cars like the seatbelt adjustments to ease the pressure on your shoulder. You don’t get that from lesser cars and so you live with the discomfort.

There is an abundance of room in this Avalon, especially in the back seat. This will seat four basketball players comfortably, 5 or 6 average sized people or 8 pigmies. I hope folks in Borneo don’t take offense. Does anyone know if they drive cars there?

Toyota is popular and although that isn’t always a sure sign you’ll agree, it does carry some weight with most of us. Have you watched the TV game show, “Who wants to be a Millionaire”? It seems to me that the best lifeline is to go with the audience because most of the time they’re right. Well, when a lot of folks lean in one direction it might just pay to see what all the interest is about. On the other hand, when was the last time you agreed with others who said a movie was great or lousy?

Toyota has enjoyed success over many years and generally I agree they build good cars, but I wasn’t thrilled with the last two Toyota’s I tested. Namely, the Echo design turned me off and the Celica quality was disappointing. Perhaps being successful can lead to over confidence and thus sloppiness.

Handling & Performance: 

Very good. You won’t win any road races, but this is a smooth and comfy ride. The engine is state of the art engineering and there’s a lot of talk about the intelligent Variable Valve Timing design.


I like it even though some would say it’s boring. I’ve also heard others say they didn’t like the dash design, but I really like it. Let me know what you think.

Fit and Finish: 

Typical Japanese care is given to the detail, even though it was assembled in Kentucky.


I can’t complain because the features are ample for the money.


Not bad for a car of this quality. Perhaps building it here in Kentucky helped to keep the cost down. Ain’t it great, we’re taking cars to Mexico and electronics to Taiwan for assembly and Japan is bringing theirs here. What’s the world coming to?


f you’re in the market for a Camry or a Lexus, you should also look at the Avalon. If price is a consideration you’ll find the competition pretty inviting. And by the way, the cars noted below are all good cars except for the Mercury which I haven’t driven, so I can’t comment.

The competition:

Buick LeSabre $23,400-27,885, Chevrolet Impala  $18,890-22,790, Chrysler Concorde  $22,245-26,485, Dodge Intrepid $20,645-24,435, Ford Crown Victoria $22,195-24,310, Mercury Grand Marquis $22,605-24,505, Pontiac Bonneville $23,755-32,180.

Good News:

Historically Toyota has been tops, well priced for what you get. Comfortable, quiet ride. Responsive engine.  Lots of passenger room and large trunk.

Bad News: 

The turn indicator is too quiet and easily forgotten, cookie cutter styling, more expensive than most of the competitors.

Standard Equipment: 

3.0 liter V6 VVT-I engine, 4-speed automatic trans, power 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, dual front and side air bags, power mirrors, daytime running lights, power fabric bench seats, cruise control, climate control, leather wrapped tilt wheel, power windows and locks, theft system, keyless entry, stereo with cassette and CD and auto halogen headlights.
Gas Stats:
21 City and 29 Highway MPG.


MSRP  $29,655.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com


 Copyright ©1998 – Automotive Love Affair

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